What is a One-shot Manga? [Definition, Meaning]

While “one shot” may pertain to a shot of alcohol in some cultures, what we are talking about today is far from being about alcohol! Today, we are going to tell you what is a one-shot manga! If you have never heard of the term “one-shot”, then let us enlighten you!

Today, Honey’s Anime is here to explain to you what is a one-shot manga. So strap in and listen well, because we’re about to get started here. Here is our article: What is a one-shot manga?
One-Shot!

A one-shot manga is basically a one chapter story or a one volume standalone manga that is usually not associated with another series. In this section, we wish to tell you about manga that does not require any additional volumes to enhance the story. Depending on the plot, the story itself may last a few chapters or go for the entire volume, but it ends with just one volume. While for some stories this may not be very fulfilling for readers, there are a handful of one-shot manga that take advantage of the entire volume to deliver a respectful standalone manga that speaks volumes.

This is true for a lot of romance manga which is either about the pursuit of a relationship or brief stories about a couple. Many shoujo manga and BL or Yaoi manga are actually one-shots because they merely last one volume long. The stories only revolve around the romance and they are not full of drama, so they may suit many people who want a brief yet fulfilling story.

Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan

  • Volumes: 1
  • Genre: Mature, Psychological, Romance, Seinen, Slice of Life, Tragedy
  • Publish Date: 2007
  • Mangaka: Sahara Mizu, Gong Ji-young

Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan is a manga adaptation of a South Korean novel about a young pianist, Juri, in her twenties who has committed suicide several times. Juri’s aunt is a nun who wishes Juri to do good so she brings Juri to a prison where she is volunteering to work with Yuu, a man who murdered 3 people. Juri and Yuu have a lot of scars, but through each other, they might actually get the will to live.

There is no doubt that Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan is a fan favorite amongst manga readers. Despite being merely 7 chapters, the mangaka was able to really grasp at your emotions with its storytelling aspects, and it makes you hope for a brighter future for these two. While some storytelling elements are horridly cliche, they were used really well in Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan to the point where you wouldn’t notice that they would otherwise be cliche. Both characters have had their own troubles and scars despite their young age and so, many of us can only wish more for the two. Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan is the perfect example of a one-shot manga that really takes advantage of all the pages given to it to really tell a great story without wasting time or emotions.

If you have never read a one-shot manga before, Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan is a great first read, although it might spoil you for another one-shot manga in the future!


Compilations

There are times when you will find compilation works by several different popular manga combined in a single volume. Each story is exactly one chapter long. These compilations may be the result of mangaka competing against each other or just trying out the story amongst readers first before moving on to write a bigger and better story. This is great for aspiring mangaka who want to test the water for their works.While not all one-shot manga will get a full series, there are a lucky few that continue on and are adapted into longer series.

Kono Koi wo Wasurenai

  • Volumes: 1
  • Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, School Life
  • Publish Date: 2006
  • Mangaka: Kimura Ayako, Kuramochi Mari, Mitsuya Omi, Nanba Atsuko, Torikai Akane, Yoshii Yuu

A compilation of chapters, each written by a different, popular, shoujo mangaka, about girls who fall in love or are in love and all of their troubles with love while being students.

While the actual description itself doesn’t actually say whether or not this one-shot is worth reading, it is worth noting all of the mangaka involved in churning this manga out. Each manga wrote a chapter that attributed to this manga. One favorite chapter in this compilation of short stories has to be Mitsuya Omi’s The Flower Blooms In You, which does a wonderful job at grabbing at your heartstrings and really stirring the romantic in you, whether or not you were a romantic, to begin with!

Kono Koi wo Wasurenai ultimately led the mangaka Yoshii Yuu, known for writing the manga adaptations to the Deep Love side stories, to extending her story for Ready, Go! to a two-volume manga. While Deep Love was well developed in its few volumes, imagine what happened to the Ready, Go! one-shot when it was made into two volumes.


Contests

As we were saying earlier, one-shot manga may be put out as a way of competing between mangaka. Popular mangaka Akira Toriyama and Rumiko Takahashi are known to put out many one-shots, which essentially make up a lot of their works. Do you remember watching Barakamon? They were making one-shots to see which stories would be good enough to become full-fledged series. This is the same concept. Mangaka churn many one-shots to compete and find out what story might be more profitable. And you know what? Some one-shot manga can really surprise you by becoming exceedingly popular.

Naruto

  • Volumes: 72
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen
  • Publish Date: 1999
  • Mangaka: Kishimoto Masahi

This famous manga needs no introduction, however, let us remind you that Naruto is a manga about a young ninja and orphan, Naruto, who is a prankster and dreams of becoming the Hokage when he grows up. However, Naruto is a failure of a ninja who is basically ignored or despised by all of the villagers in Konohagakure. Little does he know, Naruto is actually the vessel for the Nine-Tails Beast, the demonic monster that nearly destroyed the village many years ago until it was sealed by the 4th Hokage into the infant Naruto!

Naruto is one of many extremely popular manga that began as a one-shot. Others include Dragon Ball, Bleach, Fist of the North Star, One Piece, Death Note, and Berserk. Now that’s a surprising list, isn’t it? And yes, Naruto is exceedingly popular in the anime world and to people who know nothing about anime. And to think it started as a shounen oneshot! Naruto has continued on to have 72 volumes and now, Kishimoto is in the process of telling the story of Naruto’s son, Boruto.


Final Thoughts

One-shot manga may be short, but they tend to have a lot of potential and character. Don’t be fooled; one chapter or one volume doesn’t mean that the manga is insignificant. And they are great reads for people who have very little time and need a quick read. Think of them like they are short stories!

Now, how many people read one-shots out there? Did you know it was called a one-shot manga? Which one-shot manga is your favorite? Share your thoughts below!

Jenangelx3

Editor

Author: Jenangelx3

California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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