Best Manga Releases: February, 2024 Best Manga Releases: February, 2024 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Best Manga Releases: February, 2024

With spring around the corner, we’re ready to usher in a new season through a few favorite ongoing reads, and an exciting opportunity to dive back into a classic title that we’ve needed to catch up on. So considering that we’re clearly content with what we’ve read this month – which ones have been deemed as the most worthwhile reads of Febrauary? Let’s discuss! 

[Oshi No Ko]

Best Manga Releases: February, 2024 Best Manga Releases: February, 2024 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manga

Volume 5

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: February 20, 2024

Premise: Gorou is an ob-gyn with a life far removed from the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry—the world of his favorite idol, rising star Ai Hoshino. But when the two are unexpectedly brought together, their fates become intertwined in ways that defy all reason. For the good doctor, it’s time to stan(d) and deliver!

Currently: “In show business, lies are a weapon.” Tensions are running high on the set of the Tokyo Blade theatrical adaptation―though not in the way anyone expected! Surprisingly, Kana and Akane are managing to keep their longstanding rivalry purely professional; in fact, the amount of talent onstage is motivating all the actors to do their very best. But there’s someone who isn’t thrilled with the direction things are headed, and she’s the one person whose opinion matters most: the original manga creator!

Why It Works: The fifth volume of [Oshi No Ko] might just be one of the strongest releases of the popular manga so far – and for fans of the anime series (which already wrapped its first season) this collection also serves as the first volume to be released that hasn’t been covered within the ongoing anime. That’s a big win for those anime-to-manga transitional fans hoping to keep the story going! Furthermore, the current story arc does exactly what you’d anticipate for its fresh entry point having already established consistency throughout four exceptional volumes and a series of impressive anime episodes. 

In regards to the story, (after a narrative cliffhanger-esque attempt to resolve certain storylines) [Oshi No Ko] now has the chance to go even deeper into the next contained arc that was briefly introduced at the tail end of the fourth volume (and again, the anime series), utilizing the polarizing facets of the entertainment backdrop while still giving Aqua enough traction to make progress on his quest for vengeance. What makes this volume such an important read in comparison to the volumes leading up is that it assures its fanbase that there are still a lot of avenues to explore, characters to introduce, and revenge to be had. We really don’t expect to tire out with this one anytime soon. 

I Cannot Reach You

Best Manga Releases: February, 2024 Best Manga Releases: February, 2024 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manga

Volume 7

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: February 20, 2024

Premise: No matter how much time we spend together, I’ll never become special to you. Childhood best friends. Two halves of a whole. The cool, smart one who’s good at almost everything, and his average, dorky friend who struggles to do anything right­-Yamato and Kakeru. Always by the other’s side, but not together in the way they truly want to be. No matter how hard they try, their hearts cannot reach each other…

Currently: Childhood best friends. Two halves of a whole. Yamato and Kakeru. Kakeru has finally made up his mind to admit his feelings to Yamato! However, if he’s going to do it, he’s going to do it right. He’s determined to hit Yamato with the coolest confession ever—one that’ll sweep him off his feet! Except, instead of working out, all his plans keep failing while new misunderstandings complicate everything even more…Will Kakeru find the words he needs to convey his true feelings?

Why It Works: For literally anyone who finds themselves looking to enjoy a romance or chemistry-focused story, there’s always a desire to witness the pivotal moment when someone confesses their feelings. It’s a timeless aspect of the genre tale, and much like in life, at least one person is required to make a move to kickstart something beyond general infatuation. And with I Cannot Reach You, its highly-anticipated seventh volume is that exact time to embrace vulnerability and discover what’s possible for Yamato and Kakeru beyond the close friendship they’ve already established. 

As it turns out, it’s not an easy line to cross over – at least not initially. The beginning of the title might define one-half of the duo’s feelings, but up until you’re about halfway through the volume, Kakeru is internally exploring what that means while still mustering the courage to address the personal revelation head-on. However, by the time it becomes clear and impossible to hide (because we all know it was bound to happen), there are some fun changes to the dynamic that allow both to acknowledge the difference between friendship and a potential partnership. Of course that does create new instances of awkward exchanges or unfamiliar territory, but more than anything, I Cannot Reach You has used this moment to create something extremely promising moving forward. 

Dragon Ball Super

Best Manga Releases: February, 2024 Best Manga Releases: February, 2024 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Manga

Volume 20

Publisher: VIZ Media

Release Date: February 6, 2024

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: Goku and Vegeta are both struggling to master their respective ultra forms, which they’ll need to defeat Gas, now the strongest warrior in the universe. Can Granolah rejoin the battle and help turn things around? Later, back at home, a pair of superheroes are making headlines! Get ready for a new story arc set on Earth!

Why It Works: Despite the sometimes confusing sequence of media events for the Dragon Ball franchise, it’s been such a thrilling return for longtime fans. And now that we’ve reached its milestone 20th volume (plus an entire anime series, several films, and soon enough, another series) it almost feels like we weren’t ever missing it to begin with! But after getting to cover its bases by adapting the lengthy Dragon Ball Super series – there have since been several entirely new eras that offer manga fans original, high-stakes stories, pushing the Z fighters to brand new levels. Though, considering there’s always a new power level waiting around the corner, what else is new, right? 

The primary reason that the monumental 20th volume feels like a solid re-entry point for fans is the fact that its two leads Goku and Vegeta are getting comfortable with their recently established abilities – which elevates the story by then placing the pair up against a foe that feels like a legitimate threat. This type of story isn’t always the case for the more modern aspects of the franchise, considering DBS has often focused its time on impressive battles over menacing villains. So by getting to go from Moro (the best DBS villain so far) to Gas (another heavy-hitter), the franchise has begun to make a return to its classic formula with some original twists.

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