Top 10 Psychological Manga of 2004
1. Welcome to the N.H.K.
Sato Tatsuhiro is a drug-addled "hikikomori" (a Japanese shut-in) who thinks a sinister organization, NHK (Nihon Hikikomori Kyoukai), is the cause of all his problems! He falls in love with a girl, Misaki, who he thinks is trying to assassinate him, but doesn't know how to talk to her or if he can trust her. The more he stay in his house watching anime porn, reading manga and doing drugs, the harder it is for him to leave. Only Misaki can keep him from rotting away in his own apartment!
2. Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji
Itou Kaiji, now free of debt but without a penny is leeching himself in Mr.Sakazaki's new house, despite all the flirtings (extreme torment for Kaiji) from Sakazaki's daughter, Mikoko. Sakazaki attempts to kick Kaiji out, even by offering a farewell 'we never knew each other' money of 3000000 yen. While Kaiji ponders himself on the decision, he is visited by Miyoshi and Maeda, two of his 'allies' he had saved from the last part of the series.
3. J no Subete
Even though J no Subete is three volumes long, each volume is a dynamic story in itself covering a particular stage of J's life. Her life is a dark story and it's a very psychological manga.
Book one is about all of J's trials and tribulations throughout childhood, during high school as she tries to find her place in the world and when she meets the somber honor student Paul...
The manga begins as Kanae Sekiguchi, proprietor of the Tsuki no Yu bathhouse, struggles to reopen her business after the unexplained disappearance of her husband...
One day, the world found out about newly discovered star, that was "eating" other stars. At first, it was so far away, that it became just a nice curiosity entertaining people in their normal daily lives. Then, it begun to come closer and closer, finally eating some of the solar system's planets and taking a straight course for Earth itself...
Hellstar Remina is a spectacular tale of ultimate and unavoidable destruction of humankind, that came unexpected and without humanity's own "help". It's also a solid overview of how people can't cope with their own most primitive instincts (blind revenge), even in the face of final doom.
(Synopsis rewritten from a short note on one of the Junji Ito's fanforums & mentionings on 4chan's bbs)
Included one-shot: Okuman Bocchi (億万ぼっち, Army of One)
One cold morning, a missing couple resurfaces, floating dead in a lake, naked, and stitched together. Elsewhere, 19-year-old shut-in Michio is visited by his former classmate Natsuko, who invites him to an upcoming class reunion. Meanwhile, the murders start to rise, and the amount of people stitched together only grows in number. With this increase, the presence of a mysterious group known only as the "Army of One" grows more prevalent. As Michio starts to suspect that the Army of One could be behind the killings, he begins to fear that Natsuko may end up as a target.
6. Yomawari Sensei
The author, a high school teacher, recounts his 12 years on "night patrol" in Yokohama City, where he comes face to face with youth dealing with issues ranging from self-mutilation to drug abuse.
7. Drowning Love
"I don't know what this feeling is … I don't know what I should do now … all I know is, I want him."
They fight one another, they chase after one another, they capture one another—a turbulent tale of preteens on the brink of self-destruction, masterfully brought to life by George Asakura!
(Source: Kodansha Comics)
A collection of short stories.
Story 1: Our Vast Loneliness
For a long while now, I've been prone to losing things. It's the things most important to me that I lose, and it's always after I lose them that I realize it. And then, they're suddenly returned to me.
Story 2: Love Letter
A woman has just been discharged from hospital due to her successful eye surgery. As she steps out into the world, she sees her blind self...
Story 3: All of Sully/Lily
A man believes that people he loves should have spare bodies. His daughter happens to have one...
Story 4: Airport
A man drops off a pregnant woman to the airport...
Stroy 5: Fetish
An injured girl has met a man that thought her appearance were "cool"...
9. Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
Eiri Kurahashi is an art school student, with a job at a local antique store. It's there that he develops a strange obsession. He finds himself entranced by a portrait of a Victorian-era girl named Cossette. It's a portrait with a strange history--everyone who has owned it has been murdered in a bizarre fashion. But the story runs much deeper than that. Cossette was savagely murdered by her lover, who also happens to be the artist who painted the portrait. When the new owner of the portrait nearly kills himself, Eiri decides to get involved. And that's when Cossette begins speaking to him...
10. Parfum Extrait 0
Kanade has an exceptionally acute sense of smell which allows him to detect even the faintest aromas in the air around him. Together with his French cousin Anais, he follows those scents all the way to the heart of the deepest and darkest mysteries.
(Source: Aerandria Scans)