Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Best Manga Releases: October 2023

It’s officially spooky season and fall is upon us, which can only mean that we’re finally in our prime! So in honor of the seasonal switch-up, we’re spotlighting the month’s various releases that embody eerie horror stories, supernatural phenomena, and even a few endearing displays of heartwarming companionship. Ok, so those types of genre reads are always on our radar anyway as you know, but isn’t this the designated time to further embrace a theme? Just give in and go with it!

Now, as we approach the climactic final act of October, we’re fully equipped to break down the undisputed MVP releases from Yen Press, VIZ Media, and TOKYOPOP. Let’s get into it!

CLAMP Premium Collection Tokyo Babylon

Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Volume 1

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Manga

Release Date: October 17, 2023

Premise: Tokyo—a beautiful yet cold city, full of life and twinkling lights. There resides Subaru Sumeragi, the thirteenth head of his clan and a powerful onmyouji. Aided by his glamorous twin sister, Hokuto, and the veterinarian who claims to love him, Seishirou Sakurazuka, he solves the supernatural troubles that plague the citizens of Tokyo—both living and deceased!

Why It Works: This is honestly a big one. But before we get into the “why,” here’s a little basic info for any Tokyo Babylon newcomers. Also known as Tokyo Babylon: A Save Tokyo City Story, Tokyo Babylon is a popular Japanese manga series written and illustrated by the rather iconic Clamp (a group of manga writers behind X, Cardcaptor Sakura, etc.) following Subaru Sumeragi, the head of the Sumeragi clan, and his “eccentric” twin sister Hokuto, while they aim to protect Tokyo from supernatural occurrences. While the manga was initially published in the early 1990s in Japan, the title has actually been out of print in the US for more than a decade now, making this spiritual pseudo-sequel to the already incomplete X a rather rare find for years

So with Tokyo Babylon finally getting the well-deserved red carpet treatment and a full reprinting from Yen Press, both longtime fans and younger generations are now getting to discover a dark-horse mini-series that’s also one of the first to depict a mainstream same-sex relationship in manga (during a time where it definitely was a tricky subject.) However, the title’s strong occult themes are equally compelling components of Tokyo Babylon as it effortlessly pivots from wholesome hauntings to a deadly sense of urgency looming throughout each chapter. Between this balanced partnership (with a twinge of doom) and its substantial supernatural mysteries, Tokyo Babylon is a perfect representation of a manga that was easily ahead of its time. Is anyone else ready for volume two?!

The Summer Hikaru Died

Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Volume 2

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Manga

Release Date: October 17, 2023

Premise: It has Hikaru’s face. It has Hikaru’s voice. It even has Hikaru’s memories. But whatever came down from the mountains six months ago isn’t Yoshiki’s best friend. Whatever it is, it’s dangerous. Carrying on at school and hanging out as if nothing has changed—as if Hikaru isn’t gone—would be crazy…but when it looks so very like Hikaru…and acts so very like Hikaru…

Currently: Yoshiki tried to pretend nothing was wrong, but the truth cannot be ignored. Hikaru is gone. “Hikaru” is here. This new version is dangerous…or perhaps not? One thing’s for sure—Yoshiki doesn’t seem to be in harm’s way. In fact, “Hikaru” seems to want nothing more than to befriend and protect him. Despite Rie’s warnings, Yoshiki chooses to extend the hand of friendship, hoping it will help “Hikaru” become more human. But in doing so, what might Yoshiki become…?

Why It Works: The Summer Hikaru Died is one of our favorite ongoing manga of 2023, covering very real, tangible topics that include grief, companionship, attachment, and infatuation – but overall, it carves out some unmistakable horror lore that’s easily made it the best genre story we’ve read since the 10/10 Yen Press title Another. And that striking impression was only after concluding the first volume! Now, the second volume takes the hype to the next level as it masterfully moves the plot forward with a new bundle of chapters designed to emphasize the morality that’s required of its grief-stricken protagonist. 

After the unavoidable conflict between Yoshiki and Hikaru, volume two allows us to re-enter the story only to discover a new obstacle: can they maintain any semblance of a friendship, if at all? Obviously, the young protagonist is deeply plagued by the loss of Hikaru, ultimately causing him to isolate and avoid the anomaly that’s taken over his best friend’s body, though, from Hikaru’s perspective, he’s still very much enveloped in the thought that he is Hikaru. Or at least, he could be. This creates a deep sense of guilt for Yoshiki, who wants to have the closeness and familiarity of someone he loves – but of course, he also can’t shake his underlying fear of the creature that’s infected his friend to the core. Conversely, it causes Hikaru to be conflicted about his identity due to his host’s loyalty to Yoshiki, making this uncommon bond a deadly double-edged sword. That internal debate and gut-wrenching turmoil alone proves that the new volume is another fruitful read. 

Acid Town

Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Volume 2

Publisher: TOKYOPOP

Format: Manga

Release Date: October 24, 2023

Premise: Set in a dystopian crime-ridden city, Kyugo’s Acid Town is a dark, violent Boys Love series following two best friends as they do their best to survive under the thumb of a mob boss.

Currently: In a city where lawlessness rules, Yuki and his best friend Tetsu attempt to rob the headquarters of the local Seidoukai in order to steal money to pay for Yuki’s little brother’s hospital bill. The mission is a failure, but piques the interest of mob boss Kazutaka Hyodo. He offers Yuki a deal; come to visit him once a week, and he’ll take care of his brother’s fees. Yuki accepts this arrangement without question, and so makes his first visit…

Why It Works: This TOKYOPOP release starts out with some compelling character drama, relatable concerns about finances, and a little bit of dangerous chemistry, so for being only two volumes in, Acid Town already has a lot going for it! But prepare yourself – because when a mob is getting involved in the fray, there’s bound to be some deadly consequences by the time the dust settles. And we really expect some heavy consequences by the end of this manga. 

There also happens to be a lot of action (and we mean bloody battles) for what’s toted as a BL title, including various depictions of knife fights and several shots fired, so consider yourself warned if you’re the type to become attached to a character generally fated for tragedy. So honestly, who really knows where this one will take us next! We will be reading, but we’re certainly anticipating a crime-based bloodbath. 

Sasaki and Miyano (Official Comic Anthology)

Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

One Shot

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Manga

Release Date: October 17, 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: Cat encounters, arcade trips, book-shopping sprees— sweet moments galore! It’s the simple little things that remind me most of that one BL I just read…

Why It Works: A title as well developed as Sasaki and Miyano had opened the door for plenty of content within this warm BL universe. Thankfully, as of now, we’ve already witnessed its vast reach after being graced with nearly 10 volumes of the flagship title, a handful of spinoff volumes (Hirano and Kagiura), and more recently, a fresh chance to enjoy a one-shot comic anthology of various Sasaki and Miyano side stories. 

The volume of short bonus chapters incorporates each of the series’ main characters at one point or another (making it even more satisfying as an extension of both titles’ existence) – with topics that feel perfect to pair with your ideal fall reads. What does that seasonal criteria contain exactly? Well, there are cats, doses of charismatic romances, snow days, treats, and maximum comfort. Though generally, if you’re already enjoying either title, this one is a must-have for your growing collection of Sasaki and Miyano.

The Red Thread

Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Volume 1

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Manga

Release Date: October 17, 2023

Premise: Pharm is a skittish but friendly young man who is excited to start his new life as a college student. He’ll make friends, join a club… and maybe figure out why he’s always sensed that there’s a certain someone he’s fated to meet. The moment he locks eyes with Dean, the captain of the swimming club, he’s attracted to him in a way he’s never experienced before. Is this who he’s been looking for all this time? Does Dean feel the same way about him? Perhaps the answers lie in past lives they have yet to remember…

Why It Works: If you enjoy the notion of fate or destiny — especially in relation to a potential soulmate, the newly released manga The Red Thread is ready to not only cater to your interests but surpass any preconceived notions you might have about a fated romance tale. Plus there’s the nice bonus fact that it has a few familiar elements of other sweet passionate stories, so it really works as a title that pays respect to classics but still aims to forge its own path and reputation. 

For starters, The Red Thread offers readers a starting point that’s very universal and accessible… The nervousness that comes with starting something new (in this instance, college life.) Pharm is anxiety-riddled (but fortunately for his sake, in a somewhat lighthearted, less crippling way) which makes the beginning of college even more daunting. When the pair actually collide, we begin to partake in two riveting journeys of self-discovery where a mutual affinity for each other makes the transition to adulthood even sweeter. Still, what’s really going to have you hooked is the romantic cliffhanger that insinuates there’s plenty of bubbly infatuation to come! 

Mimi’s Tales of Terror

Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

One-Shot

Publisher: VIZ Media

Format: Manga

Release Date: October 24, 2023

Premise: University student Mimi and her boyfriend Naoto encounter one chilling mystery after another. There’s the enigmatic neighbor woman dressed in black from head to toe—but if she’s so odd, why does it seems like there are many others like her? Then, whose eyes track Mimi’s movements from the cemetery next door? And why does a bizarre red circle drawn on a basement wall change with each passing day? Nine scary stories that really happened, drawn from the famed collecton of urban legends Shin Mimibukuro (New Earmuffs), and adapted into manga by horror genius Junji Ito!

Why It Works: You should know by now that if it’s written by horror icon Junji Ito, we’re extremely interested (and likely going to read it.) Fortunately, the recently released Mimi’s Tales of Terror one-shot lives up to the title and condenses several short stories that are effortlessly tethered to each other as “urban legends.” And in this instance, the manga isn’t completely from Ito’s mind, so we get to see the author tackle pre-existing content which makes this feel like something that strays from his standard releases. In essence, if you’re already a fan of his work like us, Mimi’s Tales of Terror is a nice addition to Ito’s catalog of horror classics. 

Minato’s Laundromat

Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Best Manga Releases: October 2023 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Volume 1

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Manga

Release Date: October 17, 2023

Premise: 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.

Why It Works: The first word that comes to mind with this manga is boundaries. Know them, respect them, establish them, and then make them crystal clear. However, for the duo at the core of this title, (Minato and Katsuki), it’s honestly going to be a long, bumpy journey in order to maintain any form of moral or tangible boundaries with two characters who literally can’t stay apart for long (and to their detriment.) Nonetheless, Minato’s Laundromat has a lot of the favored components of a celebrated, lighthearted romantic read that readers look for – and it’s sure to keep people engaged. 

The new title’s strongest quality is without a doubt the remarkably expressive art that Minato’s Laundromat is responsible for (courtesy of manga artist Sawa Kanzume.) In fact, regardless of the backdrop being depicted, such as Minato’s apartment, exterior panels, or even the titular laundromat, there’s so much attention to detail that it’s easy to become mesmerized by the atmosphere in each and every chapter presented. Between these top-tier visuals and blatant comedic timing that’s intertwined with the story, the Yuzu Tsubaki title has what it takes to become a popular manga with BL fans (plus, there’s a fun bonus story!)

Total
0
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter and get posts every week
Yo! Don't be left out! Dive into the latest trends and uncover fresh perspectives with Vanity Teen. Hit that subscribe button NOW, and always stay on the pulse of fashion. Let's keep it 100% authentic! 👊🔥