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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Reading Cancelled Manga: Lost Potential or Not? | Part I

Updated: Nov 4, 2022



Today I have for you a personal reading challenge I have been working on for a bit now - reading cancelled manga. I wanted to work my way through a ton of manga that were cancelled for one reason or another to see whether or not they had potential or are still worth the read.


Now, it is fairly common for manga to get cancelled, especially in Shonen Jump's case because they seem to cancel at least one per month. In that case, it is usually to make room for other series that might sell better. Other instances could be due to the author sadly passing away or because the author was caught up in a scandal. Nonetheless, in many cases, it is a shame because a lot of those series had a good fan response.


For this challenge, I had compiled a massive list of mangas to read, one that is growing bigger because more keep getting cancelled as I make my way through it. Due to the size of the list though, I am going to separate this into several parts to make it more manageable.


In Part I, I read a total of 7 titles. Well, technically, I read 9. I ended up DNFing Highschool of the Dead because of the sheer number of pantie shots there were in the first chapter alone. I also read The Wolf Won't Sleep but, as it turns out, that series isn't actually cancelled and therefore doesn't count. (The story also wasn't anything special since there are way better isekai or dungeon series out there).


Without further ado, here are all the manga that I read for Part I of my new series on reading cancelled manga and whether or not they were worth it.



 

 

BLACK TORCH

 

A series that was later serialized on Shōnen Jump+, this is actually my second time reading this. Written and illustrated by Tsuyoshi Takaki, I rather enjoyed this the first time around that I read it. The second time around though, I enjoyed it slightly less, but it was still an overall enjoyable read.


So, what made this series worth it? For one, the story does end up completing its arc thus making it feels like it had some semblance of a proper ending. For two, Jiro can communicate with animals and ends up fusing with a cat Mononoke. Let me say that again, one of the main characters is an overpowered cat. That alone is enough to convince me of like this.


On the downside though, this falls short of series of the same likeness like Jujutsu Kaisen. There is also the portrayal of the female characters in this with Ichika, who ended up becoming a bit of a mean girl who was used for fanservice.


If you want to know more about my thoughts on this series, you can find my full review of this here.


Final Verdict: Worth It


 

PHANTOM SEER

 

The second manga on this list is Phantom Seer, a series written by Togo Goto and illustrated by Kento Matsuura. Also serialized on Weekly Shōnen Jump, this ran for a little less than a year before being cancelled with a total of 30 chapters collected into 4 tankōbon volumes.


The reception of this series was actually quite good, with the first volume having to be reprinted due to being sold out, and Shōnen getting backlash for its sudden cancellation. As it stands where the story stopped, for me I thought it was an okay story. It wasn't the greatest, but it also had a lot of potential. Had it gone on just a bit further than where the story it would have started to pick up more and the story and world would have been explored more.


We follow Iori, a Shaman who exorcises phantoms, and Riku who unintentionally draws phantoms to her and gets tangled in the Shaman world. It was a bit formulaic at first, and I wasn't too keen on Iori and Riku as characters, but there was a grander story revolving around Iori's backstory that could have been very interesting to read about.


If you want to know more about my thoughts on this series, you can find my full review of this here.


Final Verdict: Worth It



 

MARY GRAVE

 

Written and illustrated by Hidenori Yamaji, this was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 2017-2019. It culminated with 52 chapters collected into 5 tankōbon volumes. I really, really enjoyed this series. The story was interesting, the magic system was developed enough, and the characters were fleshed out and really easy to connect with.


To sum things up quickly, we follow Riseman Sawyer who, after a tragedy, journeys to collect the ingredients he needs for the Deadman's Recipe, a recipe that will bring the person he loved and lost. A premise like this, especially one that is well-executed, ends up giving you a good punch to the gut. That is because I found myself really caring about the characters, and seeing what they have gone through makes you hope for the best for them.


What is also good about this series, despite its cancellation, was that the author at the end did a quick compilation panel of everything that was to happen in the future and how the story ended. So, while we didn't actually see that come to fruition, it is something that is really appreciated because we still get to see the story wrap up in some form and were not just left hanging.


If you want to know more about my thoughts on this series, you can find my full review of this series here.


Final Verdict: So Worth It



 

I TELL C

 

Serialized on Weekly Shōnen Jump for only a couple of months, this series ran for 21 chapters which were collected into 3 tankōbon volumes. Written and illustrated by Kazusa Inaoka, this is the one series on this list that gets a very firm no from me. I am sure it had its fans, but I didn't like this series...at all.


This was overly dramatic, filled with cliches, and was just straight-up weird at times. We follow a detective who is newly partnered with Aioi, a girl who falls in love with the criminals she is investigating. That is because she was kidnapped when she was younger, and in what was I assume her desperate method of survival, she fell in love with her abductor. I don't know about you, but stockholm syndrome does not make for a good story to me, especially when the person with it is a detective.


This just had a really weird premise which was made worse with all the really cliche dramatics that made me roll my eyes.


If you want to know more about my thoughts on this series, you can find my full review of this series here.


Final Verdict: Not Worth It



 

BARRAGE

 

Written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi, this series was serialized on Weekly Shōnen Jump for a few months in 2012. It concluded with 16 chapters collected into 2 tankōbon volumes. If the name Kōhei Horikoshi rings a bell, that is because he is the man behind the absolute beast that is My Hero Academia. Yes, this indeed was the series created before MHA, it was just one that didn't last nearly as long.


This series I found to be very underwhelming. Unlike MHA, this has a sci-fi setting and is set in a world with multiple planets and alien life. You can still tell the influences in this as some of the characters did look like characters from MHA. Overall though, again, the story just wasn't interesting enough to me.


We follow Astro, a young boy who ends up being the double for Prince Barrage, who looks remarkably like him, after he is killed in front of him. I just didn't think the plot or the characters were good or interesting enough to hold my interest, but this also wasn't terrible at the same time, just 'meh'.


If you want to know more about my thoughts on this series, you can find my full review of this series here.


Final Verdict: Middleing



 

ZOMBIEPOWDER.

 

Written and illustrated by Tite Kubo, this series was serialized on Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1999-2000. The series concluded with 26 chapters collected into 4 tankōbon volumes. Tite Kubo, another familiar name, is the author also behind Bleach, which is currently having its resurgence with the anime adaptation of the Thousand Year Blood War. Bleach though, well, I would take that any day over this series.


With a huge departure from his grand slam, this series has a sci-fi western setting and follows a pre-teen boy who gets tangled with wanted criminals in search of the infamous Rings of the Dead. Gamma, the other main character, is in search of the legendary item that, once 12 are collected, grants the user either the ability to become immortal or to resurrect the dead.


Looking at that premise alone, it does sound rather interesting, but there is one issue that immediately presents itself: the pre-teen boy. Elwood is an entirely unlikable character solely because he acts his age. Now you may be thinking, 'well isn't that good characterization if he does that', and yeah sure, but it doesn't make him any less insufferable to follow. I honestly don't understand how he survived because he was naive and just stood in the background while others were fighting.


If you want to know more about my thoughts on this series, you can find my full review of the series here.


Final Verdict: Not Worth It



 

HUNGRY JOKER

 

We have yet another familiar name on this list with Hungry Joker, as this series was written and illustrated by Yūki Tabata, the author behind Black Clover. This concluded with 24 chapters collected into 3 tankōbon volumes.


Now, I love Black Clover and think that it is still underrated despite it being a hugely popular series. This series though, well, is certainly not Tabata at his best. We largely follow Haiji, a scientist, and his assistant Toriiooji, who is researching a mysterious Black Apple while also trying to unravel a past he has forgotten.


There is a very prominent influence of science and history in this series, with the magic system being built around scientific objects such as Netwon's Apple. Interesting in theory, but it doesn't make for a very intriguing magic system in practice. On the whole, the story wasn't all that interesting, and we don't end up getting much from it anyway because of where it stopped.


If you want to know more about my thoughts on this series, you can find my full review of the series here.


Final Verdict: Not Worth It





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