5 Manga Masterpieces That Were Forgotten After Going on Hiatus

The term “hiatus” often sends a chill down the spine of manga enthusiasts. Defined as a break in continuity, a hiatus in the manga world is more than just a pause; it can be a prolonged silence that leaves fans hanging in anticipation.

Every year, numerous manga authors are forced to set their pens aside, often due to health reasons, leaving their series in a state of suspended animation.

5 Manga Series Fans Forgot Because They Never Returned From "Hiatus"

This temporary break, however, can sometimes stretch into an indefinite period, so extensive that fans begin to lose the memory of the once-beloved series.

Today we will discuss five manga series that showed amazing potential but were eventually forgotten, lost in the vast sea of content, and unable to return from a hiatus that lasted too long.

5. Phoenix

5 Manga Series Fans Forgot Because They Never Returned From "Hiatus"
AuthorOsamu Tezuka
Hiatus Start1989
GenreSupernatural, Drama, Sci-Fi

“Phoenix” is a renowned manga series penned by the legendary Osamu Tezuka, often referred to as the godfather of manga. Tragically, this series never reached its climax, as Tezuka passed away while working on it. As a result, “Phoenix” remains “On Hiatus” to this day.

This situation contrasts with the manga “Berserk,” where the author’s untimely death led to a delay, but the series was eventually continued by the author’s best friend. Unlike “Berserk,” “Phoenix” is still on hiatus.

“Phoenix” has been honored with both an anime adaptation and a live-action version. Both adaptations have been well-received, serving as fitting tributes to the person who introduced the world to manga.

The plot centers around the mythical bird “Phoenix,” symbolizing life, rebirth, and immortality. It provides a lens through which humanity’s ups and downs are observed.

The story of “Phoenix” is not confined to a single narrative but spans different periods of history. Various characters, driven by desires for eternal life or the power to change the world, seek the mythological bird Phoenix.

Each storyline explores personal struggles set against a backdrop of societal change and technological growth. Though each arc is unique, they are interrelated.

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4. Barefoot Gen

5 Manga Series Fans Forgot Because They Never Returned From "Hiatus"
AuthorKeiji Nakazawa
Hiatus Start2009
GenreHistorical

“Barefoot Gen” stands as a unique manga series, offering a vivid portrayal of the author’s real-life experience of the Hiroshima bombing. Keiji Nakazawa, the creator of this autobiographical masterpiece, was forced to put the series on hiatus in 2009 due to weakening eyesight and lung cancer.

Tragically, Nakazawa passed away in 2012, leaving this powerful narrative without a conclusion. Today, only a few people are aware of this informative work, as it never returned from its hiatus.

“Barefoot Gen” follows the life of Gen Nakaoka, a young boy growing up in Hiroshima during World War II. The series dig into his challenges and experiences, with a particular focus on the devastating impact of the Hiroshima atomic attack.

Through Gen’s eyes, readers are given a detailed account of the destruction and human suffering caused by the bombing.

In the midst of chaos and tragedy, Gen’s struggle to find compassion and hope becomes a central theme. His journey to cope with personal loss and witness the horrors of war offers a heart-wrenching yet inspiring exploration of resilience.

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3. PTSD Radio

Mangaka quits to stay alive
AuthorMasaaki Nakayama
Hiatus Start2018
GenreHorror, Supernatural

“PTSD Radio” is a manga series that once held the promise of becoming one of the best in the horror genre. An autobiographical work, it was inspired by the real-life experiences of its creator, Maasaki-sensei, who vividly depicted the terror he witnessed firsthand in his studios.

The series was placed on an unofficial hiatus in 2018 after the horror Maasaki-sensei experienced began to take a toll on his health. His condition became so severe that he was hospitalized on his doctors’ advice, fearing that he might otherwise lose his life. As a result of this interruption, “PTSD Radio” has faded from public discussion, even though it remains a masterclass in horror storytelling.

“PTSD Radio” is composed of various short stories, each connected through different radio frequencies. These frequencies recur throughout the series, weaving together disparate events into a cohesive and chilling narrative.

The series’ main antagonist, the God of Hair, known as “Ogushi-sama,” serves as a malevolent force, capriciously punishing different characters.

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2. Nana

5 Manga Series Fans Forgot Because They Never Returned From "Hiatus"
AuthorAi Yazawa
Hiatus Start2009
GenreDrama, Romance

“Nana” holds a special place in the world of Shojo manga, celebrated as one of the genre’s standout series. Unfortunately, it was placed on hiatus in 2009 due to the declining health of its creator, Ai-sensei. Though she was eventually discharged from the hospital, the extended break from “Nana” made it difficult for her to resume the series.

What makes this situation particularly lamentable is that “Nana” had all the makings of a Shojo masterpiece. It possessed every element necessary to portray an exceptional Shojo manga, but because it never reached a proper climax, it got lost in the infinite pile of the Shojo manga series.

“Nana” tells the story of two young women, both named “Nana,” who become roommates in Tokyo. One dreams of rekindling a relationship with her partner, while the other aspires to become a successful rock musician.

The manga skillfully explores their friendships, romances, and challenges, offering a nuanced look at both personal relationships and the complexities of the music industry.

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1. High School of the Dead

5 Manga Series Fans Forgot Because They Never Returned From "Hiatus"
AuthorDaisuke Sato & Shoji Sato
Hiatus Start2013
GenreAction, Horror, Drama, Ecchi

“High School of the Dead” made a significant mark on the anime world, playing a key role in popularizing the zombie theme. Tragically, its manga series was placed on hiatus when one of its two creators, the writer, fell ill.

His subsequent death in 2017 led to the illustrator losing interest in continuing the series, resulting in its cancellation after a prolonged hiatus.

Despite this disappointing conclusion, fans continue to appreciate both the manga series and its anime adaptation, recognizing the unique blend of elements that made it stand out.

“High School of the Dead” centers on a group of high school students fighting for survival in a world overrun by zombies. As they navigate a devastated landscape and battle hordes of the undead, they must also grapple with their own emotions and relationships. The chaos of their surroundings puts a strain on their bonds, forcing them to confront both external dangers and internal conflicts.

Throughout their journey, the group seeks safety and reunites with loved ones, all the while facing threats from both humans and zombies. With a strong emphasis on the psychological impact of the crisis, “High School of the Dead” masterfully combines action, horror, and drama to create a gripping and memorable series.

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These manga series have tragically faded from memory due to an extended hiatus. Each of these works offered something unique and compelling, only to be cut short by circumstances beyond their creators’ control.


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