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Currently Seeking English-Language Manga Adhering To These Descriptors / Criteria: Grotesque, Macabre, Nightmarish, Taboo, Surreal, Depraved, Ultraviolent, Psychotic, Sexually Explicit, Hellish, Ironic, Insightful, Literate, Solipsistic...

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Showing 1-25 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 13, 2010 5:54:49 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2010 2:56:57 PM PST
Delirious says:
Anyone have any suggestions? Everything seems so very bland and flavorless of late. I have a considerable amount of original Japanese-Language works that go far beyond even the most delicious evil (spicy!), but I am currently seeking some English manga works to balance out my collection. Something, perhaps, in the flavor of Hino's "Panorama Of Hell", but with the added bonus of attractive central characters to boot! I would be deeply grateful for any valuable input / insight on this precarious point of inquiry....

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2010 10:08:21 AM PST
Delirious, a copy of my reply to Tokyopop thread:
"There are some very adult/erotic yaoi titles available, not just from Tokyopop (under BLU label), but a number of other yaoi publishers in the US. Not all yaoi is "shojo", there are some interesting cross-overs with other genres, such as josei, and also some yaoi has horror or guro elements (though I agree, the latter, if present, are very mild in the works published in the US).
If you'd like recommendations, I can give you a long list, but that's outside of this forum topic. You'd be very welcome in the Amazon forum dedicated entirely to yaoi manga/anime at:
(It's a very lengthy thread at this point, as it was started a while ago, so just click on "see the newest post" and add whatever question you have to the discussion).
There are a number of active participants there, so you can get recommendations re: specific sub-genres of yaoi from a number of people there."

Re: insightful and unusual manga, did you try ‘oku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1 (Ooku)? (not sexually explicit).
You probably didn't like Wild Adapter Volume 1 (v. 1), or did you? What about Vassalord Volume 1 (Vasalord)? I ask, as it'd help to see what manga you like based on specific examples, to be able to give you specific examples. Note however that I rarely read outside of the manga with BL elements.

Sexually explicit yaoi with dark or BDSM elements:
Midaresomenishi: A Tale of Samurai Love (no comment re: current price tag... the publisher is out of business, and that's just a robbery, but maybe you can find cheaper elsewhere). My favorite and by far most original "dark and violent yaoi" title out there, and this includes non-translated manga. This is probably most controversial title there, so if it's "soft" for you, no need to go down the list.

Sensitive Pornograph (Yaoi) - a collection of short stories, it might be too sweet to your taste, but one story, "Trophies Belong in the Bedroom", is dark/BDSM and explicit.
Because I'm A Boy! - again, a collection of short stories, and only 2 were interesting to me. Those were comedic/gag explicit BDSM. Original enough for the US market.
Weekend Lovers (Yaoi) - a collection of shorts again, one was quite interesting / dark in nature.
I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone (Yaoi) (Shameless) and Maybe I'm Your Steppin' Stone (Yaoi) series. Very explicit, though not "dark". Only a bonus story in the second volume is dark and explicit at the same time.
Black Sun (Yaoi) - historical setting (crusade / Holy Land). Has some explicit and BDSM scenes.
Finder Series 1: Target in the Finder (Yaoi)
Pleasure Dome - this has censored frontal nudity (by manga-ka herself, not the publisher), but short stories included are often considered controversial and dark by some US readers.
Rising Storm - again, no comment re: the price, and it's not worth it at a current price. It's light BDSM and explicit, but major story is light/comedic in nature, not sure that's what you like.
Brother - this is certainly very sexually explicit, though not really dark (except for the pseudo-incest element, that may be "taboo" to some people, but I don't think it really is).
Ze Volume 3 (Yaoi) - it's the third volume in series, but the clearest and most dark-sex-heavy (though no frontal nudity) out of this fantasy series.
Black-winged Love - not really explicit, collection of shorts, some original stories there.

Later this year, 801 Media plans to publish Under Grand Hotel title, much talked about controversial yaoi with prison settings:

The list of just sexually explicit yaoi (with no apparent "dark"/BDSM elements) would be much longer.
Hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2010 12:26:16 PM PST
Jen says:
Tanpenshu was the first thing that popped into my mind. Rather surreal and violent - perfect for a Hino fan. (BTW you do have all of the Hino Horror works, right? There are 14 volumes out there, also Lullabies from Hell and also a work called Hell Girl that is more Frankenstien in nature.) Another is MPD-Psycho, about you guessed it a multiple-personality disordered psychopath. If you haven't tried Hellsing that would be another good one - not so much depraved but violent as heck. Ikigami is the only other thing that is coming to mind right now. It is more nightmarish to think that such a thing could happen.

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 4:21:43 PM PST
Jack Frost says:
I can't believe no one's mentioned Berserk!

Berserk encompasses every single criteria you set in the opening line. I really don't know what else to tell you other than Berserk is the manga you're requesting whether or not you realize it. ;)

Also check out stuff by Junji Ito - especially Tomie and Uzumaki. Very creepy stories and really creepy artwork.

You might also want to look into Gantz which has many of the things you're looking for as well.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 6:15:29 PM PST
D. Bitgood says:
Don't forget RING, or RINGU and it's sequels. BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL is also very good and quite violent.


Posted on Jan 26, 2010 11:40:59 PM PST
The drifting classroom, Orochi:Blood, Berserk, and Hunter X Hunter is a shonen series but it can be gory and creepy at parts (one of the main characters is a child assassin with poison cat claws)

Posted on Sep 9, 2011 4:10:02 PM PDT
Haruji-san says:
Three words: WHEN. THEY. CRY.

Posted on Sep 10, 2011 4:52:43 AM PDT
Have you tried Dragonball Z?

Posted on Sep 10, 2011 9:56:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 10, 2011 10:11:17 PM PDT
Tessa says:
Shamo - the one I would recommend if it were in english.
But if you haven't already read these, I do recommend them.
Tenjho Tenge (Viz release)
Deadman Wonderland (will someone please pick this up and continue?)
Samurai Executioner
Highschool of the Dead
MPD Psycho
Anne Freaks

Posted on Sep 10, 2011 10:28:30 PM PDT
Tessa says:
Come to think of it there isnt a whole lot of manga in English that really fits the criteria...I would love to see manga like Shamo in English but all the really intense manga seem to be only in Japanese. Lots of fluffy stuff..and sometimes its good, but I too would love to see more manga along the lines of Shamo, Tenjho Tenge, Deadman Wonderland and Gantz.

Posted on Sep 11, 2011 4:53:21 PM PDT
I want to see homunculus come to the u.s. and I'd like more variety, not choices (the difference for instance could be thousands of different stories--choices--but all of them romance--variety) finished series, better advertising for the less well known (which again has to do with variety, for instance, I'm considering "reborn!" though it's not seinen and as an adult I think I would APPRECIATE it more though I might not be DRAWN to it like someone much younger. There's a lot of variety out there, but you have to wade through too much to find it, at least what I have found which, though heavy in genre and not in more "literate" ways, consider, "the best"). And once a series is complete keep printing every vol. for a little while longer.

Posted on Sep 11, 2011 7:42:08 PM PDT
Tessa says:
Homunculus would be awesome. There are so many titles I would love to see in English.

Posted on Sep 11, 2011 8:55:07 PM PDT
Yeah, it seems they have a lot of titles like homunculus over there. I can list all the ones I want more than likely with just the fingers on my hands. Not that there aren't others I WOULD read, but they're secondary to what I WANT to read. Stuff being published here that sounds good: pluto, 20th century boys, dororohedoro (sp?), reborn, eden, jormungand, naruto, kurosagi's corpse delivery service, blade of the immortal

Posted on Sep 12, 2011 5:25:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 12, 2011 5:37:44 AM PDT
Tessa says:
I have some vols of Eden:Its an Endless World but have yet to read it. I would like to see more of Yua Kotegawa's work too like Kimi no Knife, Short Song and Shikeisyu 042. Ever since I read Anne Freaks I've been looking for more titles, but there really arent any in english. I really liked a lot about Anne Freaks..even though it got bad reviews I saw something different, I liked the style of art too.

I would love to see 7 Seeds get an English release many titles I can think of I could fill several pages lol! Can't forget Death Sweeper, this one looks really good although I'm not always able to get it, I dont like downloading scans..dont trust them, bad for my computer.

Posted on Sep 12, 2011 11:36:40 AM PDT
Yeah? I was interested in the legal side of scanlations and didn't find anything interesting as far as that goes, but it brought me to a website that talked about homunculus and a few others that looked great. I've been tempted by scanalation sites but have yet to use one. Being older than most manga fans means I've seen and read more than others and am looking everywhere (including manga for younger people) for original and more complex stuff. I grew up reading american comics and watching anime, but the manga that could compete with american comics (within the comic industry) doesn't seem to get published too often. Oh...

P.S. anne freaks looks great

Posted on Nov 3, 2011 10:10:59 AM PDT
Tessa says:
joy joy joy...not in time for the holidays but better late than never!

Flowers of Evil, Volume 1

Posted on Jan 6, 2012 5:29:45 AM PST
Nick says:
seconding dragonball z

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 3:16:49 AM PST
Meena S says:
Can I recommend Big Deal vol 1 Lust for vengeance by katsura and Yuramei. It has fabulous characters and a really good plot !

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 12:03:34 PM PST
Meena S says:
Here is the link .Big Deal Vol. 1: Lust for Vengeance. Suitable for adults only.

Posted on Jan 9, 2012 12:21:00 PM PST
J. Fox says:
i know one that fits the description but it is not in English yet, Franken Fran, you can read online but not buy yet, extremely gruesome and disgusting.

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 3:35:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012 4:06:58 AM PST
Dusty says:
No one has mentioned Lychee Light Club by Usamaru Furuya. I first heard of it from a review on Anime News Network. I haven't read it myself yet, but I flipped through it at my local library. MUCH darker than I was in the mood to read at the time, but its on my list of titles to read if ever the mood strikes. Keywords (from editorial reviews, in no particular order): gory, perverse, thought-provoking, shocking, revolting, ironic, depraved, sexual, violent, surreal, cerebral, wry, artistic.

Here's the summary, copied from ANN:
"For as long as history can recall, teens have always wanted to rebel against society's norms. The nine young members of The Lychee Light Club have ambitions to change their world by building a god-like machine that will realize their wildest fantasies. The android Lychee was initially developed for one purpose: to seize women for their secret empire.

"Through its interactions with the many members within this most curious of clubs, the machine eventually becomes self-aware and is soon equally capable of measuring beauty and executing justice."

Lots of helpful editor and customer reviews on the Amazon product page.

Also, I second the rec for Higurashi When They Cry: Abducted by Demons Arc, Vol. 1 (wish I had learned about it in time to buy the DVD set); the first arcs are total bloody mind-f***s, but no sex. The tone isn't depressingly dark, each arc starts off light before it veers into "holy crap, where did my mind go?" territory. Highly recommended.

Tentative yes for Berserk, Vol. 1 (violence, rape) and Gantz Volume 1 (v. 1) (violence, but no sex?), haven't read/watched very much but I hear good things.

I only watched the OVA for the Sensitive Pornograph (Yaoi) short "Trophies Belong in the Bedroom," so unless the OVA was toned way the hell down, it doesn't seem that dark. Only some semi-nonconsensual sex (the "victim" instigated it to meet the expectations of a violent boyfriend) and off-screen domestic violence. But yes, very sexually explicit, no censoring (not sure about the manga). Only recommended if you like yaoi, which isn't everyone's cup of soy-latte.

I don't think Highschool of the Dead Color Omnibus (HotD) is that dark. I've read the series and watched the anime. Yes, dark as far as zombie-gore action goes and the other post-zompocalypse themes (survival, mercy killing after zombie bite, etc), but the overall tone of HotD isn't super dark, especially in terms of psychological trauma. Only one-shot characters really delve into that, and of course are punished for it. The main group gets over things pretty quick. Lots of sexual content, but only along the lines of fan service-y stuff, no dark sexual themes (one scene started in that direction but didn't go very far, won't go into details so as to avoid Spoilerville). Not particularly ambitious, as far as plot and story-telling is concerned. I like the characters and the humor, and I'm very wimpy when it comes to zombie material. I would recommend HotD more for its humor (sexual and otherwise) than its "darkness".

Also watched all and read some Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 1. Very bloody, treads much darker psychological waters than HotD. Also has some decent squick going on; I'd be specific but it borders on spoiler territory. The shock of learning said squick at the same time as the protagonist is why my stomach got all knotty. All of the characters are pretty damn twisted too, even the lightest character (Shiro) has some fairly gnarled skeletons in her closet. No sexual content, as far as I remember. Earlier recommendation seconded.

Someone mentioned ‘oku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1 as well. Currently reading the series (just started Vol 3). I like it but I don't find it all that dark. The themes and tone are mature, yes, but it's not sexually explicit and has limited violence. Teenagers would be okay with the content, but I'm not sure how many of them would find it compelling. Very good characters and story-telling. Treats the audience with intelligence. Not afraid to go off on new story-telling threads (new characters, different timeframes), but does it for good reason and doesn't ping-pong annoyingly between threads (yeah, I'm looking at you Bleach!). And the Shakespearean dialogue is a fun twist. But again, not that dark. Still highly recommended.

Sorry I'm so wordy. But I hope it's helpful.

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 6:52:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2012 6:54:39 PM PDT
CMayhem says:
Claymore, Vol. 1
Eden: It's An Endless World!, Vol. 1 (v. 1)
Battle Royale Ultimate Edition Volume 1 (v. 1)

These manga certainly will make you feel like; "What's the point of living in this world?"

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2012 3:17:12 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 25, 2012 3:18:14 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2012 3:35:49 PM PDT
Gantz is full of sex and violence and very addicting.I wouldn't consider it dark and creepy but it's definitely worth reading.It's my favorite manga so far.No Longer Human is 3 part manga based on a novel and it's pretty interesting.Short but still good.

Posted on May 19, 2012 9:27:35 AM PDT
Ultra-Gash Inferno by Suehiro Maruo fulfills all your criteria, and surprisingly, it's still in print.. In addition, Maruo's art is excellent. Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show by the same author isn't quite as extreme, but is still pretty far out. Unfortunately, it's out of print, and used copies are expensive
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Discussion in:  Manga forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  25
Initial post:  Jan 13, 2010
Latest post:  May 19, 2012

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