10 Best Manga Series


If you're looking for a unique reading experience, try one of the 10 best manga series. Manga are comics published in Japan, typically serialized in magazines and later published in book form known as tankōbon. Although many number titles cross genres, there are specific types based on demographics. Shōnen are targeted at boys and seinen for young adult males. Shōujo is made for girls and josei is for young adult females; kodomomuke is made for younger children.

1. Best Seinen Manga: Vagabond

Comicsverse picks Vagabond as number one on its top five list of seinen manga. The manga tells the story of swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, a well-known figure in Japanese history. Vagabond won a Kodansha Manga Award (2000) and the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize (2002).

2. Best Manga With an Anti-Hero: Death Note

When a bored death god shares his Death Note, a notebook capable of spelling out anyone's death, with a high school student, the result is a reign of terror over criminals. Light Yagami begins with good intentions to create a better world, but he quickly spirals out of control. Death Note is included on the list of top 10 manga to read before you die.

3. Best Manga With Societal Themes: Full Metal Alchemist

One of the top-selling manga of all time, Full Metal Alchemist tells the story of two brothers in a world based on Europe during the Industrial Revolution. Using the power of alchemy, they try to restore their dead mother with results that lead them on a far-flung journey to find the fabled Philosopher's Stone. The series won a Seiun Award at the 50th Japan Science Fiction Convention in 2011.

4. Best Josei Manga: Nana

A chance meeting between two women named Nana leads to a strong friendship. The series takes readers along as two very different young adults strive to make their mark on the world and find what they want most. Nana won a 2003 Shogakukan Manga Award and is the number one josei manga chosen by readers on GoodReads with an average 4.2 star rating.

5. Best Manga with Fun Wizards: Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail tells the story of Lucy, a teenaged girl who joins a mages' guild to become a wizard and along the way meets a rollicking cast of characters in this fun fantasy story.

The manga won the Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen manga in 2009 and has been one of the top selling manga series for several years and lands in many top ten lists. The series began in 2006 and ended in 2017.

6. Best Dark Fantasy Manga: Attack on Titan

A series that hits many top manga lists, Attack on Titan is the story of humans who live behind giant walls to keep out Titans. The Titans kill and eat any humans they can find. The series won the 2014 Harvey Award and the 35th Kodansha Manga Award for best shōnen manga.

7. Best Manga with a Message: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was written and illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki, director of some of the best anime movies of all time. Beyond its quality pedigree, it also offers a timely message about the dangers of not taking care of the earth. The characters in the manga struggle in a post-apocalyptic world after industrialization destroys life as we know it. The series has sold over 10 million copies in Japan and is thought of by many manga enthusiasts as an essential title to read or own.

8. Best Shōujo Manga: Fruits Basket

Winner of the 2001 Kodansha Manga Award and considered a manga "must-read," Fruits Basket is a sweet story about finding a place to belong. The fact that the main characters turn into cute animals doesn't hurt its appeal, either. In the grand shōujo manga tradition, there's also a love triangle to draw in romance fans.

9. Best Manga for Stylish Fighting: Bleah

At its core, Bleach is a typical Shounen Jump title, with an endless string of fights and power-ups. However, Tite Kubo brings a distinct style to his world, and creates a large cast of characters readers can care about, putting it a step above its peers and making it one of the 10 best manga series. The series won the 2005 Shogakukan Manga Award.

10. Best Violence-Filled Manga: Berserk

Berserk is a top pick if you want a manly read full of over-the-top violence. Guts wanders a medieval world, slaying demons that are constantly drawn to him with inhuman strength. Members of the MyAnimeList fan site voted Berserk number one on its list of all manga, with over 191,000 votes.

10 Best Manga Series