I’m doing this post a little differently from last year. That should be clear since this is a combined article instead of one for shojo and one for josei. I’ve also broken things into some different categories just to keep it interesting. Originally, I wasn’t even going to do it again but I got off my duff and decided to after all. As a reminder, these are all new titles in Japan (not the U.S.) from this year.
A Few of My Favorite Manga-ka
Luckily some of my favorite authors were doing new things this year, though many more where working on their continuing series. As a side note, seeing that Sakura Tsukuba didn’t produce a title again this year (she didn’t in 2012 either), makes me fear I’ll never see her whimsical art ever again. But on to those who were working away!
Aya Nakahara creator of Love*Com started a new josei series and produced a one-book shojo story in 2013. Her new series Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai makes me happy as it combines finding yourself, growing up, love, and food! It feels refreshing as our protagonists balance doing something you love with being an adult, all of course with a good sense of humor. Saredo Itoshii Hibi sounds like a very simple story of friends and love.
Moyoco Anno had two titles in 2013. One of which she recently added to her app for free: Bikachou Shinshi Kaikoroku. Which is a historical series set in Paris and has her signature play with sex and relationships. The other is a one-book western (!) called Buffalo 5-nin Musume which was a re-release (thanks, Ed).
Nari Kusakawa is still working on her ongoing series Yashio to Mikumo which I refuse to understand why it remains unlicensed. But also this year a short story collection Boku no Hitsugi de Bansan o was released. I believe at least some of these one-shots were released before 2013.
Mai Nishikata had two titles out in 2013, Lip Smoke and Danshigurashi. Lip Smoke about a girl who becomes and erotic fiction novelist’s assistant, I’m sure you can figure where that is going though I doubt it is graphic, started out as a one-shot but is now a series. And Danshigurashi is a short manga but I don’t know anything about it.
Kozue Chiba had three new titles for the year and they all start with “koi”: Koi to Yokubou no Susume; Koi Toka, Kiss Toka, Karada Toka; and Koi wa Beniiro. Strangely enough the first two seem to have the same setup: dating the most popular guy at school who might be a player. Maybe Koi Toka was the one-shot that lead into Koi to Yokubou? Koi wa Beniiro is about that ever-green taboo of falling for your teacher which Ms. Chiba did so well in 7th Period is a Secret.
I haven’t paid a lot of mind to new magazines in the past, but two this year caught my eye.
LaLa Melody Online is a free magazine which updates weekly. The features look really fun such as manga artists drawing their favorite characters from other series. The magazine runs shorts manga, series, and one-shots. Check out the Natsume Yuujinchou spin-off gag manga with a different manga-ka Nyanko-sensei ga Iku! by Junko Kanechiku. Also there is a Bishonen Black Jack (not actual title) one-shot from Yuki Kura!
Hana to Yume: Bunkei Shojo is focusing on adapting novels into manga. From the looks of the starting line-up it has everything from mystery to contemporary fiction to historical to more otaku-y stories.
One Shot and One Book Manga
This year seemed to hold a lot of short stories that stood out to me. That is fine by me, I enjoy a quick snippet and it also allows you to sample new authors. As always I wish we got more shorts here in the U.S.
100 no Shippo Monogatari – Ishikawa-san no Inugatari. Dog stories from Toshiaki Ishikawa and Misako Nachi. Do I really need to say anything else?
Oubou Ookami to Shoushin Akazukin by Marina Umezawa is another super cute delinquent story. Ms. Umezawa had quite the prolific year creating two other one-shots Hitoribocchi no Ohime-sama and Megane-chan no Akaiito; plus, she had three one volume titles Amai Haru – Kyun to Naru Ryouomoi, Okaeri Boku no Hanayome, and Hatsukoi Wazurai.
2013 also had some big name cross-over shorts which seem to be a fun, new trend. They’ve done things like this before of course, but it feels more frequent lately. More than anything I’m curious about the process of creating these cross-overs with different art styles. Are they working alongside each other passing pages between with half done art?
Ore Koi!! is even more of a surprise, for being a cross-over between a shojo series, Ore Monogatari!! which was already a team-up title with Kazuna Kawahra (Ms. Kawahara has been busy!) and Aruko, and a shonen series, Nisekoi by Naoshi Komi. I wonder if we will get to read this since Nisekoi is licensed in the U.S. and VIZ has been putting up one-shots in their online magazine.
New Ongoing Series
Honestly, when I started looking at new series for 2013 I thought I wasn’t going to find a ton that jumped out. Boy was I wrong!
Dolls Code from Runamaru Kinashi really caught my attention with both its art style, which isn’t super shojo, and its premise of teenage criminals sent to a mysterious school. The elements of mystery and psychological horror have me intrigued. Kinashi’s other titles seem to run along the same lines, too.
Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi and 31 Ai Dream are the latest from Arina Tanemura. Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi is a very young romance and looks quite cute. It is only two volumes so far. The same goes for 31 Ai Dream which takes Ms. Tanemura back to one of her familiar tropes: idols. Only this time it is an older woman transforming into a young idol! I assume both of these will be coming out in English fairly soon once they get going.
Boku no Tonari ni Ankoku Hakaishin ga Imasu shows that apparently “chuunibyou” has made its way to the shojo realm as well. This one is from Arata Aki who has tackled eccentric characters pretty frequently.
Marmalade Boy Little is exactly what is sounds like, a sequel to the uber-loved Marmalade Boy by Wataru Yoshizuma. This new series focuses on the younger siblings of Miki and Yuu set 13 years after the original.
Shuuen no Shiori is based on a novel by Suzumu and from the description is one of those survival/mystery games. It is being adapted by new artists Komine and Saine.
Haru x Kiyo sounds like a fun romance between a very tall energetic girl and short serious boy. Akira Ozaki‘s cover art is very cute. She also had a one volume romance story out in 2013: Ootagawa Junjou Lovers.
Kenjutsu Komachi sounds like a classic girl transported to a fantasy land story. Our heroine Komachi seems like a capable swordswoman so hopefully she’ll be holding her own in this foreign land. I know Ayumi Komura from her food and romance series Mixed Vegetables so I’m quite curious about this new title.
Ibara no Kanmuri is a new supernatural series by Youko Kamio. I’ll admit to putting this on the list purely because it says “a curious blonde guy appeared in front of her…” But also Ms. Kamio is obviously a big name.
A Few of the Odd and/or Hilarious
Most of these I know nothing about beyond them having weird covers or titles.
The cover of Rainbow Stars – Touzokuou to Nijisuishou no 7 Kishi by Kishira Akanuma is simply amazing in this weird American 80s and 90s children’s cartoon way. Apparently it is a webcomic?
That brings me to the end of a very long list! I swear when I started I thought it was going to be much shorter. Though this list is based on only what I could find information about so there are surely some that I missed out on all together. Anything new you’ve been curious about that didn’t make my list?