Two answers again! Because I can’t choose! Two mangas whose official translation had started in my country, and stopped, because they weren’t selling enough, while they were incredibly good.
Hyakki Yakoushou / Le cortège des 100 démons (Ima Ichiko)
It’s so underrated that I can’t even find complete scantrads. All the fics on ao3 are by me.
Ritsu, the main character, can see youkai. Could see them since he was a kid. His grandfather could too, was known as a famous horror writer, and feeling his death was close he contracted a powerful youkai, Aoarashi, to protect his grandkid. Aoarashi has to protect him, no to obey him, as he insists regularly (it involves lying to him to “protect” him, if needed)
The main family is Ritsu, his grandmother and mother who can’t see youkai (or can they?) but are financially and emotionally the family pillars, Aoarashi who’s living in the body of his dead (presumed amnesiac) father, and his cousin who can see youkai but is in deep denial about it.
The individual chapter are so, so good ghost stories. Atmospheric, well plotted, emotionally deep, all the youkai and other spirits have an inhuman strangeness. Just a bit of horror, never any gore. Give it a chance!
7 Seeds (Tamura Yumi)
(Sorry team Autumn, I couldn’t find a good pic for you)
This one is a bit less underrated: full scantrads, a Netflix show (not very good, by what I have heard. Seriously, 15 volumes in 13 episodes, cutting all the evolutionary biology/geography/literature nerdiness and part of the character introspection and backstory to keep only the plot? If anything, it’s more underrated since there’s an anime)
It’s post-apocalyptic. An asteroid was going to hit the earth. The Japanese administration knew and created a program to keep a limited number of young people in deep hibernation. When they automatically wake up, the atmosphere and climate are habitable. But they’re habitable for a lot of dangerous creatures too. With all the ecological niches empty after a mass extinction event, evolution worked fast.
It’s not my type of story (I read very little post-apo). I almost abandoned it at the beginning because too many giant insects for me (this is a warning, though they aren’t in all the manga, ecosystems are deeply different from each other in all of the Japan islands). But the characters are so good, their evolution is too, also the complicated character dynamics. The plot is gripping and impressively well done (mixing survival adventure with learning more about each other and how the selection happened in the first place), the emotions are deep (it’s a shoujo, a good one). I also really love the science. When often in science-fiction I must just forget about it to enjoy the story.
The themes are interesting too, about what gives you the desire to keep living, what you can forgive and what you can’t. I recommend it to every one (except if you really don’t want giant insects. These things are creepy)
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