I had an immense internal struggle to not make this entire list full of Ito Junji or Kago Shintarou. I compromised with choosing only one of each in order to give everyone a healthy mix of different mangaka. I’m planning on making a list of my favorite Ito Junji stories at some point this month (probably toward the end), so I may do one for Kago Shintarou, as well, if people are interested. Or maybe I’ll just leave that for next year’s Halloween. They’re both such masters at the horror/gore genre; I can’t help but love them.
Like with the anime list, I’ll only be listing ones that I’ve read, so I won’t just be listing ones that I know would be perfect for this because I promised myself I wouldn’t do that. I’ll make sure to read those before next year, though, so I can include those on a Part Two list.
Anyway, here you go:
10.) Pumpkin Night
The story of a girl who was once intensely bullied until a particular prank left her severely disfigured. After escaping the mental institution that she was locked up in, she begins to track down and torture the very people that pushed her over the edge.
Reason: serial killer; revenge; gore
*note: This one is still currently publishing and isn’t very far in, so if you only read completed ones, I’d stay away from this one for now.
An urban legend says that if you see a strange girl sitting near a pile garbage that resembles a gothic lolita, do not answer her question. Otherwise, you may find that those words may indeed be your last.
Reason: serial killer; obsession; stalking
A girl wakes up from a 30-year sleep only to find that she has no memories or recollection of who she even is. All she knows is that a special organization that goes by the name of Red Shield is counting on her to protect the world from man-eating monsters. She must fight for those who cherish her while also trying to come to terms from her blood-filled past.
Reason: vampires; monsters
A naked, disfigured man crawls out of a manhole onto a street and vomits all over an unsuspecting pedestrian. Thanks to this, a strange infection begins to spread throughout the city. Two detectives are sent there to try and investigate the cause and to try and stop the infection from spreading further out.
The first half of Fraction centers around a serial killer case that gets a little out of hand and a bit uncomfortable (in a good way). The second half contains several short stories along with an interview with the mangaka.
5.) Kiseijuu [Parasyte]
Parasites come to Earth from outer space and take over humans in order to live normal lives in our society. However, when one tries to take over Shinji, he traps it into his hand in order to keep it from controlling his mind. Thence, the parasite makes a deal with him: to let it continue living within him if he promises to make him strong and protect him from other parasitic threats.
Reason: parasites; monsters
4.) Deadman Wonderland
A young middle schooler is the only survival of the massacre that his class undergoes, thus he is convicted as the murderer. Put into Deadman Wonderland, a prison that doubles as an amusement park, the boy must fight for his survival in this prison that forces its death-row inmates to fight to the death for the amusement of others.
Reason: survival; death-row; prison
3.) Tokyo Ghoul
A shy college student decides to go on a date with a beautiful woman who shares his love and interest in novels. His date comes to an end when she tries to eat him and they, instead, get into a horrible accident, which leaves him near death. A doctor takes it upon himself to transplant her organs into him to save him, creating a half-human, half-ghoul who is then forced to fight for his survival without being able to fit into either world.
Residents of a small, secluded town begin to become utterly obsessed with spirals. With no explanation as to what is occurring, the residents are thrown into a spiral of odd, unfathomable events that threaten their very lives. What is the meaning of the spiral curse?
Reason: paranormal; possessions; curse
Ajin are humans who double as immortal beings. The catch? In order to find out if you are an Ajin, you must first die and revive. However, like in most other stories, these new ‘beings’ are ostracized, hated, and hunted down. Kei has just become one against his every will. He must now run for his life while also trying to stay away from the deadliest Ajin of all, Sato.
Reason: immortal beings; “ghosts”
*note: This one is still currently publishing, but it should be approaching the end very soon, so feel free to fully dive into it knowing that.
As I stated in the anime version of this list, I’ll eventually get around to actually reviewing some of these in the future. For right now, I just hope y’all enjoy any you decide to check out.
If you have any recommendations for me, I am all for it. Horror manga is my life’s energy, after all.