Upon entering Genshin Impact’s Sumeru region, you’ll meet Collei, a new playable character. Collei is quickly revealed to have connections across the cast. A Fatui Harbinger — the title members of the Fatui leadership — named Il Dottore previously kidnaped Collei, and she befriended characters from Mondstadt such as Amber during her escape. But in-game, Genshin Impact doesn’t really explain her story, mostly having Collei add color-commentary random bouts of dialogue. To properly understand Sumeru, you’ll need to read the Genshin Impact manga.
If this is the first time you’ve heard of the manga, that’s likely because Hoyoverse released it approximately two years prior to the official game. Chapters began dropping in 2018 and ceased in 2020, and it can be read on Webtoon, Tapas, or the Genshin Impact website. Hoyoverse designed the story as a prequel to introduce readers to the world. Specifically, the manga introduces readers to the first region in Genshin Impact, Mondstadt, where the game’s prologue is set.
At a glance, the region appears far thinner in lore than the ones that follow. The manga fixes that. Early-game characters gain significant depth. Kaeya’s relationship with Diluc is given additional backstory. Venti’s reign as Archon is explored. Most importantly, the manga is the story of Amber coming into her own. By deepening the cast’s stories, the manga adds narrative heft to Mondstadt, a section that can usually be written off as “a tutorial with some story.”
The best time to read the manga was before Genshin Impact launched. The second-best time is right now.
In addition to deepening the first region’s story, the manga lays the groundwork for Sumeru. Collei’s entire backstory is explained in the manga. It shows precisely why Collei is so fond of Amber. You’ll learn about Collei’s illness and how exactly she came under Dottore’s care. You’ll also see Dottore in action. He interacts with high-ranking Mondstadt characters like Diluc and Kaeya. Even Sumeru’s General Mahamatra, Cyno, briefly appears. During his extended cameo, Cyno establishes a connection between himself and Lisa.
Genshin Impact has already referenced the manga on numerous occasions, confirming it as canon. Residue from certain fights that occurred in the manga can be found in-game. Sumeru residents like Tighnari have in-game voice lines explicitly referring to manga events. Dottore is continually being set up as an imminently arriving villain via hidden quests like “The Bad Guy in Vimara Village” and the trailer for patch 3.1. Genshin Impact feels far richer if you understand the context of these events. If you want to fully enjoy the game, the manga is essential literature.
You can currently read the manga’s first 13 chapters in English, though it is 16 chapters in total. At the time of writing, the final three chapters are only officially available in Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese. Hoyoverse has yet to translate the concluding installments into English.
Rather than allow the fandom to make assumptions from summaries, a few fans worked to localize the remaining story. A Twitter user named AseriaSallaria translated the final chapters. Another user, DarkKnightHero, found AseriaSallaria’s translations and typeset the dialogue to the page.
“The manga made me fall in love with these characters. I was pretty sad to see the official English version stop right before the final fight,” AseriaSallaria told Polygon.
You can currently read AseriaSallaria’s translation of the final three chapters on Mangadex. For her, these chapters have added weight to Sumeru. “I was looking forward to seeing Collei in-game, and it finally came true two years later!”
The manga is great if you already love Genshin Impact or if you’re a potential fan looking to love the world. Don’t allow Hoyoverse’s lack of translation of the series’ denouement stop you. The community surrounding the game worked together to ensure every fan has access to the story. As a Genshin Impact fan, the manga is required reading. Do not let it slip by you.