Manga & Manhwa

27 Best Shonen Manga Of All Time, Ranked (2022)

Shonen manga is probably the most popular type of manga ever because the shonen genre is among the most popular. The main reason for this is how it revolves around character growth and plot development, contrary to other genres such as comedy or romance that focus on different plots for each chapter.

Another significant feature of shonen titles is that they tend to be on the long side, making it easier to find series with many chapters, which can significantly influence how readers feel about its characters, facilitating attachment as a result.

That said, finding the right shonen manga series is not as easy, even more considering how much time and effort you are likely to invest into them. Thus, I will show a list of titles you might want to pick to start your journey into the shonen genre!

Also See: Best Shonen Anime

Best Shonen Manga of 2022

1. My Hero Academia by Kouhei Horikoshi

my hero academia manga

My Hero Academia is often placed at the top of the shonen tier list because it is more accessible to the general consumer since it currently has around 350 chapters, a lot less compared to those series that easily reach 600 to 900 chapters.

It’s also a pretty good series still in serialization and has a lot to offer with its overall premise. The story is about heroes and villains in a world where people develop powers, known as quirks, once they reach a certain age. At least everyone develops superpowers, but the main character, Izuku, who belongs to the 20% of the population that is quirkless.

And the sad thing about it is that all he dreamed of when he was a kid was becoming a hero. Thankfully, due to a series of events, he meets the one hero he admires, All Might, who decides to turn him into his apprentice and guide him on his path to becoming the number one hero.

2. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda

one piece manga

One Piece it’s probably the longest series to start on this list, but the one that would provide the most content as well as the most world-building and character development. I highly recommend it if you have the patience to start it!

It tends to be intimidating for most people because of how many chapters it has, surpassing the 1,000-chapter mark and still ongoing when writing this. The series introduces a world of pirates, dreams, and adventure where every pirate is trying to look for the One Piece, a treasure left behind by the previous king of pirates, Gol D. Roger.

And one of those pirates, a young man made out of rubber known as Monkey D. Luffy, dreams of becoming the next pirate king by getting his hands on the One Piece. But he won’t be able to make it without the comrades he will gather during his adventures, including a peculiar swordsman, an extremely avaricious navigator, a lustful cook, a chronic liar, and many more.

3. Jujutsu Kaisen by Gege Akutami

jujutsu kaisen manga

Jujutsu Kaisen is a top-rated shonen manga series right now and definitely among the most successful ones. I highly recommend it as one of my favorites, especially if you are into beautifully designed characters, great combat systems, beautiful choreographies during fighting scenes, and a unique power system.

The plot first follows a couple of characters and introduces more as the series progresses. In the beginning, we have Yuuji Itadori, a very athletic high school student who loves paranormal activities, and Megumi Fushiguro, a sorcerer in charge of hunting cursed objects.

During one of his club activities, Yuuji decides to steal a cursed object for his upperclassmen, an object that Megumi was looking for, all without knowing that it is actually real and is one of the 20 fingers of Sukuna, the king of curses.

To try to protect his friends as the cursed object attracts monsters, Itadori ends up eating the finger and gets possessed by Sukuna. However, he soon realizes he can control the demon Sukuna at will, and his life changes as he finds himself becoming a sorcerer, like Megumi!

4. Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endou

spy x family manga

Comedy, romance, and a fascinating premise, Spy x Family has managed to become a very successful series, achieving even more success after its anime adaptation was released.

It mainly revolves around a spy, an assassin, and a psychic child capable of reading minds. They all involve themselves with one another due to the spy known as Twilight, who takes the name of Loid Forger. For one of his missions, he has to contact and research a significant politician from a foreign country that is heavily involved in the country’s war decisions.

To do that, Loid will have to participate in the events of a very prestigious school, which will be attended by Anya, the esper girl he adopted. At the same time, he acts as her father alongside Yor, an underground assassin famous as the Thorn Princess. All without Loid knowing their true identities and skills!

5. Haikyuu!! by Haruichi Furudate

haikyuu manga

This one enters the category of sports manga and focuses entirely on volleyball. Like many shonen series of the sports genre, Haikyuu!! introduces an appealing cast of characters with complex backgrounds and real ambitions, including the story’s main character!

Shoyo Hinata is a very small guy who decides to become the best volleyball player after witnessing another player of similar stature play as the ace for a team. This player would be referred to as “the little giant” and become Hinata’s biggest inspiration.

To his regret, his previous school didn’t have a volleyball club, so his background is mostly filled with failure. After he enrolls in a new school, he manages to join the same volleyball club as the legendary little giant, only to find out that the person who embarrassed him during his first and last match has also joined the club. The one they call the king of the court, Tobio Kageyama.

6. Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto

chainsaw man manga

The existence of devils and those who hunt them are pretty normal in the world of Chainsaw Man. Denji, the story’s main character, is unaware of this reality and works for a group of Yakuza as a hunter to pay off a debt left by his father.

This is only possible thanks to Pochita, a chainsaw dog demon that he uses as a weapon. Eventually betrayed by the group. Denji makes a pact with Pochita, allowing him to turn into the Chainsaw devil.

As a hybrid between man and devil, the organization that hunts the monsters cannot allow him to live peacefully. But they make a deal with him – he either dies or joins forces with them to hunt the strongest devil in the world.

7. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

attack on titan manga

As a worldwide sensation that many people enjoy, reading Attack on Titan will provide you with all the content the anime has not managed to showcase. Thus, I recommend giving it a chance if you have the time because there’s a reason why it is considered one of the best manga of all time!

The series’ premise starts with humanity being entrapped behind massive walls meant to protect the people from Titans. These massive human-shaped creatures only exist to hunt and devour humans.

Eren, Mikasa, and Armin live behind these walls, longing for the day they can explore the outside world. This, of course, would involve having to eventually face the titans, which Eren is entirely willing to do. Sadly, one day, they are forcibly taught why the walls were built in the first place, all in a matter of seconds, destroying life as they knew it.

8. Dandadan by Yukinoby Tatsu

dandadan manga

Dandadan is a very peculiar and original manga series. Although it is an excellent shonen manga, it can be a little overwhelming for some people, primarily because of its premise.

The story centers around two characters at first, a girl and a boy, that attend the same high school. They both believe in two different things, with the girl knowing that the paranormal exists, whereas the boy only believes in aliens. As you might have expected, it causes them to conflict with one another.

But this changes the moment they have to unite forces to fight against the two things they both reject and believe: aliens and ghosts.

The series combines action, comedy, paranormal, sci-fi, and romance, all in a single title. I really recommend it if you want to read something unique and are open-minded enough to take what the series has to offer!

9. Sakamoto Days by Yuuto Suzuki

sakamoto days manga

This manga is a good choice if you like comedy combined with shonen and action. If you fancy Spy x Family, I recommend giving this one a try since they have similar vibes.

The story centers around Sakamoto, the owner of a convenience store. What no one knows, however, is the fact that Sakamoto is a legendary hitman who decided to retire after falling in love and getting married. No one seems to recognize him because he gained some weight and now looks completely different from what he used to be, though!

Yet, one day, his past managed to catch up with him, and now his peaceful life is threatened by it. With the help of Shin, a former hitman who admires Sakamoto and has the ability to read minds, he will try to protect the two things dear most, his wife and his daughter.

10. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotouge

demon slayer manga

Demon Slayer is a title I will probably always remember, mainly because of how good it was and the things it managed to achieve. If you want to read a piece that always surpasses itself as you progress, you should give Demon Slayer a read since it is a completed manga series!

The plot involves the journey of Tanjiro Kamado as he does his best to become a capable demon slayer, all to hunt down Muzan, the man who murdered his family and turned his little sister into a demon.

The thing about this series is the way it handles fights and the way it showcases the power level of different characters, including Tanjiro himself. It also introduces different fighting styles, a progressive plot that answers questions, and enemies that are strong in very unique ways, with characters having to frequently depend on things other than raw power to defeat them!

11. Fire Force by Atsushi Ohkubo

fire force manga

Many people know Fire Force because it comes from Soul Eater’s author, Atsushi Ohkubo. Although both series share some similarities, especially in the aspects of fights and comedy, they are very different in plot setting and development.

Fire Force revolves around a post-apocalyptic version of the earth affected by a great cataclysm that burned most of its surface. After its resolution, an empire known as the Tokyo Empire was built, with one of its most crucial foundations being religion.

Now, the empire is the target of a phenomenon known as spontaneous human combustion, which turns humans into fire monsters. The 8 different fire brigades must deal with these monsters, and our main character, Shinra Kusakabe, decides to join one of those brigades to help people and become a hero.

12. Hunter x Hunter by Yoshihiro Togashi

hunter x hunter manga

There’s no better time to start Hunter x Hunter now than today, mainly because it has been announced that the series will continue in 2022.

The premise of the series might not sound as much at first since it revolves around the idea of “hunters,” members of an organization in charge of adventuring, discovering, and pillaging treasure from unknown locations. We follow a child known as Gon Freecss who wants to follow his father’s steps and become a hunter.

The thing about Hunter x Hunter is that it takes a rather unconventional approach to the shonen genre, showcasing rather dark characters and a wicked representation of both heroes and villains; a breath of fresh air that any fan of the shonen genre can appreciate!

13. Tokyo Revengers by Ken Wakui

tokyo revengers manga

The series first introduces the main character, Takemichi, a young adult struggling to obtain a full-time job. Takemichi learns that his ex-girlfriend from high school, Hinata, and her little brother Naoto died in an accident caused by the Tokyo Manji Gang.

While mourning her death, Takemichi is pushed to the rails of a station and killed. But instead of dying, he is teleported to the past. He does his best to convince Naoto of the events of the future, who teleports him back to the future when they shake hands.

This is a tale of love, time travel, and perseverance where Takemichi will do his best to save the person he loves the most while being swallowed by the violence of the Tokyo Manji Gang and its many enemies.

14. One-Punch Man by ONE & Yusuke Murata

one-punch man manga

One-Punch Man is a shonen manga I especially recommend because of its beautiful drawings, incredible sense of comedy, as well as the way it introduces fighting, even considering its premise.

At first, the manga tackles a character known as Saitama, who trains so hard that he awakens enough power to beat all of his enemies in just one hit. One would believe that Saitama is the strongest hero in the world, but even though he indeed is the strongest, he’s but a rookie in the Association of Heroes. If it weren’t for Genos, a cyborg he saves and takes as his apprentice, he wouldn’t be a certified hero at all!

The series will then introduce a large number of villains and heroes, all trying to fulfill their ambitions while Saitama and Genos keep doing their best to reach the top of the hero world.

15. Blue Lock by Muneyuki Kaneshiro & Yuusuke Nomura

blue lock manga

If you are into sports manga, but you’d rather read something besides Haikyuu!!, you can always give Blue Lock a try. This one is a soccer manga, and I believe it’s the most popular soccer manga at the moment.

The premise mainly focuses on the project Blue Lock, a high-end soccer training regime whose sole purpose is to create the best soccer players in Japan to represent the country in the World Cup.

Its main character, Yoichi, is a high school soccer player who decides to join the program to find his own playstyle. Yoichi will find himself changing in many ways after facing other players and crushing others’ ambitions to achieve the same goal as his – becoming the best striker and player in Japan.

16. Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku by Yuuji Kaku

hell's paradise: jigokuraku manga

Renowned for being a ninja of incomparable skills, Gabimaru, also known as the Hollow, is unable to die. Although he desires to, his body instinctively reacts for his survival, even at the hands of Sagiri, a renowned executioner.

Because of this, Sagiri proposes an idea to Gabimaru – to be part of an excursion composed of other death row inmates and executioners to find an elixir of immortality for the Shogun. If he manages to succeed, he will be given the pardon, allowing him to go back to the person awaiting him.

But the island is nothing but a mystery, and both Sagiri and Gabimaru will have to face the most gruesome of creatures to achieve their goals, including the other prisoners and executioners!

17. Dr. Stone by Riichiro Inagaki & Boichi

dr. stone manga

Dr. Stone is a manga that combines science-fiction, comedy, mystery, and an intellectual approach all in a single title for those looking for more than just fighting.

With all human beings turned into stone after a beam of light overwhelmed the world, the earth has been silent for more than 3,000 years, entirely consumed by nature as a result.

Senku, the protagonist of the series, awakens in such a hazardous situation. Using his intellectual prowess and knowledge in the field of science, he will try to bring progress once again to the world. To achieve it, he knows he will need the help of others, including his best friend, Taiju, known for his unlimited stamina, which Senku lacks and needs to fulfill his ambition!

18. Mairimashita! Iruma-kun by Osamu Nishi

mairimashita! iruma-kun manga

Iruma is a very gentle and caring person, a surprising thing considering his bad luck. Because of his parents’ debts, he has been working ever since he was young. One day, though, his parents decide to sell him to a demon to be rid of their debt finally, and Iruma is taken to hell as a result.

Thankfully, the demon seems to be an incredibly gentle person who only wishes to have a grandson. Since the demon, whom Iruma eventually calls “grandad,” is the school principal of the Babyls’ academy, he decides to enroll Iruma in the school.

There, Iruma will face plenty of struggles to hide his identity as a human. But he will make many friends along the way, including Alice Asmodeus, a proud demon who decides to serve Iruma after losing a duel to him on their first day of school. A pretty good choice if you’d like to read something more casual with fantasy and a ton of comedy!

19. The Promised Neverland by Kaiu Shirai & Posuka Demizu

the promised neverland manga

I highly recommend this one if you want to read a manga with great plot twists and an incredible, carefully crafted premise involving multiple characters.

The Promised Neverland revolves around a group of orphans taken care of by Isabella, the person they often call “Mama.” They lead relatively peaceful and uncomplicated lives and have few responsibilities, including helping around the orphanage and dealing with routine tests.

Things considerably change when Emma, who acts as a leader and older sister to everyone in the orphanage, decides to break the only rule Isabella has shared – never get too deep into the forest. Of course, Emma does it to return the favorite toy to a little girl who was “adopted.”

Emma then learns that the little girl has been killed, and to make everything worse, she was killed by something that is not human. Here’s where the orphans’ struggles for survival begin.

20. Horimiya by HERO & Daisuke Hagiwara

horimiya manga

Horimiya is more of a romance manga than a shonen manga, yet I greatly recommend it since it involves something that a lot of shonen titles provide – character development!

The series mainly focuses on the relationship between two characters – Kyouko Hori and Izumi Miyamura. They both are pretty much opposites when it comes to their personality, with Hori being an aggressive and intuitive person. In contrast, Miyamura is much shier and has difficulties interacting with others.

The series has a fascinating approach to the world of introverts and their lack of confidence since it showcased occasions when Miyamura was bullied for being shy and asocial. It’s a very wholesome title that I can’t recommend enough, especially for those who relate to this kind of situation!

21. Mashle: Magic And Muscles by Hajime Koumoto

mashle: magic and muscles manga

Imagine a world where your talent in magic determines your value as a person. It also determines whether you can become a Divine Visionary or not, which is a pretty profitable job.

And Mash, who was born without magic, wants to become a Divine Visionary to give his adoptive father a comfortable, effortless life. Of course, attending a magic school without magic might seem like an unreasonable thing, but he has something other magicians don’t have – muscles! And he’s determined to show the world that muscles can indeed be stronger than magic.

This manga is a parody of multiple genres. Still, it’s incredibly hilarious, and the author has some imagination to use the power of muscles to offset the magic as we see the main character use his body in various ways during fight sequences.

22. To Your Eternity by Yoshitoki Oima

to your eternity manga

As the name implies, this title deeply emphasizes the concept of immortality. Showcasing a creature who would eventually be called Fushi as a reference to its nature, this creature is capable of assimilating others, copying their form and structure. The thing is, the creature itself cannot grow old or be killed!

The creature first starts by taking the form of a rock, then a wolf, accompanying a small boy as he struggles to survive in a desolate, snowy wasteland. With enough stimulation, the creature can take other forms as well, eventually taking the form of the child, which it will use to learn even more about the world and the humans that live in it.

23. Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda

komi can't communicate manga

We can’t ever guess what other people are struggling with. In the case of Komi, the person whom most students regard as the cold-hearted beauty of the school, it’s almost impossible to know that she’s just an introverted and shy person who struggles to communicate with others.

Tadano, however, knows this, and he decides to try and help her out. He eventually learns that Komi’s goal is to make 100 friends before she graduates. Considering how hard it is for her even to raise her voice, the challenges both will have to face seem to be endless.

I recommend this one to those who want to read a comedy and romance manga with a unique premise and a selection of interesting yet eccentric characters!

24. Tokyo Ghoul & Tokyo Ghoul: Re by Sui Ishida

tokyo ghoul manga

Tokyo Ghoul became famous primarily because of its premise and its dark approach to character development. It also finished with the introduction of its new series, Tokyo Ghoul: Re, which continues the first title and concludes the story.

As the name implies, the title focuses on the existence of ghouls, human-like creatures who are much stronger and faster yet have a unique weakness – they must eat human flesh to survive. Any attempt to consume anything other than human flesh will result in an indescribable urge to vomit, making it possible for them to eat anything else.

Since ghouls look identical to humans, they have successfully immersed themselves in human society, where they either hunt humans or adapt to live by their rules. And, to his bad luck, Kaneki involves himself with a famous ghoul known for hunting and devouring men. He manages to survive the attack, though, but at what cost?

25. Tying The Knot With An Amagami Sister by Marcey Naitou

tying the knot with an amagami sister manga

Another title for those who like romance, harem, comedy, and lucky accidents involving ecchi scenes. This manga mainly focuses on the progress between the main character and three other female leads with whom he will have to live and coexist.

The main character, Uryuu Kamihate, is motivated by his mother’s passing and now wants to become a doctor. To achieve his dream, he must pass Kyoto University’s entrance exam, known for being very challenging.

While this is happening, he is made to live in a shrine owned by the Amagami family, and since the head of the family wants a successor, Uryuu will have to marry one of the three sisters – Yae, Yuna, or Asahi.

26. Black Clover by Yuuki Tabata

black clover manga

Black Clover is a popular shonen franchise at the moment that shares many similarities to other manga titles, making it a perfect choice for those who enjoy classic shonen.

The title focuses on an orphan known as Asta, a talentless magician who dreams of becoming the Wizard King. Contrary to his rival, Yuno, who is pretty much the very definition of talent, Asta is incapable of using any form of magic, so he focuses on his muscles instead.

Things do change when both Asta and Yuno manage to obtain their own grimoires. Yuno receives a four-leaf grimoire, similar to the one used by a previous wizard king. On the other hand, Asta obtains a grimoire with five leaves, a rare codex capable of summoning a thick black sword, and anti-magic skills.

27. Kengan Ashura by Yabako Sandrovich & Daromeon

kengan ashura manga

If you enjoy action series where martial arts and fighting are a palpable emphasis, Kengan Ashura is a must-read!

Kengan Ashura portrays an underworld where the wealthy and influential resolve their problems through duels. Of course, the influentials are not the ones fighting, but their champions! A much similar process to that of gladiators fighting for their masters.

Ohma Tokita is turned into the champion of the Nogi Group, and he’s to be managed by a simple, cowardly salaryman named Yamashita Kazuo. Ohma is then introduced to the grand tournament known as the Kengan Annihilation, whose winner will decide who will rule the world of the wealthy as the chairman of the Kengan Association. And this, of course, involves a lot of fighting between great, renowned fighters of the underworld!

Which Shonen Manga Series Did You Pick?

I have showcased many different titles with many different genres at hand. If you struggle to choose one, I recommend making a small list of the options that seem more interesting to you, then narrowing down the options to have a title to tackle first.

Once you have tried it out, see if it is to your liking. If not, you can always start with the next one! I also recommend considering its length since it’s common for some people not to like titles because they are too long. Find the sweet spot between a good premise and a good number of characters for you, and enjoy!

And don’t forget to let me and other readers like you know which of these best shonen manga series you picked!

Continue Reading: Best Junji Ito Manga Series

Arbaz Khan

My name's Arbaz Khan, and I am the guy behind SlushTimes.com! Since I spent most of my time watching anime and reading manga, I thought of creating a website where I can talk about things I like. So here we are!

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