Publisher Kodansha USA has announced that the Skygrazer manga’s English translation is coming out with a paperback release on October 25, 2022. Author Masakazu Ishiguro is best known for Heavenly Delusion and And Yet the Town Moves which received an anime adaptation back in 2010.
Nominated for the Manga Taisho award in 2012, Skygrazer combines absurdist humor and episodic cases reminiscent of the Sherlock Holmes series. Each chapter presents a wildly different case from a group of schoolboys trying to figure out who tore out pages from stacks of dirty magazines to society’s rapid expansion of robot tech leading to the murder of a well-known inventor.
Horror isn’t the only genre perfect for the Halloween season. For those at odds with monsters and gore, mystery and thriller are genres that perfectly bridge the gap — providing the eerie feel of the season more focused on games of wits and the psychological aspects of crime.
What other thriller manga are available from Kodansha?
Skygrazer’s ability to blend sci-fi with surreal comedy and mysterious cases makes it a great entry point for newcomers to the mystery and thriller genres. For those already well-versed in science fiction, however, Kodansha has several titles to get readers more acquainted with the tension and suspense of thrillers:
- In Ajin: Demi-Human, Kei Nagai’s dreams of medical school are abruptly halted when he steps out into traffic to learn that an accident fatal to most has left him unscathed. His teachers have always warned of the Ajin — super soldiers with a hefty bounty on their heads. Now Kei has to learn secrets the government has kept under wraps along with the mystery of his own power.
- A class trip to Guam goes horribly wrong when the plane crashes after a sudden blackout. Trapped on an island with flora and fauna seemingly impossible, Akira Sengoku must survive along with his classmates to discover the mystery of where they truly are in Cage of Eden.
- Trapped behind walls of impenetrable metal, the city known as No. 6 is a marvel of the modern world. Suffering and grief have all been eradicated. At least, that’s what Shion believes until an escaped inmate crashes through his window and forces him to contend with the truth of what goes on in his presumed peaceful city.
Closer to the heart of the mystery and thriller genre, detective and crime tales take readers through twists and turns to get to the bottom of the case:
- With a second season coming Winter 2023, the hit shonen series Tokyo Revengers follows Takemichi Hanagaki — a former delinquent now working a dead-end job. His wake-up call comes in the form of his ex-girlfriend dying at the hands of a criminal gang. Now, Takemichi may be the only one left who can turn back time and stop the events from happening.
- Members of a mystery novel research association head to a secluded island to research The Decagon House Murders. The case may have eluded police for years, but the team of seven students is determined to put ghost tales to rest.
- A string of TV specials dubbed the ‘Vampire Murders’ have left Tsukasa Taira weary. But that pales in comparison to learning that the supernatural beings she believed to be fiction have permeated her own friend group. In Devils’ Line, it’s up to the undead to hunt and stalk their own.
For some, the psychology behind the crime is more intriguing than solving the case itself. These titles weave drama into their stories to create a work that’s as human as it is thrilling:
- Known as The Fable, the legendary hitman excels at infiltrating any space and taking out whatever targets are put up for bounty. His latest mission proves to be his greatest challenge of all, however, when he’s ordered to lie low.
- Thirteen years ago, Anzu Murata lost her childhood home to a fire and her parents divorced soon after. But something about the events never sat right with her. With her mother now hospitalized due to a chronic illness, she takes it upon herself to pose as a housekeeper to learn what truly happened in the josei thriller Burn the House Down.
- A class reunion goes horribly wrong, and police are left shaking their heads — wondering what could have transpired two weeks ago that claimed twelve lives. The Shadows of Who We Once Were follows the events that led up to the gruesome events and explores why a group of childhood friends turned on each other.
Mystery and thrillers do, of course, often blend elements of horror too. For those wishing to add something more dark and menacing to their collection — especially with Halloween right around the corner — these picks are something to keep on your radar:
- After going missing for fifteen years, Yusuke Saito is finally back in high school trying to live a normal life. The only thing standing in his way is a bout of amnesia that doesn’t let him remember more than six months into the past. As the title, Back When You Called Us Devils, suggests, however, Yusuke’s past is something he wishes he never has to remember.
- The Tokyo Metropolitan Police are shocked by a string of gruesome murders. A vigilante killer donning a frog mask seeks to make his victims suffer the same ‘crimes’ they committed. In Museum, officer Hisashi Sawamura tries to get to the bottom of the case but is forced to drop his cool demeanor once the killer comes for his family.
- Can You Just Die, My Darling? has all the making of a heartfelt rom-com. Taku Kamishiro has been gearing up to confess to his long-time crush Mika Hanazono, but instead of dream dates and a blossoming romance, all he has on his mind is her impending death.
What is the most popular mystery manga of all time?
When it comes to thrillers and mystery, Death Note has undoubtedly become a cultural phenomenon. The several live-action adaptations it spawned may not match the impact of the original manga or anime, but Death Note’s battle of wits has brought many new fans to the anime fandom with its dark themes and memorable characters.
Those who love detective stories are in luck since mystery manga has them in abundance. The Detective Conan series, still on-gong since 1994, follows the weekly adventures of a high school detective who solves cases under a name that’s a mash-up of Arthur Conan Doyle and Ranpo Edogawa.
Moriarty the Patriot and Bungou Stray Dogs have continued that theme as well, giving the cast names and traits of characters from the Sherlock Holmes universe and historical writers, respectively.
While it has yet to garner mainstream appeal, Naoki Urasawa’s Monster has become a cult classic in the manga community with its psychologically-gripping moments and a stand-out cast of morally gray characters.