Susamu Nakoshi, a man disillusioned with life, meets Manabu Ito, a young medical student bored with life. To relieve his boredom Ito offers Nakoshi 700,000 yen to undergo a trepanning to see if it will unlock his sixth sense, and Nakoshi eventually agrees. However, much to his dismay and chagrin it actually succeeds, and now Nakoshi must contend with seeing homunculi, the metaphysical and symbolic representations of a person's psychological disorder. He now helps people, usually against his own will and often theirs as well, with resolving their psychological problems.
Punpun is a relatively normal elementary school student; he goes to lessons, does his homework and gets on well with his classmates. Unfortunately, it’s everyone else around him that’s bonkers! With a crowd of crazy teachers playing hide and seek or having extreme reactions to even the tiniest situation at school, his father kept at bay on domestic violence charges, and only his unemployed layabout uncle to look up to Punpun’s life is anything but simple. However, despite the mayhem surrounding him, Punpun still continues to quietly live on, contemplating his dreams, experiencing the joy and terror of falling in love, and trying to deal with his anxieties about sex, religion, and growing up.
If you liked the ennui, psychology, and type of character interaction in either of these seinen manga, you should check out the other. Both are fairly bleak, and occasionally depressing, but have similar atmospheres, and will probably appeal to the same audience.
In the idyllic, suburban Soil New Town, everyone's lives are picturesque, down to the mandatory perfectly-manicured flower bed in front of every house. But this peaceful façade is shattered when the well-known Suzushiro family disappears during a power outage, leaving behind nothing but a pillar of salt. Things get even weirder with the arrival of a mountain of this same salt at the local school, a crossdresser fixated on transmission towers, and threatening messages demanding that every citizen pay a portion of the Suzushiro family’s ransom. The plain and often-frazzled detective Onoda and her sexist and hygienically-challenged boss, Sergeant Yokoi, are called in from out of town to help, but it's a tough case to crack. Will they be able to get any information out of the gossiping townspeople, all of whom hate outsiders and have something to hide?
Both of these mangas are great if you enjoy the twisted reality of human nature and mystifying oddities of the supernatural. The characters of both series aren't pretty and more often flawed than not, and the mangakaka does a wonderful job of illistrating their trip down the rabbit hole. Great series if you like physcological + paranormal mysteries.