2020 was a tough year for everybody, but now it’s time to look forward to a new year! Have you decided on your New Year’s resolutions yet? If not, then maybe it’s time to look to manga for some inspiration! We’ve selected four different series from the Manga Planet Library to help motivate you for 2021.
New Year Celebration in Japan
In Japan, the leadup to January 1st is filled with cleaning, family visits, and cooking to prepare for the New Year, or Shougatsu (正月). Families will prepare traditional meals such as Osechi-ryouri (お節料理) to eat while enjoying some seasonal TV shows. Leading up to midnight, Buddhist monks will ring the temple bells 108 times for Joyanokane (除夜の鐘).
Most Japanese people will visit their local shrines for Hatsumoude (初詣), the year’s first shrine visit. At the shrine, you can pull fortunes, buy good luck charms, and ring in the new year. Some people do Kakizome (書き初め), where they write their New Year’s resolution using Japanese calligraphy.
Story and Art: Motomiya Hiroshi
In 2021 you might be looking to leave your turbulent past behind you and start anew. Perhaps it’s a new job, moving cities or even countries! Change can be chaotic, and you can never be too sure how things will go.
Fisherman Kintaro was originally the fierce leader of the biker gang “Hasshu”’ until his wife tragically passed away. Following this, Kintaro decided it was time to move to Tokyo with his son to start afresh and begin his new life as a salaryman! Join Kintaro as he experiences the harsh world of Tokyo business world.
Story and Art: Sakuta Hiromi
Whether you’re striving to learn a language, diet, or start a new hobby, hitting your first plateau can be tough – but sometimes all it takes is a little spark of motivation to get over it!
Nobody knows this more than Miyo, one of three boulder-climbing aces at the Berry Canyon bouldering gym. When her crush Keita announces that he wants to quit boulder climbing, a desperate Miyo announces that she’ll be aiming for the Olympics in the hopes of stopping him from quitting. Will she manage to pull it off? And will her romance ever blossom?
Story and Art: sajimakatana
Many of us pick a goal based on self-improvement, but you could even choose “reading more manga” as your new resolution! You never know; you might find yourself growing as a person just by supporting your favorite character.
Mitsuki Namikawa is a manga-loving otaku. She has to hide her interests from her mother who thinks Mistuki’s hobbies are a waste of time. One day, Mitsuki goes out to watch some anime with her friends where she falls head over heels in love with Deke, a hot character from a brand new mecha anime. Love-struck, Mitsuki realizes that she wants to improve herself for the (2D) man she admires. If you’re an anime and manga enthusiast, then you’ll definitely relate!
Story and Art: Shimura Shihoko
If you feel like your life is full of repetition, then why not try something different this year? Whether it’s a new hobby or job, you may find that the experience gives you a whole new perspective on life!
Eiko is living an ordinary life and doesn’t feel like anything is missing. She doesn’t mind being called boring or the fact that she doesn’t like to make decisions – she just goes with the flow. But one day, she tags along with her friends to a pet show, where fate leads her to meet Number 11, the tiny kitten who will change her outlook on life forever.
What do you think? Do you have an anime or manga you recommend reading for New Year? Tell us on Twitter!
About Manga Planet: Read manga, support artists
In 2012, Manga Planet started as a joint project between Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. and FANTASISTA, INC. to research and explore the ways manga is read throughout the world. Aiming to bring new manga to fans from all over the world and support artists and the industry, Manga Planet pushes for affordability and access to manga through a subscription-based service.
Readers who subscribe to Manga Planet and pay a flat monthly fee of $6.99 will have access to our expanding library of English-language manga. To subscribe, please go to read.mangaplanet.com and create an account. More information is in our Guide.