Happy 2024, readers! I hope the transition from the end of the year into this new one has been as smooth, positive, and book-filled as possible for each and every one of you! As for me, the past couple of months have been a funky blend of stressful and relaxing, thanks to a small medical crisis, which at least necessitated my taking some time away from (and doing my best not to think about) work. But here we are, at the start of a new year, which means we get to start afresh in all aspects of life — and especially in our reading lives! And, of course, I am here to serve by bringing you the best of the best in new manga releases!
As usual, we’ve got an amazing selection of new manga this month — and it’s hopefully a positive omen of the year to come! There’s a comedic story of an assassin who recruits a con artist to help him find love, a dark dystopia about a young boy seeking revenge against those who falsely convicted him of murder, and an interesting action series that pits various historical figures from different periods against each other. And also a few picks featuring cats, witches, or even both! Because aren’t those everyone’s favorites anyway? Happy reading, all!
New January 2024 Manga Releases
Marriage Toxin by Joumyaku and Mizuki Yoda (January 2, VIZ Media)
Gero is a master assassin and has determined the poison master clan, his long family line of poisoners, will die with him since he has no interest in getting married. But when he finds out his family will resort to forcing his sister to give up a future with her girlfriend in order to bear heirs for the clan, Gero decides he must act fast. With the help of one of his targets, the marriage swindler Mei Kinosaki, can Gero find relationship success?
A Cat from Our World and the Forgotten Witch by Hiro Kashiwaba (January 2, Seven Seas)
If you’ve ever had the thought, “Yeah, isekai is great, but what if it had more cats?!” then here is the manga for you! Once upon a time, the powerful witch Jeanne saved the world by vanquishing the Demon King. But now, her feats have been all but lost to history, and Jeanne spends her days in isolation. That is until she accidentally summons a cat from Earth to her world! Can this cat, who appears giant in this world, help heal Jeanne’s loneliness?
Steel of the Celestial Shadows by Daruma Matsuura (January 16, VIZ Media)
Ryudo Konosuke is a struggling samurai who is unable to even wield a sword due to a terrible curse that distorts any metal that comes near him. Due to this, he is perpetually unable to find work and lives in deep poverty. At this point, all Konosuke wants is to be released from his life through the gift of death. But upon meeting and receiving a marriage proposal from a mysterious woman, Konosuke is suddenly introduced to a supernatural world he has never encountered before.
Send Them a Farewell Gift for the Lost Time by Cocomi (January 16, LoveLove)
After a four-year relationship, Naruse decides to break up with his boyfriend Toui, who lacks the ability to commit. But the two continue to run into each other, and each time they do, they get tangled up in their complicated feelings, unresolved arguments, and lingering regrets again and again. Though this deeply emotional and complex look at a relationship has previously been available digitally, this month will mark its release in print.
Tokyo These Days by Taiyo Matsumoto (January 16, VIZ Media)
Kazuo Shiozawa quits his job as a manga editor after a 30-year career in a gesture of atonement for his failures. But this doesn’t mean he’s able to cut ties with the manga world overnight. On his last day, Shiozawa takes a long train ride to give some final advice to a creator he used to edit for. Later, a former assistant reaches out for help dealing with an extremely difficult creator. And through all this, Shiozawa contemplates not just what manga continues to mean to him or the relationships between manga and the people behind it but also how the art form and its creation are entwined with life itself.
Gachiakuta by Kei Urana (January 16, Kodansha)
Rudo lives in the slums of a floating city, where the rich live lavishly and don’t give a second thought to their wastefulness, and the poor attempt to scrape by in the shadows. One day, Rudo is framed for murder and, as punishment, thrown off the edge of the city into the Abyss, where all garbage goes. There, he realizes he must join the Cleaners, a group who fight monstrous creatures made of trash, for any hope of escaping the Abyss and getting vengeance on those who sent him there. This action-packed dark fantasy series already boasts a large fan base and is one of the most highly-anticipated manga translations this month — don’t miss out!
Love, a Kitten, and a Salty Dog by Nenko Nen (January 16, Seven Seas)
After finding a kitten on the streets, kindhearted college student Momo brings the tiny creature to Kinako Animal Hospital. There, he meets Okura, a veterinarian with a tough exterior. The two men begin to grow close as Okura helps Momo learn how to be a cat owner, and eventually, Okura finds himself drawn to Momo on a deeper level. Will this relationship between vet and pet owner turn into something more?
King in Limbo by Ai Tanaka (January 16, Kodansha)
Eight years ago, a mysterious sickness called “the Sleep” ravaged the globe and killed millions, only being eradicated due to a dangerous new medical procedure. Today, Adam Garfield, a petty officer of the US Navy, plans to retire after losing one of his legs to an IED. But he soon finds out that the Sleep could be making its way back, and he must find the mysterious man who cured it the first time around. This exciting thriller is not just a gripping story but also delves thoughtfully into themes of trauma, health, and healing.
Witch Life in a Micro Room by Akitaka (January 23, Yen Press)
Two young, low-ranking witches, Madge and Lilika, share a tiny apartment in the big city. The pair are only able to get low-paying odd jobs due to their novice rank, but they’re serious about improving their status and work hard at their odd jobs to do so. This is a fun slice-of-life series about two young witches with differing personalities working and living together.
“Tengen” Hero Wars by Yasu Hiromoto and Kubaru Sakanoichi (January 30, Titan Manga)
After receiving a mysterious invitation, a high schooler who loves history and his younger sister are transported to another world. Here, all of history’s greatest warriors and leaders battle each other to decide who is the best of them all. For the history buffs who’ve ever wondered what would happen if Napoleon and Julius Caesar (and many more figures from history!) had to go head-to-head, this manga imagines just that!
And some bonus recs…
Since we sadly didn’t get a chance to do a full roundup for December 2023 releases, here are just a few additional recommendations you may have missed from last month that you can pick up right now!
Neighborhood Story by Ai Yazawa
The latest series to be translated into English by the creator of popular shōjo manga such as Nana and Paradise Kiss, Ai Yazawa’s Neighborhood Story is another great coming-of-age story for fans of classic shōjo. Mikako, an aspiring fashion designer, enters a prestigious art school along with her childhood friend Tsutomu. Though their relationship has always been platonic, Mikako can’t help but begin to experience jealousy when Tsutomu’s popularity — and love life — suddenly takes off due to his uncanny resemblance to a famous rock star.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu Academy by Natsuki Hokami
Who doesn’t love a funny little spin-off or parody of a big hit series? I certainly do, and here we’ve finally gotten an official spin-off of the huge phenomenon Kimetsu no Yaiba! At Kimetsu Academy, Tanjiro and the rest of the gang must navigate their way through high school and the various trials of student life.
Breakfast with My Two-Tailed Cat by Ai Shimizu
A recent widower is rescued from his day-to-day loneliness when the pet cat he and his wife shared suddenly turns into a nekomata, a supernatural cat yōkai. Now, the cat is human-sized, has two tails, and can talk! Together, the two lead a laid-back life, cooking meals in the countryside. Enjoy this sweet and gentle slice-of-life series about a man and a cat enjoying delicious food and each other’s company.
If you’re interested in more backlist manga recs to start off your 2024 reading, check out our previous new releases roundup from November. Plus, you can always take a gander through our full manga archives for all the manga content your heart could desire!