[Manga] Sousou no Frieren
Synopsis (from MAL):
The demon king has been defeated, and the victorious hero party returns home before disbanding. The four—mage Frieren, hero Himmel, priest Heiter, and warrior Eisen—reminisce about their decade-long journey as the moment to bid each other farewell arrives. But the passing of time is different for elves, thus Frieren witnesses her companions slowly pass away one by one.
Before his death, Heiter manages to foist a young human apprentice called Fern onto Frieren. Driven by the elf's passion for collecting a myriad of magic spells, the pair embarks on a seemingly aimless journey, revisiting the places that the heroes of yore had visited. Along their travels, Frieren slowly confronts her regrets of missed opportunities to form deeper bonds with her now-deceased comrades.
Why I want it, and why you should too:
It's an interesting take on the classic RPG like fantasy, with well-written characters and a great premise. I personally really like stories about long-lived races or characters, the impact it has on them, and the people around them so that was right up my alley. If you like stories like Maquia or To your eternity you should definitely give this one a read.
The characters and drama definitely are the biggest selling point, and while it can get really melancholic at times, it successfully balanced it with some good comedic moments. It's not perfect, but even the fights which are the worst part, are still okay and thankfully not the focus of the series.
The art is pretty good, the backgrounds aren't that memorable but the characters are quite good. I think it looks somewhat similar to The Faraway Paladin's manga but better. Speaking of which, if you need one more proof that Sousou no Frieren is great, it seems like The Faraway Paladin's author is loving it.
Why it would be a good license for JNC:
First, it's popular the series is still short but already has some momentum.
The ratings are also really good: 8.52 on MAL and even more impressive 9.39 on MangaDex, making it the top manga on that site; which, to be fair, is overrated it's a great manga but not that great, still, those are some good numbers.
Also even if it quite different from the other it's still part of the popular RPG-like fantasy genre, and I think JNC readers who liked slower more character-driven versions of those stories like The Faraway Paladin, Grimgar, or Isekai Rebuilding Project could really like Sousou no Frieren.
Finally, if you want to get a feel for the series, just find chapter one somewhere, it's one of the best chapters and it really shows what the story will be like.
There's also a short PV
Would buy. I think one of the more interesting parts of the story is that it's about connecting with people, regrets, and "growing up"/maturing. Came recommended to me by a friend and I too would be delighted if it got an English release.
Only problem is I don't think any publisher other than Viz Media have gotten Shonen Sunday licenses. And Viz takes a long time to license. I think Komi Can't Communicate was at 12 volumes in Japan before they finally licensed it despite it being one of the most popular fan-translated series.
@LegitPancake True, I just check and it does seem like all of Shonen Sunday's licenses go to Viz, probably because they're part of the same company.
Well, I guess it makes that post kinda useless but on the bright side, as long as Sousou no Frieren stays popular, there's a high chance that it will eventually get licensed.