2021 was quite an eventful year for manga. There were some great manga series that finally reached their last chapters, such as Attack on Titan and Platinum End. On the other hand, there were also plenty of new mangaka who had explosive debuts in 2021, such as Yukinobu Tatsu with Dandadan and Yuuto Suzuki with Sakamoto Days. But what most people don’t realize is that there were also lots of famous mangaka who published new works in 2021. Some have received official English translations, while others are still only available in Japan. Here are 10 famous mangaka who published new works in 2021.
10. Gigantis by Tachibana Kenichi (artist of Terra Formars)
Tachibana Kenichi-sensei was the artist for the sci-fi/horror manga Terra Formars - a gripping story of aliens vs humans that was filled with terror and carnage. In 2021, he teamed up with Yoichi Komori-sensei to create another terrifying manga called Gigantis.
In Gigantis, the entire world lives in fear of a mysterious creature that can devour any living thing and assimilate with it. A rat may attack a cat and become a hybrid of the two animals, which in turn will attack humans and become an entirely different creature with multiple heads amd different kinds of limbs. So yes, it is definitely the perfect successor to the blood-curdling Terra Formars.
Unfortunately, there's no official English translation for Gigantis yet, but if it gets more popular in Japan, then surely it will come to other parts of the world as well.
9. Hiiragi-san Chi no Kyuuketsu Jijou by Miki Yoshikawa (mangaka of Yamada-kun and The Seven Witches)
Miki Yoshikawa is the creator of the sweet and hilarious romantic comedies Yankee-kun to Megane-chan and Yamada-kun and The Seven Witches. If you’ve read either of those, then you know that they are some of the best shounen romcoms ever made. That's why you can certainly expect lots of great things from Yoshikawa-sensei's new manga called Hiiragi-san Chi no Kyuuketsu Jijou.
At its core, Hiiragi-san is a comedy manga, but rather than blending it with romance like with her previous works, this time around Yoshikawa-sensei focuses on the theme of family. The story is about Yuuta, an orphan boy who is adopted into a family of vampires. But instead of horror, all he finds is a bunch of awkward vampires who have no sense of privacy at all. So begins his chaotic life in the Hiiragi household.
Hiiragi-san is only available in Japan for now, but since the original publisher is Kodansha, we can expect it to come here through Kodansha USA sooner rather than later.
8. Witch Watch by Kenta Shinohara (mangaka of Sket Dance)
Kenta Shinohara gained international recognition through his 2007 manga Sket Dance. His follow-up work was the short and sweet Astra: Lost in Space and, with that, Shinohara-sensei has cemented himself as a great shounen comedy writer. So it comes with no surprise that his brand new manga, Witch Watch, lives within that genre as well.
Witch Watch is about the chaotic daily life of Niko, a witch in training, and her childhood friend and crush, Morihito the ogre. Niko is supposed to gain real world experience with her magic, but instead, she keeps dragging Morihito into endless troubles.
You can read the latest chapters of Witch Watch on Manga Plus or you can get the paperback from Viz Media.
7. Sentai Daishikkaku by Negi Haruba (mangaka of The Quintessential Quintuplets)
Since it was first published back in 2017, The Quintessential Quintuplets filled the void for a good shounen harem/romcom that was left when Nisekoi ended a year earlier. So when it finally ended in 2020, lots of people were interested to see what kind of manga Haruba-sensei would come up next. Then 2021 came along and we got Sentai Daishikkaku.
Sentai Daishikakku is a love letter to the Japanese tokusatsu genre, particularly the Super Sentai series, localized as Power Rangers in other parts of the world. However, rather than focusing on the rainbow squad, the story follows a low level, unnamed grunt soldier who's frustrated by the fact that they always lose to the rangers, who are known as Dragon Keepers here. So he decides to disguise himself as a human and infiltrate the Dragon Keepers' HQ to try to destroy them from the inside.
Kodansha announced that Sentai Daishikkaku will be part of their Fall 2022 lineup under the name of Go, Go, Loser Ranger! So be sure to get your copy on day one, because it is both action-packed and hilarious at the same time.
6. Sanda by Paru Itagaki (mangaka of Beastars)
When it first hit the shelves in 2016, Beastars was a breath of fresh air to the shounen genre that had been overly saturated by so many tales of people with superpowers. With its masterful character development and world building, Beastars became one of most iconic titles that ever graced the genre.
Unfortunately, Itagaki-sensei's subsequent works have been rather underwhelming, but this new 2021 manga is another attempt by Itagaki-sensei to capture the magic of her debut work. Sanda is the story about a boy who turns into a muscular Santa Claus in a world where Christmas no longer exists.
Just like with Beastars, Sanda is also filled with quirky characters and an interesting setting. Those two things seem to be the signature of Paru Itagaki-sensei's works. Anyway, it hasn't been officially licensed into English yet, but judging by all of the positive response from the readers thus far, it's only a matter of time before the rest of the world gets to read it.
5. Four Knights of The Apocalypse by Nakaba Suzuki (mangaka of The Seven Deadly Sins)
The Seven Deadly Sins was a massive hit during its eight year runtime from 2012 to 2020. The anime was also highly popular and fans can't seem to get enough of it, so Nakaba Suzuki-sensei decided to listen to the fans and create a sequel to The Seven Deadly Sins in 2021 called the Four Knights of The Apocalypse.
Four Knights of the Apocalypse takes place years after the original series, featuring a new cast of characters and storyline while still using the familiar magic concepts that we all know and love. It's about a boy called Percival who sets out on a journey with his friends to find his grandfather’s killer, but unknowingly fulfills the prophecy of bringing about the end of the world as the knights of the apocalypse.
You can read the official English chapters on online reading platforms such as Azuki and Comixology, or you can also get the physical version from Kodansha USA in January 2022.
4. Look Back by Tatsuki Fujimoto (mangaka of Chainsaw Man)
The crazy and chaotic Chainsaw Man ended its first part at the height of the 2020 pandemic. We readers couldn’t wait for the second part to hit the digital shelves in 2021, but Tatsuki Fujimoto-sensei gave us the inspiring and heartbreaking "Look Back" instead.
Look Back is a story about two girls who come to be best friends due to their mutual passion of creating manga. They both work together tirelessly on creating an original manga throughout their high school senior year until they finally get to the point where they have to make a decision that will change their lives forever.
Technically, Look Back is a one shot, but considering that it has 142 pages worth of content, it can easily pass as a short manga. You can read Look Back for free through Shueisha's Manga Plus.
3. Choujin X by Sui Ishida (mangaka of Tokyo Ghoul)
Tokyo Ghoul (as well as its sequel, Tokyo Ghoul:re) was a phenomenon during its initial run. It was dark and full of violence, yet it was also personal and heart-wrenching at the same time. So when it finally ended in 2018, the manga community was eager for a new work from Ishida-sensei. After years of silence, he suddenly dropped Choujin X in the middle of 2021.
Choujin X is a story about a boy named Tokio Kurohara who receives a power that allows him to assume the nature of a vulture. Such people are called Choujin and are often considered to be outcasts who need to be dealt with. So begins the life of a timid boy who tries to understand all of the bizarre changes that happen to his body and what to do with them.
Choujin X has a lot of similarities to Tokyo Ghoul: the introverted main character, the reluctant power up, the violent action sequences, and also the overall tone of the story. You can read the latest chapters of Chojin X in Shueisha's Manga Plus or wait for the paperback version from Viz Media.
2. Shouha Shoten! by Takeshi Obata (artist of Death Note)
During his illustrious 20+ year career, Takeshi Obata-sensei has been the artist for some of the best manga across many different spectrums of genres: Hikaru no Go, Death Note, Bakuman, All You Need is Kill, and the list goes on. Then November 2021 came along and Obata-sensei published the first chapter of a new manga called Shouha Shouten!
Shouha Shouten! tackles one of the rarest topics ever covered in a manga - how to be a comedian. The story follows two high schoolers who embark on a journey to be the best comedic duo in Japan. They write and perform jokes even when lots of people think that being a comedian is a ridiculous dream to have for a high schooler and give them the cold shoulder.
Shouha Shouten! is similar to Bakuman in a lot of ways. It is about young men giving their all to chase their dream while providing an insight into a certain kind of Japanese entertainment industry at the same time. You can read it in Manga Plus and Viz Media will surely publish the paperback version in the near future.
1. Yomi no Tsugai by Hiromu Arakawa (mangaka of Fullmetal Alchemist)
Fullmetal Alchemist is definitely one of the most popular, beloved, and also influential shounen manga in history. That's why, ever since this legendary series ended, manga readers around the world have been starving for another original action-adventure shounen manga from Arakawa-sensei. Lo and behold, the end of 2021 came along and Yomi no Tsugai suddenly dropped out of nowhere.
It is a story about Yuru, a boy who spends his whole life in an isolated village on top of a mountain where the people have an Edo-era lifestyle as farmers and hunters. That is, until a group of soldiers descend into the village with guns blazing and helicopters hovering around while two girls use mysterious powers to massacre the villagers. That's when Yuru unlocks his true powers and pushes back the enemy.
Yomi no Tsugai is the newest title in this list. As such, there are not enough chapters out yet to warrant an official English translation. That being said, judging from all of the previous works from Arakawa-sensei, we can certainly hope a major English publisher will pick up this manga soon.
There you have it, folks. We have some major names publishing their new works in this list, so we can certainly expect some awesome content in the foreseeable future. As an honorable mention, the creator of Ao Haru Ride, Io Sakisaka, also published a new romance manga in 2021 called Sakura, Saku. Be sure to check that one out when it finally gets here.
So what do you think? Are there any manga that caught your attention? Did your favorite mangaka appear on this list? Let us know in the comment section below.