Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023

It’s officially the end of the year, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed gushing over several of our favorite manga and manhwa in 2023 (and with every genre imaginable). Thankfully, this month’s releases happened to live up to this powerhouse year that’s already been jam-packed with must-read content, so we’re ending 2023 on a total high! Now who’s ready to see which December print titles made the nice list? 

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manhwa

Volume 1

Publisher: Ize Press

Release Date: December 12, 2023

Premise: As a struggling office worker, Dokja Kim’s sole joy in life is an online novel so obscure that he’s its only reader. Then one day the story comes to an end…and so does the world. People all around the globe suddenly find themselves being massacred by horrific monsters or pitted against each other in sadistic scenarios straight out of the novel. However, only Dokja is aware that this is merely the first chapter of what is to come. Knowing that devastating plot twists are on the horizon, he can no longer afford to sit back as a reader—it’s time for Dokja to step up and write his own destiny! 

Why It Works: If you’ve ever leaned on a book, movie, television series, or some general form of media over an extended period of time (like a security blanket), you will instantly understand protagonist Dokja Kim of the Ize Press release Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint. Unfortunately for him (and those who can relate) there always comes a time when that avenue comes to a conclusion that leaves you longing for more. However, in this fantasy-themed story, every bit of recreational time spent could potentially lead to the fate of humanity if he’s willing to step up to the plate. So there’s already at least one reason to pique your interests. 

From the very beginning, we are made privy to a rather relatable depiction of the lead character’s day-to-day rituals which effectively paints a fuller picture of his own perception of normalcy – only to be drastically altered at the notion that he’s living out the exact specifications of the story that he’s just completed. And one that happens to be life-threatening nonetheless! Still, what truly makes Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint a respectable read that’s worthy of your time is the idea that while there are plenty of big, epic moments on the horizon, this title is already pacing itself as if it’s one of the greats. We’re here for Dokja’s upgraded importance, and more importantly, Hyeongseong, who’s already giving off MVP energy!

Hirano and Kagiura

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manga

Volume 4

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: December 12, 2023

Premise: Akira Kagiura has decided. He will marry him. Taiga Hirano, roommate—and the most perfect man who has ever existed! After all, Hirano’s bad-boy vibe doesn’t really matter when he acts so sweet. Like when he wakes Kagi up every morning or cheers him on when he’s feeling down…So now there’s only one thing left to do: enact his grand plan and overcome the first hurdle—confessing his feelings! From the creator of Sasaki and Miyano— the story of Miyano’s bad boy senpai and his BL life with his roommate!

Currently: Ten seconds. That’s how long Kagi has every day to change Hirano’s mind about the whole dating thing. Just ten measly seconds. But Hirano isn’t reacting, even when Kagi holds his hands…So when Niibashi suggests he stop acting like a kid by getting woken up each morning and instead do something nice for Hirano, Kagi embraces the idea with open arms. Yet, for some reason, Hirano gets really upset about it…Could it be…? Is Hirano lonely?!

Why It Works: While Hirano and Kagiura might be a spin-off title to the instant classic BL manga (turned anime) Sasaki and Miyano, this one has given us four straight volumes of genuine charisma and palpable chemistry without pause. So at this point, it’s safe to claim that the pair-centric expansion easily has what it takes to be considered an exceptional standalone read. But obviously, diving into both is so much more satisfying, so don’t limit yourself to one of these reads because you will be missing out!

Despite the duo’s very delicate connection, the fourth volume is making a dual effort to show their impressive growth, while still displaying a few surface-level conflicts, doubts, and various internalized insecurities. For example, in one instance the pair attempts to find a balance with one another’s partnership preferences (in a heartfelt way) which in turn, helps them discover a new healthy space that leads to a positive change in their dynamic. Then during another chapter when the duo is later faced with something that they both fear (and even struggle to voice), we get a chance to witness their opposing styles of conflict resolution – and how to navigate those differences in healthy ways. This one is all about growth!

Call of the Night

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manga

Volume 14

Publisher: VIZ Media

Release Date: December 12, 2023

Premise: “One sleepless night, Ko slips out to walk the streets. Life after dark is a revelation! Especially when he meets flirtatious Nazuna. Except that she’s a vampire. That’s okay. He wants to become a creature of the night too. But transformation doesn’t come that easily…”

Currently: To sign up for his class trip to Hokkaido, Ko has to, well, go to school! His estranged friend Mahiru decides to travel to the island as well, along with an unwelcome companion (unwelcome to Ko and company, that is). And things only get worse when Ko’s fanged female followers join him and Akira on the train ride there!

Why It Works: When we last addressed the ongoing VIZ Media title during the release of its well-crafted 10th volume, we were increasingly impressed by Call of the Night’s tonal range – covering supernatural action and lore, while still emphasizing the importance of topics including mental health. Now, the title is getting an opportunity to set up worthwhile event-like moments in its 14th volume by taking the time to shift the spotlight to a new setting to keep things feeling as fresh as possible. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be Call of the Night if there wasn’t at least some sense of mystery and danger, which is typically a perfect plot point to incorporate when entering exciting new territory. So as the title progresses and more layers are peeled back, there’s still enough gas in the tank to keep Call of the Night trekking along for quite some time. Who doesn’t want a little vampire hijinks included in their guilty pleasure fiction reads at one point or another?! Exactly. 

Tomb Raider King

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: December 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manhwa

Volume 5

Publisher: Ize Press

Release Date: December 12, 2023

Premise: In the year 2025, mysterious tombs appeared all over the world, each housing an ancient relic granting supernatural abilities. The lucky few who quickly obtained these relics ruled over powerful monopolies. Others came to serve them, such as Jooheon Suh, a “raider” who hid in tombs to steal relics. Betrayed by his employer, Jooheon is left to die but instead finds himself transported 15 years in the past. Armed with years of tough raiding experience and knowledge of what is to come in the world of relics, does Jooheon have what it takes to become the “Tomb Raider King”?

Currently: Determined to get his hands on the powerful Relic within, Jooheon ventures into the first of the Seven Great Tombs. However, even this seasoned raider is helpless before the Relic of Sloth’s scorching flames! Just as he prepares for the worst, the fires suddenly go out, and he is…cordially greeted by Emperor Nero…?! As it turns out, Jooheon’s “failed” attempt at writing a novel has garnered him some very unusual fans. Now a rising star in the Relic literature scene, he is challenged by the infamous Roman tyrant to a duel…of penmanship!

Why It Works: Fans of the ongoing manhwa known as Tomb Raider King are treated to a lighter volume this time around, with a potent blend of humor, mystery, and even an unexpected sense of fame to unpack for its perfectly contained collection of chapters! And as the title gets into the narrative-driven intensity of our lead’s impassioned adventure, (on a quest for god-tier relics) we now get to witness Jooheon rely on his literacy and knowledge as opposed to an action-heavy volume, which actually gives readers a nice, refreshing alternative.  

By trying to keep a lighter, somewhat goofy series of events at the focus we really get to dig into some of these characters on a more personal, less high-stakes note – which creates better opportunities for the feel-good character growth that’s needed in lengthy manga or manhwa titles. That being said, by the end of the volume there is still a nice little promise for bigger confrontations and significant relics, but there’s nothing wrong with taking the scenic route to make the journey worthwhile. 

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