39 Best Manga of All Time

Best Manga of All Time

Manga, which is known as Japanese comic books, has been one of the most famous and popular modern Japanese cultures worldwide recently. There are a large number of fans of manga and anime adapted from them all over the world.

Ultimately, manga dates the origin of itself to the Heian period (794-1185), when Choju-jinbutsu-giga (鳥獣人物戯画) was created. It is scrolls with animal caricatures depicted on them, which is also known as Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans in English. Modern manga has been also remotely influenced by old drawings by a Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai in the Edo period (1603-1868).

In 1959, popular manga magazines such as Shonen Magazine and Shonen Sunday were released, followed by Shoen Jump and Shonen Champion in 1968. The popularity of manga reached its peak around the middle of the 1990s domestically. And then, lots of manga titles are read by international fans today.

There are too many manga to read in its whole history, and some people wonder which one to start with. Today, I’d like to introduce the best manga of all time including classic series and the recent titles. This best manga list will help not only manga fans and freaks but also beginners who have read almost no Japanese manga.

Let’s see what to read now!

39. A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice

Some remarkable manga has been highly valued for its theme of social problems represented in their works, and A Silent Voice (聲の形) has raised much attention from across the world lately. There are seven volumes published between 2013 and 2014 in the A Silent Voice manga volume. Its boom has been sparked by its anime film adaptation made by Kyoto Animation in 2016.

A Silent Voice cuts to sensitive problems such as a hearing deficiency and children’s bullying, set in Japanese countryside inspired by Ogaki, Gifu. It centers on two elementary schoolers: a deaf girl Shoko Nishimiya and her class’s boss Shoya Ishida. She gets bruised by the bullying led by Shoya, which results in his alienation in the class.

Manga Artist: Yoshitoki Oima

Published: 2013-2014

Volumes: 7

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Magazine

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<This is the A Silent Voice Complete Series Box Set (Vol. 1-7) here!>>

38. Dr. Stone

Dr. Stone
Dr. Stone

Dr. Stone run as a front manga series on Weekly Shonen Jump from 2017 and finally came to the end in March, 2022. Written by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by Boichi, 232 episodes was serialized with the spin-off Dr. Stone Reboot: Byakuya. It was adapted into the first season of an anime series by TMS Entertainment’s 8PAN in 2019, followed by the second season in 2021 and the third season in 2023.

Dr. Stone tells a grand science fiction story, set in a futuristic world after a lapse of 37 centuries, where all mankind are petrified by a mysterious flash. A protagonist and high school student Senku Ishigami gets restored to his original state after thousands of years and embarks on a venture to rebuild the advanced civilization with his deep scientific knowledge in the primitive world.

Manga Artist: Written by Riichiro Inagaki/Illustrated by Boichi

Published: 2017-2022

Volumes: 26

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<This is the Dr. Stone Manga Set (Vol. 1-8) here!>>

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37. Blue Period

Blue Period
Blue Period

Blue Period (ブルーピリオド) has sparked its boom since the first anime adaptation was broadcasted in 2021. The coming-of-age drama manga series, written by Tsubasa Yamaguchi, has been serialized on a monthly seinen manga magazine Monthly Afternoon since 2017. The anime series season 1 composed of 12 episodes are made by Seven Arcs.

Blue Period casts a spotlight on a high schooler Yatora Yaguchi, who feels bored on his ordinary high school days. One day, he encounters a painting at the school’s art club, which inspires him to enter Japanese most competitive art school Tokyo University of the Arts.

Manga Artist: Tsubasa Yamaguchi

Published: Since 2017

Volumes: 12 (as of May, 2022)

Serialized on Monthly Afternoon

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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36. Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru
Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru (ちはやふる) is one of the most famous manga concentrating a female protagonist, having the theme of a traditional Japanese card game Hyakunin Isshu as sports. There are 50 volumes in the entire manga series published from 2008 to 2022. It was first made into an anime adaptation by Madhouse with 25 episodes in 2011-2012, followed by the 25-episode second season in 2013 and the 24-episode third season in 2019-2020.

Chihayafuru mainly tells the story of Chihaya Ayase in her elementary and high school days. At first, she gets caught up in playing Hyakunin Isshu games when she was in the final year of elementary school, inspired by a transfer student and a talented Hyakunin Isshu player Arata Wataya. Growing-up story of Chihaya, Arata and her childhood friend Taichi Mashima is depicted through the competitive Hyakunin Isshu games.

Manga Artist: Yuki Suetsugu

Published: 2007-2022

Volumes: 50

Serialized on Be Love

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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35. Fist of the North Star

Fist of the North Star
Fist of the North Star

Many senior manga fans look on Fist of the North Star (北斗の拳) as the best martial arts manga of all time. The classic manga series was serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump from 1983 to 1988. Fist of the North Star is set in an apocalyptic world in the end of the 20th century. It centers on Kenshiro, who is the strongest warrior and the successor to Hokuto Shinken, a legendary assassination martial art.

Manga Artist: Buronson

Published: 1983-1988

Volumes: 27

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★★☆☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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34. Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail is an adventure manga series written by Hiro Mashima, who is also known as a manga artist of Rave Master. Fairy Tail consists of 63 volumes which were published on Weekly Shonen Magazine between 2006 and 2017. It centers on a wizard guild called Fairy Tail that contains a dragon slayer named Natsu Dragneel and a celestial wizard named Lucy Heartfilia.

Manga Artist: Hiro Mashima

Published: 2006-2017

Volumes: 63

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Magazine

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★★☆☆
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<FAIRY TAIL Manga Box Set 1 (Vol. 1-11)>>

<<FAIRY TAIL Manga Box Set 2 (Vol. 12-22)>>

<<FAIRY TAIL Manga Box Set 3 (Vol. 23-33)>>

<<FAIRY TAIL Manga Box Set 4 (Vol. 34-43)>>

<<FAIRY TAIL Manga Box Set 5 (Vol. 44-53)>>

<<FAIRY TAIL Manga Box Set 6 (Vol. 54-63)>>

33. Uzumaki

Uzumaki
Uzumaki

Uzumaki (うずまき), which means spiral in English, is a short horror manga popular among not only Japanese but also foreign manga fans. 3 volumes of the thriller manga were published from 1998 to 1999, which were adapted into a movie in 2000 and its anime adaptation will be made in the United States in 2021. The setting is a cursed town in Japan, and horror stories revolve around a high schooler Kirie Goshima and her boyfriend Shuichi Saito.

Manga Artist: Junji Ito

Published: 1998-1999

Volumes: 3

Serialized on Big Comic Spirits

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★☆☆☆
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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<<This is the Junji Ito Collection 3 Books Bundles including Uzumaki (3-in-1 Deluxe Edition) here!>>

32. Yu-Gi-Oh!

Yu-Gi-Oh!
Yu-Gi-Oh!

Yu-Gi-Oh! (遊☆戯☆王) is a classic card game manga series serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump between 1996 and 2004. An anime adaptation was made from 1998 and several seasons have been derived from the original manga. A protagonist Yugi Muto battles various characters using a trading card game known as Duel Monsters. The story also unlocks the secret about Yugi and other characters related to mysterious Millennium Items.

Manga Artist: Kazuki Takahashi

Published: 1996-2004

Volumes: 38

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★★☆☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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31. Nichijou

Nichijou
Nichijou

Nichijou (日常) is one of the most popular comedy manga series, exactly categorized as slice-of life and surreal comedy. Its serialization began on Monthly Shonen Ace from 2006 and finished with the final episode in 2015. Fans welcomed back the completed manga that re-started on the magazine in December, 2021. Kyoto Animation released its quality anime adaptation comprising 26 chapters in 2011.

Nichijou is set in Tokisadame High School, which is inspired by the manga artist’s alma mater located in Gunma Prefecture. There are a diverse range of characters from high school girls Yūko Aioi, Mio Naganohara and Mai Minakami to a eight-year-old genius scientist Professor and her invented female humanoid robot Nano Shinonome. The comedy story is filled with small ordinary and surrealistic incidents depicted humorously.

Manga Artist: Keiichi Arawi

Published: Since 2006

Volumes: 10 (as of December, 2015)

Serialized on Monthly Shonen Ace

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★★
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<This is the nichijou 15th anniversary box set (Vol. 1-10) here!>>

30. Teasing Master Takagi-san

Teasing Master Takagi-san, Vol. 1
Teasing Master Takagi-san

As an outstanding manga series categorized as romantic comedy, Teasing Master Takagi-san (からかい上手の高木さん) has been serialized since 2013. It’s written by Soichiro Yamamoto, who is also known for other popular series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki and When Will Ayumu Make His Move?. There are three seasons of its anime adaptation broadcasted in 2018, 2019 and 2022, followed by the first anime film adaptation in June, 2022.

Teasing Master Takagi-san puts an emphasis on peaceful ordinary days of two middle school students. The lovely jovial girl Takagi-san teases the little thoughtless and shy boy Nishikata, who sit next to each other in the same class. The slice-of-life story with various games and seasonal events makes the manga superior.

Manga Artist: Soichiro Yamamoto

Published: Since 2013

Volumes: 17 (as of January, 2022)

Serialized on Monthly Shonen Sunday (Monthly Shōnen Sunday Mini in 2013–2016)

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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29. Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul (東京喰種トーキョーグール) is one of the most popular modern dark-fantasy manga series. It was serialized on Weekly Young Jump between 2011 and 2014, which was followed by the next title Tokyo Ghoul:re in 2014-2018. Tokyo Ghoul is set in a fictional Tokyo where Ghouls subsist on human flesh as food, which look like human beings and hide in the human society.

Manga Artist: Sui Ishida

Published: 2011-2014 (Tokyo Ghoul)/2014-2018 (Tokyo Ghoul:re)

Volumes: 14 (Tokyo Ghoul)/16 (Tokyo Ghoul:re)

Serialized on Weekly Young Jump

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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<<This is the Tokyo Ghoul Complete Box Set (Vol. 1-14) here!>>

<<This is the Tokyo Ghoul: re Complete Box Set (Vol. 1-16) here!>>

28. Chainsaw Man

Chainsaw Man
Chainsaw Man

As the best recent manga title, Chainsaw Man (チェンソーマン) should be picked out by manga fans all over the world. The dark-fantasy manga started on Weekly Shonen Jump from 2019 and the first part was just completed in the end of 2021. It has been announced that the sequel will be serialized on Shonen Jump+ and the anime adaptation will be made by Mappa. Chainsaw Man follows a young boy Denji, who merges with his pet dog devil Pochita and gets an ability to transform himself into the Chainsaw Man.

Manga Artist: Tatsuki Fujimoto

Published: 2018-2020

Volumes: 11

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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<<This is the Chainsaw Man Manga Set (Vol. 1-5) here!>>

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27. The Prince of Tennis

The Prince of Tennis
The Prince of Tennis

The Prince of Tennis (テニスの王子様) is one of the best sports manga franchise, created by Takeshi Konomi. The popular tennis themed manga was serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999-2008, followed by the sequel New Prince of Tennis from 2009. The manga series have been adapted into various anime series, a live-action movie and musicals. The Prince of Tennis follows a talented junior high school tennis player Ryoma Echizen who matches unique characters using powerful techniques.

Manga Artist: Takeshi Konomi

Published: 1999-2008

Volumes: 42

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★☆☆☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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26. 20th Century Boys

20th Century Boys
20th Century Boys

A renowned Japanese manga artist completed his masterpiece titled 20th Century Boys (20世紀少年) in 2006, which is classified into science fiction, mystery and thriller. It was serialized on Big Comic Spirits from 1999 to 2006, followed by the last part 21st Century Boys in 2007. Its live-action films adaptation released in 2008 and 2009 made it much more popular especially among Japanese.

The setting of 20th Century Boys is 1997 featuring a protagonist Kenji Endo, who runs a convenience store for his mother and sister’s daughter Kanna. He finds out the world is being led to destruction by abnormal incidents happening around the world. It seems to follow the Book of Prophecy, the scenario drawn up by Kenji and his friends in their childhood around 1970. Whoever is the mastermind called “Friend”?

Manga Artist: Naoki Urasawa

Published: 1999-2006/2007 (21st Century Boys)

Volumes: 22+2 (21st Century Boys)

Serialized on Big Comic Spirits

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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25. Parasyte

Parasyte
Parasyte

Parasyte (寄生獣) is a classic horror and thriller manga series published between 1990 and 1995. It was adapted into the anime series as Parasyte -the maxim- with 24 episodes in 2014-2015. In the beginning of the story, the earth is attacked by tiny worm-shaped aliens. Migi, one of the aliens, parasitizes the right hand of a protagonist Shinichi Izumi.

Manga Artist: Hitoshi Iwaaki

Published: 1988-1995

Volumes: 10

Serialized on Morning Open Zokan (1988-1989)/Monthly Afternoon (1990-1995)

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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24. Bakemonogatari

Bakemonogatari
Bakemonogatari

There are some stellar manga series that are adapted into successful anime series; other manga are made based on current anime series in an opposite way. Bakemonogatari (化物語) is one of the finest manga adaptation based on the anime series made by Shaft and its original novel series written by Nisio Isin. Bakemonogatari is known as the first story arc of Monogatari Series, but the manga series is going beyond it with the same title covering the following parts such as Kizumonogatari and Nekomonogatari.

The Bakemonogatari manga series faithfully rebuilds the original novel and anime of Monogatari Series with new interpretations and powerful drawings by the illustrator Oh! great. Set in Japanese suburbs, Bakemonogatari presents a slice-of-life story mixed with fantasy. A protagonist Koyomi Araragi, an at-risk high school student, encounters a legendary female vamire and gets involved in supernatural incidents cased by an apparition. There are a variety of attractive heroines including his classmates Tsubasa Hanekawa and Hitagi Senjogahara.

Manga Artist: Written by Nisio Isin/Illustrated by Oh! great

Published: Since 2018

Volumes: 17 (as of May, 2022)

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Magazine

Recommendation: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★★
Drawing: ★★★★★

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23. Berserk

Berserk
Berserk

Berserk (ベルセルク), an ongoing dark-fantasy and action manga, has been read by not just Japanese adults but also foreign manga fans especially in English-speaking countries since its publication started in 1989. Berserk is inspired by the European Middle Ages focusing on swords and magics. The story follows a swordsman named Guts who travels around the world with a large sword and a cannon.

Note: The manga artist Kentaro Miura passed away in May, 2021. In my deepest sympathy.

Manga Artist: Kentaro Miura

Published: Since 1989

Volumes: 41 (as of December, 2021)

Serialized on Monthly Animal House (1989-1992)/Young Animal (1992-)

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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<<This is the Berserk Full 40 Books Collection (Vol. 1-40) here!>>

22. Yu Yu Hakusho

Yu Yu Hakusho
Yu Yu Hakusho

Yu Yu Hakusho (幽☆遊☆白書) is a popular action adventure manga written by the famous Yoshihiro Togashi. The ghost-themed manga was published on Weekly Shonen Jump between 1990 and 1994, which was made into an anime adaptation in 1992-1995 and its live-action adaptation will be made by Netflix.

Yu Yu Hakusho revolves around a revived teenager Yusuke Uramesh, who meets various characters including Kazuma, Kurama and Hiei and fights with them using supernatural martial-arts techniques.

Manga Artist: Yoshihiro Togashi

Published: 1990-1994

Volumes: 19

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★☆☆
Story: ★★★☆☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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21. Golden Kamuy

Golden Kamuy
Golden Kamuy

The great historical adventure manga Golden Kamuy (ゴールデンカムイ) started its publication on Weekly Young Jump in 2014 and concluded itself with the 314th episode in the end of April, 2022. It’s also known that the manga artist Satoru Noda made all episodes freely available to the public for three weels until the story reached the end. It has been made into an anime adaptation since 2018 by Geno Studio (Season 1-3) and Brain’s Base (Season 4).

Golden Kamuy is set in Hokkaido just after the Russo-Japanese War ended, following Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the war who survived the battle of 203 Hill. He learns about a pile of gold hidden by a nefarious prisoner called Noppera-bo, who killed Ainu people and robbed them of the gold. To discover the treasure, he kicks off a dangerous adventure with a young girl hunter Asirpa, a survivor of the Ainu.

Manga Artist: Satoru Noda

Published: 2014-2022

Volumes: 31

Serialized on Weekly Young Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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20. My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia

For American superhero fans, My Hero Academia (僕のヒーローアカデミア) is one of the most popular modern manga series. The action adventure manga with the theme of superhero has been serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump since 2014.

The symbol of My Hero Academia is Quirks, a unique superpower that each hero character has. It depicts the grown-up story of a young boy Izuku Midoriya (who is also called Deku), who doesn’t have his own Quirk in the beginning.

Manga Artist: Kohei Horikoshi

Published: Since 2014

Volumes: 34 (as of May, 2022)

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★☆☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<This is the My Hero Academia Collection 15 Books Set (Vol. 1-15) here!>>

<<This is the My Hero Academia Collection 5 Books Set (Vol. 16-20) here!>>

<<This is the My Hero Academia Collection 5 Books Set (Vol. 21-25) here!>>

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19. Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen (呪術廻戦) is a popular recent action, dark-fantasy manga which started on Weekly Shonen Jump from 2018. The anime series’s 24 episodes are adapted from the original manga as the first season by an anime studio MAPPA in 2020-2021.

Jujutsu Kaisen represents the conflict between curses and sorcerers including the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College students Yuji Itadori, Megumi Fushiguro and Nobara Kugisaki and their teacher Satoru Gojo.

Manga Artist: Gege Akutami

Published: Since 2018

Volumes: 19 (as of April, 2022)

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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18. Bleach

Bleach
Bleach

Bleach, an action and adventure manga written by Tite Kubo, is one of the most well-known manga internationally. It was serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump from 2001 to 2016, which consists of 74 volumes with about 700 episodes. The popular manga was adapted into a 366-episode anime series in 2004-2012.

Bleach revolves around a high schooler Ichigo Kurosaki who battles against opponents including Hollows as a Soul Reaper with his partner Rukia Kuchiki.

Manga Artist: Tite Kubo

Published: 2001-2016

Volumes: 74

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★☆☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<This is the Bleach Box Set 1 (Volumes 1-21) here!>>

<<This is the Bleach Box Set 2 (Volumes 22-48) here!>>

<<This is the Bleach Box Set 3 (Volumes 49-74) here!>>

17. Case Closed

Case Closed
Case Closed

Case Closed (名探偵コナン), which is also known as Detective Conan, is the best Japanese mystery manga franchise. The classic manga has been serialized on Weekly Shonen Sunday by a manga artist Gosho Aoyama since 1994. The anime series has been aired since 1996 and anime movies are released almost every season.

Case Closed follows a young boy named Conan Edogawa, who is transformed from a high schooler detective Jimmy Kudo (named Shinichi Kudo in Japanese) into due to the attack by the Black Organization. He solves lots of difficult cases occurring around him while he traces the Black Organization hiding his real identity as a high school student.

Manga Artist: Gosho Aoyama

Published: Since 1994

Volumes: 101 (as of April, 2022)

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Sunday

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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16. One-Punch Man

One-Punch Man
One-Punch Man

One-Punch Man (ワンパンマン), categorized as action, superhero and comedy, is now one of the most popular manga and anime series worldwide. The manga series was released first online in 2009 and its serialization on Tonari no Young Jump began in 2012. There are two seasons of the anime adaptation so far (As of 2020) consisting of 24 episodes.

The title of One-Punch Man is derived from how strong a protagonist Saimata is, who beat any enemy with just a single punch. A variety of superheroes including Saitama, who belong to the Hero Association, fight against villains that attack the earth and people.

Manga Artist: Written by ONE/Illustrated by Yusuke Murata

Published: Since 2012

Volumes: 25 (as of May, 2022)

Serialized on Tonari no Young Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★☆☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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15. Goodnight Punpun

Goodnight Punpun
Goodnight Punpun

Many manga freaks appreciate Goodnight Punpun (おやすみプンプン), which is also known as Oyasumi Punpun, written by Inio Asano and serialized on Weekly Young Sunday and Big Comic Spirits between 2007 and 2013.

The coming-of-age manga depicts the life of a protagonist Punpun, who literally looks like a chick. The story begins when he is an elementary school student who falls in love with a heroine Aiko.

Manga Artist: Inio Asano

Published: 2007-2013

Volumes: 13

Serialized on Weekly Young Sunday (2007-2008)/Weekly Big Comic Spirits (2008-2013)

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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<<This is the Goodnight Punpun Volume 1-7 Collection 7 Books Set here!>>

14. Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin (るろうに剣心 -明治剣客浪漫譚-) is a classic drama and adventure manga with the theme of Samurai. Its serialization on Weekly Shonen Jump continued from 1994 until 1999, followed by the sequel Rurouni Kenshin: The Hokkaido Arc since 2017.

The setting of Rurouni Kenshin is Japan in the Meiji period (1868-1912), and it follows a well-known Samurai named Kenshin Himura. He seeks a way to live in the new age without killing someone, fighting against his rivals in the previous age.

Manga Artist: Nobuhiro Watsuki

Published: 1994-1999

Volumes: 28

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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13. Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk
Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk is known as the best sports manga of all time especially in Japan. The classic basketball-themed manga, written by Takehiko Inoue, was serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump between 1990 and 1996, when Shonen Jump was at the height of its prosperity.

The setting of Slam Dunk is a Kanagawa’s beachside town Shonan, and it follows a delinquent high schooler Hanamichi Sakuragi. The basketball manga depicts the growing-up stories of him, who is inexperienced in playing basketball, and other teammates.

Manga Artist: Takehiko Inoue

Published: 1990-1996

Volumes: 31

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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12. Vagabond

Vagabond
Vagabond

Vagabond (バガボンド) is a famous historical manga written by Takehiko Inoue, who is also the manga artist of Slam Dunk. It has been serialized on Morning since 1998, based on the original novel Musashi written by Eiji Yoshikawa.

Vagabond is set in Japan around the beginning of the Edo period and centers on a legendary Samurai named Musashi Miyamoto. There is the story of him as a swordsman including intense battles with powerful Samurai and other martial-arts masters.

Manga Artist: Takehiko Inoue

Published: Since 1998

Volumes: 37 (as of July, 2014)

Serialized on Morning

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<This is the Vagabond (VIZBIG Edition) Complete Collection Manga Set (Vol 1-12) here!>>

11. Death Note

Death Note
Death Note

Death Note (デスノート) is one of the most famous and popular thriller manga all over the globe, serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump between 2003 and 2006. It was adapted into some products including anime, anime movies and live-action dramas.

Its symbol is a Death Note which kills people if their names are written on it by the owner. The unique manga focuses on the battle between two geniuses with the highest intelligence: Light Yagami and L.

Manga Artist: Written by Tsugumi Ohba/Illustrated by Takeshi Obata

Published: 2003-2006

Volumes: 12

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★☆☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<This is the Death Note Complete Box Set: Volumes 1-13 here!>>

<<This is the Death Note (All-in-One Edition) here!>>

10. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (風の谷のナウシカ) is more famous as a Studio Ghibli movie than as a manga, however, it was originally made as the manga series by Hayao Miyazaki. Totally, 7 volumes were published between 1982 and 1994, and only a portion of the manga series was adapted into the anime film in 1984.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is set in a futuristic and apocalyptic world, which is heavily polluted but humans still inhabit. The story focuses on Nausicaä, who is the princess of the Valley of the Wind and the leader of humanity. She seeks a way that humans and creatures in the Toxic Jungle coexist.

Manga Artist: Hayao Miyazaki

Published: 1982-1994

Volumes: 7

Serialized on Animage

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★★

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<<This is the Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Box Set here!>>

9. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険) is one of the most famous manga franchises worldwide, written by the renowned manga artist Hirohiko Araki. The whole series consists of 8 parts so far. The serialization on Weekly Shonen Jump of the first part Phantom Blood started in 1987, which was followed by Battle Tendency, Stardust Crusaders, Diamond Is Unbreakable, Golden Wind, Stone Ocean and Steel Ball Run till 2004. The rest of Steel Ball Run and the 8th part JoJolion have been serialized on Ultra Jump since 2005.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure focuses on the grand story of the Joestar family and their rival Dio Brando’s offsprings.

Manga Artist: Hirohiko Araki

Published: 1987-1988 (Part 1: Phantom Blood)/1988-1989 (Part 2: Battle Tendency)/1989-1992 (Part 3: Stardust Crusaders)/1992-1995 (Part 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable)/1995-1999 (Part 5: Golden Wind)/2000-2003 (Part 6: Stone Ocean)/2004-2011 (Part 7: Steel Ball Run)/2011-2021 (Part 8: JoJolion)

Volumes: 1-5 (Part 1: Phantom Blood)/5-12 (Part 2: Battle Tendency)/12-28 (Part 3: Stardust Crusaders)/29-47 (Part 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable)/47-63 (Part 5: Golden Wind)/64-80 (Part 6: Stone Ocean)/81-104 (Part 7: Steel Ball Run)/105-131 (Part 8: JoJolion)

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump (From Part 1: Phantom Blood to Part 7: Steel Ball Run)/Ultra Jump (From Part 7: Steel Ball Run to Part 8: JoJolion)

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★★
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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8. Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) is looked on as one of the best manga in this modern age, categorized as action and dark fantasy. It began its publication on Bessatsu Shonen Magazine from 2009 and the story is to be completed in April, 2021, finally. An anime adaptation was made for the first time in 2013 and the final season was released in the end of 2020.

Attack on Titan depicts people living in the city surrounded by walls and the mystery related to titans that threaten the peace of humanity. A protagonist Eren Yeager and other Survey Corps members fight against the titans and investigate what they are and where they come from.

Manga Artist: Hajime Isayama

Published: 2009-2021

Volumes: 34

Serialized on Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine

Recommendation: ★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<Check Attack on Titan Box Set Season 1 Part 1 (Vol.1-4)>>

<<Check Attack on Titan Box Set Season 1 Part 2 (Vol.5-8)>>

<<Check Attack on Titan Box Set Season 2 (Vol.9-12)>>

<<Check Attack on Titan Box Set Season 3 Part 1 (Vol.13-17)>>

<<Check Attack on Titan Box Set Season 3 Part 2 (Vol.18-22)>>

<<Check Attack on Titan Box Set Final Season Part 1 (Vol.23-28)>>

<<Check Attack on Titan Box Set Final Season Part 2 (Vol.29-34)>>

7. Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師), written by Hiromu Arakawa, is a world’s famous dark-fantasy manga series. It was serialized on Monthly Shonen Gangan from 2001 to 2010. There are several adaptations of anime series, anime movies, a live-action movie, video games and so on.

Fullmetal Alchemist is set in Europe around the 19th century and revolves around the Elric brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric. The talented teenage alchemists make an attempt to revive their dead mother with alchemy, which results in failure and heavy damages to them. Edward loses his right arm and left leg and Alphonse loses his entire body in exchange for breaking the taboo which is using alchemy to bring the dead back to life.

They set off to find a way to restore their bodies meeting a variety of alchemists and fighting against Homunculi with the names of the seven deadly sins.

Manga Artist: Hiromu Arakawa

Published: 2001-2010

Volumes: 27

Serialized on Monthly Shonen Gangan

Recommendation: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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<<This is the Fullmetal Alchemist Complete Box Set here!>>

6. Akira

Akira
Akira

Akira is one of the top-rated cyberpunk manga attracting a large number of fans all over the world. It was written by the famous Katsuhiro Otomo consisting of 6 volumes published in 1982-1990. An anime movie adaptation, which is also quite famous worldwide, was directed by himself in 1988 though it is based on a part of the whole story (2-3 volumes of the manga series).

Akira is set in a fictional Tokyo called Neo-Tokyo in 2019 in the process of development and recovery from devastation due to World War III. The story proceeds with the two main characters Shotaro Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima, who are biker gangs.

They get involves in the conspiracy planned by military, which is related to the key person Akira.

Manga Artist: Katsuhiro Otomo

Published: 1982-1990

Volumes: 6

Serialized on Weekly Young Magazine

Recommendation: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★☆
Drawing: ★★★★★

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<<This is the Akira 35th Anniversary Box Set here!>>

5. Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter
Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter is the greatest manga written by Yoshihiro Togashi, who is also known for Yu Yu Hakusho. The adventure manga has been serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump since 1998, adapted into two versions of anime series aired in 1999-2001 and 2011-2014. The serialization of the manga has been also continually stopped due to the condition of the manga artist. That is why there are 36 volumes published for over two decades.

Hunter x Hunter presents a variety of stories of hunters who are licensed members of the Hunter Association and are highly skilled in pursuing secret treasures, epicurean food, bounties, rare animals and so on. A main character Gon Freecss decides to become a licensed hunter to find his missing father Ging Freecss, who is known as a top hunter.

There are lots of attractive unique characters including Gon’s friends Kurapika, Killua and Leorio and powerful villains. In addition, the story of tight-knit relationships and even treachery between them are depicted as well as other popular manga on Shonen Jump.

Manga Artist: Yoshihiro Togashi

Published: Since 1998

Volumes: 36 (as of October, 2018)

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Drawing: ★★★★☆

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4. Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball

Which manga do you associate with the word manga at first? Many people should say the title of the legendary manga Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール). The martial-arts adventure manga franchise was started on Weekly Shonen Jump by Akira Toriyama from 1984. The original manga was adapted into several anime adaptations including Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z (Dragon Ball Kai is a remake of Dragon Ball Z). Dragon Ball is followed by the sequel written by Akira Toriyama Dragon Ball Super (ドラゴンボール超) from 2015.

One of the most famous and popular manga proceeds with an adventure of a young boy Son Goku. He travels around the world in search of the seven Dragon Balls scattered throughout the world, which carry out a wish of the owner. He develops his martial arts skills training and fighting with various characters. His sons Gohan and Goten are focuses on in the second half of the story.

What is one of the highlights of Dragon Ball is powerful battle scenes of strong characters using supernatural techniques such as Kamehameha and Spirit Bomb.

Manga Artist: Akira Toriyama

Published: 1984-1995

Volumes: 42

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★★
Drawing: ★★★★★

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<<This is the Dragon Ball Complete Box Set here!>>

<<This is the Dragon Ball Z Complete Box Set here!>>

3. Naruto

Naruto
Naruto

Naruto (NARUTO -ナルト-) is one of the reasons why many manga fans come to like a manga and an anime. The Ninja themed manga series was serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump between 1999 and 2014, written by Masashi Kishimoto.

The grand story of the manga series was adapted into two titles of an anime series from 2002 to 2017. Naruto is also followed by the sequel Boruto: Naruto Next Generations focusing on the son of Naruto, which has been published since 2016.

Naruto is set in a modern Ninja world which is balanced by the Five Great Shinobi (Ninja) Countries. The story follows a young Ninja Naruto living in the hidden leaf village in the Land of Fire. He is never talented in the aspect of study or martial arts.

It depicts the grow-up story of the inferior boy, who trains hard and fights against many powerful Ninja to become a Hokage, the leader of the country. Not only the main character but also other attractive Ninja like Sasuke and Sakura are featured in the action adventure manga.

Manga Artist: Masashi Kishimoto

Published: 1999-2014

Volumes: 72

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★★
Drawing: ★★★★★

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<<This is the Naruto Box Set 1 (Volumes 1-27) here!>>

<<This is the Naruto Box Set 2 (Volumes 28-48) here!>>

<<This is the Naruto Box Set 3 (Volumes 49-72) here!>>

2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

A newcomer in the 21st century sends a shock wave throughout the manga and anime industry around the world, whose name is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (鬼滅の刃). Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the best modern dark-fantasy manga without a doubt, started its publication on Weekly Shonen Jump 2016 and completed its story in May, 2020.

The first season of the anime adaptation was broadcasted in 2019. The smash-hit anime movie Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train, released in October, 2020, broke the box-office records in Japanese movies.

The setting of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a fictional Japan in the Taisho period (1912-1926) and it focuses on a conflict between humans and demons. The story centers on a young boy Tanjiro Kamado, who loses his family that are attacked by demons. His only survived sister Nezuko is also transformed into a demon. He makes a decision to fight against demons as a member of the Demon Slayer Corps.

During the adventure, he meets unique friends Zenitsu Agatsuma and Inosuke Hashibira. They continue their journeys to beat the strongest demons group called the Twelve Kizuki and the king of demons named Muzan Kibutsuji with the nine powerful demon slayer masters called the Hashira in union.

Manga Artist: Koyoharu Gotouge

Published: 2016-2020

Volumes: 23

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Drawing: ★★★☆☆

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<<This is the Demon Slayer Complete Box Set (Volumes 1-23) here!>>

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1. One Piece

One Piece
One Piece

A huge number of manga fans all over the globe agree that One Piece is the best manga of all time. The action, adventure manga series, written by Eiichiro Oda, has been serialized as a main focus of Weekly Shonen Jump since the first episode was released in 1997. The manga series consisting of around 100 volumes has been also adapted into an anime series since 1999 and lots of anime movies ever.

The walking legend with the theme of pirates presents the long adventurous story of the Straw Hat Pirates and its captain Monkey D. Luffy. He voyages in search of the supreme treasure called One Piece and has a dream to become the next King of the Pirates. During the journey across the seas, he meets unique and reliable crews including a swordsman Zoro, a navigator Nami, a cook Sanji and so on.

In the manga series, a Devil Fruit is symbolized, which gives a special ability to those who eat one while they come to swim like a stone in exchange. Luffy and many other characters eat various Devil Fruits, who fight with each other using the supernatural powers gifted by the fruits.

One Piece is also appraised worldwide since lots of historical and social problems are described in the story including a slavery, discrimination, drugs, etc. The best manga, which is not only categorized as action adventure, also makes readers get impressed, excite and pleased throughout the whole story.

Manga Artist: Eiichiro Oda

Published: Since 1997

Volumes: 102 (as of April, 2022)

Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump

Recommendation: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Drawing: ★★★★★

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<<One Piece Box Set 1: East Blue and Baroque Works: Volumes 1-23>>

<<One Piece Box Set 2: Skypeia and Water Seven: Volumes 24-46>>

<<One Piece Box Set 3: Thriller Bark to New World: Volumes 47-70>>

<<One Piece Box Set 4: Dressrosa to Reverie: Volumes 71-90△>>


Did you enjoy the best manga list of all time? Those titles are really recommended to read in English once in a lifetime. For more info about manga and anime, I introduce the latest recommendations regularly.

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