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

Best Manga and Manhwa Releases: September 2023

We’re back with our favorite reads of the month, and fortunately, there’s literally something for even the pickiest of readers to enjoy. So with plenty of genre stories to choose from, we’re fully prepared to discuss relentless action, murder mysteries, bug-like superpowers, and of course, a lot of love. Now get comfortable, open your notes app, and be prepared to add these kick-ass new titles to your manga and manhwa must-read list for the month of September! 

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

Sasaki and Miyano

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

Volume 9

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Manga

Release Date: September 26, 2023

Premise: Miyano spends his days peacefully reading Boys’ Love comics and worrying about how girly his face is—until a chance encounter leads to a scuffle with his senior Sasaki. Intrigued by his feisty junior Miyano, delinquent Sasaki uses every opportunity he can to get closer. 

Currently: It’s not quite the same. As Miyano’s senior year passes by and Sasaki starts getting used to college, the strain of not spending every day together begins weighing on Sasaki’s mind. That’s why it’s a welcome relief when he and Miyano finally get a chance to go on a date— spending Sasaki’s birthday with each other for the first time since they got together. And yet, just being with Miyano isn’t enough anymore…

Why It Works: We’re back with another installment of the popular Yen Press title Sasaki and Miyano, because as we’ve previously stated, this is a release that shows growth and new degrees of maturity with every chapter. Leading up to this point, we’ve previously witnessed the conception of a friendship, its natural progression into romantic feelings, and finally, the ability to come together to form a healthy couple dynamic. Now, it’s about how the duo plans to maneuver through a few of the more challenging obstacles that come with physical distance and life’s tendency to introduce people with opposing paths. 

So can these two crazy kids find their way back to a more united front? Here’s what we will say without giving you all the tea. The title does take a beat to compare how far they’ve come since their high school introduction to one another, which in itself is a major win (because self-reflection always leads to growth). And even with the new distance between them, both halves of the pairing begin to analyze how important this relationship is in the grand scheme of things. Whether through casual conversations with acquaintances, the prospect of birthday plans, group gatherings, or perhaps an extremely important revelation (this one is big) there are so many exceptional details in the ninth volume that serve a greater purpose – but that’s exactly what you should be expecting from the best modern ongoing BL title. 

SOTUS

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

Volume 3

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Manga

Release Date: September 19, 2023

Premise: SOTUS is an educational system in which upperclassmen impose “trials” upon underclassmen. Arthit, leader of the engineering seniors, plans to put his new juniors through a harsh training regimen to earn the symbol of their major—the gear. However, a first-year named Kongpob causes new headaches for Arthit when he declares he’ll snatch the gear from him: “I’ll make you my wife!” 

Currently: Freshman training is finally over, and Kongpob is thrilled to have a chance to get closer to head hazer Arthit. After the two enjoy a casual shopping trip together, Arthit ends up staying over for the night…but when Kongpob accidentally lets his feelings slip, he leaves his upperclassman confused and flustered. Though Arthit tries his best to distance himself, he knows he can only run away for so long before he must respond to Kongpob’s passions—“No matter how far you go, I want to stay right by your side.”

Why It Works: Here’s the deal. We actually appreciate SOTUS. After setting the table with some entertainingly outlandish comedic storytelling in the first volume, the manga literally blossoms into one of the most unexpected, heartfelt love stories with parallels to real, healthy relationships in its short effective run. By the time the third volume kicks off to establish its characters’ reasonable boundaries, every single page from beginning to end serves a greater purpose in determining if Arthit and Kongpob have something worth fighting for. Thankfully, (spoiler alert) they truly do!

Throughout this final volume, we switch between both characters’ varying perspectives and unavoidable hesitations about taking the next step together – which evaluate what they want, need, and even hope for in terms of a relationship with one another (whether platonic or romantic). There are impactful conversations that reiterate that a romantic partnership doesn’t necessarily mean maintaining constant perfection, but more so the acknowledgment that even through highs and lows, all things are possible and life’s best qualities can be enhanced by love when the bond is organic. The incredibly strong title also makes it crystal clear that if these two are going to move forward in a life-partner capacity, they need to be certain these emotions are more than simple infatuation. So in essence, we can guarantee that you’ll leave this one with a warm and fuzzy feeling about the future of this romantic pairing. Really, just go for it! You won’t regret it!

Dragon Ball Super

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

Volume 19

Publisher: VIZ Media

Format: Manga

Release Date: September 5, 2023

Premise: Having defeated Boo, Goku is starting to get bored with his life on Earth. His wife, Chi-chi, wants him to get a job, but all he wants to do is train and fight stronger enemies. Elsewhere in the universe, the God of Destruction, Beerus, and his attendant Whis are traveling from planet to planet in search of food and entertainment. After blowing up some hapless victims, Beerus is reminded of a man from his dreams with the moniker “Super Saiyan God,” or something like that… The God of Destruction sets his sights on Earth to track down this mysterious man! Maybe this will give Goku something to do?

Currently: Granolah’s fierce assault seems to have Gas on the ropes until the youngest Heeters member unleashes his inner nature, leading to an all-out assault like nothing any of our heroes have ever encountered before! But perhaps the key to defeating Gas has something to do with memories of Bardock, Goku’s long-dead father?!

Why It Works: It’s mind-boggling to think about the fact that Dragon Ball has been not only surviving but flourishing for decades. And even when there was a pretty lengthy hiatus that left many believing it was simply the end of a story — Shenron granted fans’ wishes and revived the popular franchise for a new series full of epic battles and game-changing tournaments of power. What more can we expect, right? Well, how about even bigger enemies and a chance to revisit new pieces of fan-favorite origins? Because that’s what the new arc of Dragon Ball Super is prepared to offer its audience.  

As far as Bardock goes, any mention of Goku’s father has proven to be a hit with fans, and it’s always nice when the title is willing to reopen doors to richer, character-driven stories in between the non-stop action. But let’s be clear, the action is about to get big (again) so these nice expansive beats in between are solid re-entry points for longtime Dragon Ball fans. 

Glitch

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

Volume 1

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Manga

Release Date: September 19, 2023

Premise: Siblings Minato and Akira Lee have moved to a new town, and they’re expecting things to be different— but not this different! Ghostly figures tower over and pass through buildings, drawing no reaction from the locals, some of whom appear far from normal themselves. When Akira spots a strange creature outside her window, she and her new friends organize a search. If no one else can explain the uncanny appearances, the investigation club will get to the bottom of it!

Why It Works: As our newest featured manga, Glitch (from Yen Press) is a bold title that takes several reliable genre attributes (supernatural, comedy, suspense, etc.) and tinkers with their normal formula enough to introduce a fresh, original story against an unusual backdrop. Or maybe it’s more sci-fi? Honestly, that’s still being determined and it’s kind of why this title is so fun to begin with! And much like our sibling-duo protagonists moving to a new town where this “glitchy” anomaly is an unspoken normalcy, we’re just as confused and invested about what’s really going on here. 

The art style in the manga is quite the switch-up from your typical reads – intentionally opting for less defined which (in this case) leaves plenty of ambiguity when it comes to mysterious expressions or even some of its quirkiest character additions. However, as we dig into the non-human beings in Glitch, the art manages to pull off several lighter, soft moments that tease a not-so-dangerous over-arching story. So if you’re not sold on the undetermined direction of this particular mystery, you’ll likely choose to stick around for the cute creatures. 

Jungle Juice

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

Volume 1

Publisher: Ize Press

Format: Manhwa

Release Date: September 19, 2023

Premise: Every society has its hierarchy, and college student Suchan Jang is at the top of the human one. But despite his popularity and charisma, he has a secret that keeps him from getting close with others—under his clothes lies a pair of dragonfly wings! And when he’s forced to expose them to save the girl he likes, Suchan suddenly finds himself plummeting to the bottom of the food chain. It is then, alone and at his lowest point, that he is introduced to a hidden society of fellow human-insect hybrids. Abuzz with both friend and foe, this world offers Suchan the opportunity to seize a new start for himself…All that’s left is climbing his way back to the top!

Why It Works: We’ve seen plenty of stories about people deemed as “outcasts” with recurring plot points involving being ostracized for something that innately makes them stand out to others—one of the most timeless, depressing traits associated with humanity tbh. However, in the case of the newly licensed manhwa Jungle Juice, we see a different perspective about a protagonist going from peak popularity in his college life to being shunned by the masses after the reveal that he has a few (badass) physical bug-like attributes. You don’t see that every day.

After nicely duping its readers with a potential love story that you’d assume is sure to guide the ongoing series, it feels like just about everything goes wrong for Suchan and we realize that love was never in the cards. At least not yet. First, Suchan has to come to terms with who he is, the foes he’s now facing, and living a more authentic life that can’t be avoided anymore. Clearly, the story is giving. Even more impressively, the title’s gripping art, vivid colors, and stunning shading are some of our favorite details of Jungle Juice. It isn’t every day that you can fully praise a story for every fraction of art, story, and primary character, so make sure that at the very least, you give this one a chance! 

Manner of Death

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

Volume 2

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Manga

Release Date: September 19, 2023

Premise: When skilled coroner Dr. Bunnakit is called upon to examine the body of a woman who allegedly hanged herself, he soon finds that all evidence points to foul play. That night, a mysterious stranger breaks into his home and demands that he rule the death a suicide—and after he confides in his prosecutor friend about the incident, that friend suddenly goes missing. Dr. Bunnakit pins all his suspicions on a man named Tan, but not only does Tan have a rock-solid alibi, he also volunteers to help uncover the real murderer…

Currently: Bunnakit, a coroner investigating a murder case, and Tan, the man who was his prime suspect—they have formed an unlikely alliance out of both necessity and passion. But though the two are drawn to each other, more danger awaits them than ever before, and each man has his own hidden motives. When the bodies start piling up, Bun and Tan must race to find the truth, all the while coming to terms with how they really feel about each other…Will their love survive this ultimate test?

Why It Works: This one is definitely for anyone who wants the fun of a narrative that embraces mystery, intrigue, death, a nice detective story – and the option of discovering some romantic development along the way. I mean, what’s the fun of solving a murder if you don’t have someone to solve it with anyway, am I right? Still, getting back to the point at hand, from a basic genre point-of-view, Manner of Death contains just about all of the outlined details you might look for from a BL title that wants to require a little brain-power too.

As the final volume of a two-volume title, Manner of Death amps up the stakes with life-and-death drama that leads to some heavy moments (living up to a climactic finish), making use of its brief but memorable number of chapters. In other words, the finite mystery element is on point. Character-wise, the leading duo feels so fleshed out by the end that you can predict their reactions, (a testament to establishing distinct personas) so you’ll end this one satisfied, but still open to the idea of more. Maybe one day perhaps?

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