Note: Spoilers in certain sections of this list.
Reading manga can be a wonderful experience. For people like me, it often brings us closer than anime to the stories and characters on display in any given series, with the only limitation being your own reading speed. There’s also that feeling of following a manga at your own pace that you won’t necessarily get with anime, especially when you’re first reading a series to catch up. When you can read through something as fast as you’re able, there’s a sense of control in how much you take in versus watching in 20 to 30 minutes chunks.
But of course, we must take the bad with the good. Hiatuses, dragging story arcs, and series that never seem to end do crop up from time to time, so today I’ll focus on those. Just to clarify, being on this list doesn’t necessarily mean the series has been poor recently (not always, anyway). In some cases, we just want to make sure it finishes at all, perhaps because of multiple hiatuses or the fact that no real end is in sight. Without further ado, here are six manga series that should be put to bed:
1. D.N. Angel
Image © Kadokawa Shoten
Fun fact, the anime adaptation of D.N. Angel is one of the first series I ever watched. Immediately afterward, I hunted down the manga series and burned through it as fast as I could. Looking back, I suppose it wasn’t the most amazing series in the world, but at the time, it blew my mind. Even if I’ve come across some more unique work since then, I still have fond memories of Daisuke and his budding romance, and the series is a lot of fun to reread.
Fun to reread part of it, that is.
The other hilarious (no, not really) thing about D.N. Angel is that it’s been on hiatus since 2011. Actually, that’s when the second hiatus started. Anyway, thanks to this, we have a series that’s been ongoing since 1997 with only 15 volumes to its name. So please,Sugisaki, get your act together and finish it up!
2. D. Gray-man
Image © Shueisha
If there’s something you should take away from this list, it’s that hiatuses are one of the single most irritating aspects of reading manga you’ll ever come across (along with it dragging too long). D. Gray-man is another such victim, but in this case it may be beyondHoshino Katsura’s control. This brings me to another struggle we manga lovers face (apparently I need to revisit this): The author’s own health! When an author simply can’t continue to write for a time, all we can do is cross our fingers and wish them the best. Get well soon!
3. Black Lagoon
Image © Shogakukan
Yet another series that suffered from a large gap in releases, Black Lagoon originally started in 2002, and to date 87 chapters have been published.
Black Lagoon is a fantastic series, and I can’t recommend it enough to people who like a well-written action story. Unfortunately, it was on hiatus for so long that I’ve forgotten most of it. But I remember it being good. Really good. I just hate to think of it ending five or ten years later than it could have because of a long gap in releases.
Image © Shogakukan
I actually still enjoy reading the occasional Detective Conan chapter, but waiting for its biannual plot progression can be excruciating. The series still serves as a good read from time to time, and I appreciate its easy to jump in and out of nature when reading it case by case. That said, there is an overarching plot in there, often referenced but rarely used, and it can be tiresome to have threads of something larger than a single murder mystery always hanging in the back of our protagonist’s head.
I wouldn’t want the ending rushed (if that’s possible at this point), but I would be happy to see more direction towards it in the near future for this particular manga.
Image © Kodansha
Hajime no Ippo is the longest running series on this list, having started in 1989, 25 years ago! It’s an impressive feat, but also a difficult run to maintain over such a long period. At the start of the series, we have a young, bullied Ippo wondering what it’s like to become strong. He turns to boxing, and quickly fights his way into the pros. He continues to move up and up in the boxing world to where we are today: Ippo is a world ranker, and the series shows no signs of finishing soon.
Unfortunately, Hajime no Ippo has lost a lot of tension in recent years, with many fights becoming dragged out, repetitive reads with no sign of real action in sight until the last few chapters of a match. There are bursts of energy still there, but the long cycle of building up to each fight over a few months and ending it all with a drawn out comeback is showing its wear. Maybe it doesn’t even need to be stopped completely, just set aside for awhile untilMorikawa can take the time to really think out how he wants the series to progress and continue in a sequel series (something we’ve seen from quite a few long-running manga over the years). It’s obvious there’s more he wants to tell, but how he’s been telling it has lost the manga’s earlier lustre.
Image © Shueisha
Dear Yoshihiro Togashi,
Please don’t die. Your health is important, and nobody wants you to cross over while writing this. We’ve already waited this long, so I guess we can wait longer. Just, you know, make sure you’re absolutely, most definitely, positively healthy next time you give it a go.
P.S. I’m actually not sure if this is a legitimate concern, but with how many stops Hiatus x Hi– Hunter x Hunter has taken so far, it seemed worth mentioning.