13 Satisfying Manga Series You Can Finish in an Afternoon

Yonkoma is a short-format manga that consists of four panels, but occasionally include five or more panels for special chapters. They can feature short gags, long-running jokes, and multiple story arcs.

It’s a stripped down and condense form of manga that shows you can tell a great story with limited space. They are also perfect for an afternoon of reading!

 

1Azumanga Daioh

Volumes: 4

Status: Finished

Anime adaptation: Yes

Quick pitch: Azumanga Daioh follows the disjointed and surreal school lives of six friends and two of their teachers. The series chronicles three years of high school and the low-key, character-driven comedy has likened it as a “Japanese Seinfeld.”

 

2Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun

Volumes: 8

Status: Ongoing

Anime adaptation: Yes

Quick pitch: Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun parodies the romance genre by either twisting tropes or taking them to absurd conclusions. The story follows Sakura Chiyo as she tries to confess her feelings to Nozaki-kun, a student who is a renowned shoujo mangaka. Thinking Sakura is a fangirl, Nozaki gives her an autograph and allows her to work as his assistant.

 

3Pop Team Epic

Volumes: 15

Status: Ongoing

Anime adaptation: Premiering Fall 2017

Quick pitch: Pop Team Epic is difficult to describe. Basically, it follows a pair of school girls named Popuko and Pipimi. From there, the series delves into a world of non-sequiturs, slapstick, puns, and pop culture references.

4Engaged to the Unidentified

Volumes: 7

Status: Ongoing

Anime adaptation: Yes

Quick pitch: Engaged to the Unidentified follows the bizarre life of Kobeni Yonomori. Upon turning 16, she learns that she is betrothed to Hakuya Mitsumine due to an arrangement her grandfather made. Hakuya and his sister Mashiro move-in with Kobeni and her sister Benio, which leads to crazy and heartfelt moments.

5Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Chapters: 12

Status: Finished

Anime adaptation: Yes

Quick pitch: Kohina Ichimatsu is an elementary student who summons the fox spirit Kokkuri-san as part of a divination game. Since she summoned Kokkuri-san alone, she is cursed to be haunted by him…until he see’s Kohina’s sloppy lifestyle. Kokkuri-san takes pity and decides to become Kohina’s guardian and raise her to be a proper child.

6Ichiroh!

Volumes: 5

Status: Finished

Quick pitch: Nanako and Akane enter prep school after failing their college entrance exams. Nanako is determined to study hard and pass her entrance exams next year, but studying might be a challenge. Turns out, her school dorm doubles as a shrine, and the school expects her to work as a miko.

 

7Love Lab

Volumes: 12

Status: Ongoing

Anime adaptation: Yes

Quick pitch: Love Lab is a parody of the romance genre, especially those found in shoujo manga. Riko and Maki are popular second-year students at Fujisaki Girls’ Academy. When Maki accidently discovers Riko practice kissing on a body pillow, Riko is forced to keep Maki’s secret and become her love counselor. Too bad Riko doesn’t know much about love or boys.

 

8New Game!

Volumes: 5

Status: Ongoing

Anime adaptation: Yes

Quick pitch: Aoba Suzukaze is a high school grad and joins Eagle Jump, a video game company that produced her favorite game. She joins as a character designer and works under her idol, Ko Yagami.

 

9Ojojojo

Volumes: 4

Status: Finished

Anime adaptation: No

Quick pitch: Haru Jigokumeguri is the heiress of a powerful conglomerate, but her arrogant and aloof nature makes it hard for her to find friends. After transferring to yet another new school, she meets Tsurezure Kawayanagi. He is the class weirdo due to his old fashion sense and quiet demeanor, which leads to a socially awkward friendship with Haru.

 

10Seitokai Yakuindomo

Volumes: 14

Status: Ongoing

Anime adaptation: Yes

Quick pitch: Sex Jokes: The Manga. Ousai Academy has converted into a co-ed school to combat declining birth rates by fostering opposite sex interactions. Takatoshi Tsuda is one of the first boys to attend the academy and is forced to join the student council as the sole male representative.

 

11Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko

Volumes: 4, but since it’s a web manga, chapters are updated nearly every day. Currently, there are 555 chapters.

Status: Ongoing

Anime adaptation: No

Quick pitch: Tomo Aizawa successfully confessed her feelings to Junichirou Kubota. There is one problem: Junichirou sees Tomo as a buddy due to her tomboy nature. The series follows Tomo as she navigates the friend zone and tries to get Junichirou to fall in love with her.

 

12Yandere Kanojo

Volumes: 17

Status: Finished

Anime adaptation: No

Quick pitch: Tanaka Manabu is honor student who falls in love with Ryuuzaki Reina, the leader of the school’s female delinquents. The two begin a mismatched relationship.

The “yandere” in the title refers to Ryuuzaki being a “yankee,” which means troublemaker. So, she is a Yan-dere (lovey troublemaker).

 

13Working!!

Volumes: 13

Status: Finished

Anime adaptation: Ongoing

Quick pitch: Souta Takanashi is enamored by small things and mistakes Popura Taneshima for a lost child. Upon learning that she is a year older than him, he agrees to work at a Wagnaria restaurant with her. He quickly discovers that his co-workers are a bunch of eccentrics and wonders how the restaurant manages to stay open.

What are your favorite yonkoma or short-format manga?

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