Best Manga About Tragedy | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Best Manga About Tragedy

Although many people cherish watching anime, they often forget that most anime serve as adaptations of the original source material. While there are some instances where the anime is better than the manga, those instances are few and far between.

With the amount of manga released on a daily basis, it could be hard to cut through all those books to find the “Best of” for any chosen topic.

Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable manga through the years. For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best manga, our attention this time turns to those strongly focusing on tragedy. From complex sports series to captivating gothic worlds, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll add them!

Dear Friends: Rina and Maki – Yoshi

Dear Friends: Rina and Maki is a tale of friendship and betrayal. It revolves around a high schooler named Rina, who doesn’t have the best opinion on friendship after she gets caught having intercourse with her buddy’s boyfriend. However, when her friend Maki arrives at her hospital bed, she’ll discover what it means to be someone’s closest companion. 

This manga is known for having an emotional effect on readers. Rina doesn’t have the best parents nor the most favorable personality. However, Maki will guide her down a brighter path that’ll surely appeal to readers who’ve suffered similar ounces of doubt. Moreover, the artwork in this tale captures its characters’ emotions and expressions well.

If you’re looking for a tragic tale that’ll leave you weeping by the end of it all, we’d like you to check this one out. 

Deep Love: Pao no Monogatari – Yoshi

If you thought Yoshi’s storytelling with Dear Friends: Rina and Maki was captivating, Deep Love: Pao no Monogatari will give you a similar emotional tale to indulge in. This story explores the harrowing story of Pao, a mistreated canine, and the people who stumble upon him. Deep Love is known for delving into the dark aspects of society, highlighting abuse and the power of compassion. 

Yoshi doesn’t shy away from showcasing the harsh realities of abuse and despair. They show the depths to which individuals can sink when faced with their own personal demons. Through Pao’s journey, readers witness the effects of cruelty and neglect on animals and humans.

If you’re searching for a tale that emphasizes pain, helplessness, and despair, check this out.

God Child – Kaori Yuki

Life (Raifu) – Keiko Suenobu

Solanin – Inio Asano

Inio Asano is known for creating gripping narratives that tackle aspects found in the real world. Most of his works often leave viewers in awe or in tears, like his popular work, Goodnight Punpun. Another work of his that deserves your attention is Solanin. This story explores the complexities of young adulthood, the pursuit of dreams, and the inevitable struggle with heartbreak. 

The story follows Meiko, a college graduate who finds herself disillusioned with the realities of adult life. As she navigates the pressures of society, the manga explores themes of identity, purpose, and sacrifices required to chase one’s passions. By exploring these topics from a realistic lens, Asano helps readers form a genuine connection with Meiko and her journey toward personal growth.

If you’re after another emotional work from one of Japan’s finest manga authors, check this out. 

5 Centimeters Per Second – Makoto Shinkai

5 Centimeters Per Second is an excellent anime with a deep exploration and phenomenal take on long-distance relationships. Eventually, like Makoto Shinkai’s other works, it received an equally enjoyable manga adaptation. As with its film counterpart, the manga explores the impact of time, distance, and missed opportunities. 

Through its beautiful artwork, evocative storytelling, and relatable cast, it portrays tragedy in a way that lingers long after readers finish reading the final page. One aspect that shines forth in 5 Centimeters Per Second is how it captures the bittersweet nature of human connections.

The story follows Takaki and Akari, two childhood companions who are separated due to situations beyond their control. As they attempt to navigate their lives apart, the manga explores themes such as longing, unrequited love, and the passage of time. You’ll find yourself growing attached to their characters and will root for them to be happy together like they were in the past.

If you seek a tale that’s brimming with enough emotional intrigue to keep you pondering, check this out. 

Orange – Ichigo Takano

Orange is a captivating romance narrative with a sci-fi twist. In it, we follow Naho, a girl who receives a letter from her future self. Future Naho warns the Naho of the modern age about a tragic fate that’ll befall a classmate. With this newfound futuristic knowledge, Naho attempts to rewrite history to benefit herself and those around her. She’ll learn that meddling with time has its downsides.

Orange excels at capturing its cast’s emotional suffering and internal conflicts. Naho will internally struggle to change her classmate’s fate and this issue wonderfully reflects the universal fear of not being able to change destiny. Through her dilemma, Ichigo Takano wonderfully tackles ideas like grief, guilt, and the ripple effects one’s actions can have on oneself and others. 

Bokurano – Mohiro Kitoh 

Mohiro Kitoh’s Bokurano is known for being a thought-provoking tale with great depth. The story follows a group of children who are chosen to pilot a gainst robot inside a virtual world. As the manga unfolds, Bokurano subverts the traditional mecha genre and reveals a darker, more tragic tale that explores the human cost of sacrifice and the inevitability of tragedy. 

Many readers will love how Bokurano doesn’t shy away from depicting the psychological toll the children’s situation has on them. Each child is given a favorable backstory, dream, and fear that adds layers of depth to them. Through them, the manga explores concepts like morality, responsibility, and death.

With its captivating artwork adding more atmospheric fuel to the fire, Bokurano is a must-read for anyone searching for a tragic tale.  

Eden: It’s an Endless World – Hiroki Endo

Eden: It’s an Endless World is a fabulous manga that takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting. It follows a diverse cast as they navigate a world devastated by a deadly pandemic. This is a tale that stands out because of its deep character development, intricate narrative, and unflinching analysis of the consequences of human actions. 

The manga is known for having a complex, multi-layered plot. It weaves together different story beats and perspectives, presenting readers a tale with fabulously interconnected stories that gradually converge. You’ll admire Hiroki Endo’s deep dives into topics concerning loss, violence, and fragility.

Coupled with its morally ambiguous world and fleshed-out characters, this post-apocalyptic tale will leave you speechless.  

The Climber – Shinichi Sakamoto

If you need more realism in your storytelling, look no further than Shinichi Sakamoto’s The Climber. Despite being a work that focuses on rock climbing, Sakamoto manages to explore tragic themes through his protagonist’s eyes. The story follows Mori Buntarou, a young man with a tragic background who seeks redemption and solace through extreme sports. 

The Climber excels at building suspense through its depiction of the dangerous aspects of rock climbing. As Mori faces countless challenges, physically and emotionally. The manga effectively portrays the consequences of these events, by exploring resilience, mortality, and the determined human spirit. 

The Climber contains rich character development and beautiful illustrations that elevate these points heavily throughout Sakamoto’s work. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking sports series to read with captivating illustrations and wonderful characters, consider adding The Climber to your reading backlog. 

So, there we have it, our picks for the best manga about tragedy through the years!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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