October is the season for horror and creepy things! These horror manga will help usher in the season with their macabre, murderous, and twisted tales. For convenience, all of these manga are completed series and fair warning – there’s a lot of blood.
Mangaka: Masaya Hokazono
Quick Pitch: On a busy afternoon on the streets of Shinjuku, a businessman collapses and sprays guts and blood onto terrified onlookers as he writhes into a painful death. His body is rushed to a hospital for an autopsy and it’s discovered that he died from a deadly, infectious disease. Part escalating societal survival, part murder mystery – This series can break even the strongest of stomachs with medical horrors that are impossible to fight.
2. Dragon Head
Mangaka: Minetaro Mochizuki
Quick Pitch: Teru manages to survive a violent train wreck, but the rest of his classmates didn’t. After escaping the car, he manages to find two other survivors: Ako (an unconscious girl) and Nobuo (a boy slowly drifting into insanity). Both ends of the train tunnel are blocked and the temperature is steadily rising. However, the lack of food and water will lead them down a demented road that tests the limits of their humanity.
3. The Drifting Classroom (Hyouryuu Kyoushitsu)
Mangaka: Kazuo Umezu
Quick Pitch: Shou is a troublemaker in the sixth grade, but he’s about to mature fast. After arriving at a school, an earthquake teleports the campus to a wasteland. Faced with dangerous threats and internal conflict, Shou and his classmates must adapt to their new reality or die trying. This iconic manga from Kazuo Umezu depicts one of the most earnest, soul-crushing fights for survival and is a must-read for fans of the horror genre.
Mangaka: Tetsuya Tsutsui
Quick Pitch: Detectives Ken Mizoguchi and Nao Inoue are investigating a string of murders when they stumble upon a deadly biological agent. A lead has them pursuing a mysterious photographer, but deadly infections are spreading around the city. Fear of the unknown and the broken is explored as the mystery unravels with stomach-churning twists.
Mangaka: Masasumi Kakizaki
Quick Pitch: A young couple takes a trip to an idyllic vacation island in hopes of overcoming the death of their only son. However, Seichi plans to kill his wife deep in the forest. When his wife manages to escape, Seichi follows her into a dark cave and finds himself hunted by a creature that feeds on human flesh. This short read is plagued with extreme artistic detail that might stick in your mind for days.
6. Doreiku – Boku to 23-nin no Dorei
Mangaka: Shinichi Okada (writer) / Hiroto Ooishi (artist)
Quick Pitch: A new device called the SCM is developed and is distributed around town between friends and strangers. The SCM is activated when two people playing it begin playing a game and the winner of the game can ask the loser to do anything. The mysterious device is stronger than it seems and very quickly people who thought they were only playing are swallowed inside the absolute orders of the winner. This psychological trip will horrify anyone who has fears of being trapped in their own body. It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers but it’s the people closest to you that are in control.
7. Umineko no Naku Koro ni
Mangaka: Ryukishio07 (writer) / various artists
Quick Pitch: In 1986, the rich Ushiromiya family gather at Rokkenjima Island to discuss the patriarch’s inheritance. Battler is seeing his family for the first time in six years and is eager to see his cousin. During a heated argument about the inheritance, the family finds themselves stuck at the estate due to a typhoon.
However, they read a worrisome letter from the Golden Witch, Beatrice. She claims to have been the patriarch’s alchemy councilor and that they were all deemed unworthy of his inheritance. They have until October 6th to solve the riddle of the epitaph on Beatrice’s portrait, or she will become the sole inheritor of the family’s fortune.
8. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
Mangaka: Ryukishio07 (Writer) / various artists
Quick Pitch: Keiichi Maebara moves to the quiet village of Hinamizawa during the summer of 1983. He quickly becomes friends with schoolmates since all of the grades share a single classroom. While Keiichi’s life seems idyllic and laid back, there is a darkness lurking.
Keiichi discovers that the village has a history of murders and disappearances that occur in connection with an annual festival. When he tries to ask his friends about the events, he is met with silence. Bizarre and threatening events start to happen, which casts mistrust within Keiichi’s heart.
9. Alice in Borderland (Imawa no Kuni no Alice)
Mangaka: Haro Aso
Quick Pitch: Arisu, Karube, and Segawa are high school delinquents trying to avoid boredom. During a firework display, Arisu wishes to live in an exciting new world, and it comes true. The three are transported to a post-apocalyptic parallel world and are forced to play a deadly survival game that is a harrowing adventure that breaks them at every level. The manga is a revelation for anyone who is bored with life as the central questions of the heroes hit right at the heart of what it means to be alive.
Mangaka: Hideo Yamamoto
Quick Pitch: Trepanation is the procedure of drilling a hole in the skull as a way to improve blood circulation and to improve skull pressure. It’s also said to bring out a person’s sixth sense. Susumu Nakoshi is a homeless man and agrees to let a medical student perform the procedure in exchange for 700,000 yen. Fans call this manga a deep masterpiece that tears away everything you think you know about humanity and what makes you happy.
Mangaka: Hiroya Oku
Quick Pitch: The twisted world of Gantz takes place in a universe where life doesn’t end with death. Some people take part in a futile death game, which leads to very grisly moments while examining the frail human psyche.
The story follows Kei Kurono, a young man who finds himself participating in this death game. His skills, morals, obedience, and will to survive will be tested.
Mangaka: Junji Ito
Quick Pitch: Kurozuchou is cursed coastal town. According to Shuichi Saito, the town is haunted by the spiral. The hypnotic shape manifests in different ways and spreads unescapable madness. This iconic work is a special treat that will twist your mind just right. Definitely, save this one for an especially spooky night.
13. I am a Hero
Mangaka: Kengo Hanazawa
Quick pitch: 35-year-old Hideo Suzuki works as a manga assistant after his own series fails to meet sales goals. His mundane life is filled with frustration due to unfulfilled goals, failed relationships, and hallucinations. However, Hideo’s life changes after learning about a disease that turns people into homicidal maniacs. Guts, gore, and realistic struggles take this manga from ordinary to a best-seller that will take at least a full week to fully digest the 200+ chapters
14. As the God’s Will (Kami-sama no Iu Toori)
Mangaka: Muneyuki Kaneshiro (Writer) / Akeji Fujimura (Artist)
Quick Pitch: Shun Takahata usually has boring days at school, but everything changes at his teacher’s head explodes. Now, he and his classmates are forced to play children’s games, but with deadly consequences for losing. This manga exemplifies the school survival trope and it takes deep inspiration from Japanese children’s games for extra creep factor.
15. Franken Fran
Mangaka: Katsuhisa Kigitsu
Quick Pitch: Fran was created by Dr. Naomitsu Madaraki and has taken over the lab while he is away. Fran must take care the various work that crosses her path, which includes resurrecting the dead or performing “cosmetic” surgery. This body-gore manga will mess with your mind by sometimes being light-hearted and sometimes happily mutilating people.
16. Bio-Meat: Nectar
Mangaka: Yuki Fujisawa
Quick Pitch: In the near future, the world faces food shortages and overflowing landfills. Scientists in Japan use genetic engineering to create Bio-Meat, which are creatures that will eat anything and serves as a new food source. The creatures solve both of the world’s problems, but disaster strikes after an earthquake unleash Bio-Meat onto Tokyo. Monsters, meat, and old-school action collide in a manga that is not for the squeamish.