Just Read These 5 Manga by Aka Akasaka

For fans of Akasaka’s work, the opportunity to explore his stories and engage in discussions about his manga is a source of excitement and delight. His ability to captivate and entertain knows no bounds, leaving readers eagerly anticipating what he has in store next.

He is a fantastic writer. He understands the timing needed for both comedy and horror, he delves into serious topics properly when using them for drama, and he’s just like one of us. He’s a bit of a dork, and he totally “gets” our sense of humor.

So this time we’re lucky to have Akasaka sensei’s stories to dive into and chat about. It’s like he’s inviting us into his world, and man, it’s one heck of a ride. So, buckle up and enjoy the journey!

5. ib-Instant Bullet (ib -インスタントバレット-) (2013–2015)

“In the cold grip of loneliness, Fukase, a disillusioned loner, stumbles upon the quirky Sera Himeura and the enigmatic witch Yume Furusuna. Little does he know, he’s part of a group destined to wield the power to shape the world’s fate—some driven to save it, others to burn it down.

As past traumas and twisted passion meet, Fukase’s quiet wish for the world’s end collides with a destiny he never saw coming on a bitter Christmas Eve.”

Even though it’s only 27 chapters it took me a longer time than I expected. First of all, it’s not a bad manga. But to me, it didn’t stand out that much. There’s no lasting impact.

If I have to say one thing that Akasaka Sensei excelled at this one more than his previous titles-it’s probably going to be its dialogues. It’s full of quotes and touching phrases. 

If used right it could have been an amazing short title. The characters were there. A lot of them if I think about it. But fleshing them out only with phrases around 27 chapters along with story stabilization and a proper ending just felt too much and too rushed for me. 

The romance part was ok. It’s Akasaka Sensei. So the couple’s game is always going to be something of a fun ride to some extent that is for sure. 

4. Renai Daikou (恋愛代行) (2023–present)

“A half-Swedish, half-Japanese girl who seems to have everything except experience with men is using a date coaching app to get used to flirting. However, the guy she hits it off with actually uses the same app with a different coach!”

I really enjoyed reading this manga, simply, because it is 1. fun, 2. sweet, 3. short, and 4. cute. It is cute and packed with lovable characters.

Although there are panels in the story that you’d think are a bit stupid, like, “Well, okay!” But weirdly, it’s the kind of stupidity that keeps you entertained. 

I was even a little bit frustrated that it ended there without any conclusion. It’s that mix of frustration and entertainment—like, “Come on, give me closure!” Something like that.

The theme was also good. People hiring relationship agents to up their game. Kind of reminded me of Rental Girlfriend in a different way. 

So if you like Akasaka Sensei and looking for something of a short-fun-quick read, do give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed!

3. Sayonara Piano Sonata (さよならピアノソナタ) (2011–2012)

“Random junkyard encounter turns into a classroom rivalry when Mafuyu, this piano prodigy who vanished from the music scene accidentally steals Nao’s (son of a music critic) music spot he used for listening to music.

Now, Nao’s on a mission to reclaim his territory, and things get wild with music, turning their unexpected encounter into a symphony of teenage chaos.”

It contains adorable notes. And chords for relationships? Yes, please

I thought it was just another Akasaka manga but damn! It’s good. It’s like watching a film, in a short amount of time and everything just happens around it. 

It was fun. At first, I didn’t know which way it was going to go but it did an amazing job at flowing the story to the end. 

The popularity of ‘Kaguya Sama’ and ‘Oshi no Ko’ foreshadowed Akasaka Sensei’s other titles like this in a way so much so that sometimes I feel surprisingly happy when I go back to reading these every once in a while.

Furthermore, I like it even more because it’s similar to a good ‘one shot’ musical anime manga. Obviously, it’s not without flaws, but imagine this: classical and rock vibes dancing together in this sweet, feel-good bite-sized rom-com tale.

Reading it just feels good-lifts your mood, no questions asked.

2. Oshi no Ko (推しの子) (2020–present)

“Lies are a weapon in this entertainment world.” Goro works as an obstetrician and gynecologist in a local city. Days unrelated to the entertainment world. On the other hand, his “preferred” idol, Ai Hoshino, has begun to rise to stardom. Such two people have a “worst” encounter, and their destiny.

Now that the anime came out everyone knows how good of a series it is. And even if you have not watched the series there’s a 90% chance you already know the opening to the series.

It’s that one opening song from the last year that no one stops talking about. Yes, I’m talking about IDOL by Yoasobi. 

With an impressive 45.7 million streams and 24,000 copies sold internationally, the opening song “Idol” not only marked a historic achievement for anime soundtracks but also for Japanese music.

From topping the  Billboard Global 200 Excl. U.S. charts to Apple Music’s Top 100: Global chart, it just solidified its status as a global sensation.

But forget the anime community, before the anime even hit the scene, the collaboration between Mengo Yokoyari and Aka Akasaka had everyone buzzing in the manga community.

If you’ve watched or read “Kuzu no Honkai” (Scum’s Wish), you’d understand the excitement of seeing the author of such a series teaming up with the creator of one of the most popular romantic comedy manga out there. 

It’s an unexpected but thrilling combination that promises a unique storytelling experience. When the news broke, I was super hyped, and it certainly lived up to expectations.

So much so, that it earned the top spot on our list of the new best manga of 2022.

If you’re into the idea of a mature idol anime with a dark twist and a hint of drama and mystery, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.

1. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War (かぐや様は告らせたい ~天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~) (2015–2022)

“If you confess your love, you lose!” Good family and personality!! Shuchiin Academy, where talented people with high expectations for the future gather!! They should be attracted to each other, but… It’s been half a year without anything!! Oops!? Love is fun until it’s fulfilled!!”

While with most of the other titles in the list, Akasaka Sensei is either credited with art or story but for this one, he is responsible for both, handling both the art and story aspects. 

Even though there are countless rom-com manga out there, this series stands out as a character-driven narrative, offering a fresh take on romance within the anime manga community.

As I’ve mentioned before, Akasaka Sensei has a knack for crafting deeply relatable characters, and he takes it to the next level in this magnum opus of his.

Through a blend of comedy and coming-of-age themes, he masterfully developed each character, allowing them to evolve and grow in ways that resonate deeply with the audience.

Initially, when I heard about the final arc of the manga and the start of “Oshi no Ko,” I was worried about how it might affect “Kaguya-sama” quality. But over time, that impression changed a little. And by the end, I was really satisfied with how “Kaguya-sama” concluded.

Most people were complaining about how the series didn’t end with a bang but I loved it. Just like I loved the over-the-top start of the series, I enjoyed how it winded down with occasional bursts of humor. 

For instance, there’s the clever setup of the teen pregnancy joke, Kei’s persistent rebellious streak, the comedic moments with a drunk Iino, and the amusing interactions involving Tsundere Iino.

Additionally, the antics of the board games club and the hilarious sumo wrestler joke added delightful touches of humor to the series. I won’t spoil the ending but I’ll definitely recommend you to start reading it. 

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