Science fiction, one of the most famous genres of novels, movies and anime, is also popular among manga fans. Also called just Sci-fi or SF, it stirs your imagination with the unique setting of space and futuristic worlds with highly-developed technology or the key components of time travel and supernatural phenomena.
Many popular sci-fi manga series are mixed with epic adventure, intense action or hideous thriller. For beginners and advanced lovers of manga, I’d like to introduce 7 best science fiction manga of all time.
Let’s enjoy reading a range of sci-fi manga from the classic titles to the cutting-edge entertainment!
Akira is one of the best sci-fi manga in Japanese history, written by the legendary manga artist and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo. It was serialized on Weekly Young Magazine from 1982 to 1990, which consists of six volumes. In the middle of the serialization, a part of the story was made into the same-titled anime movie adaptation by himself in 1988. Both the manga series and film have been top-rated worldwide since then.
Categorized as science fiction, post-apocalyptic and cyberpunk, Akira presents an alternative Tokyo called Neo Tokyo in 2019. The metropolitan was collapsed by a nuclear explosion in 1982, which was followed by World War III. There are young Japanese biker gang members including its leader Shotaro Kaneda and his childhood friend Tetsuo Shima. After Tetsuo has a serious accident, he is getting involved in a secret government project related to the mysterious existence known as Akira.
Manga artist: Katsuhiro Otomo
Serialized on Weekly Young Magazine
2. Dr. Stone
For modern fans of shonen manga, especially Weekly Shonen Jump, Dr. Stone is what they should check first. The popular sci-fi manga series has been published as a front title of the top-selling manga magazine since 2017, which has been also adapted into a successful anime series since 2019. Dr. Stone Reboot: Byakuya, a spin-off featuring the protagonist’s father Byakuya, was released in 2019.
Dr. Stone follows a genius high-school scientist Senku Ishigami and his friends, set in a modern world inspired by Japan. Just after the beginning of the story, they are suddenly transformed into stone at the same time as the whole world is petrified for any reason. In the Stone World, he revives after 3,700 years pass and travels to build a new civilization with his existing scientific knowledge.
Manga artist: Riichiro Inagaki (Written)/Boichi (Illustrated)
Published: From 2017
Serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump
Dr. Stone is one of the hottest manga and anime series these days. The original manga series just came to the end in Mar[…]
3. Made In Abyss
Many successful anime series are made based on existing manga, Made In Abyss (メイドインアビス) has been much popular around the globe since its manga serialization began on an online publishing website Web Comic Gamma in 2012 and its anime adaptation started in 2017. 10 volumes of the sci-fi manga series were published until July, 2021, also adapted into three anime films released in 2019 and 2020 and a role-playing game Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness in 2022.
The title of Made In Abyss is named for an enormous unexplored pit called Abyss, where there are bizarre creatures and ancient remnants. It tells the story of an orphaned girl named Riko, who has dreamed to become a mastered Delver, an adventurer diving deep into the Abyss, like her mother. One day, she meets a humanoid robot boy who is named Reg by her.
Manga artist: Akihito Tsukushi
Published: From 2012
Serialized on Web Comic Gamma
4. Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction
If you love science fiction and Japanese manga, you should the unique sci-fi manga series Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction (デッドデッドデーモンズデデデデデストラクション) written by Inio Asano, who is also famous for his masterpieces Goodnight Punpun and Solanin. Categorized as science fiction, slice of life, comedy and thriller, it has been serialized on Big Comic Spirits since 2014 and reached the tenth volume in the end of 2021.
Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction is set in a fictional Tokyo, where a dreadful gigantic mothership has hovered in the sky since it attacked the city with “Invaders” on the August 31 of three years ago. While the Self-Defense Forces fight against the Invaders there, a high school girl with short hair style named Kadode Koyama enjoys her youth with her friends including a twintail Chunibyo girl Ouran Nakagawa.
Manga artist: Inio Asano
Published: From 2014
Serialized on Big Comic Spirits
5. 20th Century Boys
20th Century Boys (20世紀少年) is one of the most famous and popular science fiction manga that is mixed with mystery and thriller. It is known as one of the renowned works by Naoki Urasawa as well as Monster and Pluto. The 22-volume main series was followed by its sequel titled 21st Century Boys, which consists of two volumes published in 2007. The whole series has spread like wildfire domestically since its live-action movies were released in 2008 and 2009.
The sci-fi grand story is divided into four parts that span about half a century from 1969 to 2017. First set in Japan in 1997, 20th Century Boys revolves around a protagonist Kenji Endo, who runs a convenience store to take care of his mother and his niece. He and his childhood friends come up against a huge conspiracy led by an antagonist cult leader called Friend, who is viewed as someone in the Keji’s schoolmates. They also look back in 1968, when they imagined a future scenario labeled as Book of Prophecy, which is a clue about the mystery.
Manga artist: Naoki Urasawa
Serialized on Big Comic Spirits
6. Tokyo Revengers
Tokyo Revengers (東京卍リベンジャーズ) is the hottest manga series at the moment, classified into science fiction, action and thriller. The Ken Wakui’s manga series, which was just completed in November 2022, was first adapted into the smash-hit television anime series and a live-action movie adaptation in 2021. Tokyo Revengers features characters of yanki (young Japanese gangs) which is one of the classic Japanese popular manga themes like Rokudenashi Blues by Masanori Morita and Crows and Worst by Hiroshi Takahashi.
Unlike other Yanki-themed manga, Tokyo Revengers centers on a protagonist who becomes aware of his supernatural ability for time travel, which classifies it into science fiction. A 26-year-old part-time jobber Takemichi Hanagaki hears her ex-girlfriend Hinata Tachibana and her younger brother Naoto are killed due to an internal conflict of the Tokyo Manji Gang. To save them, he goes back in time to the past and intervene in the scheme of the Tokyo Manji Gang from the early stage. There are diverse cool yanki characters, their impressive lines, passionate fights and turbulent stories in the latest sci-fi manga.
Manga artist: Ken Wakui
Serialized on Weekly Shonen Magazine
For enthusiastic older manga fans in the 2000s, Gantz is one of the most outstanding Japanese manga series, serialized on Weekly Young Jump between 2000 and 2013. The sci-fi, action manga, mixed with thriller and horror, is composed of 37 volumes. It was adapted into two seasons of an anime series broadcasting in 2004 and a live-action film in 2011. There are also several spin-off manga and novels including Gantz:G and Gantz:E.
Gantz starts when a first-grade high schooler Kei Kurono and his childhood friend Masaru Kato dies in an effort to save a drunk who fell onto the tracks and are summoned to a different world by a black-color sphere known as Gantz. And, they are forced to fight against weaponed aliens with other participants in an inconceivable mission.
Manga artist: Hiroya Oku
Serialized on Weekly Young Jump
This best sci-fi manga list is being updated every time I find a new greatest title.
If you are a big manga lover, you can’t miss those finest titles of the trendy genre!
▽Check best manga recommendations of other genres, too!▽
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