Hello! With spring blooming outside our windows and summer soon to come, everybody is in a good mood. But what if you despise all those happy-go-lucky human beings out there? Here’s a countdown of 27 manga if you want to get into the gloomy mood.
(Note: This list excludes titles that every one knows and have read, for example: Tokyo Ghoul, Umineko, Elfen Lied, School Days, Mirai Nikki, and so on, and so forth. This list also excludes anything that falls into the ‘death game’ genre: Doubt, Kami-sama no Iuutori, Dead Tube, Mousugu Shinu Hito, etc.)
As you go down the list, the manga gets more depressing, so don’t be disappointed by the soft-core stuff you see right at the beginning.
- Black Rock Shooter : Innocent Soul
In the empty space between life and death called “Hazama”, the Black Shooters keep peace by defeating bad spirits. Black Rock Shooter, or “Rock” in this manga, is one of them. Surprising truths wait to be discovered about the world though.
Personally, I think this one is worth a read. It has a completely different plot from the Black Rock Shooter anime, being fantasy and all. I absolutely love the artwork.
- Milk Closet
Kids have been disappearing, and those who came back had strange tadpole-like animals stuck to their butts as tails. These tailed children’s job is to fight and protect the universe. Sounds cheesy? Wait till you read the actual thing.
This manga is weird, but written by the same person who wrote Alien 9, I should’ve seen it coming. Expect a lot of shape shifting, deaths, fusion, and unexpected ending.
- Sekai no Hate (The End of the World)
What is considered a murder? Can you get away with murder? Can it be justified? A weak girl and a bullied boy struggles with this in this manga.
Beautiful artwork, depressing story, not your typical shoujo plot. Usually there’s shoujo with rape, bullying, murder, and all that, but something about this manga sets it apart from all those competition. Even my friend who loves dark gory stuff got really into this.
- Oboreru Knife (Drowning Knife)
Natsume moved from her hometown in the city to a tiny town where she met her ‘little god’, a boy called Kou. Things start to go down the hill one unexpected night where the relationship between her and him takes a turn for the worse…
Only a portion of the manga is scanlated, and I couldn’t buy it anywhere, so I only got the plot up to that point. What I love most about this is how serious the artist takes her job.I have never seen this style before, and I love it. The artwork helps set the mood and the comedy is done just right. Even though I say there’s comedy, Oboreru Knife tears the frame of what a shoujo is like in many people’s mind.
- Shinobi no Kuni
The strongest Shinobi (you could call them ninjas) is stuck in a war trying to find money for his beautiful wife. I can’t really say anything because you have to read it for yourself.
Again, nice artwork. The story is a page-turner, nice balance of drama, action, and comedy.
- 7 seeds
The world has ended. In the landscape covered with unusual dangerous lifeforms, a group of young adults found themselves in a battle for survival. Why are they here? Who sent them here? What does it mean that they are humanity’s last hope?
Initially, I was going to pass this manga because I didn’t like the art. (Silly, I know.) But, I decided to give it a chance and bam, we hit it off. 7 Seeds is very intense, and even though it skips from group to group, the way the mangaka present her characters made them memorable.
How far will you go to be beautiful? Kasane is an ugly, ogre faced girl constantly bullied and sneered at by all those around her. She has nothing in common with her gorgeous mother besides the talent in acting. Her mother left her a tube of lipstick as a memoir, and told her, kiss the thing that you desire. What Kasane desires most is…
I saw this manga come up on Imagine-nation on NHK World, so I decided to give it a try. Man, that was quite a trip. The idea of combining face-swap with intense drama is enjoyable, and I loved every chapter.
- Usotsuki Mii-kun to Kowareta Maa-chan (Liar Boy and Broken Girl)
A short manga about former kidnap victims who go on to commit their own crimes. It ended leaving some questions unanswered but I think letting the readers think for themselves is probably for the best.