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Typically folks will ask me for suggestions — whether or not or not it’s for books, motion pictures, TV exhibits, or no matter else — and I’m completely happy to provide them! However generally these requests will likely be extra particular, and I’ve found that once I’m requested for one thing that’s merely cute and comfortable, I run out of choices very shortly. I do love the lovable and comfortable, positive, but it surely seems I really like when my tales are darkish and twisted much more. In the event you’re like me and consistently on the hunt for extra tales which are unhappy or horrific or bleak in a roundabout way, I’ve received some nice darkish manga so that you can assist scratch that itch.
Why is it that I really like darkish manga and tales within the first place? There’s in all probability fairly a bit to unpack right here, however the easiest method I give it some thought is that I don’t purchase into the thought of completely happy endings for everybody on a regular basis. As a result of issues can merely suck, and proceed sucking. Even when issues end up comparatively nicely, it may’t all the time be nice from all angles, however as a substitute will contain some degree of compromise or sacrifice. And these darkish manga discover that philosophy. Whether or not they focus on horror, dystopia, or just the despair of on a regular basis life, these titles delve into a wide range of themes that will depart you with loads of gloom, but additionally meals for thought.
Earlier than entering into the picks, a word on content material. Bear in mind as you get into these darkish manga picks that they’ll, after all, comprise all method of darkish themes, together with violence, dying, sexual assault, and hurt to kids, amongst others.
9 Nice Darkish Manga
Berserk by Kentaro Miura
For one of many extra grim, violent tales that manga has to supply, look no additional than the traditional Berserk. It’s a gritty revenge story about Guts, a solitary warrior in search of vengeance in opposition to the particular person answerable for giving him the Model of Sacrifice, a mark that dooms his life to be claimed by darkish spirits. Utilizing his super sword and prosthetic cannon arm, Guts mercilessly cuts down everybody and the whole lot that will get in his means, doing no matter it takes to outlive lengthy sufficient to complete what he has got down to do.
Deadman Wonderland by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou
Deadman Wonderland is a Japanese personal jail and theme park, established following a catastrophic earthquake that destroyed most of Tokyo and constructed on floor zero. Excessive schooler Ganta Igarashi turns into a prisoner at Deadman Wonderland after being framed for killing his total class. On the jail, inmates put on particular collars that monitor them and consistently inject poison into their veins. To remain alive, they need to take part in numerous survival video games and win doses of medication that can neutralize the poison.
The Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezu
Within the aftermath of a large earthquake, a whole elementary faculty — together with all the scholars and lecturers in it — is transported by time to a post-apocalyptic wasteland! On this traditional horror collection, these trapped inside the college should face all types of terrifying threats and attempt to survive in an effort to discover out what occurred. Will they be capable to set issues proper, or is humanity doomed to this horrific future?
Banana Fish by Akimi Yoshida
In Nineteen Eighties New York Metropolis, a mysterious drug referred to as “banana fish” is on the heart of a prison conspiracy involving the mafia. Ash, a 17-year-old gang chief, begins investigating to seek out out extra about this drug, whose identify is similar to a phrase his Vietnam conflict veteran brother retains uttering inexplicably. This traditional collection, with its motion scenes and tragic themes, was extremely influential in serving to to interrupt shōjo manga out of the standard tropes that have been established on the time.
Alice in Murderland by Kaori Yuki
The Kuonji household is an extremely rich and influential household, proudly owning an enormous conglomerate. They’ve a month-to-month custom, a tea social gathering that each one relations should attend. At one such tea social gathering, Olga declares to her 9 adopted kids that they need to combat to the dying throughout the yr in an effort to decide a single inheritor to the household’s fortunes. Stella, one of many daughters, takes on a violent alter ego within the ensuing chaos and confusion.
Downfall by Inio Asano
Recognized for acclaimed collection like Solanin and Goodnight Punpun, Inio Asano has a extremely gorgeous potential to seize and painting the melancholy of life. In Downfall, Asano does it once more with the story of a mangaka who simply completed an unbelievable eight-year run of his hit debut collection. However the issue is that he has no concepts for a subsequent collection, he’s utterly disillusioned by the business, and his marriage is falling aside.
Blood on the Tracks by Shūzō Oshimi
Shūzō Oshimi is among the nice names in psychological horror, and Blood on the Tracks is a major instance of his mastery. Seiichi Osabe is a timid center schooler with few mates however an in depth relationship along with his mom Seiko. However Seiko’s overprotectiveness and doting over Seiichi pushes the boundaries of typical parenting, and Seiichi’s life slowly descends right into a horrific entice of emotional manipulation and trauma.
X by CLAMP
In X, the well-known artist group CLAMP brings us their tackle apocalyptic fiction. The top of the world is approaching, and teenager Kamui Shiro arrives in Tokyo to tackle his function within the apocalypse. He should determine between two teams to affix: both the Dragons of Heaven, whose goal is to guard mankind, or the Dragons of Earth, who purpose to wipe out humanity for the sake of the planet. The collection explores environmental themes, the thought of the twin nature current in all folks and ideas, and the connection between humankind and Earth, positioning people as a plague to the planet.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica by Hanokage
For this final choose, don’t let the cutesy characters and design aesthetics idiot you! Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a manga adaptation of the acclaimed anime collection created by Magica Quartet to consciously subvert the standard tropes of the magical lady style. The story begins with center schoolers Madoka and Sayaka crossing paths with a creature known as Kyubey, who affords them a contract to have any want granted underneath the situation that they achieve magic powers in an effort to combat witches. And thus we’re introduced into this reimagined model of the magical lady style, darker and crueler than any we’d seen beforehand.
In order for you much more darkish manga after working your means by this listing, take a look at a few of our different suggestions for manga titles with related themes: