Manga With Cruel Twist Endings

Every story has an ending. Usually, they’re pretty happy ones to send people home with a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Some stories just stop and leave everything feeling awkward. But then others like to stick the knife in and twist it, concluding their stories on a grim note.

The Hunger Games, both the books and movie series, ended somewhat bitterly. The Mist is infamous for its shocking ending. Most horror movies end with either the villain succeeding, or with a lot of broken people at the end. So, there was nothing stopping these manga from having cruel twist endings. There will be spoilers ahead, so watch out.


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7 Jinrō Game

MyAnimeList Score: 6.55/10

Cruel Twist Manga- Jinrou Game

  • Written by: Giggle Akiguchi
  • Illustrated by: Koudon
  • 3 volumes, 18 chapters
  • Fan translations only

Jinrō Game, or ‘The Werewolf Game,’ takes the social deduction experiment to its extreme. A group of teenagers are kidnapped and trapped in a mansion where they’re divided between ‘residents’ and ‘werewolves.’ The residents have to vote to execute someone and, if they’ve executed all the werewolves, they win. But if they kill too many residents, the werewolves win.

The difference is that they have to literally kill their chosen people, and anyone who refuses to play gets killed too. Things get tense as each student gets picked off. By the end, only Nishina and her love interest Inoue are left. Nishina singles Inoue out as the last werewolf. They win, only to be drugged and entered into a new game as ‘werewolves’ among a new group of people, leading into Jinrō Game: Beast Side.

6 Sun-Ken Rock

MyAnimeList Score: 7.92/10

Cruel Twist Manga- Sun-Ken Rock

  • Written & illustrated by: Boichi
  • 25 volumes, 185 chapters
  • Available in English via Crunchyroll

There are a few non-Japanese people who have managed to become established mangaka in Japan, and one of them is Korean writer-artist Boichi. He even has his own creative universe, with his works Wallman, Space Chief Caisar, and the Origin all taking place in the same world. But it all started with Sun-Ken Rock, where a high school delinquent named Ken goes to Korea to woo his crush Yumin, only to become the boss of a small gang.

It culminates in a war with the White Dragon yakuza clan, formerly run by Yumin’s father. She thought she wanted revenge on him, but instead she wanted to get out from under her father’s thumb and control the clan herself. So, she does so, and sends Ken flying out of a high-story window. He would survive, but his gang and his love wouldn’t, leading him to rebuild his life in America instead.

5 Girls Go Around

MyAnimeList Score: 7.02/10

Cruel Twist Manga- Girls Go Around

  • Written & illustrated by: Eight Chida
  • 2 volumes, 10 chapters
  • Fan translation only

Some people like stories that appear happy and light on the surface, but are actually quite dark underneath. For example, Girls Go Around starts off like an ordinary high school manga, as Kyōsuke prepares for another school day. But then he finds out a bunch of his classmates had regrets so serious they caused a time loop. They get serious too, as they eventually feel guilt for getting someone killed.


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As Kyōsuke tries to unravel things, he concludes that the only way to save everyone is to commit suicide. But this just makes things worse. It causes his friend Chihiro to restart the loop by regretting her part in his death. In fact, her regret was what started the main loop to begin with. No matter what Kyōsuke does, he’ll always do the same things and help the same people until he kills himself, then repeat the cycle forevermore.

4 Meteor

MyAnimeList Score: 6.09/10

Cruel Twist Manga- Meteor

  • Written & illustrated by: Fumino Hayashi
  • 3 volumes, 33 chapters
  • Fan translation only

Keeping with the light-outside-dark-inside theme, Meteor starts off like a typical school manga, with Tomoko talking to her friends about the latest gossip on the bus. Everything seems normal until a meteor suddenly crashes and sends the bus flying. Once Tomoko recovers, it seems like the end of the world has happened. It’s up to her and the others to survive, find shelter, and hopefully find their families.

Eventually, Tomoko and co come across a village and discover the world never ended. The government just used the situation to test new weapons and drugs on the villagers. Tomoko tries to save one villager, a young boy, only for both of them to fall off a cliff and get mortally wounded. She calls for help, but her friend ignores her and flies off to safety. Accepting her fate, Tomoko and the boy slowly bleed out and die.

3 School Mermaid

MyAnimeList Score: 6.66/10

Cruel Twist Manga- School Mermaid

  • Written & illustrated by: Akihito Yoshitomi
  • 3 chapters in 1 volume
  • Fan translations only

School Mermaid would get a longer serialization and a sequel, but its dark twist ending belongs to the original 3-chapter one-shot. They all share the same strange premise: if girls use a strange, old notebook at their school at night, they can conjure up mermaids. They look like regular girls in swimsuits, but they can swim through walls and floors, and take on more fish-like looks when they get aggressive.

If the girls catch a mermaid, then eat their flesh, they’ll make their crush fall in love with them. But if they don’t succeed by sunrise, they’ll become a mermaid themselves. Yoshiko realizes this too late when she recognizes one and refuses to eat them. But her friend Haruko reveals she knew she’d lose her nerve, and partnered up with her for that reason. That way, if she needed to play the game again, Yoshiko would become easy prey for her.

2 Shadow Star

MyAnimeList Score: 7.32/10

Cruel Twist Manga- Shadow Star

  • Written & Illustrated by Mohiro Kitoh.
  • 12 Volumes, 68 Chapters.
  • Available in English via Dark Horse Comics.

Shadow Star starts off like a peppy magical girl strip, but its Japanese title gives away its intentions. Over there, it was called ‘Mukuro Naru Hoshi, Tama Taru Ko’, or ‘Corpse of a Star: A Precious Child’. In it, Shīna befriends a starfish-like creature called a ‘dragonchild’, whom she calls Hoshimaru. The two go on adventures and meet other kids with dragons that gradually get more messed up.


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By the end, Shīna’s mother has been killed, her friend was murdered by a mob, another is tortured, abused, and then killed. Then, her lover, Takeo, is shot dead by muggers, which proves to be the last straw. Instead of Hoshimaru being ‘her’ dragonchild, she learns the world itself is a combination of her dragon and that of her rival Mamiko. The two use their powers to restart the world from scratch, with their kids as the new Adam and Eve.

1 Platinum End

MyAnimeList Score: 6.05/10

Cruel Twist Manga- Platinum End

  • Written by: Tsugumi Ohba
  • Illustrated by: Takeshi Obata
  • 14 volumes, 58 chapters
  • Available in English via VIZ Media

Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata followed up on Death Note’s success with the more mixed Platinum End. Instead of a young man gaining power over death via a notebook, a young man called Mirai gains powers from his guardian angel. He learns that he’s one of 13 candidates chosen to succeed God when he retires. All he has to do is pass the tests, and survive the other candidates’ plans to thin out the competition.

At first, things seem fine with the ending, as the new God oversees humanity with the angels. Then God decides, if the world still suffers with Heaven around, maybe humanity would be better off controlling their own fates. So, he kills himself, thinking he’d just destroy Heaven and its angels. But the process wipes out humanity and all life on Earth, if not the universe itself. Some even higher beings consider making a new god, but it’s left on an ambiguous, dark note.


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