If you’re a newbie to Japanese comics, the endless collection of published manga might confuse you, leaving you no clue where to begin. And, if that’s also your case, you’re in luck: we’ve whittled down this massive category to the 60 best completed manga of all time.
Our Jobandedu’s ranking tackles all genres and categories available with a brief introduction of each manga; thus, you’ll be able to pinpoint the ones that speak to you and find your favourite genres!
The 60 Best Completed Manga Of All Time – Compared
|Attack On Titan||9/10||9/10||9.5/10|
|Kokou No Hito||9/10||8.5/10||9.5/10|
|Fist Of The North Star||9/10||8.5/10||9/10|
|Ashita No Joe||8.5/10||9/10||8.5/10|
|Ooku: The Inner Chambers||8.5/10||9/10||8.5/10|
|I Am A Hero||8.5/10||8.5/10||8.5/10|
|The Promised Neverland||8.5/10||9.5/10||8.5/10|
|20th Century Boys||9.5/10||8.5/10||8.5/10|
|Akatsuki no Yona||8.5/10||8.5/10||9.5/10|
|Yu Yu Hakusho||8.5/10||9.5/10||8.5/10|
|The Prince Of Tennis||8.5/10||8/10||9.5/10|
|Ace Of the Diamond||9.5/10||8/10||8.5/10|
|Ouran High School Host Club||8.5/10||8/10||9.5/10|
|My Love Story||8/10||8/10||9.5/10|
|Koe no Katachi||9.5/10||8/10||8/10|
|Goodnight Pun Pun||8/10||8/10||8/10|
|Chichi no Koyomi||7.5/10||8/10||7.5/10|
|Chi’s Sweet Home||7.5/10||7.5/10||8/10|
|My Brother’s Husband||8/10||7.5/10||7.5/10|
|My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness||8/10||7/10||7.5/10|
|I Hear The Sunspot||7.5/10||8/10||7/10|
|Love Me For Who I Am||7/10||7.5/10||7.5/10|
|The Bride Was A Boy||7.5/10||7/10||7/10|
|Our Dining Table||7.5/10||7.5/10||7/10|
|The Heart Of Thomas||7.5/10||7/10||7.5/10|
|The Rose of Versailles||9/10||7/10||9/10|
|Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai||9/10||7/10||7/10|
- Naruto (1999 – 2014)
Naruto is among the longest-running manga in history. Naruto is a well-known manga about a young boy’s ambition to be the fearless chief of his town, based on Chinese folklore and the legacy of Japanese ninja soldiers.
Throughout his adolescence, the storyline accompanies Naruto as he discovers the extraordinary facts about his origin and prepares to be a ninja.
Naruto manga, overflowing with creativity, actions, and brotherhood, has proven to be the favorite coming-of-age classic that has captured the minds of over 250 million fans all over the globe.
It’s ranked No.6 on the list of best-selling manga worldwide, reaching 250 million sales in 47 countries and territories globally, including 153 million prints in Japan exclusively and the rest 97 million copies internationally.
It is now among Viz Media’s most famous manga titles; the English versions of the manga have successfully landed on the blockbuster chart of USA Today and The New York Times more than once, and the 7th book earned a Quill Award in 2006.
The manga’s interpersonal growth, powerful stories, and well-executed action arcs were complimented by critics. Naruto is also well-received by readers, with over 250 million prints in distribution in 47 countries. Naruto manga box set also has over 1500 buyers on Amazon only.
According to experts, Naruto, apart from its coming-of-age premise, also gained massive recognition due to its brilliant uses of cultural influences from Japanese folklore and Confucianism.
- Fullmetal Alchemist (2001 – 2010)
Come second on our list of the best completed manga is a familiar name, Fullmetal Alchemist.
Alchemy is a renowned technology within the steampunk universe of Fullmetal Alchemist, where the only items that this technology can not transform are people and gold.
This restriction is so rigorous that anyone who tries to transform people not only sacrifices a part of their body but also suffers severe punishments from the divine entity of Truth.
Yet, after Edward and Alphonse lose their mom, the danger is worth taking. Tragically, their bold endeavours fail, as Edward eventually loses his arm, and Alphonse becomes a bodyless ghost shackled to a piece of armour. So the siblings embarked on an exhausting hunt for the second workaround: the philosopher’s marble.
More than 80 million copies of the series have been distributed all over the globe, marking it among the most successful manga titles in the world. When it comes to awards, Fullmetal Alchemist has won:
- The 2004’s 49th Shogakukan Mansho Award for shounen.
- The 2010’s and 2011’s UK’s Eagle Award for best book.
- The 2011’s Seiun Award for best sci – fi manga.
Many mainstream sites praised the series, highlighting it in particular for its narrative progression, action sequences, metaphor, and metaphysical connections.
- Bleach (2001 – 2016)
Everybody is curious about the hereafter. So naturally, it’s no surprise that some of the best sci-fis revolve around life and spirits. In Bleach’s universe, superhuman entities renowned as Soul Reapers transport people’s spirits from the human realm to the Soul Society.
Yet, after a Reaper got hurt while chasing a Hollow (a monster entity believed to hurt both spirits and people), she accidentally transferred her Soul Reaping superpowers to a young child who could see spirits.
Kurosaki Ichigo, therefore, has to balance his newfound duties and the life of his high school — and, predictably, many frightening shenanigans arise.
Bleach gained its monumental reputation in the shounen genre, being called one of the best completed manga.
Indeed, despite massive slowdowns in both the Japanese and English manga marketplaces, Bleach maintained a strong sales performance, with more than 120 million tankobon copies in distribution globally as of 2018, putting it the 7th best-selling series of all time.
- Inuyasha (1996 – 2008)
Takahashi Rumiko, a legendary manga author, kicked everything out of the game with this spectacular, time-travelling, demon-combatting quest. Indeed, the series has dominated the market for a long while.
She follows the journey of Kagome, a little girl who stumbles down a pond and into medieval Japan — in which she realizes that her fate is related to a dog-like half-demon named Inuyasha and a magical gemstone that she’s unintentionally carried into this realm.
The quest to come necessitates formidable powers, unexpected companions, and a brave will, yet Takahashi succeeds in infusing the plot with her trademark moments of comedy.
As of Sept 2020, this famous book had sold more than 50 million prints. Back in 2002, Inuyasha also earned the prestigious 47th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shounen genre.
- Death Note (2003 – 2006)
Imagine that you possessed the ability to inflict absolute justice on anybody in the universe – without any apparent costs or means of tracing it directly to you?
That is the dangerous position in which Light Yagami discovers himself in Death Note. Our protagonist is an adolescent who discovers a magical journal with the ability to murder anybody whose name is on its pages.
His motives are altruistic as he embarks on a journey to cleanse the globe of illegal activities; however, the situation quickly becomes problematic. An advanced police investigation group will shortly go after Light. Can he retain his freedom, or will somebody else’s interpretation of fairness move ahead of him first?
The Death Note series reportedly sold more than 30 million units as of April 2015. The manga was also the #3 highest revenued manga title in Northern America, according to ICv2’s “Top 10 shounen Titles Quarter 2 2009.”
With its popularity and achievements, it’s no doubt that Death Note is the 5th best completed manga in our list.
- Fruits Basket (1998 – 2006)
This amusing, uplifting, and everlasting book revolves around an orphaned girl who discovers her place in a household where each member represents a creature in the Chinese zodiac. It is also a manga about loneliness and recognition.
All in all, Fruits Basket contains anything you could perhaps expect in a fantastic, modern manga.
Let’s explore Honda Tohru’s life after her parent’s passing. After the tragic event, the girl lives with a friend. As if by chance, she discovers that when the family members are anxious, ashamed, or caressed somebody of the opposite sex, they transform into their zodiac creatures.
Tohru goes off on a journey to erase the curses, vowing to protect the family secrets, and finds herself entering into a situation much worse and further than she has ever thought possible.
This Fruits Basket manga title is among the most popular in Japan and the United States. In Japan, over 18 million units have already been purchased. With over 2 million units distributed as of 2006, this Tokyopop manga title has the highest revenues in the company.
- Attack on Titan (2009 – 2021)
It’s be a big mistake not to include Attack on Titan on the list of the best completed manga (and also the longest-running manga!).
Now is the 845th year, and the last humans are gathered within a 3-walled metropolis, locked by their terror of the enormous human-looking Titans that wait outside the walls.
Hajime Isayama’s breathtaking artwork depicts the journey of Eren, a youngster who resides on the fringes of this metropolis, beneath the shelter of Wall Maria.
After this Maria barrier is destroyed and his mom is devoured, Eren vows to enter the war against those Titans by joining the army, where he learns his surprising power.
A piece of advice: this gloomy and dismal manga is unsuitable for anyone who becomes emotionally connected to the personalities in the story since their odds of surviving to the end chapters are…low.
Attack on Titan manga is both a critical and business hit. This series boasts more than 100 million tankobon units in circulation internationally as of Dec 2019, ranking it among the best-selling manga titles ever made.
Critically, it has received multiple accolades, notably:
- The 2011’s Kodansha Manga Award.
- The 2013’s Salón del Manga de Barcelona.
- The 2014’s Anime & Manga Grand Prix.
- The 2014’s Attilio Micheluzzi Award.
- The 2014’s Harvey Award.
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2016 – 2020)
Upon its end in May 2020, Demon Slayer manga has proven to be one of the highest-revenue manga titles of the century, with more than 150 million units in print.
The story involves a little kid named Kamado Tanjir as he embarks on a deadly adventure to vanquish the monster that wrecked his formerly idyllic life in Taisho-era Japan.
If you like a somewhat conventional, heroic plotline, this may be the book for you – and believe us, Demon Slayer won’t let you down since its fights, demons, and characters’ depiction are all breathtaking.
The hero’s quest in this manga also inspired the great blockbuster 2020 animated adaptation of the same title.
It was also ranked No.1 for manga sales in 2019 and 2020, and both its manga and its animated adaptations were critically acclaimed. Indeed, the Demon Slayer title was among the highest-revenue series of the century in 2020, with an average yearly sales earnings of 1 trillion ($8.75 billion).
- Kokou No Hito (2007 – 2011)
Kokou No Hito is unique because it’s among the best manga without anime. Kokou No Hito translates to “lonely guy,” which may deliver you a fair sense of what this award-winning book revolves around.
Mori Buntar, partly derived from real-life peak conqueror Buntar Kat, is an antisocial lone professional mountaineer whose main objective is to conquer K2’s East Face. It is among the most challenging peaks on the planet to scale in real life.
The manga’s mesmerizing art carries you on an intriguing coming-of-age adventure into the game of professional mountaineering, from Mori Buntar’s 1st time hiking the school facility to the coldest stretches of the globe’s grandest mountain peaks.
He’s making the world’s record while addressing severe problems such as depressive symptoms, separation, and the ever-present fear of the undiscovered.
Thanks to meaningful content, Kokou no Hito won several prizes, notably:
- The 2010’s Excellence Prize for manga.
- The 2011’s best seinen manga genre.
Although the manga isn’t as famous as other options on the list, its meaningful contents and the problems it touches still save it a spot on our top 10 best completed manga of all time.
- Astro Boy (1952 – 1968)
Astro Boy’s author Tezuka Osamu is considered the Mickey Mouse of manga. Initially printed in 1952, his iconic comic is credited with promoting the word “anime” and garnering recognition in the shounen category.
Astro’s stories, about a tiny android child with genuine feelings, have accompanied people of all ages for a great while. Nowadays, manga appears to be even more relevant as we move closer to the realm of humankind and machines living together.
Whether you arrive for the retro vibe or Astro’s explosive energy, you’ll stick with the multilayered, unexpectedly deep storylines.
Astro Boy has been among the globe’s most popular manga and animation series, and it is Tezuka’s most iconic work. Tezuka’s highest-grossing manga and one of the most successful manga titles ever made, the cumulative 23 tankobon books have sold approximately 100 million prints around the world.
- Akira (1982 – 1990)
Akira is a pioneering work that established the cyberpunk style in the manga universe. Also, it was among the first and most outstanding series ever to be entirely interpreted into English.
Approximately 20 years after the destruction of Tokyo due to an explosion, the society has subsequently been reconstructed on a man-made island called Neo-Tokyo.
To avoid additional damage to their homeland, the head of a motorcycle club, a Colonel, a strong rebel, and a team of paranormal “espers” assemble. What is the danger? A superpowered dubbed “Akira” – who might already have wreaked severe havoc on the new metropolis. Now, the odd team of protagonists has to take action.
Akira was a driving force behind the popularization of manga outside Japan, particularly in the Western countries, notably France. The series also received multiple prizes, namely:
- The 1984’s Kodansha Manga Award.
- The 1993’s Harvey Award.
- The 2002’s and 2018’s Eisner Awards.
Akira gained overwhelming recognition from fans and reviewers, with appreciation for Otomo’s artwork, writing, personalities, and study of sophisticated topics and ideas.
The series was also an overall hit globally, distributing millions of units nationally and internationally. In addition, the 1st issue of Akira was Kodansha’s 1st book to have a 100th publishing in 2020.
At a rate of ¥1,000 domestically and $24.95 internationally, Akira tankobon volumes earned approximated sales revenue of ¥2 billion ($16 million) domestically only and $125 million internationally, for an overall number of $141 million received globally.
Owing to how popular and successful the title is, Akira is a reasonable name for No.11 on today’s ranking of the best completed manga.
- Dragon Ball (1984 – 1995)
Dragon Ball is an awe-inspiring, multi-dimensional story roughly based on one of the 4 Major Classical Works of Chinese Literature, but with “a bit extra Kung Fu.” The plot portrays a youngster called Son Gok from boyhood through adulthood as he studies martial arts before embarking on a critical mission.
What is the goal? Survey the planet for mystical spheres referred to as “Dragon Balls,” which can awaken a wish-giving dragon. To be honest, we believe most of us as kids would just dream for a dragon to fly around sometimes.
But well, if that creature wants to give us other desires, we can’t really complain! Dragon Ball certainly meets the need to flee from our actual world.
Dragon Ball is definitely among the most popular manga titles of the era. Its original publication in Weekly Shounen Jump allowed the periodical to achieve its peak popularity of 6.53 million weekly purchases.
Its tankobon issues have sold more than 160 million units in Japan and 300 million globally, making it the 2nd or 3rd highest-grossing manga title. The manga has been lauded for its humor, battle sequences, pace, coming-of-age story, and incorporation of cultural influences from Chinese folklore and Japanese fables.
- Fist of the North Star (1983 – 1988)
Searching for the best completed manga on martial arts, don’t skip this one.
Fist of the North Star, initially released in the 1980s, is among the highest-grossing manga titles of its decade, with over 100 million units distributed all over the world.
Moreover, it was also among the most inspirational – this pioneering piece is considered to have influenced and molded some of the top shounen series nowadays.
In the 1980s, Fist of the North Star was among Weekly shounen Jump’s most acclaimed series. It’s a groundbreaking, generation-shaping masterpiece, so don’t pass it up if you like post-apocalyptic themes, MMuay Thai combat, courageous journeys, crime syndicates, or just wish to learn more about the manga heritage!
- Dororo (1967 – 1969)
Dororo, another masterpiece of Tezuka Osamu, the Godfather of Manga, is an iconic classic for any manga enthusiast. Years and years ago, a guy signed an agreement with 48 devils to enable him to govern the country.
The price paid for the dark forces: his oldest son, birthed deformed, limbless, and deprived of face features. As the boy reaches the age of puberty, he comes to know about his curse — and, most crucially, that he must slay all 47 devils to remove the curse’s effects.
Following that is an incredible journey throughout Japan to reclaim his human form, during which he meets a fellow teenage orphaned thief: Dororo.
- Sailor Moon (1991 – 1997)
If unique, courageous missions and frightening post-apocalyptic realms don’t pique your interest when it comes to some of the top series, then try out this enchanting fantasy story.
Sailor Moon manga follows a group of teen girls named the Sailor Scouts as they combat evils and preserve justice on behalf of the ethereal Moon Princess. This entertaining shoujo manga’ energetic protagonists are praised for revamping the magical girl subgenre.
Sailor Moon has gained critical praise for its artwork, characters, and humour. More than 35 million units of this book have been purchased all over the globe, earning it a solid place in the highest-revenue shoujo manga list. This series has also garnered $13 billion in good sales globally.
Needless to say, fangirls all over the world consider Sailor Moon the best completed manga and an excellent example for the Maho shoujo genre.
- Ashita no Joe (1968 – 1973)
As Joe Yabuki runs away from an orphan institution and ends up in the Tokyo alleys, he meets Danpei Tange, a veteran boxing instructor who ignites a fire love for the game inside himself.
Joe sticks to boxing as he comes from the ashes, making his way through relationships and battles in and out of juvenile prisons. Joe Yabuki’s uplifting book, initially issued in 1968, struck a particular note among Japanese viewers of that decade, who were eventually witnessing their nation flourish after a terrible period of wartime destruction.
By seizing the spirit of the times and influencing another boxing masterpiece named Hajime no Ippo, Ashita no Joe has won its deserving position in the list of the best completed manga in history.
The series was highly profitable, selling over 20 million prints when serialized. Additionally, throughout its running, it was incredibly influential among ordinary workers and university students interested in the New Left, who regarded themselves as battling against the unfair society as Joe Yabuki did and looked up to him as an idol.
- Ooku: The Inner Chambers (2004 – 2020)
If you’re searching for a manga that bears not only Japanese comic style but also conveys Japanese heritage and history, Ooku: The Inner Chambers is for you. However, be ready for surprises as this best completed manga is like no other.
A deadly virus known as the Red Pox is murdering Japan’s males in an alternative timeline of Edo-period Japan. After about 80 years, the majority of the male had been eradicated, and Japan had evolved into a matriarchy with a female ruler and a man harem.
Ooku: The Inner Chambers succeeds in presenting a fascinating tale while questioning our beliefs about genders and how they can affect a whole civilization. It is brilliantly structured, wonderfully illustrated, and engagingly built up with a dynamic set of personalities and many governmental maneuvers.
The manga also received many nominations and prizes: being on the voting list for 2008’s Annual Manga Taishō; 2007’s, 2008’s, and 2009’s Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. Finally, in 2019, it earned the Grand Prize of the Tezuka Osamu Award.
Formerly, the series also received:
- The 2006’s Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival.
- The 2005’s special prize at the 5th annual Sense of Gender Awards presented by The Japanese Association of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy.
P/s: Ooku: The Inner Chambers is also one of the best manga without anime and among the longest-running manga of all time.
- Rurouni Kenshin (1994 – 1999)
Another superb historical series, yet unlike its predecessors, this one focuses on a redemption journey rather than a high peak of success.
Himura Kenshin is a veteran assassin who promises never to kill anyone following his battlefield years of the 1800s. Keeping that purpose in mind, he rebuilds himself as a warrior, roaming the nation and protecting people in need.
Rurouni Kenshin offers a simple, sorrowful plot in a category that is frequently oriented toward promoting fight scenes. But, ultimately, it’s an intriguing story demonstrating that power is far more than just physical violence.
As of 2019, the Rurouni Kenshin series had sold over 72 million prints, marking it among the most popular manga titles. In addition, many newspapers have praised the author for the manga, animated version, and other adaptations, all receiving positive feedback on the figures’ appearance and historical background.
- Tokyo Ghoul (2011 -2014)
It’s never good to find out that someone is only interested in you because of your organs. But, as Ken Kanuki finds the attractive Rize is just keen on devouring his body, everything soon ends nasty.
After a tight escape and a life-saving procedure, the protagonist is compelled to exist as the 1st half-ghoul, half-human mutant in a society in which anthropomorphic ghouls are at the top of the pecking order.
Ken’s struggles to survive in the void of 2 different worlds are represented thanks to this manga’s bold yet nuanced artwork engagingly. However, let’s be clear: this fast-paced series is also nasty, disgusting, and brutal – not for the faint-hearted.
Thus, it’s no surprise that many people voted for Tokyo Ghoul as one of the best completed manga of this era. The numbers and prizes also prove that as the entire series earned more than 12 million of copies globally. It was also named among the Best Series of 2016 in the Comic-Con Global Best & Worst Manga Awards.
- Parasyte (1988 – 1995)
Parasyte, which combines horrors and sci-fi into one frighteningly unique series, is one of the most overlooked names nowadays. It begins on the evening of — what else? — an extraterrestrial attack, when a swarm of microscopic parasites descends on Earth to devour the brains of its people.
However, Izumi Shinichi, 17, is in a semi-lucky situation. He awakens during the attack, stopping his parasite (called Migi) from crawling up into his head.
Rather, it takes control of his arm, meaning they share the same body. So there starts a global conflict between extraterrestrial beings and humankind that seems to be both action-filled and contemplative at the same time. There’s also a great deal of violence, lest we overlook it.
In 1993, Parasyte received the Kodansha Manga Prize for outstanding general series, and in 1996, it earned the Seiun Award for excellent work. This manga also reached more than 24 million prints in distribution as of Dec 2020.
- I Am A Hero (2009 – 2017)
I Am a Hero is a horrifying and lifelike survival thriller manga. Suzuki Hideo is an unlucky comic illustrator who rets serving as an apprentice to a fellow illustrator, believes he’s his lover’s backup option and perceives himself as a background player in his own story.
Overall, the reality comes in contrast to his wonderfully evocative dreams, delusions, and imaginations. But that’s only before a virus infestation sweeps over Osaka, transforming everyone into zombies. Hideo is forced to take on the position of leader he’s always wanted, except that now, he’s fighting for his life.
The series exceeded 4 million copies in sales as of Nov 2015. Moreover, I Am a Hero also received the 58th Shogakukan Manga Prize in the General genre in 2013.
- Uzumaki (1998 – 1999)
Spirals are among Mother nature’s most favourite forms. Spirals may be found in various things, from snails to tornadoes to cosmos. Moreover, they also provide aesthetic and mathematical concepts, but what if they unexpectedly became nefarious?
This is the inspiration for It Junji’s frightening series, Uzumaki. The narrative sneaks into the corners of your head and uncovers dread in the commonplace, situated in a village afflicted by a mysterious power that utilizes spirals against humans.
If you’re seeking a scary narrative that will plague your sleep and transform everyday shades into demons, this is the best completed manga for you.
International reviewers have given the manga mostly favourable comments. It was shortlisted for the Eisner Prize in 2003 and was named one of the “Top 10 Comic Books for Teenagers” by the Young Adult Library Services Organization in 2009.
- The Promised Neverland (2016 – 2020)
It’s 2045, one hundred decades after humankind and devils consented to coexist contentedly in 2 “different” realms – on the premise that people comply with one requirement. Grace Field House, the institution where Emma, Norman, and Ray live, is essential to this deal.
The kids had always been shielded from the outer society by the house’s doors, but as nasty truths begin to leak through the seams, they are forced on a frightening journey. Don’t be fooled by Demizu Posuka’s lovely arts: this excellent thriller story is horrifyingly scary and heartbreaking.
The Promised Neverland became the 24th best-selling series in Japan in 2018, having an average income of ¥1.9 billion. But it didn’t stop there. The manga reached the 7th position the following year, with total revenue of ¥3.8 billion.
In 2020, even when it had to face competitive rookies like Demon Slayer, it still managed to be in the top 10 highest-revenue titles, having overall revenues of ¥3.5 billion.
The series had approximately 32 million units sold globally as of April 2021, counting digital editions as well.
- Monster (1994 – 2001)
Do you enjoy medical dramas? Or how about mass murderer manga? If this fascinating paradox piqued your interest, we’ve found the ultimate option for you!
Monster is a romantic drama (kind of) about a great neurological doctor who realizes he’s been engaged in a serial murderer, based on the true story of Dr. Tenma Kenzo.
The series digs deeply into the psychological mind, exposing both the tragedy and optimism at the center of humankind. It is packed with intrigue, buried backstories, and stunning, vivid artwork.
Monster has become Urasawa’s 1st manga to achieve worldwide recognition and praise; the series has distributed more than 20 million units, calling it one of the most popular manga titles of its kind. In addition, the title has received multiple accolades, and its anime version has been considered one of the greatest of the century.
- Devilman (1972 – 1973)
Nagai G’s Devilman is a wilder spin on manga’s heroic cliches for viewers who aren’t afraid of blood and violence.
Tackling the topic of harnessing evil to combat evil, Nagai chronicles the life of Fud Akira, a high school student who discovers that Earth is soon to be overrun by monsters. And now, the only solution to stop them is to inherit their devilish capabilities and battle them under their own rules.
Nagai’s feast of violence and gruesome battle sequences also has a big story turning point, so it’s best not to read it before bedtime.
Globally, the series has delivered 50 million units. Despite conflicting reviews on whether or not the artwork was attractive, experts praised Nagai’s harsher approach to heroic cliches, primarily because of how brutal the book is, and suggested it to most fans who are not allergic to blood and violence.
- 20th Century Boys (1999 – 2006)
We all made up intricate make-believe tales as youngsters, yet who here has experienced those fantasies plague us by beginning to act out in everyday life as grownups?
Ironically for Kenji, this is precisely what is happening in 20th Century Boys. Kenji and his pals envisioned a scenario in their “Journal of Predictions” as children, one in which criminals strive to ruin the Earth, and the 4 kids turn into superheroes.
Now, Kenji is witnessing the headlines that, like those he recalls penning down from his youth — and if Kenji and his boys can’t find out who else learned about the Journal of Predictions before the time is up, the tragedy might be unavoidable.
20th Century Boys’ sales records are also exceptional. It sold 36 million tankobon volumes and thus, was the 3rd highest revenue manga title in 2008. In 2009, it remained in the chart at the 9th position.
The manga has also received various accolades, such as:
- The 2001’s Kodansha Manga Award in the General genre.
- The 2002’s Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival.
- The 2003’s Shogakukan Manga Award for the best General manga.
- The 2004’s ever Angoulême International Comics Festival Prize for a manga series.
- Akatsuki no Yona (2009 – 2007)
According to folklore, the country of Kouka was created by the Crimson Dragon Divine, who protected the region from extermination alongside 4 legendary Dragon fighters.
Tale also has it that the Crimson Dragon Lord passed away shortly after the event, and the other 4 Dragon fighters parted away in sadness, walking different ways.
After an insurrection headed by her relative Su-Won, who killed her kind father (also the current King) horrifically, Princess Yona of Kouka fled out of her palace.
To look for assistance, she must go around the country in quest of the Crimson Dragon Lord and 4 Dragon fighters who allegedly saved Kouka the first time. Yet can she genuinely place all of her expectations on a tale that people may make up?
In Sep 2019, Akatsuki no Yona dominated the most purchased manga chart for 2 weeks in a row, beating out icons like Promised Neverland, Boku no Hero Academia, and Kimetsu no Yaiba.
- Yu Yu Hakusho (1991 – 1994)
If a book about an underground investigator draws you, you’re not the only one. This incredibly famous manga title attracts many loyal supporters for its stories about Urameshi Yusuke, a 14-year-old criminal who is offered the option to change his life after risking his life to rescue a small kid.
He is about to be carried to the afterlife. However, he is not quite willing to move on. He is informed that if he wishes to reclaim his life, he needs to serve as a Spirit Investigator to combat demonic sources on Earth.
Reviewers have noticed that this multicolor manga switches from initial investigative adventures to a martial arts competition arc about halfway through the story – therefore, given the plot, if you want high-action combat sequences, this is also a fantastic option to add to your collection!
Yu Yu Hakusho was highly acclaimed, distributing more than 50 million copies domestically and winning the esteemed Shogakukan Manga Award for shounen book in 1993.
- Rave Master (1999 – 2005)
Rave Master, also referred to as The Groove Adventure Rave, is Mashima Hiro’s 1st serialized book before becoming well-known for his blockbuster series Fairy Tail.
Rave Master is a monumental shounen manga that follows a youngster on a mission to gather all 5 bits of the sinister and mighty Rave gemstone and destroy a crime syndicate called Demon Card.
Honestly, the detailed world construction, complicated characters, and innovative illustrations that genuinely evolve as this series unfold really put Rave Master on a different level from those in the same category.
- Mushishi (1999 – 2008)
Mushishi is a serial book centered on Ginko, a young guy gifted with the power to communicate with ancient entities identified as Mushi. These dangerous beasts arose from the ancient mud and now torment humans, lurking in the shadows between our eyes and feeding on stillness.
Ginko goes across Japan assisting individuals victimized by the Mushi to discover everything about them. Mushishi’s loyal fans are not looking for ghost stories and demonic possession yet for the manga’s serene and contemplative approach to examining the most fundamental problems of humans.
Both the general public and reviewers have praised the Mushishi series. It has repeatedly appeared in Japan’s monthly 10 leading manga series ranking, and the whole series has sold more than 3.8 million copies.
Its manga and anime adaptation have garnered multiple prizes, including the Kodansha Manga Prize and the Tokyo Anime Prize, along with acclaim from various magazines.
If you’re interested in a series that tackles existing social issues, Mushishi is the best completed manga for you.
- Claymore (2001 – 2014)
Finding the best completed manga on female warriors? Give Claymore a shot!
Humankind’s last layer of protection in this dark, historical fantasy universe is overrun by anthropomorphic shape-shifters feast on human bodies. Against such monsters is a unique hybrid of female soldiers called Claymores.
Those half-human, half-monster warriors have extraordinary power but are destined for a scary and isolated life. The peasants who remain under their shelter have nothing but contempt for the fighters, understanding that they are constantly battling to reject their monstrous nature and keep their morality in tough fights and exhausting treks.
All Claymore’s personalities have rich layers that take the series beyond comparable fight-packed mangas and thus, win it a position on our ranking of the best completed manga.
- Cardcaptor Sakura (1998 – 2000)
As Sakura, a primary school student discovers a fascinating book in her house, she can’t help but look inside. But unfortunately, she has no idea that the book is charmed, and unlocking it unleashes a deck of supernatural cards.
Sakura embarks on a surprising journey after the keeper of the deck, Cerberus, confronts her by locking them right back before they wreak disaster. This adorable children’s book is a delightful adventure that’s certainly worth reading once if you’re seeking a piece of happiness.
Cardcaptor Sakura manga earned positive reviews from critics. Reviewers commended the comic for its inventiveness, describing it as a classic shoujo manga and a seminal piece for manga.
Thus, it’s no surprise that this series hosts a slew of achievements. One of them includes the 2001’s Seiun Award for Best Manga, a noble prize that all authors dream of. In addition, as of April 2018, the series had sold more than 17 million prints, officially putting this shoujo on the list of the best completed manga for girls.
- Slam Dunk (1990 – 1996)
Slam Dunk has received so much recognition that it has been moved from the category of “outstanding sports comics” to that of “all-time best completed manga.” So now, what’s the big deal about it? From the dramatic storyline to the stunning artwork, pretty much all of it.
Sakuragi Hanamichi, a young troublemaker, continuously rejected by females, appears to be the least possible choice for his academy’s basketball club — notably after his 50th crush dismisses his proposal as she likes another basketball player.
Yet, the lady he’s eyeing now convinces him to register, and Hanamichi quickly develops a passion for the sport that goes well beyond a wish to wow somebody else. Slam Dunk is a sure thing for sports lovers and early adults everywhere, filled with competitions and victories.
Slam Dunk has sold 170 million units, ranking it the 5th highest-grossing manga series of all time. Furthermore, it won the 40th Shogakukan Manga Prize in the shounen genre in 1994.
Inoue, the author of the series, also earned special recognition from the Japanese Basketball League in 2010 for his contributions to the popularization of basketball in Japan.
- Haikyu!! (2012 – 2020)
Hinata Shoyo is keen to show that you don’t need to be tall to be the elite in volleyball. Well, who needs to use long legs when you can fly?
Definitely not “The Tiny Giant,” the standout player of Karasuno High School, nor Hinata. Motivated by his newfound idol, Hinata begins assembling his school’s volleyball club from the bottom up, his sights set on conquering Nationals.
Hinata is a cheerful heroine at every nook and corner, and the ensemble of people Furudate Haruichi creates surrounding him is immensely easy to adore. So be alerted: once you read this book, you will engage in it with your head, body, and heart.
Both manga and anime have received favorable reviews. In 2017, the comic received the 61st Shogakukan Manga Prize for best shounen manga. Haikyu!! had also sold approximately 50 million books as of Nov 2020, creating a solid stand in the sports genre.
- Kuroko’s Basketball (2008 – 2014)
Kuroko’s Basketball is yet another fascinating sports series that excels at developing intriguing personalities with actual dimensions. It follows the Seirin High School basketball squad, particularly its 2 top members, Kagami Taiga and Kuroko Tetsuya.
As Kagami finds that the enigmatic Kuroko was the “Secret 6th Player” of the unstoppable (but now parted) junior-high squad known as the “Generation of Miracles,” they join together to bring Seirin School to the peak — which means fighting against Kuroko’s former teammates one after another. So prepare to be completely engaged.
Viz Media in Northern America has purchased the series for English-language publishing, bringing the series to a whole new level. Kuroko’s Basketball had sold over 31 million books as of Nov 2020, placing it on the top best completed manga about basketball.
- The Prince of Tennis (1999 – 2008)
Prince of Tennis, first released in 1999, is among the first sports manga that sparked the Japanese sports comic trend. And it’s a series that’s been turned into every genre imaginable, from musicals to computer games to animation — but the book is still the perfect way to begin.
Our central character is Echizen Ryma, a middle school student who is already a famous tennis talent, unlike most leads in other blockbusters.
However, many of his rivals at Seishun Institute are excellent players, too, so he’ll have to use all of his superhuman strategies and his newfound group of teammates to help him win the Nationwide Middle School Tennis Tournament.
The Prince of Tennis has grown into a profitable business. In Japan, the original 40 issues of the series have sold nearly 40 million units as of March 2008. And its popularity lasted long: the title had approximately 51 million prints in distribution as of Jan 2012.
- Ace of the Diamond (2006 – 2015)
As you might have noticed, there is (most likely) a title revolving around it if there is a sport. And when it comes to baseball, perhaps Japan’s most popular sports, that claim is triple accurate since baseball mangas are plenty.
If you ask for the best completed manga on baseball, Ace of Diamond is a chart-topping title widely praised for its high-spirited, compelling plot. It focuses on Eijun Sawamura, a country teenager who aspires to be a professional baseball ace.
While that dream appears to be a long way off, the table turns when Seidou High School recruits him to enter their elite (and highly rigorous) baseball group.
Regarding sales, the series surpassed 40 million units in circulation as of August 2021. Like other manga on the list, Ace of Diamond also has a dream collection of achievements. Notably, it gained:
- The 2008’s Shogakukan Manga Prize in shounen genre.
- The 2010’s Kodansha Manga Prize for the best shounen title.
- Love Com (2001 – 2006)
Everybody likes a “weird couple,” and the unusual duo in Love Com is extremely charming. In this famous title by Nakahara Aya, we encounter a giant girl, Risa, and a little guy, Atsushi, who are always laughed at by their peers and considered a funny pair.
Despite their early conflicts, the duo agrees to band together against their bullies and protect their individual romantic interests. However, as affection suddenly springs between them, they must determine if it is worth it to face their peers’ judgment and be honest about their feelings.
The English translation of Love Com has received positive reviews, citing particular acclaim for Nakahara’s comic timing, relatable protagonists, and skillful portrayals of feelings. Therefore, if you’re searching for quirkiness and cuteness, Love Com is the best completed manga for that.
For its portrayal of its protagonists’ feelings, one Anime News Network critic hailed it as “the benchmark to which critics should compare all other future love sitcoms.”
In addition, their 1st volume was chosen as one of the most outstanding picture books for adolescents in 2007 by the Young Adult Library Services Organization.
- Ouran High School Host Club (2002 – 2010)
After Haruhi, a sponsored student smashes an $80,000 flower pot belonging to the enigmatic Host Club, a team of 6 highly affluent guys who spend their days pleasing their customers.
But, instead of forcing her to pay for the pot immediately, the participants offer Haruhi the opportunity to pay back her debts by doing chores for them.
However, one minor roadblock is that they have not yet recognized she’s a girl, and their clubhouse is exclusively for guys. Ouran High School Host Club is a self-aware book criticizing fan culture and upends cliches. It also goes deeper into the mental problems and struggles inside each character.
Ouran High School Host Club manga is a comedy on the otaku lifestyle, particularly cross-dressing. The protagonist squad is often dressed in sparkling outfits, and Renge Hoshakuji is also defined as an otaku.
According to Rose Bridges, a reviewer on Anime News Network, Ouran is the 1st depiction of a “fujoshi sitcom” genre—humorous manga with many male characters that pander to shipping-obsessed female fans. Thus, it’s no surprise to see Ouran High School Host Club appear in almost every best completed manga shortlist.
- Love Hina (1998 – 2001)
Love Hina, an extremely successful shounen sitcom published during the turning point of the century, focuses on a male named Urashima Keitar and a girl whose name Keitar has completely forgotten.
That is a major issue since he must contact her to keep a childhood vow: enroll together at the University of Tokyo.
If that seems a little too scholarly for you, bother not: it’s a sitcom, in the end, with lots of funny misinterpretations, awkward meets, and unexpected love mix-ups abounding.
The series has proven to be a huge hit worldwide, both commercially and professionally. The series sold 20 million books in Japan, and over 1 million animated DVDs were purchased. In addition, the series’s English edition has been reissued countless times.
Both anime and manga have garnered several professional accolades domestically and internationally, especially in Northern America, along with positive critical acclaim.
- My Love Story (2011 – 2016)
When it comes to romance, kind yet gigantic Takeo has long been considered a loser, always living under the shadow of his attractive and charismatic best buddy, Sunakawa Makoto.
But when he meets Yamato Rinko, he quickly feels his heart jump out of his chest. Yet, he believes he has no hope of dating this lovely girl due to his insecurities.
However, in this humorous love sitcom, everything may be turning bright for Takeo. Will Rinko surrender to his beautiful heart? Find out in My Love Story, one of the best completed manga of the 21st centurey.
Thanks to its lovely messages, My Love Story has gained multiple positive critics from experts and collected a set of awards, namely:
- The 2013’s Best shoujo Manga of Kodansha Manga Awards.
- The 2012’s No.5 in Da Vinci magazine’s annual list.
- The 2013’s No.1 Book of the Year list of Female-Oriented Comics.
- Paradise Kiss (1999 – 2003)
Beauty makeovers aren’t only for 90s romantic comedies anymore: in Paradise Kiss, the diligent Yukari gets swallowed up into a universe of beauty after being “captured” by a bunch of fashionable young designers and transformed into their model.
The team, named Paradise Kiss, welcomes Yukari to their fast-paced lives and romantic escapades as she develops a complicated connection with the attractive but emotionally distant George.
You’ll want this short book to go on forever since it’s a fascinating book with a heartbreaking finale.
THEM Anime Reviews’ Melissa Sternenberg commended the manga’s arts, notably the outfit ideas, as “new and attractive,” with the ending and introductory scenes being “a few of the finest of the Fall 2005 period.”
Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network was more detailed, noting that, aside from the existing personalities, the series’s actual standout is the “clothing style,” which is portrayed in meticulous detail and has a “fine balance of reality and drama.”
He describes the approach to this manga as “exceptionally considerate.” He claims it focuses “on being alive having visions and love,” exposing the truth of those events and claiming that the book will slowly transform you. He complimented the title as “delightfully adult” but warned that it is inappropriate for “those seeking soothing escape.”
With all the praises, you might have understood why Paradise Kiss is on our ranking of the best completed manga!
- Koe no Katachi (2013 – 2014)
Manga, after all, isn’t all romantic sitcoms and happy ends. Instead, it’s a potent tool for confronting social concerns at their finest, and Koe no Katachi is a touching illustration of this.
Koe no Katachi deals with a wide range of topics, but at its heart, it is a story of cold violence and its results. Ishida Shya is a 6th-grader who is the spearhead of the mistreatments of Nishimiya Shoko, a deaf girl in his class. Is it still possible for Ishida to take accountability years later?
The debut tankobon issue sold 31,714 prints in its debut week, placing 19th on the Oricon manga list. Its 2nd book placed 12 and sold 60,975 copies in its opening week. Domestically, the tankobon series have delivered 700,000 books as of March 2014.
A Silent Voice managed to sell 131,000 books in France in 2015 and 85,000 pieces in 2016, totaling 216,000 units distributed in France as of 2016.
This famous series also won a prize for “Best Rookie Series” in 2008. However, as the topic of the manga is quite sensitive, it was pretty challenging to serialize in periodicals.
Yet, after weeks of legal wrangling, it was published in the February issue of Bessatsu Shounen Weekly, where it came in first on the ranking. The Japanese Federation of the Deaf also approved the publication owing to the sensitive topic and praised the work as the best completed manga in recent years.
- Goodnight Punpun (2007 – 2013)
Goodnight Punpun is the last best manga without anime on today’s ranking.
It follows the protagonist Onodera Punpun throughout almost 20 years of his life. Yet, don’t be fooled by the “friendly” theme or the adorable depiction of Punpun and his parents as cartoonish birds: this isn’t a homey, feel-good book.
Punpun’s plot tackles weighty issues like anxiety, social alienation, and suicide and is intentionally created to test the boundaries of what a good series can convey.
Yet, Punpun’s chapters aren’t all depressed. Instead, the series offers a natural and honest tone, surrounded by an absolutely distinct graphic style that quickly immerses people in a sympathetic and original universe.
The book surpassed 3 million prints in sales as of Jan 2019. In 2016, Goodnight Punpun received the prestigious Spanish Manga Barcelona prize in the seinen genre.
- Chichi no Koyomi (1994 – 1994)
Taniguchi Jiro is a respected manga expert noted for his beautiful art style and subtly yet deep stories. And Chichi No Koyomi isn’t any different.
Chichi No Koyomi, which translates as My Father’s Diary, presents a simple storyline of a man coming back to his village for the 1st time after 15 years due to his distant dad’s death.
The charm of the series is simply Taniguchi at his finest and his soaring tribute. Indeed, despite the serene vibe and simple plot, the manga manages to deliver an impactful influence on the meaning of family.
Manga News’ Raimaru commended the story, describing it as “loaded with passion.” The BD Guest editorials appreciated it for a similar reason. Similarly, Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network also hailed the manga as “meaningful and heartfelt.”
Thus, if you’re looking for some of the best completed manga about family, Chichi no Koyomi is a must-read.
- Chi’s Sweet Home (2004 – 2015)
Chi will make your day. But, she is not your usual main character for many reasons. First and foremost, Chi possesses the biggest eyes you’ve ever encountered. Secondly, she prefers milk.
Thirdly, she isn’t yet house-trained and will run after any bouncing balls she encounters. Finally, as you may have figured out, Chi is a kitty, and Chi’s Sweet Home is the series detailing her rescue by a little kid, Youhei, and his loving parents.
We’ll be honest: there’s not much storyline here besides an extremely adorable cat performing cat stuff.
Having said that, you will undoubtedly scream “Kawaii!” several times throughout each page. Thus, if you like cats (like most people in Japan do), we recommend you stop everything and get this manga right away.
- My Brother’s Husband (2014 – 2017)
Finding the best completed manga on LGBT, My Brother’s Husband is something to check.
This series is widely recognized, and for valid reasons, it’s not only among the finest books around nowadays, but it’s also among the most delightful family stories published in any media in the past few years.
This manga is set in a tranquil Tokyo neighborhood. Yaichi’s life has always been the same: every day, he commutes to Tokyo for work and parents his little girl, Kana, when he returns home.
However, this dad and daughter’s idyllic lives are turned upside down one day when a big Canadian guy called Mike Flanagan appears and informs Yaichi 2 shocking news:
Firstly, he is Yaichi’s divorced gay brother Ryoji’s spouse, and secondly, Ryoji has passed away. What comes next is an unforgettable family story of homophobia, compassion, discrimination, and a homosexual lifestyle in a place where many people are still secretive about their sexual orientation.
My Brother’s Husband has garnered widespread praise from reviewers for its topic and how the author tackles sensitive issues. It has also collected the following accolades:
- The 2015’s Excellence Award at the 19th Japan Media Arts Festival.
- The 2018’s Excellence Prize at the 47th Japan Cartoonists Association Award.
- The 2018’s Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia.
- My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness (2016 – 2016)
Nagata Kabi will leave you weeping in only a minute and laughing at the second as she conveys the emotional plot of her blossoming sexual identity and problems with psychological disorders through vivid, emotive artworks.
Although the author’s response to her desire for social interaction is somewhat unusual (she employs a prostitute), My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness has touched a nerve with many people battling but trying to accept who they are.
Don’t skip out on this enjoyable book if you are here searching for some different, innovative manga! It’s considered one of the best completed manga on LGBTQ+ topic!
The series earned positive reviews from the public. In addition, Takarajimasha ranked My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness as the 3rd greatest book for women of 2017 on their annual Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Top 20 selection, shortly behind Kin no Kuni Mizu no Kuni and Haru no Noroi.
Based on the quarterly Nielsen BookScan graphic novel revenue rankings, My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness was the 2nd highest-grossing manga of its first week in Northern America, behind only Bitch Planet issue 2. It was also ranked 9th on the monthly BookScan ranking in June 2017.
- I Hear the Sunspot (2013 – 2021)
This is another best manga without anime!
Yuki Fumino’s debut comic, I Hear the Sunspot, sparked a lot of interest when it was released in 2014, and the Boys’ Love campaign has established her among the most followed manga artists in the industry.
The weekly series features freshman Kihei Sugihara as he tries to fit into university life, distancing himself from his peers due to a profound hearing loss.
When he encounters Taichi, an outgoing and enthusiastic new friend who encourages Kohei to unlock his emotions, his defenses crumble.
Anime News Network’s Rebecca Silverman gave I Hear the Sunspot a glowing feedback, complimenting its investigation of university clichés and Kohei and Taichi’s bond.
She complimented the Theory of Happiness and called it “lovely and sensitive,” but she also remarked that it had “intense” sadness. Silverman complimented the manga for its investigation of “various living perspectives of someone being ‘average.”’
- Love Me for Who I Am (2018 – 2021)
Don’t be misled by its cover: Love Me For Who I Am is a delicate and charming investigation of LGBTQ topics. To some people, it’s the best completed manga that features an openly non-binary central character.
Mogumo is the main character, a high school student who earnestly wants to meet other individuals like her. Thus, as her classmate, Iwaoka Tetsu, allows Mogumo to serve in a café managed by a team that includes queers, trans, and gender fluid, Mogumo jumps at the possibility.
Love Me For Who I Am stretches the limit and examines gender expression in a hyper-binary culture, with a touching plot and a charming character line-up to follow.
CBR’s Beatrice Viri applauded the series for featuring a non-binary female lead who “makes the ensemble focus on their beliefs about their sexual identity…” The manga is also highly diverse as other LGBTQ+ personalities include “a trans girl, a lesbian, and a gay pair.”
- The Bride Was A Boy (2016 – 2016)
Another name on our list of the best completed manga is The Bride Was A Boy. This lovely manga portrays the story of Chii, a lady who was born a man.
The Bride Was a Boy is a surprisingly uplifting narrative of a trans woman coming to grips with her sexual identity, coming out to her supporting friends and parents, and finally finding happiness with a guy she passionately loves.
This manga is pleasant and inspiring, delivering a romantic journey while educating on the challenges that trans people confront in their everyday lives.
All reviews complimented the plot and visuals as “heart-wrenching.” The Publishers Weekly critic had similar feelings about the book, appreciating the creativity and emotions conveyed in the story.
Johanna from Comics Worth Reading hailed the collection for being both educative and enjoyable. Likewise, Otaku USA’s Jason Thompson endorsed the book for the same qualities as other reviews, complimenting the storyline and visuals.
Sean Gaffney of A Case Suitable for Treatment also agreed with Johanna, describing the work as entertaining and enlightening. The Fandom Post’s Melina Dargis sided with prior critiques, calling the manga incredibly “moving.”
The book was selected on the Young Adult Library Services Association’s shortlist of the top picture books for adolescents in 2019.
- Our Dining Table (2019 – 2019)
This beautiful and touching manga is one of those page-turning pieces that you can finish in just a few hours.
In this manga, Ori Mita narrates the encounter of Yutaka, an office worker and excellent cook who fears eating in public, and Minoru, a timid university graduate with a delicate and compassionate approach.
Minoru’s vivacious younger brother Tane loves Yutaka’s onigiri, and they encounter one another by accident at a park. So Minoru invites him home for some cooking classes.
And the 2 main characters quickly develop a romantic relationship over common traumas, hardships, and cuisine. They understand how to appreciate life’s simple pleasures around the dinner table.
Simple as that, but with its tranquil vibe and subtle storytelling, Our Dining Table undoubtedly deserves a spot in our best completed manga list.
- The Heart of Thomas (1974 – 1974)
The Heart of Thomas is another best manga without anime.
Around the 1980s and 1990s, at a private institution for boys in Germany, 14-year-old Thomas Werner confesses his affection in a note to a friend before jumping from a walkway bridge and dying.
And those are the incidents that set the stage for Hagio Moto’s stunning, whirling comic series, which chronicles the stories of 3 boys: Juli, who is haunted by remorse over Thomas’ suicide; Oskar, who has a hidden crush on his classmate; and Erich, Thomas’ enigmatic lookalike.
The Heart of Thomas, a complicated yet engaging plot that leaps off the pages, maybe seen on any shortlists of the best completed manga.
The Heart of Thomas is regarded as a fundamental piece in both the shounen-ai and shoujo genres, and it heavily influenced contemporary shoujo manga.
Randall highlights that the series’ characters and backgrounds (like those people with angelic feathers or encircled by rose petals) have developed into today’s art conventions in the shoujo category.
- Black Jack (1973 – 1983)
Originally released in 1973, Black Jack is among the longest-running manga on our list.
Black Jack is an “unlicensed” physician with a questionable background. He collaborates with his young sidekick Pinoko (who harbours a huge affection for the physician), handling odd health problems that appear extremely weird and deadly; some are even undiscovered.
However, he is a mastermind who can save practically all of his clients’ life (as long as they can pay the bill) and is well-known all around the globe, particularly among people in healthcare and science.
He’s a scientist too, and he doesn’t trust anything unless he sees it, yet love and nature frequently amaze him, often overcoming the sciences on which he builds his existence.
The majority of the manga showcases Black Jack conducting a selfless act for which he is hardly recognized. Indeed, he often treats the poor and underprivileged for free or gives the pompous a wake-up call.
This manga occasionally ends up with a noble, humanitarian character suffering from pains and perhaps inescapable death to save someone.
Alongside Astro Boy, Black Jack is Osamu Tezuka’s most well-known book. Indeed, it is Tezuka’s 2nd highest revenue title, reaching 46 million volumes sold in Japan alone since 1996. With its admirable achievements, there are no doubt that Black Jack earns a place in our ranking of the best completed manga.
- Touch (1981 – 1986)
The plot revolves around 3 protagonists: Uesugi Kazuya, his twin Tatsuya, and Asakura Minami. Kazuya is the neighbourhood’s sweetheart since he’s gifted, diligent, and the star catcher for his junior high baseball squad.
Meanwhile, Tatsuya is a pathetic loser who has been leading the life of passing out the limelight to Kazuya, given that he is more talented than his younger brother.
And Minami is the lovely childhood crush you might find in any manga – she is the sister from a neighbouring house who respects them both like brothers. Everybody, including Tatsuya, believes Kazuya and Minami would be the ultimate match.
However, as time passes, Tatsuya realizes that he is willing to give up everything for the benefit of his younger brother, except for losing Minami to Kazuya.
Consequently, the storyline is recounted of Tatsuya striving to show himself to his accomplished little brother, how it impacts their relationships, and both brothers’ efforts to fulfil Minami’s lifetime wishes.
The series has distributed over 100 million units worldwide. In addition, it was among the Shogakukan Manga Prize victors in the shounen and shoujo genres in 1983, together with Adachi’s second book Miyuki.
- Phoenix (1954 – 1988)
And Phoenix is a story about rebirth. Each chapter revolves around a quest for eternity, symbolized by the blood of the titular bird of flame. The blood is said to give immortal existence.
Still, in Phoenix, eternity is either unattainable or a dreadful punishment, whereas Buddhist-style rebirth is depicted as the natural course of existence.
The chapters transition between earlier civilizations and the great future; the earliest, Dawn, appears in the prehistoric days, while the latter, Future, begins in the far future. Tezuka’s ideas are explored in both ancient and sci-fi contexts in later publications that cycle between the old days and the future.
There are several recurrent figures in the story; a few are drawn from Tezuka’s famed dwarf galaxy. For instance, a personality called Saruta frequently arises in the shape of many predecessors and successors, who face difficult hardships in their stated age.
- Banana Fish (1985 – 1994)
Ash Lynx is stunning, brilliant, and a killer. Dino “Papa” Golzine, the gangster godfather who moulded him into the vicious murderer he is now, had raised him since boyhood. Ash was formerly only a lovely face for Golzine’s pleasure, but now that he’s separated from his boss, the 17-year-old Ash rules his organization with a firm grip.
Eiji Okumura is a talented photojournalist from Japan. Eiji is going to NY city as an intern to research a story about youngsters surviving in the slums. Eventually, he encounters Ash, a young mafia boss, and is captivated by who is interested in Eiji’s strange lifestyle.
However, this is New York’s ugly side, and a new sequence of killings in the area has been linked solely by the phrase “Banana Fish.” With deep involvement in this strange conflict, it’s down to Ash, Eiji, and their friends to figure out who “Banana Fish” is, where he originated from, and how to clear him before the society as they know it breaks apart.
Banana Fish garnered both professional and commercial success, selling over 12 million units in Japan. In addition, banana Fish was also voted the best book in a survey carried out by the periodic Comic Link in 1998.
- The Rose of Versailles (1972 – 2018)
When it comes to the longest-running manga on today’s shortlist, The Rose of Versailles is undoubtedly the winner.
The Austrian Monarchy forces Princess Marie Antoinette to France to marry Crowned Prince Louis XVI during social division and growing conflicts among the poverty-stricken people.
The planned wedding is organized to enhance both governments’ relationship, but the queen-to-be is unhappy with her chosen destiny. Marie Antoinette meets Oscar Fançois de Jarjayes, Chief of the Royal Army, upon her landing in the city.
Oscar is educated as a man owing to her family’s yearning for a son, with the idea that a boy could replace the father’s role as The Chief. Although both men and women admire her, Oscar can’t stop but wishes she could spend her life as a lady rather than a guy.
As Oscar grudgingly assists the immature, pampered queen-to-be, she finds it more difficult to overlook the developing discontent and misery of the poor—mainly when Marie Antoinette wastefully squanders her money.
According to famous reviewer Jason Thompson, The Rose of Versailles is a “true masterpiece” of the time, with Ikeda’s development of Oscar being a “work of brilliance.”
Her character is also fundamental to the manga concept of “a lady who takes on the responsibility of a guy, more often than not trying to cope with the responsibility, but mostly outdoing men at whatever they assumingly to do best.”
Although this type of character was introduced in Osamu Tezuka’s series Princess Knight, Thompson contrasts the “powerful and emotional” Oscar with Tezuka’s “cutesy and adorable” series.
- Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai (1989 – 1996)
After the demonic king, Hadlar, was defeated, all of the demons were freed from his wicked spirit and brought to the isle of Delmurin to settle down together. Dai is the only person in the region.
After being fostered by the loving demon Brass, Dai’s goal is to become a superhero. However, after Hadlar comes back and the former saviour, Avan, arrives to prepare Dai to serve in the war, he becomes one.
However, Hadlar arrives to slaughter Avan, saying he now serves an even more formidable demon king. Avan attacks with Self-Sacrifice magic to protect his trainees but cannot vanquish Hadlar.
When it looks like Dai and Avan’s fellow trainee Pop are hopeless, a symbol forms on Dai’s face, and he obtains superpowers, allowing him to fight Hadlar. The 2 pupils then embark on a mission to punish Avan and restore global peace.
Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai is among the highest-grossing manga titles in Weekly shounen Jump history, having 47 million tankobon issue units distributed.
- Maison Ikkoku (1980 – 1987)
Maison Ikkoku is a rental house in the village of Clock Hill. Although the house itself is pretty average, most of its residents are not ordinary at all. Yuusaku Godai, the calm tenant, has had enough of his neighbours’ frequent disturbances and noisy parties.
He is looking for a new place to live because he needs a more tranquil environment to study. However, his intentions to depart are off when he encounters the new rental housing manager, Kyoko Otonashi.
He falls passionately in love with her and realizes that the rental apartment might not be such an awful place to stay as it seems. But, unlucky for him, Kyoko is dealing with her own love difficulties: she is a widow whose spouse passed away only 6 months after their wedding.
Despite her growing affection for Godai, Kyoko still misses her former hubby and feels that no other guy could ever cover the emptiness in her heart. Yet, with Godai’s tenacity and the assistance of the other odd residents, she might find genuine love one more time.
Maison Ikkoku has almost 25 million total copies in distribution. According to Christopher Macdonald, co-founder of Anime News Network, Rumiko Takahashi’s proudest achievement is Maison Ikkoku, released in 2002.
Manga has lately gained significant popularity worldwide, owing to the availability and diversity of these Japanese comics. Yet, as mentioned earlier, any newbie could easily find the manga collection overwhelming and don’t know where to start. But bother not anymore with our post.
Hopefully, today’s list of the 60 best completed manga of all time has given you an easier time choosing what to read!
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