On September 12, 2022, Yen Press announced it would bring The Summer Hikaru Died to English readers! Even though it’s a horror manga, The Summer Hikaru Died perfectly balances horror, love, outdated small-town drama, and acceptance!
Especially when the supernatural comes into play; all the while, “Hikaru” is like a big puppy. His love for Yoshiki and desire to keep him happy feels pure even when he might have killed someone.
The best part is this brand-new series just launched in Japan! Hence, even though we don’t know when Yen Press will release it, we’ll only be a volume or two behind.
If you love horror and two boys being awkward and flustered with each other, don’t miss out on this manga!
What is The Summer Hikaru Died about?
The Summer Hikaru Died or Hikaru Ga Shinda Natsu is written and illustrated by Mokumokuren. It focuses on two boys, Yoshiki and Hikaru, and their peaceful lives in a small village.
When Yoshiki learns something is impersonating Hikaru, he calls him out in chapter 1! “Hikaru” admits to it and is upset that Yoshiki figured it out.
His impersonation was supposed to be perfect due to him retaining Hikaru’s memories. However, instead of threatening Yoshiki, he breaks down and hugs him, begging him not to say anything.
Because “Hikaru” doesn’t want to kill Yoshiki, and after confirming that A. Hikaru is dead and B. the fake “Hikaru” didn’t kill him, Yoshiki agrees. But it’s not long before Yoshiki begins to feel guilty and strange things start happening in the village.
A perfect horror manga keeps you guessing
The Summer Hikaru Died is a mix of cosmic horror, body horror, fluff, angst, and little moments that make you want to keep reading. The setup reminds me of Higaurahi, Another, H. P. Lovecraft, and Junji Ito.
A mountain next to the village is forbidden to climb, but this is where Hikaru died. The town is so small that practically everyone knows everything about everybody and feels they have the right to comment on everyone’s lives.
For example, Yoshiki likes to keep his bangs long, and several people tell him to cut them. His little sister doesn’t go to school, and Yoshiki keeps hearing admonishing comments about his parents: “It must be a Tokyo thing.”
And there are other spirits to worry about! An old lady with a stretching neck and a living gob of hair has made an appearance with more to come.
I can’t wait to pre-order Volume 1; we need more stories like this one!