December brings a bounty of new manga, including some new volumes in best-selling series. Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun 00 presents the original three stories that were later developed into the best-selling Yen Press manga series. Viz has new volumes of Chainsaw Man (Vol. 8), Jujutsu Kaisen (Vol. 13), and Komi Can’t Communicate (Vol. 16). And here’s a deep cut: Vol. 15 of Real, the wheelchair basketball manga by Vagabond creator Takehiko Inoue. It’s been over five years since the last volume came out, so this is a rare treat for Inoue fans. For fans of cute cat manga, Kodansha has Vol. 4 of Sue & Tai Chan by Konami Konata (Chi’s Sweet Home), which is in full color and reads left to right, and Yen Press debuts a new series, Cat Massage Therapy, which is also in full color (see “Cats Are Multiplying!”). 

Publisher: Viz
Release Date: December 22
Price: $22.99
Creator: Junji Ito
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1974719860
Age Rating: Teen Plus

What It’s About: Horror seeps into everyday life in these 12 short stories featuring two girls who look alike but are not twins, a nightmare becomes reality, and, in the title story, a family shelters a deserter from World War II, but they maintain the illusion that the war is still going on.

Why It’s a Pick Hit: Junji Ito is a can’t-miss manga-ka; when we looked at which manga performed best for retailers, Ito’s books came in first (see “Most Efficient Manga Series for Retailer Shelves”). Plus his books are self-contained, so while this 392-page hardcover offers a lot of story, it’s not the same level of commitment as a series.

Kaiju No. 8
Publisher: Viz
Release Date: December 8
Price: $9.99
Creator: Naoyo Matsumoto
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1974725984
Age Rating: Teen (13+)

What It’s About: Kafka Hibino has the unglamorous job of cleaning up the corpses after kaiju attacks, but he yearns to join the Japan Defense Force and actually fight the giant monsters. When he finally gets his shot at battling kaiju, something weird happens and he becomes one himself!

Why It’s a Pick Hit: This is a Shonen Jump title that has been available digitally in their app, so presumably Viz knows it has an audience. Otherwise they wouldn’t be bringing it to print. The Shonen Jump folks have a winning formula, but with its the-hero-is-the-monster twist, it’s a natural for fans of Attack on Titan, as well as anyone who simply likes giant reptiles.

Kamen Rider Classic Manga Collection
Publisher: Seven Seas
Release Date: December 15
Price: $32.99
Creator: Shotaro Ishinomori
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1645059424
Age Rating: 10+

What It’s About: A masked vigilante on a motorcycle fights the shadowy terrorist organization that kidnapped him and subjected him to scientific experiments that left him with superpowers. 

Why It’s a Pick Hit: Kamen Rider spun off a series of live-action tokosatsu shows that are hugely popular in Japan, and Toei is celebrating its 50th anniversary by running the original shows on its YouTube channel (see “Seven Seas Licenses ‘Kamen Rider’ Manga”). This 832-page tome contains the entire original manga series. Ishinomori is a legendary creator whose work is only now beginning to come out in English; Seven Seas also published his Super Sentai Gorenger manga (see “Seven Seas Licenses Shotaro Ishinomori’s ‘Super Sentai’ Manga, Others”).