Cancellations aren’t only restricted to anime – manga is filled with canceled series! A manga can face cancellations for various reasons, which include poor sales of collected volumes, low rankings in reader polls, or writer fatigue.
While a lot of manga are canceled due to being terrible or generic, there are some series that are still worth reading. These manga were canceled because they didn’t meet sales goals, were marketed to the wrong audience, or were ahead of their time.
© Naoshi Komi / Shueisha Inc.
Naoshi Komi had six different series that were canceled before striking mainstream gold with Nisekoi. But if there is one series Komi fans love, it’s Double Arts. The series had a novel setup – Elraine becomes infected with a deadly disease that causes seizures, but they stop as long as she holds Kiri’s hand.
Weekly Shonen Jump canceled Double Arts after 24 chapters, which was when Komi was getting finished with the basic world building. Unfortunately, the slower pace ranked too low with readers.
© Tite Kubo / Shueisha Inc.
Zombiepowder. was Tite Kubo’s first serialized manga. The series follows a teenage pickpocket who joins a pair of mysterious criminals and aids in their search for the Rings of the Dead. Whoever collects 12 of these rings will be granted the power to resurrect the dead and have immortality.
The series only ran for 27 chapters before being canceled. Despite having a messy story (a staple of Kubo), it did have great art. His flair for oversized weapons, sparse backgrounds, and clean line art would be brought to Bleach.
© Toshiaki Iwashiro / Shueisha Inc.
Psyren is a very sad example of a great canceled manga. It’s a supernatural series that centers around teenagers that are taken to a strange world filled with deadly monsters. To make things worse, they are participating in a death game against people with psychic powers.
The series ran for 145 chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump, so it was given an opportunity to build an audience. Sadly, low sales of collected volumes and low placement in reader polls forced Iwashiro to rush an ending. Psyren is still Iwashiro’s longest-running manga.
4Highschool of the Dead
© Daisuke Satou / Shouji Satou / Kadokawa Corporation
Highschool of the Dead is a plot heavy zombie-apocalypse series that has a global following. Daisuke Satou put the series on hiatus in 2011 after facing a serious illness, which gave illustrator Shouji Satou time to focus more on Triage X.
They did release a new chapter in 2013, signaling the end of the hiatus. Hopes were killed after Daisuke Satou “soft canceled” the series after 33 chapters due to being uncomfortable with working on a post-apocalyptic series after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.
© Yasuhiro Kanou / Shueisha Inc.
Mx0 gained a large international following due to its deep magic system, diverse spells, and aggressive protagonist. However, Mx0 did use a lot of tropes during it’s beginning arc, such as making Kuzumi Taiga a magic-less student that attends a magic school.
Still, Kanou did build an impressive world, and just when he was using fewer tropes, Weekly Shonen Jump decided to pull the plug. At 99 chapters, it remains as one of Kanou’s longest-running manga.
© Hiroyuki Takei / Shueisha Inc.
Shaman King is a real dagger to the heart. Takei chose to cancel the series right before resolving the final arc during serialization, but his planned ending was retroactively added in the final collected volume.
After 288 chapters, Takei wrote that he grew tired of writing the series and conforming to his readers’ wishes which lead to Shaman King developing into a generic shounen as the series progressed.
7Gun Blaze West
© Nobuhiro Watsuki / Shueisha Inc.
Nobuhiro Watsuki was coming off the success of Rurouni Kenshin, so his next series was highly anticipated. Continuing his historical theme, Watsuki would create Gun Blaze West. It basically was a Wild West version of One Piece. The story followed a young boy named Viu Bannes, who aims to earn the “Sign to West,” which would grant him access to “Gun Blaze West.”
The series was a disappointment and was canceled after 28 chapters. Watsuki did not have enough time to build the world he envisioned and his gamble on an early time skip did not draw in older readers.
What are your favorite canceled manga series that you wish you could revive?