All three Pick Hits are from Viz this month, but they couldn’t be more different: Junji Ito ladles on the uncanny horror in his usual fashion, two teens escape insomnia together, and an overly strong hero gets caught up in a battle between factions of a shape-shifting yakuza family. Each of these stories appeals to a different group of readers—horror, romance, action—and two of the three have anime scheduled in the near future to bolster their popularity, while the third is by the creator of another Viz best-seller.

Tombs: Junji Ito Story Collection
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 29, 2023
Price: $22.99
Creator: Junji Ito
Format: 344 pgs., Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-9747-3604-1
Age Rating: Mature

What It’s About: A collection of short stories by horror master Junji Ito, who has a knack for depicting bizarre intrusions into everyday life: A girl’s tongue turns into a slug, a man is tormented by someone calling from the sole window of the house next door to him, and siblings have a car accident in a graveyard filled with eerie tombstones.

Why It’s a Pick Hit: For years, there was always an Ito title in the top 20. While his popularity has fallen off a bit, it’s likely to pick up again when the new anime Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre premieres on Netflix on January 19.

Insomniacs After School, Vol. 1
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 22, 2023
Price: $12.99
Creator: Makoto Ojiro
Format: 192 pgs., Trade Paperback
Age Rating: Teen

What It’s About: A boy with a sleeping disorder hides out in his school’s defunct observatory to catch a quick nap and discovers a girl with the same problem got there first. They also learn that they sleep better in each other’s company, sothey turn the old astronomy lab into their secret hideout.

Why It’s a Pick Hit: This series is popular enough that 11 volumes have been published in Japan so far, and both an anime and a live-action adaptation are scheduled for later this year.

Ayashimon, Vol. 1
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 8, 2023
Price: $9.99
Creator: Yuji Kaku
Format: 192 pgs., Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-9747-3667-6
Age Rating: Teen+

What It’s About: Yakuza and yokai: Maruo, a young man who dreams of being a manga hero someday,helps the daughter of a recently deceased yakuza boss out of a tight spot and finds himself in the middle of a mob war, one where the warring sides are not just gangsters, they are ayashimon, a type of shape-shifting yokai.

Why It’s a Pick Hit: That plot description hits a lot of manga tropes, mixing yakuza and yokai and a guy who sounds a lot like the protagonist of One Punch Man.What’s more, it’s a Shonen Jump title, and it’s by the creator of Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku.