13 Horror Manga Reading Recommendations

13 Horror Manga Reading Recommendations

BOO! It’s finally the Halloween season! To get into the spooky spirit, why not settle in with a good horror manga series? Below, find 13 of my favorite hair-raising, spine-chilling, and in some cases frighteningly funny horror manga releases of the past year!

The Town of Pigs

Author: Hideshi Hino
Publisher: Star Fruit Books
Age Rating: 16+
MSRP: $16.99

One of the first titles under Blood Orange, indie publisher Star Fruit Books’s new horror imprint, The Town of Pigs is a standout work by Japanese horror legend Hideshi Hino and his first English release in over a decade. On the night of a blood red moon, demonic creatures descend upon a small town, rounding up the inhabitants in cages. Only young Kenichi survives, later discovering that his neighbors have been transformed into swine.

Although The Town of Pigs is not a long story, it has all the hallmarks of a classic Hino manga: gritty artwork, tortured characters, and plenty of violence. Both Hino fans and newcomers will not want to miss this one.

Orochi: The Perfect Edition

Author: Kazuo Umezz
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: 16+
MSRP: $26.99

From horror manga master Kazuo Umezz, creator of The Drifting Classroom and Cat Eyed Boy, comes another eerie entry. First published in 1969, Orochi follows a mysterious young woman through a series of episodic stories—all of which explore the terrors of the human heart. The eponymous heroine witnesses horrific events and uncovers dark secrets, at times intervening with her supernatural powers to help those in need.

Released earlier this year by Viz Media, the Perfect Edition hardcovers feature interior color illustrations. The third volume is scheduled to hit stores on November 15, 2022.

Be Very Afraid of Kanako Inuki!

Author: Kanako Inuki
Publisher: Kodansha
Age Rating: 13+
MSRP: $12.99

Crowned the “queen of horror manga,” Kanako Inuki has been a mainstay among horror manga fans for more than thirty years. First debuting in a special edition of Kodansha’s Shoujo Friend in 1987, Inuki is known for her dark humor and creepy doll-like characters.

Be Very Afraid of Kanako Inuki! compiles six of her scariest short stories in a single volume. Author commentary throughout gives readers insight into her delightfully twisted creative process. This is Inuki’s latest English manga release since Presents in 2008.

The Horrors of Noroi Michiru

Author: Noroi Michiru
Publisher: Star Fruit Books
Age Rating: 18+
MSRP: $21.00

Little known outside of Japan, horror mangaka Noroi Michiru has a knack for pairing deeply disturbing narratives with unnervingly detailed artwork. Now, English language readers will finally get to read his stories, thanks to Star Fruit Books. Originally released in Japan in 2014 by now-defunct publisher TRASH-UP, The Horrors of Noroi Michiru is a two-volume collection of Michiru’s darkest one-shots. Look out for the first volume later this year.

Black Paradox

Author: Junji Ito
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: 16+
MSRP: $19.99

Here’s another one of Junji Ito’s sinister works to add to your collection!

Black Paradox: a website for the suicidal. Four strangers, each with their own reasons for ending their life, connect on the site and make a pact to die together. But during their attempt, they instead discover strange stones that connect to another world. Captivated by the stones’ power, the group decides to put their original plan on hold. What happens next is a kaleidoscope of psychological terror, human experimentation, unchecked greed, and downright grotesque body horror.

PTSD Radio

Author: Masaaki Nakayama
Publisher: Kodansha
Age Rating: 16+
MSRP: $19.99

Want to feel really creeped out? Tune into PTSD Radio by Masaaki Nakayama, the mind behind the horror manga cult favorite Fuan no Tane. In this series, an ancient being called Ogushi returns from the past to haunt the living, manifesting itself through human hair. In the beginning, we’re introduced to multiple characters, each with some inexplicable connection to Ogushi’s curse. In time, the being’s mysterious origins are slowly revealed.

Originally a digital-only series, Kodansha is now releasing PTSD Radio in omnibus format, with the first containing volumes 1 and 2. Get the first one on October 18, 2022.

SHWD

Author: sono.N
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Age Rating: 16+
MSRP: $14.99

After a war, strange biological weapons were left to wander the earth. Called Dynamis, these nightmarish creatures emit powerful electromagnetic waves that cause people to lose their sanity. Only those in Special Hazardous Waste Disposal (SHWD) have the power to exterminate them.

New recruit Koga is placed under the care of veteran agent Sawada, making them the only women in the Tokyo SHWD branch. With Koga’s physical strength and Sawada’s mental prowess, the pair venture out to kill the Dynamis—and perhaps fall in love while they’re at it.

Dandadan

Author: Yukinobu Tatsu
Publisher: Shonen Jump
Age Rating: 17+
MSRP: $9.99

Currently serialized in Shonen Jump+, this horror-comedy series explores everything from yokai to cryptids to extraterrestrials, with plenty of action along the way.

Momo is convinced spirits are real and aliens are fake. Okarun thinks just the opposite. To prove each other wrong, both dare each other to visit paranormal hot spots in search of evidence, but find way more than they bargained for. During the strange encounter, Okarun is possessed by a ghost that transforms him into a human/spirit hybrid. Only Momo’s newly awakened psychokinetic powers can suppress the curse…for now.

Momo -the blood taker-

Author: Akira Sugito
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Age Rating: 16+
MSRP: $13.99

A series of strange murders have taken place across Tokyo, the victims bitten and drained of blood. The crimes are similar to a case from ten years prior, when Mikogami Keigo’s girlfriend was found naked and beheaded. Now a detective, Mikogami has vowed to avenge her death and defeat his lover’s killer, the elusive vampiric being called the Man with Two Faces. But to do so, Mikogami must trade his humanity and become a vampire himself.

The Walking Cat

Author: Tomo Kitaoka
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Age Rating: 16+
MSRP: $24.99

Society has collapsed. Zombies roam the streets. And one cat named Yuki is fighting to survive. The Walking Cat: A Cat’s-Eye-View of the Zombie Apocalypse follows Yuki’s travels amid the apocalypse and the humans he meets along the way. His first companion is a brave man named Jin who’s searching for his lost wife. Together, Yuki and Jin head for an island rumored to be a safe haven for survivors, but the journey will be far from easy.

Despite having a cute cat as our guide, this manga is quite violent, so if you’re not into gore, you might want to read something else—like the next entry!

Night of the Living Cat

Author: Hawkman (story) and Mecha-Roots (art)
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Age Rating: 13+
MSRP: $13.99

Imagine this: there’s another zombie apocalypse, except this time, the zombies are cute, soft cats. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well…

In Night of the Living Cat, a mysterious virus has overtaken humanity, turning anyone infected into a furry feline. How is the virus transmitted? Through cuddles, of course! With humanity on the brink of extinction, one man named Kunagi must try to survive this strange new world, but his intense love for cats might be his undoing.

Shadows House

Author: Somato
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: 13+
MSRP: $12.99

Do you dare enter Shadows House? Within this enigmatic mansion reside the featureless Shadow people, whose needs are met by their “living dolls,” human-like figures that act as their masters’ faces.

Shadows House follows the living doll Emilico as she learns to navigate the house’s strange hierarchy and grow closer to her mistress, Kate. But as the story progresses, it seems there’s something ominous lurking within the manor’s halls.

Drip Drip

Author: Paru Itagaki
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: 18+
MSRP: $12.99

Paru Itagaki’s Drip Drip moves away from supernatural scares into something more realistic, yet just as terrifying: the dating scene. Mako Higari has an odd problem: if she encounters something dirty, her nose bleeds. So whenever she tries to hook up with strangers, she erupts with enough blood to cover a slasher movie set. Determined to overcome her condition, Mako sets out to find her true love, leaving a gory trail in her wake.

At times darkly funny, Drip Drip offers insightful commentary on social norms and personal trauma. With sexual (and bloody) content throughout, this title is best suited for mature readers.

Which of these eerie titles are you looking forward to reading the most? Do you have recommendations of your own? Leave a comment below!

Thank you to Viz Media for providing review copies of Dandadan, Drip Drip, and Black Paradox!

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