Iris Zero is a fantasy seinen manga written by Piroshiki and illustrated by Hotaru Takana. Created in 2009, the series has been running for over a decade. The series is known to take frequent breaks due to the author’s unspecified health issues.

Iris Zero tells the story of Toru Mizushima, a sixteen-year-old boy who lives in a world where most people his age possess a power called “iris” in their eyes. The iris gives them the power to see things others cannot see. Despite the series’ many interruptions, Iris Zero still worth reading – here’s how to get started with the manga.

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The plot of Iris Zero

The story begins when Toru receives a love confession from Koyuki Sasamori, one of the most popular girls in school. Koyuki asks Toru to help him find the most qualified person to become this year’s student body president. Toru refuses and tries to go back to his daily life. Much to his surprise, Koyuki continues to be friendly towards him. Eventually, Toru helps Koyuki figure out that she is the best candidate for the position of student body president and the two become friends. Despite his “minimum exposure” motto, Toru builds a small group of friends who stick by his side, even if he doesn’t have irises. Toru uses his intellect and deductive reasoning to solve problems plaguing his friends and classmates.

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Meet the main characters of Iris Zero

Toru Mizushima is one of the few born without an iris, making him an outcast among his classmates – people like him are pejoratively referred to as “iris zeros”. For fear of ridicule, Toru claims to have had an iris since childhood. His lie is exposed to his classmate Asahi Yuki, then rejected by his peers.

The heroine of the series is Koyuki Sasamori, a bubbly and finicky young girl. Koyuki’s iris gives him the power to tell if someone is qualified to complete a task. If someone is qualified, she sees an O above her head and an X if not.

Asahi Yuki is Koyuki’s best friend and was Toru’s friend since childhood until he was exposed for rigging his iris. His iris allows him to see when people are lying; a devil’s tail springing from the liar. According to Piroshiki, Asahi senses the person’s honesty – so a sincere person might be wrong about something and have no tail, while a deceitful person would have a tail, even if they are telling the truth.

Hijiri Shinozuka is Toru’s best friend with the ability to see when certain things are about to die. He sees it in the form of a black butterfly. The closer something gets to death, the more butterflies appear.

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Nanase Kuga is a shy girl who can see people’s emotions in the form of wings. The wings vary in color depending on the person’s emotions – for example, red indicating anger. Harumi Tokita is Nanase Kuga’s childhood best friend. Tokita’s iris allows him to see who someone is attracted to, showing a halo above someone’s head with an arrow pointing to the person he loves.

Where to read Iris Zero

Iris Zero began serialization in 2009 in Media Factory’s Living Monthly Comic magazine which has since changed its name to Future of Kadokawa. The series is known for taking frequent breaks; the last hiatus began in 2019. The manga currently has forty-four published chapters. After the manga, two drama CDs were also released to accompany the manga.

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Although it is a more specialized seinen manga, many retailers offer physical and digital copies of Iris Zero. The manga is currently available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobleand walmart.

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