Shonen Manga: In the vast landscape that is manga and anime, there is not another type of story that enjoys the same level of consistent popularity as shonen.’ The subgenre’s name comes from the fact that it caters primarily to young men, and as a result, the stories it tells tend to be high-stakes adventures along the lines of Dragon Ball and One Piece. On the other hand, it also contains many works not focused on combat.
Even though Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump is the undisputed king of the shounen genre at the moment, many different publications are continually putting out promising new shounen manga. These are just a few examples of some of the fantastic new series that have become available to audiences recently.
1. Blue Lock: Episode Nagi
There is a tendency for popular manga series to spawn several related spin-off series. Like the My Hero Academia spinoff, Vigilantes, these serve to flesh out the series’ established world or highlight a recurring character. The latter is what Nagi chooses in this episode of Blue Lock.
Episode Nagi may have originated as a side story to Blue Lock, but it has its own identity thanks to its central character, the aloof football prodigy Seishirou Nagi. In particular, his friendship with Blue Lock series protagonist Reo Mikage. For any reader interested in Blue Lock, this is a must-read.
It’s not hard to see why superheroes are so prevalent in fiction. However, every once in a while, an author decides to focus on the non-heroic supporting cast. One such person is Keisuke, who lived everyday life until he fell in love with a superhero.
In the series’ central plot, he is left to raise their superpowered child alone after the death of his wife. Although it’s not always easy to tell what will happen in this manga, you’ll find yourself hooked on every page as you read on to find out if Reisuke lives to see another day.
3. Ruri Dragon
If you woke up with dragon horns sprouting from your head, you’d probably be in for some exciting and potentially dangerous quest. On the other hand, Ruri Aoki perceives it as merely a subtle shift from how things have always been.
Ruri Dragon is a new addition to the weekly Shonen Jump, and its energy levels are significantly lower than the rest of the magazine. It’s a lighthearted comedy that takes time to “stop and smell the freshly burnt roses” in a gorgeously gentle visual style. Ruri’s journey of self-discovery is a touching use of her new draconic abilities.
4. Aliens Area
Aliens Area, another recent addition to the weekly Shonen Jump, has similarities to Parasyte in its premise and worldbuilding, though it does so in its own, distinctive way. These two shows have a few things in common, like an alien presence and the main character with a bionic arm, but otherwise, they couldn’t be more different.
The series follows Tatsumi Tatsunami as he gets recruited by the Men in Black–style section 5′, whose mission is to keep the peace between humanity and the many alien species that have secretly settled on Earth. The series may be new, but it already has promise thanks to its entertaining and exciting sci-fi action.
After a successful one-shot in 2020, Jump Square magazine officially serialized Gokurakugai the following year. A few tweaks were made to the original series, but the core elements that made them enjoyable were preserved.
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In this story, we follow Tao and her charge Alma as they navigate the underbelly of a thriving red-light district to make a living. They eliminate dangerous monsters from the streets and assist good people who have problems when they aren’t taking bribes to cover up embarrassing photos.
Assisting a mangaka is a tried and true way into the industry for aspiring artists. Kei Urana is one such creator; she helped Atsushi Ohkubo on Fire Force before taking the reins of her series for the first time.
In every way, Gachiakuta exemplifies the grittier side of manga and anime with its dark, depressing world and wacky visual style. Rudo is the protagonist, a trash collector living in a floating, segregated community. After being falsely accused of murder, he is thrown into the sewers below the city, where he discovers more than just trash and dead bodies.
To those unfamiliar, rakugo is a form of Japanese performance art in which storytellers use only their bodies and voices to tell hilarious comedic tales. Akane is a young girl who watched her father, a rakugo performer, hones his craft until he was abruptly kicked out of a prestigious rakugo school.
Now she’s determined to surpass all other rakugo writers and show the world that her father’s efforts were not in vain and that the rakugo form can produce miraculous results. By adopting a visual and auditory art form into manga, Akane-banashi accomplishes the daunting task and succeeds admirably.
8. Sayonara Eri (Goodby Eri)
Tatsuki Fujimoto followed the conclusion of the first volume of his smash manga Chainsaw Man with an in-depth one-shot titled Goodbye Eri.
The one-shot adapts Chainsaw Man’s rough, subtly manic art style to a much more realistic story. Yuuta’s mother asks him to film her so he can have a visual record of her before she passes away.
The movie he makes ends up catching Eri’s eye, and the two of them embark on an inspirational journey of filmmaking together.
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