When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Which do you want to read as manga?

We have 10 semi-finalist novels from the MAL x Honeyfeed Writing Contest waiting for your vote! Try them out and let us know which web novels you want to see brought to life as published manga.


MyAnimeList is collaborating with Honeyfeed to help aspiring overseas novelists realize their dream of being published—and debut with their very own manga in Japan! Writers had two short months to write the first volumes for their web novels. Our judges then narrowed down all eligible novels into the best 10 for each prompt.

Try out these semi-finalist novels and let us know which you want to see brought to life as published manga. Voting periods are only a week long for each story prompt, so taste test them all: you can always read the rest of the story later.

• Impossible Romance: Round 1
• Survivor Slaughter: Round 2
• My New Life As A…: Round 3
• When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Round 4
• Who Needs Plot: Round 5

How to Vote

You can vote for as many as novels you like.

Novels can be read on any device, but votes must be cast using the official MyAnimeList app on a mobile device. After installing the app, open the Profile Menu and tap Vote! Writing Contest. Alternatively, you can tap the icon on the top right of the Home tab.

Open the MAL App! »»

Here are the semi-finalists in When the Clock Strikes Midnight!

Vehemence 激烈

Novel1Moriuchi Ayumi, an ordinary high school student’s life gets flipped upside down when her friend vanishes into thin air. Not only does she have to rescue her friend from a giant, monstrous caterpillar that is controlled by a child, but she finds herself in a life or death situation when she is captured by mysterious people, who call themselves the Outliners and have strange powers themselves. To make matters worse, she is forced to accept that she has supernatural powers herself and discovers that a big, black shadow has been living inside of her all this time. One harrowing event after another pressures her to go down a bloody path where it even means to fight herself if she has to.

Themes: Supernatural, Suspense, Highschool, Powers, Weapons

by A.R. Arterberry

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Reader’s Comment

This was the very first story I started reading, and the first one that I finished, and woah, it really raised the bar for all the competition. The suspense is stellar and the characters were fantastic. Part way through, the story kind of changes, and it develops into a very serious/dark My Hero Academia-style school story, where we go together with the MC and discover what powers other students have. It feels like a volume one of many, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Only in Chaos Are We Conceivable

Novel2A prominent research scientist has been found dead in his home holding nothing but a cryptic final warning about the end times. Word of his death spreads like wildfire, and the city is soon ablaze with hysteria and conspiracy. As powerful opportunists and dormant forces awaken to quell the chaos, Detective Jay Sakamoto and his trusty cat Dojo navigate the labyrinth of the scientist’s life, where an ex-lover, a cybernetic bartender, and a video game could hold the key to humanity’s survival.

Themes: Mystery, Crime, Cyberpunk, Games

by znf (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

I need to start by saying that the different perspectives happening at the same time and in the same chapters confused me at first, but once I figured out that the author wanted us connect the dots ourselves, it made sense. The characters feel like the real plot of the story, they’re very interesting and keep you wanting to read more. Modern takes on detective stories that involve the internet are something I really enjoy. Sadly, I’ve only seen it in very few anime, like Heaven’s Memo Pad, so it was great to see it here.

The Sequence of Kai

Novel3The world is crazier than even crazy people dared to believe.

A magical game of cards is being held at the end of the world or perhaps it’s the beginning of a new one. Every card grants the holder a unique power that redefines what the magical world thought to be impossible. The more cards one has, the stronger their powers grow.

Kai was a regular girl who found herself caught up with the people involved in this game. Will she come out the other side the same person she was before?

Themes: Supernatural, Death

by OscarHM (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

If you’ve seen Mirai Nikki, you’ll understand quickly what this novel’s about. While the world-building was minimal, the characters are the real star of this story: how they interact with each other, and most of all, the entertaining dialogues which drag you into the series. It hooks you and makes you want to know more about each character. That part is the real strong selling point of this novel. The characters are so interesting that I wouldn’t mind reading an entire arc just focused on any of the characters. Honestly, this web novel is really rich in everything.

Ruler of the Outland

Novel4Okajima Teruya was an agent working to protect the people from the different ones—savages was what they called them, while he preferred the term monsters. He grew up learning that they were hostile and dangerous. It’s not until he got deeply involved with their world and found out he was half monster himself that he finally knew all the things he’d learned about them were wrong.

Themes: Supernatural, Dystopian, Magic, Adventure, Action

by Akahana

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Reader’s Comment

Although the premise is not unfamiliar for anime fans, the author finds a way to keep you hooked. Good writing, lots of description, nice world-building, monster girls are always a great addition! The human world and their issues remind me a lot of a recently released anime called Night Head 2041 but then the outlands feel so much like Mahoutsukai no Yome: two strange comparisons but in a good way, as this novel has “the best of both worlds” in this case!

Midnight King

Novel5How far are you willing to go for popularity?

Honey is the beautiful and social media obsessed, new transfer student at Godforsaken High and she came with a goal.

To be the most popular girl at school.

However, her classmates and everyone else at Godforsaken High are uninterested in her ambition to reign over them and ignore any and all attempts she makes to get their attention.

Desperate for new followers, Honey discovers that the only way to gain the affection of her classmates is through an underground fight club called ‘The Midnight Fights’. The King of The Midnight Fights is the most well-known high schooler amongst five school districts.

To all the students, he is practically a celebrity.

Enticed by The King’s fame, Honey obtains help from two former members of the fight club to achieve her dream of absolute popularity. And possibly get revenge on someone from her past.

Themes: Crime, Action

by fujisprouts

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Reader’s Comment

The school setting is different from your usual manga, and kind of reminded me of US public schools, which makes it even more fitting for the story’s theme. While reading, I couldn’t avoid but picture this having a similar style to the Boondocks + Panty & Stocking anime. You’re hooked straight from the synopsis, where it promises drama and fights, and it really delivers. It also hints some GL~ Honestly, I could keep rambling a lot about this novel, because it was really refreshing to read.

The Life of Death

Novel6Another soul collected, another step towards insanity. That is the life of a death. Tasked with collecting the souls of the deceased, Milo Lethe must absorb them to not only survive as a servant of judgement, but to guide these souls to the Underworld. What will Milo do when his humanity begins to fade as the memories of the souls he collects blend with his own and images from his forgotten past start to haunt him?

After a near-death encounter with Milo, high schooler Ava Angelo begins to see deaths in their true form. Milo cannot resist the desire to guard her life. Her new ability makes her unique, drawing in deaths hoping to consume her soul.

Join these two as they embark on a journey to survive their fate and dive deeper into each other’s dark pasts.

Themes: Supernatural, Suspense, Action, Shounen

by Arrhythmia (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

Your interest in the story is immediately piqued from the first chapter. Added to that, it’s filled with creative characters that make this story even more gripping. Humor, action, relatable characters, love, and death packed into just one volume? Fantastic! I can easily picture this story becoming manga! While I can’t directly link any anime to this story, but some of the characters had a little bit of Ginko from Mushishi and Elias from The Ancient Magus’ Bride in them.


Novel7Tokyo Prefecture has undergone a severe surge in criminal activity in the past two decades. Nao Watanabe, Chief of the Tokyo Police Department, selected Mamoru Fukumoto as the Captain of the newly instated, highly secretive, Special Operations Task Force. Their core obligation is to eliminate high-risk criminal threats, and execute violent gangs running rampant throughout Tokyo.

When Mamoru’s squad gets completely wiped out by a powerful up-and-coming gang, Mamoru chooses his own daughter, Junko, to be the new Lieutenant of the Task Force. Following in her father’s lead, Junko selects her own team, and embarks on a life-long commitment in order to protect the city she calls home.

However, Junko and her team will face hardships that no one was prepared for. Tragedy, betrayal, and dark secrets lie within the history of the Task Force. Join Junko and her crew as they uncover the real truth behind the Special Operations Task Force, and as they unveil the meaning of their own lives.

Themes: Crime, Mystery, Tragedy, Slice of Life

by free.23

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Reader’s Comment

The author is a descriptive writer, which is why each scene is easy to visualize and understand. Also, there is a good balance of dialogue and narration. The plot is well thought out and the way the author brings the whole plot towards the great reveal was interesting to read. There wasn’t a particular character that stood out personally, they were all enjoyable.

Novel8Individuality and sentiment are two things that distinguish one person from the next. However, trouble and difficulty lie down the path of adversity for those decreed as a whole but born destinate to be two halves — Twins.

Meet Rei Hirojima and Kei Hirojima — two normal inseparable young boys closely connected through their admiration for one another. Brought up in Japan’s countryside by their parents who have no other family, Kei has a closer connection to his mother whilst Rei to his father.

Crime is on the rise. But on one fateful day, they lose their parents and home at the hands of a gang, seeking to steal all the wealthy possessions of the Hirojima family. This is a true test of nature against nurture as the boys walk down different paths, voracious in inflicting revenge against the assailants who took everything away from them; One enacting justice embodying the gavel, the other defiant of the law culling with his justice: his fists.

Themes: Mystery, Crime, Suspense, Police, Shounen/Seinen

by Tuflyel [2VL]

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Reader’s Comment

The prose is really good, and the pacing is quite fast. Between focusing on the twins Rei and Kei’s relationship, and the fateful day that broke their whole family and life apart, there are many things happen at once which keep you engaged. The story itself is really good, and can be adapted easily to manga. A must read for martial arts fans, and those interested in stories about vengeance and individuality.

Of Salt and Silver

Novel9In the year of 1881, it could be said that it was a time in which England was at the height of its culture. Here we follow Isabella Saldana, a Spanish maid who, through a series of unfortunate and downright strange events, finds herself employed by the eccentric physician, Viktor Raines.

However, it did not take long for her to realize it wasn’t just bumps and bruises that he specializes in. Aside from keeping his daily life in order, she is expected to sort his alchemical potions, research ways of dealing with the supernatural and to make sure that his collection doesn’t have the mind to break out of their containment cases.

Occasionally accompanied by their benefactor, Isabella and Viktor Raines travel through the cities of England in order to quell the things that go bump in the night. Will they be able to keep the shadows at bay, or, will they fall prey to hidden malice as society slowly eats itself alive?

Themes: Mystery, Supernatural, Alchemy, Victorian

by Usaji (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

Stepping through this mystery is a powerful act of worldbuilding, using a familiar 19th century England dashed with enigmatic happenings of evocative soft magic that is simply right at home in a twilit Victorian era. The result is a fantastic sense of place, and this is powered by some distinct, careful use of language that brings it all to life with the right tone. Each character, even those beyond the protagonists, are developed well and their chemistry with each other right off the bat is clear and makes for engaging dialogue.

Emiko Alone

Novel10The world is quiet, the streets are empty, and Emiko wakes up alone.

Themes: Mystery, Supernatural, Lonely, Adventure

by DoctorDisco (MAL profile)

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Reader’s Comment

This novel has a fantastic hook, setting you up for an interesting ride. While it holds true to the thriller genre, it’s combined with plenty of character work and fun worldbuilding, mixing in a lot of fantasy elements. For those who are introverts and have a deep love of nature and animals, Emiko Alone will be sure to please!

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