When looking for manga recommendations, it’s always nice to know which genre you enjoy the most. But if you want to read all the best manga series of all time, irrespective of their genre, then I’ve got you covered with this article!
The concept of “manga” dates back to the 12th-century when the world hadn’t even begun to explore the art of storytelling through illustrations combined with words.
Western superhero comics became exceptionally popular from the 1940s and onwards. However, most of these still focus on only adolescents, especially boys. Meanwhile, manga grew in size, vigor, variety, and maturity.
The stories are almost always built with meticulous details, having distinct plot lines and characters with unique yet believable motivations that are coherent with their supposed backgrounds. And so, current manga is not just some graphic entertainment but a colossal phenomenon shaping ideas for people of all ages and professions.
Most popular manga series get adapted into anime, but only a few anime can do justice to their source material. So, even if you loved a particular anime, it’s always a good idea to read the manga too because it’s filled with a ton of details, the growth of several characters, and a story that might be different from what you saw in the anime!
There is a manga for everyone in genres ranging from action, adventure, and fantasy to romance, comedy, drama, thriller, and sheer horror.
But with vastness comes a dilemma, “Which Manga Should I Read first?”
And here I am to answer that very question for you. In this article, you will find a list of not only the most popular but the best manga series that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. So, let’s not waste any more time and get started!
Also See: Best Anime Series Of All Time
Best Manga Series Of All Time (2022)
1. Berserk by Kentaro Miura
Set in Medieval Europe, Berserk explores the story of a lone warrior – Guts, who was born from a hanging corpse and was raised as a mercenary by his adoptive father, Gambino.
Unfortunately, not all foster parents are kind, so Guts had to kill his father to survive.
The tragedy brought Guts a fearsome reputation among brigands, eventually reaching Griffith – the mercenary group leader of the “Band of the Hawk.” After a series of events, Guts forms an unusual bond with Griffith and joins his cause.
However, he gets entangled in political and supernatural conspiracies and is branded for death.
Now a wanted man, Guts is hunted by demons, beasts, and humans alike.
But defying all odds, he finds unorthodox companions and embarks on a journey to set all the wrongs right.
While this seinen manga is dark fantasy, it features real-life struggles and politics. Its graphic nature and plot twists are sure to keep you entertained, and the artwork Kentaro Miura is just out of this world!
2. Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama
Inspired by the Chinese novel “Journey to the West,” Dragon Ball is one of the most famous shonen manga set in an alternate universe where Earth is just another planet waiting to be conquered!
The plot revolves around Son Goku – a cheerful stripling who lives alone in the wilderness until he meets Bulma – a girl collecting seven magical orbs or “Dragon Balls” that will grant her wish of having a perfect boyfriend.
Since Goku hesitates to part with his Dragon Ball, Bulma asks him to join her quest. However, they are not the only people looking to fulfill their wishes.
And frankly, their wishes are not as harmless as just wishing a boyfriend.
As the series progresses, Goku discovers his alien heritage and supernatural powers.
But, unlike most, he trains in martial arts solely to protect others. His determination and pure-heartedness lead the deities of Earth to train him and raise Goku as the most powerful “Protector of Humanity.”
The manga shows top-notch fighters, their struggles, companionship, as well as their sacrifices.
3. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
One Piece isn’t just one of the best manga series, but also one of the longest-running and best-selling series of all time, and for several reasons!
As the World Government prepares to execute Gol D. Roger – the “Pirate King,” his final words confirm the presence of “One Piece” – the most incredible treasure hidden somewhere in the world, just waiting for someone to find it!
And so, his demise instigates “the Great Pirate Age,” with thousands of pirates setting sails to find the ‘One Piece’ and claim the glory associated with it.
Two decades later, Monkey D. Luffy, our protagonist, starts his journey to becoming the Pirate King. However, his motivations come purely from a desire for adventure.
But that’s the least odd thing about him.
He lacks all the pirate prerequisites from navigational skills and ship maintenance to a crew, and he neither has a ship nor can he swim. And, he cannot ever learn to swim as he ate a Devil Fruit to gain the attributes of rubber, and now he is a rubber man cursed by the ocean.
While the manga features exceptional fighting and supernatural powers, its satirical nature disguised as humor keeps its readers hooked yet aware of several hypocrisies.
4. Vagabond by Takehito Inoue
Since Inoue specializes in the sports genre, a historical Manga like Vagabond appears anything but a venture within his comfort zone.
However, reading only a few panels of Vagabond makes one applaud Inoue’s fearlessness.
Shinmen Takezou – a violent and unruly youth, is shunned as “the Devil Child” by his village. The reproach ignites a desire for glory, causing Shinmen to join Toyotomi Army alongside his best friend – Matahachi Honiden.
But much of war is just mindless killing, and honor comes only to the strong.
Unfortunately, the realization dawns on both friends when they lay dying on the battlefield while the Tokugawa Clan crushes Toyotomi.
Barely surviving, the teens vow to become “Invincible Under the Heavens.”
As the story unfolds, the two get separated. So, on returning, Shinmen attempts to notify the Honiden family about Matahachi’s survival. Instead, he is held responsible for murdering his friend and is strung up a tree to die alone.
Enters the itinerant monk – Takuan Soho, who sets Shinmen free and rechristens him “Musashi Miyamoto.” And so, the journey of self-reflection begins with Musashi turning a “Sword Saint.”
The manga gradually becomes more entertaining as it twists with each new fact coming to light.
This series is one of the few manga series that no one wants to be adapted into an anime because adapting Takehito Inoue’s highly detailed artwork into anime is a task that won’t be easy!
5. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama
Centuries ago, humankind confined itself within walls to avoid being eaten by Humanoid Monsters, the “Titans.” Shockingly, they don’t eat humans out of hunger but consummate pleasure.
Though besieged by man-eating giants, humanity has now survived for a century without encountering a single Titan.
Some even wonder if Titans are just a myth.
But the fragile peace shatters as a Colossal Titan breaches the supposedly impregnable walls.
The Shinganshina District takes the full brunt of this attack, causing millions to suffer.
Now, war victims Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert seek to avenge their losses. Therefore, they enlist into “the Survey Corps” – an elite military regimen fighting against the Titans.
However, they become key to discovering the reality of the Titans and their origins.
The series is filled with conspiracies and curveballs on every panel along the way, making the manga one of the most thrilling experiences.
6. Monster by Naoki Urasawa
Naoki Urasawa’s Monster is an enthralling manga that defies common expectations. However, the scary nuances of this series keep its fans constantly on their heels.
It explores the story of an elite Japanese neurosurgeon – Kenzo Tenma, who lives in Dusseldorf, Germany. His brilliance brings him the most difficult of cases, but one time he abandons a patient to operate on a famous performer.
The incident brings him public recognition but also the pangs of consciousness.
So, when given a choice to save either the Mayor or a poor boy, Tenma chooses the latter.
But this decision harbors serious ramifications as Tenma loses his social standing. However, mysterious events keep happening around him, giving him back his ideal career.
Nine years later, Tenma saves a criminal but comes face to face with another Monster from his past. And so, the surgeon must now make his way through psychological trauma and make amends for the unknown future.
7. Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
One night Kyuubi, the nine-tailed fox, attacked Konohagakure – the Hidden Leaf Village. This attack caused hundreds to lose their lives. But, the leader of the time – the Fourth Hokage, sacrificed his life and sealed that monster inside a newborn baby named Naruto Uzumaki.
Though the Fourth Hokage was hailed as a Hero, little did anyone pay heed that Naruto, too, had saved them.
Instead, the boy was resented and shunned for having a monster within him.
And so, the orphan felt lonely and struggled to find his place in society.
Unaware of the very fact that he had the nine-tails inside him, the boy dreamed of being recognized just like the Fourth Hokage – eventually developing a burning desire to become the next Hokage.
When truth reaches him, he now must face his identity.
The series shows several mind-blowing ninja battles, intelligent plans, and comedic moments. But it does justice to how pain can shape us to become better companions or worse enemies.
8. Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Going against nature is not usually a wise plan, especially when performing alchemy which always requires an equivalent price in exchange for the result.
But, two brothers from the Elric household, Edward and Alphonse, are ready to take that risk to revive their deceased mother by performing the strictly forbidden human transmutation process.
The experiment goes awry as they fail to revive their dead mother and lose something important in the process. Edward loses his left leg while Alphonse loses his entire body. However, Edward saves Alphonse by sealing his soul to a suit of armor, giving up his right arm as a price!
Now, the two brothers have grown up to become “alchemists,” and they travel throughout the country searching for “the Philosopher’s Stone,” a powerful artifact that can bypass the laws of transmutation.
They hope to use the stone’s power to regain their original bodies and undo the damage that their unnatural transmutation attempt caused.
Now, the plot is deceptively plain, but it divulges into not only centuries-old alchemy but also explores the brotherly bond as the two struggle with their limitations. The series also features ruthless female characters, politics, and entities that threaten the fate of this world.
9. Uzumaki by Junji Ito
Junji Ito has established himself as the “Emperor of Horror” among mangaka. And so, Uzumaki is his bone-chilling masterpiece.
Kirie Goshima and her boyfriend, Shuuichi Saito, live a ‘normal life’ with their families in Kurozu-Cho – a small town cursed by supernatural spirals or Uzumaki.
On her way to see Shuuichi, Kiries witnesses his father was glaring at the spiral shape of snails. Thinking nothing much of the incident, she casually mentions this to Shuuichi, who reveals that his father has indeed been weird for days.
As the series progresses, the spiral shapes drive several people to the brink of madness.
Finally, the curse catches up to Kirie and her close ones. The two protagonists try escaping the horrors of spirals but start discovering dark secrets.
Since spirals are everywhere, the series leaves its readers with a disquietening unease and psychological anxiety. But the thrill stays until the very end.
10. Kingdom by Yasuhisa Hara
During China’s Warring State period, two war-orphaned slaves, Xin and Piao, trained vigorously, aiming to become “the Great General of the Heavens.” But they get separated when Piao receives the opportunity to work in the royal palace.
Later, Xin meets a mortally wounded Piao who encourages him to leave for another village.
However, Xin discovers that Piao died because he served as the double for the current King of Qin, Ying Zheng. Despite being furious initially, Xin lends his help to the young ruler, making Piao’s life count.
Thus begins the journey of Xin, whose life goal is to climb the ranks and earn the highest position in the army.
Kingdom is considered one of the best manga series of all time because of the fantastic artwork of Yasuhisa Hara and the compelling story that hooks the readers from the beginning and makes them want more and more.
If you haven’t read this masterpiece yet, you need to do so right now because the political unrest and the constant tactical battles featured in this manga are something you won’t read anywhere else!
11. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata
What happens when criminals can be executed instantaneously, but the power to punish them resides in the hands of a mortal genius with a twisted sense of justice.
Well, Death Note was made to answer just that.
The series has a gripping characteristic born from its unique combination of supernatural horror and psychological thriller.
The narrative follows Light Yagami – a brilliant teenager who finds a Shinigami’s death note. Now, all he needs is a name and the face to kill anyone at any given time.
Naturally, Light Yagami seeks to reform this world by getting rid of all criminals.
This act earns him the title of “Kira” – literally “the Killer.” Light shows little hesitation in taking innocent lives if he feels threatened as the plot unravels.
“But how can a human as infallible as many of us assume a god-like role?”
Enters the great genius detective – “L,” who seeks to capture Kira and bring this moral dilemma to an end. But both L and Light are brilliant, so the game of cat and mouse makes its readers breathless, wanting more.
12. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
After losing her mother in a car crash, Tohru Honda – a high school student, starts living with Sohma Family. However, she stumbles across their family secret.
It so happens that the Chinese Zodiac Spirits curse each member of the Sohma dynasty. Therefore, they turn into ferocious animals under certain conditions. The curse also requires them to stick together, shackling them into the ‘burden’ of staying close.
Consequently, the Sohma family has deep resentment and issues like no other.
But Tohru is a kind-hearted girl who decides to break their curse. In doing so, she ventures into more secrets and eventually the dark truth behind this curse. Now, she must go against her nature to help this family.
This title is one of the best manga of all time because it presents a contrasting blend of multiple genres.
The manga can be classified as a rom-com title, and supernatural since most of the characters here series are cursed. And to top it all off, there’s also quite a lot of drama.
13. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotouge
After his father’s death, Tanjiro Kamado becomes the sole breadwinner of his family and makes frequent trips to nearby villages selling charcoal.
But one time, he returns home only to find his entire family slaughtered by the hands of supernatural creatures called the “Demons.” Though his younger sister, Nezuko, survives the massacre, she has been bereaved of her humanity and turned into a blood-thirsty demon.
Consequently, Tanjiro is forced to live in the torment of this tragedy. But all is not lost because his sister hasn’t lost all control. After all, she still retains some part of her humanity as she refuses to attack humans.
So, Tanjiro vows to cure his sister and avenge all the dead.
And so, he trains hard and joins the ranks of Demon Slayer Corps – an organization that fights demons to protect humans. However, the journey ahead is still a dangerous one.
I like the manga story and think it is worth being considered one of the best manga ever because of how the demons are portrayed. They might seem like heartless, evil beings, but there’s always a reason behind them being that way. This manga will make you hate the demons initially, but eventually, you’ll change your mind about them.
14. Jujutsu Kaisen by Gege Akutami
Yuuji Itadori is a compassionate youth who joins Occult Research Group at his school since he doesn’t have any interest in any other clubs, despite being physically gifted.
Although Yuuji only joined the occult group to pass the time, things get out of hand when they stumble across a genuine cursed artifact. And this cursed artifact turned out to be one of the fingers of Sukuna, one of the strongest curses ever to exist, also known as “The King Of Curses.”.
This artifact is so strong that it attracts other “curses,” or demons of sorts. So, to protect his classmates, Yuuji ends up swallowing the cursed finger.
He is now a vessel of Sukuna, and it is decided that he should be fed all Sukuna’s fingers and then kill him because the host dying means the curse possessing them will also die. And since Sukuna can’t be killed by normal means, this seems like the best option.
However, his ability to still retain control over his body leads the sorcerer, Satoru Gojo, to devise a plan and postpone Yuji’s death sentence until he devours all of Sukuna’s fingers.
And so, Yuuji’s journey into mastering the world of magic and curses begins.
The manga presents a comical yet adventurous experience of the supernatural genre.
15. Oyasumi Punpun by Inio Asano
Onodera Punpun is first introduced as an idealistic, shy, hopelessly romantic eleven-year-old. When he interacts with his first love, Aiko Tanaka, he realizes how difficult it is to maintain any relationship.
But his sense of real-life truly shatters when he witnesses his father assaulting his mother.
As his parents go through the divorce process, the teen turns even more reclusive despite his friends trying to reach out to him. Eventually, he grows into a convoluted adult.
Inio Asano depicts Punpun’s emotions in the form of crude bird figures; therefore, the manga truly captures the conflicted feelings of a teen on the path of grim maturity.
The manga beautifully highlights contemporary teen issues from family, death, and depression to social isolation and even the concepts of love and sex.
16. Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto
The manga is set in a universe where devils are born into hell from primal human fears. The devils enter human bodies only under certain conditions – typically creating ‘Fiends.’ Humans can also willingly make devil contracts, thereby gaining the ability to use their powers.
However, most devils are hostile.
Therefore, specific individuals specialize in slaying devils – called the devil hunters.
Denji is one such hunter forced into killing devils by the Yakuza to pay for his deceased father’s debt.
But for the sake of a devil, the Yakuza betrays and kills him.
However, Denji’s canine-like devil companion – Pochita, merges with his body, turning Denji into a human-devil hybrid or “Chainsaw Man.”
Now, Denji has the power to seek revenge, and he will stop at nothing to fulfill his teenage dreams. But then, Denji’s fame draws the attention of several others, bringing him new challenges and goals.
17. Hell’s Paradise – Jigokuraku by Yuuji Kaku
Gabimaru, aka “Gabimaru the Hollow,” is an exceptional ninja infamous for his emotionless and brutal work. However, his love for his peace-loving wife leads him to abandon his career as an assassin.
Unfortunately, on his final mission, he gets captured and is put on death row.
But his ardent desire to see his wife one last time keeps him alive through all execution methods.
This desire to live catches the eye of Yamada Asaemon Sagiri, aka “the Decapitator” – the only female executioner from the famed Yamada family. She offers Gabimaru a complete pardon from Shogunate if he only agrees to join a search expedition for the “Elixir of Life.”
However, the immortality-granting magic is believed to exist on the ‘Shinsenkyo’ – a legendary and inaccessible island believed to be a Paradise.
Besides, all previous search expeditions had failed, with none ever returning to tell the tale.
The manga series is finished and it essentially builds suspense and suddenly gives release with the knowledge of the unknown, making the series worth anyone’s time.
18. A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima
As befitting its name, A Silent Voice underscores one of the least discussed issues.
While child bullying is a sensitive subject, a bully too may be a child and must be dealt with extreme caution.
One such bully, Shoya Ishida, ends up harassing a deaf girl to kill boredom. However, when the word reaches the school principal, he finds Ishida guilty enough to punish.
Consequently, Ishida became infamous for his bullying and an easy target for other bullies.
Even teachers turned a blind eye to his torment because who dares to support a thug?
The continued pressure culminated in Shoya having panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. But he stops midway, hoping to see the girl he had once bullied and wishing to make final amends.
The manga panels capture all the most challenging themes like resentment, atonement, closure, and finally, forgiveness.
19. Haikyuu!! by Haruichi Furudate
Despite his short stature, Shoyo Hinata aspires to become the best volleyball player like the talented wing spiker – ‘The Little Giant’ from Karasuno High School.
However, he strived for two years just to create the first volleyball team at his school.
Unsurprisingly, the team experienced a crushing defeat in its very first tournament against a rival team with a great setter named Tobio Kageyama, aka ‘The King of the Court.’ But the brutal encounter left Hinata to swear lifetime rivalry against Kageyama.
After graduating middle school, Hinata enrolls at Karasuno High School to follow the footsteps of his ideal – the Little Giant. However, despite his extraordinary vertical jumps, he must first find a spot in the team.
Furthermore, his sworn nemesis – Kageyama, is now his teammate. And so, he must now play alongside him against his feelings.
But then, the two find ways to complement each other, raising standards for all volleyball players and the sports manga series along the way.
20. Bleach by Tite Kubo
Though the unique feature of Ichigo Kurosaki appears to be his spiky orange hair, what truly makes him special is his ability to see spirits vividly.
It’s so well-developed that Ichigo cannot tell ghosts apart from living humans.
Consequently, he has experienced several unusual incidents. However, nothing beats that one night when an evil spirit, known as ‘Hollow,’ attacks his family to devour their souls.
While a Grim Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki, saves Ichigo’s family, she suffers severe injuries in the process. And so, Ichigo accepts her offer to become a temporary Shinigami and absorbs her powers to protect everyone.
But Ichigo’s transition into a Grim Reaper appears pretty permanent.
Now, Rukia must stay with Ichigo until they turn back to normal. But several events are co-occurring in both the spirit and the human realm.
As the story unfolds, several people related to Ichigo become spiritually aware, making the series captivating by all comic standards.
21. One Punch Man by ONE & Yusuke Murata
The series revolves around Saitama, who has become an invincible Hero after training for three years. He is so strong that all he needs is one punch to finish off any enemy, hence the manga title “One Punch Man.”
Well, One Punch Man represents a distinctive approach to the superhero genre.
Firstly, Saitama is already the most powerful superhero in his universe. Therefore, he does not need to go on long journeys and seek more training to defeat specific threats.
Secondly, Saitama is deliberately built with basic features to show that being a handsome male is not a prerequisite for becoming a superhero.
Finally, Saitama seems indifferent to his fame. And so, for him being a superhero is a hobby to keep his mind busy.
Standing already on top, Saitama suffers a conundrum that comes only with perfection – the boredom and existential crisis that ensues when you have nothing challenging left to do.
And so, this satirical view of how the journey of becoming a hero is far more thrilling than standing on that one peak makes One Punch Man a masterpiece in its own right.
22. GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka by Tohru Fujisawa
Despite being a 22-year-old ex-member of a biker gang, Eikichi Onizuka is still a virgin. He drifts around and acts like a typical pervert with no precise goals.
Eventually, he does find a girl willing to go out with him.
However, his attempts to seduce her are thwarted when her teacher, who is also her “boyfriend,” shows up. The girl jumps out of the window to land in his arms on his one call.
This behavior gets Eikichi shocked by how much an old and unattractive teacher can influence a minor.
And so, he is inspired to become a teacher himself to fulfill all his perverted desires.
He barely earns a teaching degree and lands a job in Holy Forest Academy – a private middle school. However, his class is quite unusual as they have driven nearly all previous teachers to the brink of madness.
Eikichi discovers two things: First, he loves teaching so much that he will not pursue female students. Second, he is a deviant, so he will treat himself by flirting with attractive mothers of his students.
But Eikichi is adamant about teaching those stubborn students. And so, he uses unconventional methods to help his students through issues like bullying, suicide, and sexual harassment.
Thus, the title underlines several problems with exaggerated humor to become one of the best manga series out there!
23. Dorohedoro by Q. Hayashida
The dark-fantasy manga is set in a universe with three realms – ‘The Hole’ with poor humans and weak sorcerers; ‘The Sorcerer’s World’ with rich magicians; and ‘Hell’ with the strongest of Devils and sorcerers living a torturous life.
Since mages worship devils but consider humans disgusting, all three realms are experiencing rebel movements that come with an unjust class system.
Amid all this commotion, an amnesiac reptile-headed human, Caiman, is working with his friend, Nikaido, to recover his lost memories. But, searching for the one responsible for his unique condition is exceptionally hard.
However, Caiman has a unique solution for his problems as he kills all those magicians he can find.
His rising fame and immunity to magical attacks draw the attention of several parties who approach him either to kill him or to ask for his aid. But Caiman’s identity holds something far more sinister than can change the reality of everything existing in the Dorohedoro universe.
Since this series shows graphic violence and mature content, it may be triggering for some readers. But it’s without a doubt worth a read!
24. Grand Blue by Kenji Inoue & Kimitake Yoshioka
Iori Kitahara has been looking forward to his college life, imagining it as ideal student years. And so, he feels exhilarating nervousness as he moves to the coastal town of Izu for his first year and rents a room above his uncle’s diving gear shop – the Grand Blue.
Naturally, he comes across the local scuba diving club.
However, he is shocked to find a group of buff men who do everything except diving.
Besides, their activities appear a bit shady as they drink, party, and strip naked on the slightest of whims. Therefore, Iori tries to distance himself. But he is often dragged along under peer pressure.
These things affect his model-student reputation, but he eventually discovers things about himself that he didn’t know before.
And so, even with such a limited plotline, the manga creates light-hearted comedy and coming-of-age experiences unlike any other.
25. Made in Abyss by Akihito Tsukushi
Town of Orth is located around ‘the Abyss’ – an enormous mist-filled chasm harboring several ancient societies’ artifacts and remnants. Though it represents a popular hunting spot, the mist can cause a potentially fatal disease called “the Curse of Abyss.”
Consequently, only a select few called – the Cave raiders dare to hunt within the Abyss.
One such inexperienced red whistle Delver is Riko, an orphan girl who dreams of becoming a legendary White Whistle like her mom ‘Lyza the Annihilator.’
In one of her dives through the Abyss, Riko finds Reg – a humanoid robot living in the second layer of the Abyss but having no recollection of his past self. But even with Reg, life becomes routine.
But one day, there’s a letter addressed to Riko written by her mother. It says that she is waiting for her at the bottom of the pit.
Confused about Reg’s origin and wishing to see her mother again, Riko dives deep within the Abyss to uncover all secrets, only to discover dark secrets about the Abyss.
26. Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura
The manga is set in Danish-controlled England around 1031 AD. And so, it explores the historical clashes in the most violent and crude way possible.
The story follows Thorfinn, a “Viking,” so it’s natural for him to seek bloodshed, carnage, and adventure. However, his father, Thors, raised him to deny war and find peace at all costs.
Perhaps that also played some part in Thorfinn’s dream of living in Vinland – an island so fertile that one does not have to fight anyone.
But those teachings and that dream become a torment when Thorfinn’s father is betrayed and killed right in front of him.
Ironically, Thorfinn sets out to seek revenge by serving the very people responsible for the deed.
However, this war among Vikings and mercenaries is bolstered by the royal conflict in England and Dane. And so, Vikings may be the decisive factor that will settle the succession between the two sons of Danish King Sweyn Forkbeard – Prince Harald and Prince Canute.
27. Toilet-bound Hanako-Kun by AidaIro
Like all other schools, Kamome Academy has its version of rumors regarding seven wonders and supernatural occurrences.
According to the urban legend, the seventh wonder is Hanako San – a female ghost that haunts toilets and can grant anyone their request for a reasonable price.
Several people try calling upon Hanako yet end up failing. But Nene Yashiro, a freshman seeking a boyfriend, successfully summons Hanako-san of the toilet.
However, Hanako is neither a legend nor a female.
Instead, ‘He’ is a male Spirit and the nature of Yashiro’s wish turns her into Hanako’s assistant.
Now, she must help him destroy evil supernatural entities and stop rumors in order to maintain the balance between the spirit and the human world.
What makes this one of the best manga right now is that the series keeps its readers entertained with several comedic and ridiculous scenarios.
28. Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo
‘Twilight’ is an exceptional spy. However, one of his missions requires infiltrating a school under the disguise of a parent. And so, he must quickly grow a family.
Consequently, the spy assumes the identity of “Loid Forger” and adopts an orphan, Anaya, to play the role of his 6-years-old daughter and turns her into a prospective Eden academy student.
As for the wife, he finds himself an absent-minded office worker who agrees to become Loid’s “pretend partner” only to impress her colleagues.
However, Twilight’s new family or “the Forgers” have their own secrets.
For starters, the wife is “Thorn Princess,” a lethal assassin who wanted marriage as a perfect cover for killing. Meanwhile, Anya is an ‘Esper’ who can hear every single thought of her parents.
For her, assassin mother and spy father are a dream come true.
Although these liars and misfits are only playing their parts for selfish reasons, they soon discover that family is more than just blood relations.
29. Blue Lock by Muneyuki Kaneshiro & Yusuke Nomura
The declining position of the Japanese National Football team has led the Football Union to hire an eccentric advisor, Ego Jinpachi, who believes that the solution to their issues lies in finding an egoistic striker hungry for goals.
His master plan, Blue Lock, is a training regimen designed on a prison design where 300 different high school strikers are isolated and then pitted against each other.
The winner will have a guaranteed spot on the Japanese National Football team.
What’s the catch? Failing Blue Lock means giving up on ever joining the national Football team.
Still, Yoichi Isagi, a striker, is willing to take this risk.
He failed to bring his high school soccer team to the national tournament because he chose to pass the ball to a teammate who couldn’t score. And now, Yoichi keeps wondering if results were different had he only been more selfish.
30. 20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa
Kenji is an average convenience store owner who takes care of his baby niece, Kanna, and his ailing mother. So for him, the solace belongs only to his childhood adventures.
However, he finds out that one of his childhood friends, Donkey, has committed suicide.
As the manga plot unravels, Kenji stumbles across a cult led by a mysterious person known as “Friend.” He is targeting only Kenji’s friends, which leads him to reach out to his estranged friends.
Meanwhile, as the 20th-century approaches, the world is stormed by disease, bombings, and political distress like the apocalypse is happening.
But all these events are related to a secret only Kenji and his childhood friends had known.
Now, they must re-evaluate all their decisions and actions to see who else was involved and how they will stop all the terrible things in the future.
31. Holyland by Kouji Mori
Yuu Kamishiro was brutally bullied throughout middle school. The harassment got to the point that Yuu stopped going to school entirely and secretly trained to fight.
One year later, the boy feels so detached from the real world that he wanders around to find a single place where he could at least feel some sense of belonging.
But the violence he had endured compels him to unleash hell on all gangsters, earning him the reputation “Thug Hunter.” However, new fighters keep coming to test his powers or establish their territories.
The manga is built on a simple plotline, and the characters have unique but clear motivations. Even the people entering a comatose state get cured within a few days.
However, Kouji Mori has outdone all other mangakas by his detailed account of martial arts. It’s so refined that one can even feel the impact of punches and kicks.
And so, if you are seeking a manga appreciating technique more than even fighting itself, then this is the best manga for you.
32. My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi
My Hero Academia is set in a universe where more than 80% of the population has special powers or “quirks.” These range from manipulating elements to shapeshifting and more.
Among heroes, those with exceptional skills are hailed as ‘Pro-Heroes’ and treated as celebrities for their ability to help others. However, even this world is not without an evil side, and just like heroes, there exist super villains.
The story follows a boy, Izuku Midoriya, who is bullied for dreaming of becoming the greatest pro-hero while he has no quirk at all. However, his determination catches the eyes of All Might, the most significant Pro-Hero having the quirk “One for All.”
Suffering from a fatal injury, All Might passes on his quirk to Izuku. Meanwhile, All Might’s nemesis conditions his apprentice, Tomura Shigaraku, to destroy the current society.
Izuku enrolls at the prestigious UA High School to train to become the greatest hero of all time. And he is not alone because other students also aspire to become heroes and help the world in their own way!
33. Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo
Akira is set in a dystopian world where a single mysterious blast resulted in the entire Tokyo city shattering to bits. The city is now rebuilt as Neo-Tokyo, but its peace has been disturbed by a sheer lack of transparency in government policies.
And so, several protests keep happening across the city.
In one such protest, two rival gangs came face to face. However, one esper collided with Tetsuo Shima, the childhood best friend of the lead protagonist, Shotaro Kaneda.
The crash led Tetsuo’s telekinetic abilities to surge at unprecedented rates, creating a possibility of another blast. However, there is no way Shotaru can calm Tetsuo, especially when the latter is also experiencing an inferiority complex from him.
So, the safety of this universe falls in the hands of another threat and Esper, Akira.
While Akira’s film adaptation is far more famous than its manga, the comic continued for about two years after the film. Therefore, it contains details otherwise unknown to movie fans, making manga worth reading.
34. Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda
Shouko Komi immediately becomes the most popular girl in her new class at Itan Private High School due to her enchanting beauty and graceful posture.
But, intimidated by charms, nobody dares to approach her.
And so, no one truly knows that Komi has a severe communication disorder.
Komi feels so anxious that she has to write on the board to talk to her deskmate, Hitohito Tadano, a fairly average boy. But on realizing her situation, Tadano did something extraordinary and compassionate.
He picked up a chalk and wrote his reply to Komi on the board.
So began the most unusual bond where Komi gradually opened up to him about her dream of having at least a hundred friends, and Tadano decides to help her on her way.
This title is one of the best manga series because it is full of comedic scenes that make one aware of how social anxiety can be a crippling experience.
35. Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida
If anything, Ken Kaneki felt over the moon when his crush, Rize Kamishiro, asked him out on a very romantic date. Everything went perfect until she leaned and stole something more than just a kiss. She tried to eat him because Rize happened to be a flesh-eating ghoul.
Though Kaneki survived the encounter, flesh-eating ghouls were far from done with him.
Unfortunately, he gets implanted with ghoul organs turning him into a human-ghoul hybrid.
Now, when he sees any other human, he feels the hunger Rize felt for that flesh. But his moral compass does not permit him to take another life just to feed his own.
But how can anyone win against basic instincts?
And so, this unnatural desire to stay human makes Kaneki suffer in the worst way possible.
However, the thrill doesn’t end as Kaneki keeps discovering ghouls hidden among humans and ghoul-hunters among ghouls. But as a ghoul-human hybrid, Kaneki takes the central stage in this conflict between the two species.
36. Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara
Mushi is an ancient life form that may be more primitive than even bacteria. They are present everywhere and can mimic natural things like plant diseases and rainbows.
Though they are free from the shackles of good or evil, they may bring humans danger.
However, most humans are not even aware of Mushi’s presence, making them one of the least understood beings.
‘Mushishi’ or ‘Mushi Masters’ are certain individuals that can see and interact with Mushi. Ginko is one such Mushishi who researches Mushi in hopes of understanding their place in the world’s hierarchy.
Typically, he follows rumors that may be associated with Mushi. However, his green eye can see and even attract Mushi. Consequently, Ginko smokes a lot to keep his presence hidden.
While the manga is an episodic series with no major arcs, each panel imparts a disquietening unease.
37. Fist of the North Star by Buronson & Tetsuo Hara
Sometime during the 1990s, the world experienced the horrors of nuclear war. The crushing impact killed most of humanity, and the remaining few are still struggling to find uncontaminated water and food supplies.
The world has entered a new age where the powerful rule over the weak, and no one can complain!
So, when a group of villagers found clean water, they were attacked by the mafia working under a brutal man named Sanga. He took control of it, and eventually, he built fortified walls around it, calling the region “Last Land,” and is willing to kill anyone who dares seek water.
Several people await a messiah to help them have water as the plot thickens.
Enters the mysterious warrior, Kenshiro, who will help the weak.
Kenshiro is the successor of the formidable martial arts technique, ‘Hokuto Shinken,’ which allows him to kill anyone by striking secret vital points mercilessly.
This title is one of the OG manga series and truly deserves to be one of the best manga series of all time!
38. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki
Starting initially as a shonen manga, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure gradually turned into a seinen manga.
The manga is set in an alternate universe where specific individuals can use their spiritual energy to create ‘Stands,’ while others can use martial arts techniques called ‘Hamon’ or ‘Ripple.’
The story is divided into 9 story arcs having different protagonists, each nicknamed “Jojo,” and are members of the Joestar Family with an iconic star-shaped birthmark above their left shoulder blade.
The first arc is set in Victorian England and features Jonathan Joestar and his adoptive brother, Dio Brando. When Brando’s plans to usurp Joestar’s estate by murdering the young heir fails, he voluntarily becomes a vampire.
Eventually, Brando burns down the entire Joestar estate, so the conflict that lasts generations begins.
The ramifications of this clash are shown in continuity for the first 6 arcs. But later parts are featured in another universe with an alternate Jonathan family tree.
While the plot appears plain, the manga remains one of the top-grossing manga series of all time.
And we all know that the anime adaptation is also a work of art. It’s so popular that even people who don’t watch anime know of or have heard about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure!
39. Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori
Haruhi Fujioka is a scholarship student in Prestigious Ouran High School.
She walks into the supposedly abandoned third music room to find a peaceful place to study. However, she ends up discovering Ouran High Host Club – where 6 male students entertain wealthy female students or ‘clients’ with sweets and tea under the leadership of princely Tamaki Suou.
Since Haruhi has gender-neutral features, she is mistakenly ushered in as the new male recruit. But as she tries to escape, she accidentally breaks a rather expensive vase.
Unable to pay compensation, she must now work as an errand boy.
But the comedy of errors truly begins when Haruhi proves a natural in entertaining women. As each club member discovers that Haruhi is a girl, more weird and hilarious scenarios happen.
And so, this manga is a reverse of all the clichés typically present in the shojo series, which makes reading it one of the most enjoyable experiences ever!
40. Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura
The manga is set in Japan in the Mid-Tokugawa Shogunate period. However, it has transcended all limitations of the samurai genre with its unique storyline, modern ideas, and speech patterns.
Manji, aka “Hundred Men Killer,” is infamous for his brutal killing of one hundred innocent men. However, more ominous is that he is immortal and can revive himself even after his limbs are torn apart.
And so, no wound can kill him except a particular poison.
But his sins catch up to him, and now Manji seeks to undo his immortality.
But Yaobikuni, the legendary 800-year old nun, will undo his curse only when he shows remorse and kills 1000 evil men. However, Manji’s mission truly begins when he forms a partnership with Rin Asano, a 16-years-old girl who seeks revenge from the people who have massacred her entire family.
Despite being together, they both have their agendas and goals to fulfill.
The story features forgiveness, remorse, and vengeance in the most practical way possible.
41. Kimi ni Todoke by Karuho Shiina
Sawako Kuronuma is a 15-years-old high-school freshman. Unfortunately, everybody avoids her because of her uncanny resemblance to the scary character “Sadako from the Ring.”
Some even spread horrible rumors about her.
However, nothing could be farther from the truth as Sawako is an unassuming and sweet person.
But over time, she has lost complete hope in ever finding a single friend, let alone having a normal social life. However, that changes when the popular guy, Kazehaya Shouta, begins talking to her.
While she feels gratitude towards him, she doesn’t realize that he, too, feels a change.
While the series teaches to never judge a book by its cover, it does justice to the social struggles that come with the communication gap.
Anyways, the romantic comedy is sure to lighten anyone’s mood, so if you are looking for a good manga recommendation, this is the one!
42. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki
Nobuhiro Watsuki is an excellent mangaka who has mentored several mangaka, including One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda. He deliberately created Rurouni Kenshin in serious tones to distinguish it from its contemporary rivals.
The story is set in the 11th Meji period. Himura Kenshin, an excellent swordsman, participated in the brutal Boshin war as the infamous assassin, “Hitokiri Bottasai.”
But he felt remorse and sought redemption by vowing never to take a life again.
It’s been a peaceful decade since then, yet very mention of him incites fear among the veterans.
Now, he wanders as a solo swordsman and offers protection to the weak. Eventually, he stumbles across Kaoru Kamiya at her Kendo Dojo while a Hitokiri-imposter is threatening her.
Kenshin helps her but ends up staying at the Dojo. However, his enemies from both the past and the present keep emerging. The story shows romance, redemption, atonement, and martial arts.
43. Kaguya-sama: Love is War by Aka Akasaka
Miyuki Shirogane belongs to a humble background, but he excels in academic and extracurricular activities, making him well-known across the prefecture.
So, he is appointed as the President of Student Body Representative at Shuchi’in Academy.
But the vice-president is another top student, Kaguya Shinomiya, the eldest daughter of the Shinomiya family, a prestigious and wealthy dynasty.
Despite their rivalry, Miyuki and Kaguya complement each other in every way and eventually develop feelings for each other.
But they both believe confessing first will mean losing.
And so, the romantic comedy begins where both parties will do ridiculous things to avoid a confession. The difference in their backgrounds also adds a twist of how the wealthy can turn to money to resolve issues; however, the humble will find a more creative way to do the same.
So, the manga takes a jab at the real society in a very comical and somehow cute way.
44. Hunter x Hunter by Yoshihiro Togashi
Gon Freecss, a young boy, discovers that his father, Ging Freecss, is still alive and has left him to continue his journey as a well-known hunter.
Now, he dreams of meeting his father by becoming a licensed Hunter himself.
However, he must first pass the exam held by the Hunter Association, which has a success rate of less than one in a hundred thousand.
Still, the rewards are plentiful as hunters live a life of luxury by offering specific services ranging from tracking and surveying to maintaining law and order.
However, Gon’s journey is full of surprises and new challenges. He meets various other hunters and candidates with unique aspirations. These include Kurpika, the last member of the Kurta clan, Leorio, a physician who only seeks financial aid, and Killua Zoldyck, a formidable assassin.
This series is undoubtedly one of the best manga series as it captures unpredictability in behaviors even with the most typical of characters.
45. Tokyo Revengers by Ken Wakui
Twelve years ago, Takemichi Hanagaki had everything. He had friends, a girlfriend, fame, and good finances. But none of that exists now, and if anything, he is a washed-up nobody.
Now, he is a 26-year-old part-timer at a convenience store.
And so, he frequently reflects on his past life.
These feelings become even more intense when he hears that his ex-girlfriend, Hinata Tachibana, and her younger brother, Naoto, have been murdered by the Tokyo Manji Gang.
But moments later, he too gets hit by a train.
Instead of dying, he finds himself transported 12 years back in time. Now, experiencing his middle years as an adult, Takemichi has a chance of saving Hinata and several others from the gruesome fate.
But a time paradox starts when he keeps traveling back and forth in time, showing the butterfly effect of his small insignificant actions.
46. I Am a Hero by Kengo Hanazawa
I Am A Hero starts with the most unlikely of heroes. The main protagonist, Hideo Suzuki, is a 35-year-old manga art assistant. Though he is stuck in his exhausting low-paying job, his main challenge comes from his low esteem.
It’s problematic to the point that he perceives himself as a supporting character in his own life.
However, everything changes when the world is hit by a ZQN virus that can turn humans into flesh-eating monsters or ‘zombies.’ But these zombies can regenerate and even merge to become scarier.
Now, Hideo must turn into a hero in his own narrative. Otherwise, he will suffer consequences much worse than death.
The show depicts how extreme situations can bring out the best or the worst amongst us. It also hints at how questioning one’s morals is the hardest thing ever to do.
The manga was so popular that it gave rise to three new spin-offs – I am a Hero in Osaka, I am a Hero in Ibaraki, and finally, I am a Hero in Nagasaki. Each of these stories shows different people struggling to stay sane as the ZQN virus spreads.
47. Yu Yu Hakusho by Yoshihiro Togashi
This manga is the first-ever series of mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi and is partially why Hunter x Hunter is so famous.
The story revolves around Yusuke Urameshi, a street-brawling teenager who saves a young boy from a car accident and ends up dying in his stead in a highly uncharacteristic altruistic act.
However, the plot takes a comical turn when he is informed that his sacrifice was utterly unnecessary. The boy would not have gotten any scratch had he not gotten involved.
But his unexpected death meant that the underworld was not even ready for his arrival.
Koenma, the heir of the underworld’s current ruler, prescribes specific tests to resolve this issue. Eventually, Yusuke is revived but as a “Spirit Detective” who must investigate various cases involving demons and apparitions in the human world.
Yusuke develops his spiritual techniques and enlists unlikely allies as the series progresses.
The manga gradually transitions from a supernatural genre to a martial arts one, making it unique in its own category.
Since manga has been evolving for centuries, there’s a wide variety to explore in every genre and age group. Indeed, we are always looking for more manga to sweep us off our feet. However, certain titles have earned the right to be called the best manga series of all time. I have made it a point to feature some of them in this article!
So, I hope this list helped you find the kind of entertainment you were seeking out. And if you have any suggestions for me or a manga recommendation that you’d like to share, use the comment section below to let me know!
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