Top 30 best Japanese Manga

May 28, 2021 8 min read

best manga

Manga is an unavoidable phenomenon of Japanese culture, and it is becoming more and more popular among otakus all over the world. With a meteoric rise of sales in the USA, Japanese comics are breaking all records. 🏆

Among the most popular manga, some have particularly marked the history. Discover the top 30 best manga of all time, to read urgently!

N° 30 : Skip Beat

skip beat manga

Yoshiki Nakamura tells us the story of Kyoko, a generous young girl betrayed by her childhood friend who had become famous thanks to her. In order to get her revenge, she needs to become a star in her turn. This hilarious and suspenseful shojo was released in 2002 and today has 46 albums.

N° 29 : A Silent Voice

a silent voice manga

Published in 2013, this manga is a shonen imagined by Yoshitoki Ōima. The story is about a young deaf girl who is persecuted by her classmates and then meets a boy. This piece of writing about the difficulty of forgiveness, disability and social relationships with great sensitivity will appeal to readers looking for emotions.

N° 28 : Sword Art Online

manga Sword Art Online

SAO (2012) is a shonen manga based on the light novel by Reki Kawahara. In 2022, Kirito finds himself trapped inside a virtual reality video game. He will have to finish the game if he wants to get out of it unharmed. The futuristic aspect and the gaming universe will enchant the geek readers for sure!

N° 27 : One Punch Man

manga One Punch Man

One Punch man is an online manga, created by One in 2009 before being illustrated by the cartoonist Yusuke Murata. Saitama is a sad man, until the day he decides to become a superhero. Starting in 2012, the saga has now reached 25 volumes. Since its release, this humorous series met a great success. It will delight fans of biting irony.

N° 26 : Nana

manga Nana

This shojo manga imagined by Ai Yazawa is a real treat for music and romance lovers. Nana is a manga series compiled in 21 volumes telling the story of friendship between two very different girls whose destiny will cross. This manga deals with emotional dependence, love and the complexity of relationships through affecting characters.

N° 25 :  Inuyasha

manga Inuyasha

In the Adventure & Fantasy genre, Inuyasha is a shonen written and drawn by the famous Rumiko Takahashi. Particularly popular in Japan, this manga, published in 1997, counts no less than 56 volumes today. It relates the adventures of a young high school girl who travelled back in time to feudal Japan and met a strange demon half human half dog.

N° 24 : Great Teacher Onizuka

manga Great Teacher Onizuka

GTO (1997) is a shonen manga created by Toru Fujisawa with a collection of 25 volumes. The story is about a teacher with a questionable past who is going to win over a class of students known to be difficult, by using his unusual methods. In addition to being particularly funny, GTO deals with more profound subjects such as social integration or family problems in disadvantaged environments.

N° 23 : Erased

manga Erased

Released in 2012, Erased is an 8 volume seinen written and drawn by Key Sanbe. A mangaka struggling to launch his career has a surprising gift that allows him to go back in time before a drama occurs. Erased and its unbearable suspense will delight the thriller enthusiasts.

N° 22 : Devilman

manga Devilman

This old shonen manga dating from 1972 has recently been converted into an anime series called Devilman Crybaby (released by Netflix). A young boy is transformed into a demon to prevent his last ones from conquering the world. The hard-hitting work of the great Go Nagai, father of Goldorak, exudes terror (and violence) without having lost its vintage charm.

N° 21 : Black Butler

manga Black Butler

Released in 2006, this shonen by Yann Toboso tells, through breathtaking drawings, the story of a young 12-year-old aristocrat living in a manor with her servants. This manga which oscillates between drama, detective and supernatural is a dark story destined for teenagers over 14 years old and adults.

N° 20 : Air Gear

manga Air Gear

Air Gear is a shonen manga created by Ogure Ito. This manga, prepublished in the Weekly Shonen Magazine in 2002 and then adapted in anime in 2006 by Toei Animation, has a series of 37 volumes. Ikki is part of a group of riders defying all gravity, surrounded by his 4 friends, he will fight against terrible enemies. A mix of sport, romance and action with a touch of humor that will seduce rollerblading fans.

N° 19 : Full Metal Alchemist

manga Full Metal Alchemist

This cult manga by Hiromu Arakawa released in 2001 tells the story of two brothers ready to do whatever it takes to bring back their deceased mother. To achieve their goals, they will use alchemy, but the experiment turns into a fiasco. FMA is a shonen both complex and full of twists and turns that will enchant fans of adventure and fantasy worlds.

N° 18 : Beastars

manga Beastars

Beastars is a work by Paru Itagaki published in 2016, the story deals with themes of conflict and human relationships through the use of animal characters. A true allegory of society; Beastars is a must-read shonen for those who like to laugh and to reflect.

N° 17 : Ascendance of a Bookworm

Ascendance of a Bookworm

This 2013 web-series, published as a light novel and then adapted into a manga called "Ascendance of a Bookworm ", tells the life of Urano Motosu, a young girl passionate about reading, who after a terrible accident is reincarnated in the skin of a little girl in the medieval period. Deprived of books, she doesn't give up though. This shojo by Miya Kazuki is an original isekai that will delight book lovers.

N°16 : Seven Deadly Sins

manga Seven Deadly Sins

This 41-volume shonen manga is a true treasure by Nakaba Susuki and published in 2012 to be adapted into an animated series at a later stage. The episodes of the fourth season are being released nowadays on Netflix. The story is about a young girl who tries to find 7 legendary knights to save the kingdom. A fantastic story full of adventure with wonderful drawings.

N°15 : Promised Neverland

manga Promised Neverland

Promised Neverland (2016) combines Kaiu Shirai's well-crafted script with Demizu Posuka's remarkable graphic design. This shonen is about the adventures of two orphans in danger of death and their frantic struggle to survive in a dark and fantastic universe. This nugget is sure to delight teenagers in search of action.

💡 Shonen, shojo, seinen... Each of these Japanese terms designates a type of manga. This classification is done both according to the age of the readership and according to the literary genre (action, romance, fantasy...). To learn more about this topic, discover which type of manga is made for you! (online soon)


N°14 : Moriarty the Patriot

manga Moriarty the Patriot

This manga series, appeared in 2016 and imagined by Ryōsuke Takeuchi, will surely thrill fans of Sherlok Holmes. Under the features of Hikaru Miyoshi, Moriarty embarks us in 19th century London in a mysterious universe. Among an aristocratic family, Albert adopts two orphans... a story where conspiracies are mixed with the dream of a better society.

N°13 : Fairy Tail

manga Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail (2006) is a successful manga by Hiro Mashima that gathers 63 volumes, 328 episodes, two anime movies and several OVA. While trying to join the biggest magic guild, Lucy finds herself trapped. This manga has a good dose of magic, adventure, spirits and characters that are quite amazing. Fairy Tail and its magical universe will enchant magic fans.

N° 12 : Dr Stone

manga Dr Stone

Dr. Stone is a post-apocalyptic manga conceived by Japanese scriptwriter Riichiro Ingaki and the talented cartoonist Boichi. Released in 2017 in the pre-publication magazine that also launched Dragon Ball, this manga is a true success. A high school student wakes up in a completely fossilized world. With the help of his friend Senku, he will rebuild humanity.

N° 11 : Bleach

manga Bleach

With a collection of 74 volumes, this manga series of Tite Kubo appeared in 2002 and has not finished delighting the shonen fans. Bleach is the story of an ordinary-looking teenager that becomes a demon hunter. With 120 million volumes sold, this manga is among the most successful ones.

N° 10 : Death Note

manga Death Note

Death Note (2003) is a shonen manga by Tsugumi Oba, illustrated by Takeshi Obata. This comic tells the story of a young man who finds a notebook with a strange power... the one to cause death. This mix of thriller and fantasy offers an absolutely gripping plot. For the fans of crime manga.

N° 9 : Berserk

manga Berserk

Berserk (1990) is a seinen created by Kentaro Miura which immerses us in a fantastic universe in the medieval period. Follow the adventures of Guts, a warrior attached to a troop of mercenaries, determined to find his freedom. This manga with a remarkable graphic style will delight adults who like dark fantasy.

N° 8 : Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

manga Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

This manga, published in 1986, is a masterpiece by Hirohiki Araki. Jojo comes from a noble English family. While his adoptive brother tries to steal his inheritance, he will do everything possible to prevent it. With 98 volumes, the saga makes us travel through the world and times. We discover totally different universes through the heroes of Jojo's lineage. This shonen will please the amateurs of strategic fights.

N° 7 : Demon Slayer

Demon Slayer

Also known as Kimetsu no Yaiba in Japan, the shonen by Koyoharu Gotōg, tells the story of a young merchant who tries to save his little sister who has been turned into a demon. With more than 150 million prints, Demon Slayer is one of the best-selling manga in the world. A classic shonen with an original graphic style: a real must-read.

N° 6 : Dragon Ball

manga Dragon Ball

Impossible not to remember Dragon Ball, the cult manga by Akira Toriyama that has marked several generations since 1984. This shonen tells the story of Son Goku, a little boy endowed with a legendary strength, in search of 7 crystal balls capable of granting any wish once gathered. With the help of his friends, he will fight many adversaries. A real phenomenon, Dragon Ball is the best-selling manga in the world, right after the indisputable One Piece. Moreover, it is ranked 3rd best manga of all time in Japan.

N° 5 : My Hero Academia

manga My Hero Academia

This manga by Koshei Horikoshi, released in 2014, immerses us in the amazing universe of superheroes via the character of Izuku Midoriya. A mixture of Japanese culture and American comics that will appeal to fans of heroic battles.

N°4 : Hunter X Hunter

manga Hunter X Hunter

This shonen, written by Yoshihiro Togashi, is one of the best Japanese mangas. Pre-published in 1998, it includes 36 volumes today. Gon dreams of becoming a hunter, just like his father. This distinction reserved for the elite requires to pass an extremely selective and dangerous annual exam. The suspense is terrible!

N° 3 : Naruto

manga Naruto

With more than 250 million sales, Naruto is among the top 3 best mangas. This shonen, created by Masashi Kishimoto, met with remarkable success shortly after its release in 1999. With its 72 albums, the adventures of the orphan ninja with a mischievous character will delight many teenagers and nostalgic adults.

N° 2 : One piece

manga One piece

This mythical manga, created in 1997, is without a doubt the most famous in the world. With more than 480 million copies, this shonen, written by Eiichirō Oda, is the best-selling manga in history. Compiled in 98 volumes, the story of the pirate Luffy and his crew breaks all the records of Japanese comics!

N° 1 : Attack on Titan

attack on titan manga

This work, by Hajime Isayama, is absolutely amazing. The mangaka takes us to the heart of a city that is entirely protected by walls in a world ravaged by Titans, gigantic creatures that destroy humanity. A breathtaking plot, punctuated by scenes of horror, feelings and hope. To be discovered without any doubt!

 

If you are a fan of Japanese comics and haven't read these mangas yet, well, it's time to start. You probably already devoured some of them? What is your favorite manga?

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