Cool New Manga for Grown-up Graphic Novel Fans

Edgy, Exciting and Hilarious Reads for Adults and Older Teens

Looking for manga that’s just a little bit edgier, more artistically innovative, thought-provoking or just plain old more “grown-up?” U.S. manga publishers have heard you and this summer, they’ve got a great array of graphic novels that’s just for you.

From the sea-faring suspense of Children of the Sea and the cosmic sci-fi headtrips of Jyu-Oh-Sei to the hardboiled action of Dogs and the rock n’ roll raunchiness of Detroit Metal City, there’s no reason to whine that there’s no manga to read this summer. Dig in and see what’s new!

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Children of the Sea

Children of the Sea Volume 1 by Daisuke Igarashi from VIZ Signature / VIZ Media / Shueisha Inc.
Children of the Sea Volume 1. KAIJU NO KODOMO © Daisuke IGARASHI / Shogakukan Inc.

Author and Artist: Daisuke Igarashi
Publisher: VIZ Signature / VIZ Media
Release Date: July 21, 2009
Visit VIZ Signatures's Children of the Sea webpage
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Ruka is a tomboy-ish teen who meets two strange boys who live at the aquarium where her father works. How strange? Umi and Sora share an unusual affinity for the ocean because they were raised by dugongs, a type of large sea mammal.

As fish begin disappearing from aquariums all over the world, and strange deep sea fish begin beaching themselves, Ruka finds herself fascinated with Umi and Sora, and starts to wonder why she too can hear the same call of the sea that they do.

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A Distant Neighborhood

A Distant Neighborhood Volume 1
A Distant Neighborhood Volume 1. © Jiro Taniguchi

Author and Artist: Jiro Taniguchi
Publisher: Fanfare - Ponent Mon
Release Date: June 30, 2009
Visit Fanfare - Ponent Mon's A Distant Neighborhood webpage

Middle-aged salaryman Hiroshi Nakahara accidentally takes a train ride back to his old hometown to visit his mother’s grave. Then for reasons he can’t explain, Hiroshi is transported back in time, and discovers that he’s an 8th grader again, but with all of his adult memories intact.

Can he, or should he try to change the decisions he made before? But more importantly, can he find his way back to the present day, or is he stuck in the past?

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Swallowing the Earth

Swallowing the Earth by Osamu Tezuka
Swallowing the Earth. © by Tezuka Productions. All rights reserved.

Author and Artist: Osamu Tezuka
Publisher: DMP Platinum / Digital Manga Publishing
Release Date: July 8, 2009
Visit DMP's Swallowing the Earth webpage
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Swallowing the Earth was created in 1968, around the same time as Dororo, and is described as one of Tezuka's first ventures into grown-up stories for adult readers. This dark tale features Zephyrus, an icy female seductress who is out to punish men for crimes against women.

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Ooku: The Inner Chambers

Ooku: The Inner Chambers Volume 1 by Fumi Yoshinaga from VIZ Signature / VIZ Media
Ooku: The Inner Chambers Volume 1. © Fumi Yoshinaga 2005 / HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

Author and Artist: Fumi Yoshinaga
Publisher: VIZ Signature / VIZ Media
Release Date: August 18, 2009
Visit VIZ Media's Ooku webpage
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From the creator of smart, sensual and wry stories like Antique Bakery and Flower of Life, comes a historical manga set in the era of samurai with a twist: What if most of the men were wiped out by a plague, and what if the shogun was a woman? The result is Ooku: The Inner Chambers, a historical fantasy series about a once-male dominated society turned inside-out, and a female Tokugawa-era shogun who keeps a harem of handsome male consorts for her pleasure.

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Clover by CLAMP
Clover. © 1997 CLAMP

Author and Artist: CLAMP
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: May 13, 2009
Read a review of Clover - Omnibus Edition
Visit Dark Horse's Clover webpage
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Kazuhiko is a black ops agent who is called on an unusual mission: he must escort Sue, an innocent waif who has lived in isolation for years, to an unknown destination. But there’s a dark reason for Sue’s life of captivity, and Kazuhiko discovers that his mission is more dangerous than it looks.

This deluxe omnibus edition collects all three volumes of the original edition as well as numerous luminously lovely color illustrations. Clover is back, and better than ever.

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Dogs: Prelude

Dogs: Prelude (Volume 0) by Shirow Miwa from VIZ Media
Dogs: Prelude Volume 0. © 2001 by Shirow Miwa / SHUEISHA Inc.

Author and Artist: Shirow Miwa
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 14, 2009
Visit VIZ Media's Dogs webpage
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Before the bullets start flying in Dogs Volume 1, meet the scarred assassins who'll be doing much of the shooting: Meet Mihal, an retired hitman who's haunted by his past. Next, meet manic Badou, an "information broker" who always in the middle of the action, and on the receiving end of some very bad luck. Meet Naoto, a scarred swordswoman who burns to get revenge for her slain family. And lastly, meet Heine, a fearless gunman with a strange metal collar on his neck and even stranger secrets in his past.

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A Drifting Life

A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi from Drawn and Quarterly
A Drifting Life. © 2008 Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Author and Artist: Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Release Date: April 14, 2009
Visit Drawn & Quarterly's A Drifting Life webpage
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Since he was a little boy, Yoshihiro Tatsumi has been in love with manga, especially creating manga. From his early days as a school boy cartoonist who becomes overwhelmed with giddiness upon meeting Osamu Tezuka to his trail-blazing days as a leading artist in the gekiga, or “dramatic pictures” movement, Tatsumi had a front row seat to manga’s evolution. A gripping, can't-put-it-down autobiography that manga and comics fans will be talking about for months.

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Detroit Metal City

DMC: Detroit Metal City Volume 1 by Kiminori Wakasugi, a seinen manga series published by VIZ Media
DMC: Detroit Metal City Volume 1. © Kiminori Wakasugi 2006 / HAKUSENSHA, Inc.

Author and Artist: Kiminori Wakasugi
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 9, 2009
Read a review of Detroit Metal City Volume 1
Visit VIZ Media's Detroit Metal City webpage
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Soichiro Negishi is a sensitive farm boy who moved to Tokyo to be a pop singer. So how did he end up as Krauser II, the lead singer of a death metal band? As his two lives collide, Negishi becomes a manga anti-hero who endures hilarious highs and lows on his highway to heavy metal hell.

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Jyu-Oh-Sei Volume 3
Jyu-Oh-Sei Volume 3. © Natsumi Itsuki

Author and Artist: Natsumi Itsuki
Publisher: TokyoPop
Release Date: June 2, 2009 (Volume 3)
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Now that all three volumes are out, it's a great time to catch up with Jyu-Oh-Sei, Natsumi Itsuki's mind-bending sci-fi epic about a pair of well-to do twin boys who are sent to a frightening prison planet filled with man-eating plants and even fiercer tribesmen and women.

Young Thor discovers that his life of middle-class comfort has been replaced by a 'survival of the fittest' existence, where he must fight to become the Beast King, the one person who is allowed to leave this dangerous prison planet.

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Faust Volume 2

Faust Volume 2 by Faust Editors, published by Del Rey Manga
Faust Volume 2. Faust 2 cover artwork © 2009 take / KODANSHA LTD. All rights reserved

Author and Artist: Various, Faust Editors
Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: June 23, 2009
Visit Del Rey Manga's Faust webpage
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The second collection of this innovative light novel / short story / manga anthology is out, and it's packed with compelling content created by some of Japan's most popular novelists and illustrators, including modern horror novelist Otsuichi (ZOO, ), Death Note manga artist Takeshi Obata, and much more.

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Summit of the Gods

Summit of the Gods Volume 1 by Jiro Taniguchi published by Fanfare / Ponent Mon
Summit of the Gods Volume 1. © Jiro Taniguchi

Author: Yumemakura Baku
Artist: Jiro Taniguchi
Publisher: Fanfare - Ponent Mon
Release Date: July 23, 2009
Visit Fanfare - Ponent Mon's Summit of the Gods webpage
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In 1993, in a small Nepalese store, Makoto Fukamachi, photographer for a Japanese expedition to conquer Mt. Everest, stumbles across an old camera – a Vest Pocket Autographic Kodak Special. Could it be famed mountaineer George Mallory’s camera? And if it is, does it hold the secret of whether Mallory and Irvine made it to the summit?

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Oishinbo Ala Carte

Oishinbo Ala Carte Volume 4 by Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasaki from VIZ Signature / VIZ Media
Oishinbo Ala Carte: Fish, Sushi and Sashimi. OISHINBO A LA CARTE © Tetsu KARIYA, Akira HANASAKI / Shogakukan Inc.

Author: Tetsu Kariya
Artist: Akira Hanasaki
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Dates: Ramen and Gyoza: May 19, 2009; Fish, Sushi and Sashimi: July 14, 2009
Visit VIZ Media's Oishinbo Ala Carte webpage
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Oishinbo: Fish, Sushi & Sashimi

Dueling father and son gourmets Yuizan Kaibara and Shiro Yamaoka face off once more, challenging each other's cooking skills and peerless palates as they trade insults (and culinary tips and tidbits) about some of Japan's most popular dishes: ramen, gyoza, sushi and sashimi.