Although the process of manga localization has become more common, there are still many manga that go years without an official English translation, if they even get one. Comics like these become popular overseas when they are adapted into anime or through pirated fan translations. In some cases, this is still the only way for people to interact with some comic books in English for years on end.
There’s no good way to know when certain manga titles will be licensed, if at all. For some, the age or length of the comics can be important factors in why they aren’t translated, and for others it may not be a priority compared to other series. Whatever the case, there are some great comic projects that don’t have an official English translation.
10 Dancing on the Ice
Kenta Shinohara’s Sket Dance is a short-lived series about the members of a school club dedicated to helping classmates solve their problems, and during its run it achieved The perfect balance between sincere character writing and optimism. silly comedy on the wall. Although Sket Dance has never been licensed in English, the anime adaptation can be streamed on Crunchyroll and Shinohara’s later works, Astra Lost in Space and Witch Watch, are both available in English. legally, so people can still easily experience Shinohara’s signature style.
9 Billy Bats
Naoki Urasawa is a legendary mangaka known for compelling stories like Pluto, Monster and 20th Century Boys, but one of his iconic works that flew under the radar due to lack of official translation was Billy. Bat. With Billy Bat, Urasawa weaves a sci-fi conspiracy thriller that uses its meta-narrative to brilliantly satirize the creative process and the people involved in it, notably especially Walt Disney. Billy Bat is indeed a prominent figure on Urasawa’s résumé, and it’s disappointing that the manga isn’t licensed in English.
8 Hajime No Ippo
Hajime no Ippo is one of the longest-running and most critically acclaimed sports manga of all time, and what’s more surprising is that it was never released in English. For anyone who has watched the anime, it is clear that there are very few manga that can match Hajime no Ippo’s excellent action and characters. George Morikawa has taken an interest in creating a cast of characters that are both engaging and evolving after more than thirty years of serialization, and there’s no sign of him stopping anytime soon, it would be great if people can experience it officially.
Another manga series that has never been translated into English is Yasuhisa Hara’s Kingdom. The series is a fictional story about China’s Warring States period and Li Xin’s journey to unify China under the banner of Ying Zheng. The drama and action are gripping and climactic, a fact that hasn’t changed after seventeen years of serialization. While the manga is yet to be officially licensed in English, the anime can be streamed on Crunchyroll, and with season 5 coming out in January 2024, it’s easy to see what makes Kingdom so it’s wonderful.
6 KochiKame: Police beat Tokyo
When it comes to long-running manga with no official English translation, no other series stands out like KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops. With its episodic storytelling, loose continuity, and penchant for thematic jokes, KochiKame can be considered the Japanese equivalent of The Simpsons. In addition to being one of the longest running manga series of all time, published for forty years and with 201 volumes, it is also one of the best selling manga series, so even without an official translation However, the quality of KochiKame is still undeniable.
5 Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya
The Fate franchise has a long history of its works not being translated into English, and unfortunately, Hiroshi Hiroyama’s Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya is no exception. Though it started out as a parody of a slightly sleazy magical girl in Fate/stay night, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya has evolved into an action-packed masterpiece with a story that makes it a real one. one of the best works in the entire Fate series. Fortunately, the anime is available in English, and with a new season in development, fans will be able to experience the full story, even if the manga was never licensed.
4 Holy Lands
Holyland is the iconic work of author Kouji Mori, and it’s easy to see why it’s so highly regarded despite having no official translation. Holyland offers a much more realistic martial arts approach than other manga, and with Mori’s knack for drama and character writing, Holyland is a completely unique experience. Although Holyland was never officially translated into English, Mori was put in charge of Berserk after Kentaro Miura passed away, so it’s easy for anyone to experience what makes his writing and art so great. should stand out.
3 Zatch Bells! 2
Makoto Raiku’s Zatch Bell! was a standout manga in the 2000s and in 2022 it received an official sequel, appropriately titled Zatch Bell! 2. Raiku’s dark yet hopeful storytelling is on full display as he returns to the world he’s masterfully famous for, and with his level of art and combat choreography. he has evolved over the years, each chapter is even more of a visual masterpiece than the original. With the English translation by Zatch Bell! removed after episode 25, it’s unlikely that Zatch Bell! 2 will be officially licensed. Hopefully, that will change sometime in the future.
2 Kinnikuman Nisei: Ultimate Chojin Card Part
Ultimate Muscle, also known as Kinnikuman Nisei, had its final episode translated in 2011, but its sequel, Kinnikuman Nisei: The Ultimate Chojin Tag Arc, was not translated, which is a pity. The Ultimate Chojin Tag Arc season picks up right from its predecessor, and in addition to Yudetamago’s great art and sense of combat choreography, the story sees characters old and new both with great depth. massive, making it one of the most compelling entries in the entire Kinnikuman franchise and a perfect foundation for Ultimate Muscle. It is unlikely that the series will receive an official translation, but it is remarkable.
Yudetamago’s legendary wrestling manga Kinnikuman formed the foundations of Ultimate Muscle’s success, but his penchant for action and the power of friendship served as a major influence on what would be the ultimate goal. standard for shounen manga. Decades later, the Kinnikuman revival series continues as it is, but now it’s working to expand its lore with a much more mature and evolved story, taking the series to the next level. new. Given Kinnikuman’s length, it’s natural that it hasn’t been licensed, but with a new anime in the works, that could easily change.
Whether it’s their art or their storytelling, each manga has a class of its own, but for one reason or another, none of them have received an official English translation. Whether that is due to their length or their profitability in the West is unclear. Either way, it’s disappointing that some of the great stories have never been translated into English.