Top 10 Psychological Manga of 2007
1. Goodnight Punpun
Punpun Onodera is a normal 11-year-old boy living in Japan. Hopelessly idealistic and romantic, Punpun begins to see his life take a subtle—though nonetheless startling—turn to the adult when he meets the new girl in his class, Aiko Tanaka. It is then that the quiet boy learns just how fickle maintaining a relationship can be, and the surmounting difficulties of transitioning from a naïve boyhood to a convoluted adulthood. When his father assaults his mother one night, Punpun realizes another thing: those whom he looked up to were not as impressive as he once thought. As his problems increase, Punpun's once shy demeanor turns into voluntary reclusiveness. Rather than curing him of his problems and conflicting emotions, this merely intensifies them, sending him down the dark path of maturity in this grim coming-of-age saga. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
2. Masturbation Master Kurosawa
Kakeru Kurosawa is an antisocial junior high school student. He rarely associates with his classmates, and he looks down on them. But this behavior is topped off by a certain bad habit, his closely guarded secret: every day after school, he sneaks in to the rarely used girls' toilet on the 3rd floor and masturbates in a stall.
Kakeru's shadowy routine remains undisturbed until one day, when a diminutive girl from his class, Aya Kitahara, almost discovers him. Their meeting begins a coming-of-age story dealing with blackmail, bullying, revenge, heartbreak and ultimately, redemption.
3. Kokou no Hito
Through pain and arduous effort, one can reach the top of the world. Standing where no man has ever set foot before, there is an exhilarating feeling of success. This is what Mori Buntarou trains, works, and lives for.
His climb to the top starts when he transfers to a new high school. Despite his lonesome and solitary nature, Mori's classmates persuade him to climb the school building. Without a harness or hesitation, he begins his scale to reach the top. Edging past the point of no return, he halts when he is faced with a final intimidating obstacle—a horizontal overhang. Adrenaline courses through him, and Mori jumps for the final hold at the summit.
From there, he casts his eyes upon something that he normally would not have seen—another peak, another goal. With an awakened passion and newfound purpose in life, Mori explores the breathtaking sport of rock climbing.
[Sourced from MAL Rewrite]
4. Higurashi WHEN THEY CRY: Eye Opening Arc
After moving into the quiet town of Hinamizawa, Maebara Keiichi spends his days blissfully in school often playing games with his local friends. However, appearances can be deceiving. One fateful day, Keiichi stumbles upon news of a murder that had occurred in Hinamizawa. From this point on, horrific events unfold in front of Keiichi, as he soon learns his close friends may not be all that they seem. Based on the amateur mystery game by 7th Expansion, the story is told in a series of different scenarios.
Meakashi is the fifth in a series of manga following the different scenarios of the Higurashi games and the first scenario that aims to answer questions raised in the previous scenarios. It focuses on seemingly the same happenings as in Watanagashi-hen only told from Shion Sonozaki's point of view.
5. Umineko When They Cry Episode 1: Legend of the Golden Witch
Umineko no Naku Koro ni takes place in the year 1986 during the time frame of October 4 and October 5 on a secluded island named Rokkenjima. The head of a wealthy family named Kinzou Ushiromiya, who lives on and owns Rokkenjima, is near death, and eleven of his family members arrive on the island to discuss how Kinzou's assets will be divided once he is dead. Also on the island are five of Kinzou's servants, and his personal physician. After the eleven family members arrive, a typhoon traps them on the island and shortly after people start to get mysteriously murdered.
Volume 4 also contains the tea party chapter for this episode
6. Satougashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai: A Lollypop or A Bullet
Nagisa Yamada is a junior high school student who lives in the remote countryside town of Tottori. Her father has passed away years ago, and her mother does part-time jobs to support the family. She is a realist, and wants to graduate as soon as possible to live her own life. Mokuzu Umino is a melancholic and very mysterious transfer student. She claims to be a mermaid, come to land on a mission to find a true friend before the storm comes. At Tottori, the two girls meet, develop a unique friendship, and do what they can to keep living.
There's a game going around Japan called 'Rabbit Doubt'. The premise of the game is that all of the players are rabbits in a colony, and one amongst them is randomly chosen to be a wolf that infiltrated the group of rabbits. Every round, the wolf kills off a rabbit, and every round, the group tries to figure out which of the rabbits is actually a wolf in disguise. Sometimes the kids who play this game decide to meet up in person, and Yuu, Mitsuki, Rei, Hajime, Eiji, and Haruka have done just that. Unfortunately, one of them has decided to take on the mantle of the wolf and has already killed once. Who is the wolf, and can they be stopped before everyone meets a very unpleasant end?
Note: Chapter count includes a special chapter.
8. Gamble Fish
The story is set at Shishidou, a school attended by rich and elite people. Tom Shirasagi, a gambler, is a mysterious new transfer student who has come from a public school (instead of a prestigious private one) and faces the elitist environment. There, he declares a challenge toward any student and claims he will bring to the ruin the whole school through a series of gambling matches. Nobody knows why he has come to that school or what the real motivations behind his actions are.
During any match, Tom shows off all of his unique coolness and ability.
He employs a wide range of tricks, both psychological and physical, to ensure his victory. In any game, you will constantly ask how he's planning to win, why he's really doing certain things, and what's really going on. At the end of the matches, the tricks are revealed, and they all work in real life, even if they do require one to be highly skilled or lucky in order to perform them.
The story centers around the various matches he undertakes and the interactions between the various characters, like Mika Shishidou, the beautiful granddaughter of the school headmaster, who is highly intelligent but contemptuous and superb, or Abidani, the vampiric looking dorm superintendent and main villain (for now) in the series, who has a sadistic personality and whose goal is to make Tom leave his school (or to get him killed).
As the story unfolds, more about Tom's past is revealed, leading to unpredictable turns of events.
9. Crime and Punishment: A Falsified Romance
Taking inspiration from the Russian classic Crime and Punishment and then placing the behemoth of a book into a modern metropolis, Ochiai Naoyuki retells Dostoevsky's drama from the eyes of a struggling Japanese writer. In the 2006 remake Crime and Punishment ~A Falsified Romance~ Ochiai's lead is an incredible talent with award winning abilities. Tachi recently placed as the Best New Writer in a major literary competition, but the stress of living up to his family's goals of him becoming a powerful man has broken him on the cusp of greatness. He dropped out of college. However after moving to Tokyo he struggles with his identity and the duality of life in this surreal megalopolis. Despite being recognized for his tremendous potential, success does not come quite as easy, and life is a constant struggle. For Tachi Miroku life is nothing but a battle, with his past and his moral fiber. He hasn't been to work in four months and his dreams are a total mess filled with abuse, taunting, and the strong smell of blood. Tachi is alone and without direction in life right now. You could say he is a hikkikomori but that is only where his troubles start.
(Source: Otaku Magazine)
Nonomiya Yuuta, a Skii Jumper aiming for Olympic Gold, bursts onto stage with his exceptional skills. However, his biggest problem is that he is not really a "HE"... This Yuuta is actually Nonomiya Yuuta's twin sister, Nonomiya Nono... And with Women's Skii Jump not being an Olympic catagory, hiding her true identity is the only way for her to achieve the dreams of her father and brother.