Imagine not getting a proper ending to one of your favorite manga. Sad, isn’t it? However sad, this is the harsh reality of the manga and anime industry of Japan. Be it due to personal or other reasons, some fan-favorite manga were left unfinished and it left the readers with a void. They remain to be a case of “what could have been”. We have made a list to appreciate some of the most loved yet unfinished manga where the readers never got a proper closure.
Written by Ai Yazawa, Nana’s story revolves around the life of two girls with the same name- Nana Oosaki and Nana Komatsu with aspirations and personalities very different from each other. They board the train to Tokyo on the same day, and as fate would have it, they eventually end up sharing the same apartment. A deep friendship is forged as they go through life and support each other through love and heartbreak. Nana continues to remain a classic in modern shoujo manga even though it ends with a major cliffhanger at just 84 chapters.
The creator contracted a serious disease in 2009 and went on an indefinite hiatus due to the same. However, a 100th issue celebration of the manga’s magazine came out in 2013 as a two-page special, Shojo Beat. There has been no update from the creator mentioning the continuation of the beloved series.
Based on the author’s survival of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing of World War Two, the manga ends with the words, “End of Part One”. The horrors of the atomic bombing that Gen Nakaoka, the protagonist, endured were just the beginning, and the creator, Keiji Nakazawa had planned on showing how Gen recovers from the tragedy and moves onto a new and better life as an art student in Tokyo. However, the readers never got to see Gen become an art student and live in Tokyo as the manga was left unfinished with just 54 chapters. Keiji Nakazawa had to retire because of his failing eyesight in 2009 and he eventually passed away three years later.
Hunter X Hunter
Gon’s determination to follow in the footsteps of his father and become a Hunter has been a fan favorite since the remake of the original anime adaptation came out in 2011. As the anime leaves us with the question “what next?”, so does the manga. This is one of the few manga with the longest hiatuses in manga history. Creator, Togashi had to take several medical breaks owing to his severe back problems that often lasted months and even years. The manga is currently at 390 chapters, last written in 2018. It is said that Togashi-san does have a backup ready in case he is unable to complete it, that is his wife and creator of Sailor Moon, Naoko Takeuchi is reportedly said to be learning her husband’s art style so that she can go ahead and complete the series if her husband fails to do so.
One of the most esteemed Seinen dark fantasies ever written in manga history, Berserk had been running since 1989 and had been going strong since then. The story of Griffith’s betrayal followed by Guts’ thirst for vengeance becoming his growing reason for survival is widely acknowledged and revered. Just as Guts’ journey was almost nearing its end, the conflict remains unresolved as the creator, Miura eventually had to slow down due to his failing health and after 364 chapters, unfortunately, he passed away. Berserk still happens to be one of the most influential manga ever written.
One of the greatest Martial Arts manga ever written, Vagabond by Takehito Inoue, tells us the story of a swordsman, Shinmen Takezo who is living in the Sengoku Era and has had to change his name after being shunned from his own village. Eventually, Takezo goes on to become one of the finest and strongest samurai that has ever lived. Highly critically acclaimed as a jidaigeki manga, Vagabond had been in publication since 1998, however, it came to an abrupt end with the last chapter being 327 that came out in 2015.
Highly revered for being unlike any other shounen, Act Age by Tatsuya Matsuki broke all the demographic norms and audience stereotypes at its time. The story revolves around Kei Yonagi, who is trying to make ends meet as she chases her dream of acting while also supporting her siblings. We witness the various challenges Yonagi encounters as the manga takes us through her journey. However, Act Age came to a sudden end when charges of groping and harassing minors were pressed against the creator, Matsuki to which he eventually confessed. Weekly Shonen Jump terminated the series without a warning and illustrator, Shiro Usazaki has removed all mentions of Act-Age from her socials.
Famous all over the world, with 1126 chapters, Crayon Shin-Chan has been translated and broadcasted in countries across the globe. Kids worldwide have grown up watching Shin-Chan and his notorious acts on a daily basis. However, the manga never reached its end the way the creator, Usui had wanted. Unfortunately, he passed away while hiking on Mount Arafune in 2009. Today Crayon Shin-Chan has countless spinoffs, and Shin Chan has gone up to become a pop culture icon in Japan, but it is quite clear that Shin-Chan’s original mischievous almost-inappropriate dialogues that had fans roaring in laughter, can never truly be replaced.
It’s always heartbreaking to see your favorite story not reaching a proper conclusion. We can’t give you closure but we tried to acknowledge and appreciate some of the finest and greatest works of all times that were left unfinished due to reasons we have no control over. We hope you see your favorite manga on our list and it puts a smile on your face. You can also treat some of these as open endings and conjure up your ending to the story!