2015 was a fantastic year in manga, with many awesome new series beginning publication in English. Accordingly, we’ve decided on our favourite manga series whose first volume came out in English this year.

They aren’t in any particular order:

Horimiya - HERO (Yen Press)

What is it?

Plain-Jane Hori and gloomy Miyamura aren’t all that they seem, discovering each other’s hidden side as they spend time together.

Why it rocks:

Eschewing the dramatic for the subtle, Horimiya tells a sweet and earnest story of Hori and Miyamura’s time together. The series avoids many of the more annoying romance series cliches, opting for a more grounded yet incredibly satisfying take on the main characters’ relationship. It’s all extremely natural, making this charming series our favourite new romance series of 2015.

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Here’s what we’ve said:

But don’t just take our word for it:

“Horimiya is a light-hearted and fresh comedic romance — not quite a romantic comedy. I’d recommend this series for manga readers looking for something funny instead of an epic romance or manga-lovers who want something to brighten up their week.” - Feliza Casano, Girls in Capes

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You can pick it up here!


My Hero Academia - Kohei Horikoshi (Viz Media)

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What is it?

In a world where superpowers are common and heroes rule the day, Izumi Midoriya inherits the greatest power of all on his way to attending hero school.

Why it rocks:

My Hero Academia has a ton of potential thanks to its fantastic execution in establishing a unique world, memorable characters and a familiar yet resonant storyline. What sets the series apart is the sheer earnestness of its protagonist and the distinct heart that is present during these proceedings. The action is pretty cool as well, presenting a cool mix of manga and traditional superhero comic aesthetics.

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Here’s what we’ve said:

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But don’t just take our word for it:

“If you’re new to comics and manga, this is an easy to follow superhero story you can just pick up and read. This is a great starting point since only the first volume has been released so far. If you’re an old comics fan, buy this book! Kohei stuffs plenty of references and gags about comics and superheroes into this book that will leave you smiling. It pains me not to spoil a future storyline, but one of the characters has a very familiar design if you grew up in the 90’s. There’s so much to love about this story. Deku is a really charming protagonist you want to root for. The supporting cast all get their time to shine over the course of the story. Finally, All Might is awesome! A hearty recommendation!” - James Restig, How To Love Comics

You can pick it up here!


Your Lie in April - Naoshi Arakawa (Kodansha Comics USA)

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What is it?

One April day, a former pianist meets a girl who would bring the colour back into his music and his life.

Why it rocks:

Your Lie in April is an emotional tour-de-force, delivering compelling performance scenes to emphasize the feeling of these characters, demonstrating a wonderful level of cohesiveness thematically. Much like its characters, the series wears its emotions on its sleeve, telling an engaging tale of love and loss that shouldn’t be missed.

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Here’s what we’ve said:

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But don’t just take our word for it:

Your Lie in April reminded so much of why I fell in love with manga: I can pick up something labelled as shounen/boys manga, and find emotional depth and ties to my personal life that surprise even me. Back in my teen years I would have eaten a series like this up, and years later I’m surprised to find that teenage enthusiasm can still be summoned up with the right story. - manjiorin, Manga Connection

You can pick up the series here!


Tokyo Ghoul - Sui Ishida (Viz Media)

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What is it?

Bookish Ken Kaneki thinks he has it made when he snags a date with a pretty girl, but ends up with a little more when he gets turned into a ghoul.

Why it rocks:

Combining a strong action based story with a distinct philosophical bent, Tokyo Ghoul spins a thrilling tale full of horror and the grotesque. Ken’s struggle to navigate the world of ghouls is excellent thanks to the strong characters and confident aesthetic presented.

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Here’s what we’ve said:

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But don’t just take our word for it:

“Sui Ishida’s art is more than just beautiful illustrations, its the perfect placement of expression within scenes that help bring out emotional, fear and horror without adding paragraphs of words. [This is] a dark horror series that looks at the complexities of human nature and the world of flesh eating Ghouls.” - Robert Prentice, ThreeIfBySpace

You can pick it up here!


Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun - Izumi Tsubaki (Yen Press)

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What is it?

Chiyo Sakura somehow ends up working as a manga assistant for her crush Nozaki-kun, who moonlights as a popular girls’ manga artist. Will she ever get him to notice her?

Why it rocks:

If you’ve ever read shojo manga and chuckled at the tropes frequently employed, you’ll find Nozaki to be a hysterical subversion that makes full use of its wacky cast of characters. Nozaki’s wildly cliche Let’s Fall In Love series is a hilarious meta-story, and it’s entertaining to see his attempts to come up with new stories for it.

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Here’s what we said:

But don’t just take our word for it:

One of the things I like about Tsubaki’s work is that she’s able to quickly assemble a large and exceedingly quirky supporting cast, providing plenty of fodder for humor. That she’s able to go from two characters to over half a dozen within the constraints of a 4-koma strip in one volume is impressive. This is a genuinely funny manga. - Anna N, Manga Report

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You can pick it up here!


One Punch Man - ONE (Viz Media)

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What is it?

The epic story of an incredibly strong bald guy who is frustrated when no villains can stand up to his punches.

Why it rocks:

This is possibly the weirdest and most satisfying superhero comic I’ve ever read, never failing to make me laugh thanks to how ridiculous it all is. Saitama’s failure to take anything seriously as well as his odd priorities make for a series of smaller stories. Yusuke Murata’s artwork is probably the best in the business and worth reading the series on its own for.

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Here’s what we said:

But don’t just take our word for it:

One-Punch Man is basically a superhero parody and comedy. It’s a series that has a lot of melodramatic and serious moments and characters, but it’s often contrasted against Saitama, who barely takes anything seriously since nothing ever really poses a threat to him and whose appearance makes him look completely out of place in the manga. There are tropes and ideas from superhero comics used here for plot points, motivations, and drama but none of it ever overwhelms the more comedic aspects of the series. It’s the type of manga that fans of superhero comics would absolutely love with how it pokes fun of, but also respects superhero-style stories.- Jordan Richards, Adventures in Poor Taste

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You can pick up the series here!


Inuyashiki - Hiroya Oku (Kodansha Comics USA)

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What is it?

A downtrodden and unappreciated old man gets the shock of his life when he is hit by an asteroid and finds himself reconstructed as a weaponized robot in this new series from the author of Gantz.

Why it rocks:

Inuyashiki is not a happy manga in any sense of the word, spinning an unsettling yet somewhat heartwarming story about one old man receiving the power to challenge his helpless and bleak state of existence. An unconventional take on a conventional story arc, Inuyashiki is well-drawn and depicts series themes in an impressive manner that manga fans will be sure to appreciate.

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Here’s what we said:

But don’t just take our word for it:

Take Gantz, add the premise of Breaking Bad, and you’ve got Inuyashiki. It’s not overly groundbreaking, but it’s still a fun ride nonetheless. If you liked Gantz, you’ll probably enjoy Inuyashiki.- Toshi Nakamura, Kotaku

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You can pick it up here!


Ultraman - Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shinoguchi (Viz Media)

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What is it?

Years after the invasion of the terrifying Kaiju was halted by Shin Hayata and the Giant of Light, the world faces a new threat that only a new Ultraman can stop.

Why it rocks:

Ultraman is an excellent superhero origin story, confidently providing thrilling action scenes and an interesting story. This is the manga equilavent of a big-budget Hollywood action movie, with the art creating unique and exciting aesthetic.

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What we said:

But don’t just take our word for it:

Ultraman has always been good and this new series has pushed it to a new level making for a great new story to enjoy whether you’re a new or old fan of the franchise. Personally I’ll be waiting patiently for the second volume and look forward to following the new Ultraman for years to come.- Dustin Cabeal, Comic Bastards

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You can pick it up here!


Other notable series we liked quite a bit:

Evergreen - Yuyuko Takemiya (Seven Seas)

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Prison School - Akira Hiramoto (Yen Press)

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches - Miki Yoshikawa (Kodansha Comics USA)

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Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto - Nami Sano (Seven Seas)

Sean Gaffney (A Case Suitable For Treatment)‘s Review

The Year in Review:

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Are you a manga or light novel publisher looking to get into contact with us? Email mattw.anitay@gmail.com, we’d love to hear from you!

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We’re Taykobon, your home for reviews of manga and light novels. Be sure to follow us on twitter@taykobon for more updates and to get the latest happenings! We strive to provide timely coverage of manga and light novel releases, for a listing of every review we’ve written you can check here. For more info about Taykobon, please check here. If you’ve read this work or have any questions or comments, we would love the hear from you in the comments below!