Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024

Welcome back for this month’s best-of manga and manhwa reads! And in this particular month, there were plenty of fun, fresh action-heavy reads across the board – but overall, it’s the manhwa medium that’s really bringing the must-read heat. So which new titles of March had a slight edge over the others? Let’s get into it! 

The Uncanny Counter

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manhwa

Volume 1

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: March 19, 2024

Premise: The word in town is that the broth at the local noodle house is to die for. The secret? The people who run the shop were on the brink of death! They call themselves COUNTERS and have partnered with ghosts from the afterlife to hunt down rogue spirits. When ordinary high schooler Mun is invited to join them, his whole life flips upside down. Can his new job of fighting evil and chopping noodles give him the answers to his parents’ mysterious deaths all those years ago?

Why It Works: While The Uncanny Counter manhwa is very much its own original story, one could argue that it does have some (lighter, more carefree) thematic similarities you the timeless manga and anime series Yu Yu Hakusho. And from our perspective, there couldn’t be a bigger compliment for a modern title. Also, just like Yu Yu Hakusho, (not to mention its supernatural demon hunter likeness) the series has a slower, character-driven start before promising to go all out with tense, gripping action sequences. Now we just have to wait and see if its ongoing plot can maintain its initial momentum, which seems plausible as of now. 

Even by the end of the first volume, the manhwa’s stakes begin to feel clearer and there’s a heightened sense of danger that sets in with this unusual job – making it feel like the second volume will follow this trajectory as a must-read follow-up. So if you haven’t already added it to your list, we’re here to confirm that The Uncanny Counter is a colorful, somewhat goofy action title that’s rightfully working its way into readers’ hearts. And that instantly recognizable, vibrant art style?! What’s not to love about this one? 

Minato’s Laundromat

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manga

Volume 2

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: March 19, 2024

Premise: “Minato-san, I have a sex drive.” When Akira Minato inherits an old, run-down laundromat from his grandfather, he sees it as an opportunity to recover from his grueling corporate job and spend his days in laid-back leisure. But all that changes when a new customer comes knocking―one who’s maybe a bit too good-looking. Despite their growing closer, Akira is determined not to let high school hottie Shintaro Katsuki find out he’s gay…until a casual slip of the tongue gives away his secret.

Currently: Akira Minato, the owner of a shabby laundromat, doesn’t know what to do when high schooler Shintarou Katsuki professes his feelings for him. Still troubled over a past love he never came to terms with, Akira wants to refuse—but he can’t quite bring himself to deny Shintarou’s overeager passion. Meanwhile, when the playful, flirty Asuka Hanabusa finds out who his classmate Shintarou is crushing on, he just can’t help but stick his nose into their business…

Why It Works: When we first dove into Minato’s Laundromat, a few things became crystal clear. Minato and Shin are definitely drawn to each other (even if the connection shouldn’t be happening). Shin is very much committed to getting his way. And lastly, this one has the potential to become a lengthy ongoing title due to its mostly original storytelling. All of these things are still proven to be true in the second volume of the BL title, but this time around, there’s a step up via storytelling. Largely due to the addition of a new character known as Asuka who’s an eccentric personality to the manga. But there’s also that cliffhanger with Minato’s former crush, so stay tuned for that

Anyways! While Asuka is a big factor in this successful collection of chapters, he does create the perplexing love triangle component (or possible square) but given the odd pairing of Minato and Shin, it’s not necessarily a bad thing either. And yes, this brand of story is technically common ground for the genre, but Minato’s Laundromat is almost more interesting by utilizing a character who might be a more reasonable connection to explore. So regardless of your stance, there are plenty of avenues that the title can take in future arcs, and that itself is a reason to praise the title’s efforts. 

Black Clover

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manga

Volume 34

Publisher: VIZ

Release Date: March 5, 2024

Premise: Young Asta was born with no magic ability in a world where magic is everything. In order to prove his strength and keep a promise with his friend, Asta dreams of becoming the greatest mage in the land, the Wizard King!

Currently: As the Clover Kingdom reacts to the news of Asta’s apparent death, the young magicless knight awakens in the mysterious Land of the Sun. Can he survive the hard training there and gain a new power that can challenge Lucius?

Why It Works: Having been assumed dead, the newest volume proves that Asta was actually saved and has since ended up in the Land of the Sun. With this pivot introduced, he eventually first meets Ryuya, the shogun responsible for the land – and it is revealed that Ryuya and one of his allied healers are the people responsible for Asta’s survival. So as you might imagine, this gives us a brand new opportunity for Asta to pick up a few new skills and lessons while taking a beat to recover from his recent experiences. 

During this time, we additionally learn that Ryuya has assembled his own lineup of knights known as the Ryuzen Seven – with the shogun assigning one of his knights to a mentorship role for Asta. However, much to everyone’s disdain, there’s an inkling from Lucifero about this new training regime becoming a roadblock, so he makes sure to send Sister Lily to do his bidding. When the volume ramps up, we’re left with a teaser for a major battle brewing, and the suggestion that Asta will need to make some tough decisions if he intends to win this fight. So at this point, you just know Black Clover is getting to another epic arc! 

Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: March 2024 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manhwa

Volume 2

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: March 19, 2024

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! 

Currently: Three Ways to Survive the Apocalypse is Dokja’s favorite novel, or it was…until it became reality. Thanks to his knowledge of the story, he managed to survive the first chaotic moments of the new world. But the relentless scenario waits for no one, and Dokja finds himself in yet another life-or-death struggle. Isolated from his group and surrounded by horrific creatures, his story seems all but doomed to a premature ending…That’s when an unmistakable presence makes an entrance. It’s time for Dokja, the only reader of TWSA, to meet its main character—the Regressor Junghyeok Yu!

Why It Works: In December of 2023, we already established that we adored the fresh IZE Press release known as Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint, because just like the manhwa’s protagonist – we’re all about the power of fictional media-centric storytelling. Which is basically a major piece of this title’s concept, to begin with. And what makes it even better is the notion that Dokja’s favorite story has been brought to life, adding him to a narrative that he’s completely familiar with, and suggesting that he knows how to handle the majority of obstacles thrown his way. A totally geeky dream come true tbh. 

Still, even for someone who’s able to pursue their passions in strange and unexpected ways, there are plenty of roadblocks along the way that offer Dokja a new perspective that isn’t purely entertainment anymore. The second volume is a great example of that concept, as we watch the protagonist cycle through possible scenarios where blood is shed and choices must be made. So when you’ve arrived at its conclusion (with a somewhat optimistic ending), you’ll be eager to find out how Dokja plans on navigating these next steps.

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