31 Best Manga Recommendations | Best Manga 2021

by Takashi Nomoni
best manga recommendations

Love Manga? Me too! Here are my best manga recommendations – doesn’t matter if you’re a manga beginner or someone who binge-reads manga series (like me!) – you will definitely love these manga recommendations 2021!

Manga, while may look similar to anime, is different. Manga is Japanese comic books with characters that often become an inspiration to anime. All over the world, people only refer to Japanese comic books as Manga. However, the term manga is a Japanese word for comic books.

The Manga industry has spread all around the world, increasing its reader base. Today, even lesser-known titles and classics are available in English. There are more options available from which we can choose.

Whether you have discovered the joys of watching the best manga or are looking to venture out, there is a manga for everyone. Read on to find the best manga recommendations that you must check out. I hope at least one of the comics pique your interest. Let me know what you think!

Page Contents

31 Best Manga To Read 2021

#1 — Death Note by  TSUGUMI OHBA AND TAKESHI OBATA

Best Manga Recommendation Fantasy

Death Note is one of the most popular manga series in the world today. Death Note first came out in the manga form in 2003 in 12 volumes. This is one of my personal favorites and definitely the best manga recommendation 2021!

Death Note revolves around its central character, Light Yagami. He is a high school student who comes across a notebook that has supernatural powers. It is a Death Note notebook, which allows its user to kill any person just by entering his or her name in the book.

When he finds the notebook, he tests it by entering the name of a criminal and is surprised to see that he dies. Yagami understands how the notebook words, and he wishes to use it to rid the world of all evil. The story is his quest to cleanse the world of all criminals, and the attempts of a detective called L to stop him.

#2 — Naruto by MASASHI KISHIMOTO

Best Completed Manga Recommendation

Even somebody who has not read any manga has heard the name of Naruto. The adventure manga series is well-known around the world and follows the story of Naruto Uzukami. He is a young ninja who wishes to become a leader (Hokage) of his village.

However, Naruto is not the ideal boy you would expect to see. He is mischievous and troublesome. Not only that, he tends to be more on the hyperactive side and is quite dumb.

He is a bad student and not many teachers like him as a student. However, he dreams to become the strongest ninja and a leader.

The one thing Naruto is unaware of is the presence of a demon inside him. The demon is a nine-tailed fox who is full of pure energy that once destroyed the village.

The story is about Naruto being on a quest to fulfilling his dreams.

Naruto is one of the most popular manga series in history, which is why it made to this list of best manga recommendations. It has sold over 130 million copies in Japan only. It is so popular it was adapted as an anime series. Both the manga and the anime series of Naruto are loved all over the world.

Related: Top Japanese Nintendo Switch Games

#3 — Fullmetal Alchemist by HIROMU ARAKAWA

Critically Acclaimed Manga

The Fullmetal Alchemist is an adventure series designed after the European Industrial Revolution. The story follows the life of two brothers – Alphonse and Edward. They want to improvise on their alchemy training. Their quest is to resurrect their dead mother and make their physical bodies healthy.

However, after failing at resurrecting their mother, they go on a quest to find the magical Philosopher’s Stone. The stone will give them immense power and will help them resurrect their mother.

In the series, the brothers start investigating matters that are creating problems in the state. However, this step traps them in a web full of government conspiracies and secret organizations.

Their adventure is a quest to make themselves normal again. The dark science-fantasy, while a comic series, refers to real-world problems such as genocide, war, and government corruption.

This one of the best mangas to read. It has even won several awards. You will love the Fullmetal Alchemist even if you are not into science fantasies.

Related: Where to buy Nintendo Switch in Japan

#4 — Dragon Ball by AKIRA TORIYAMA

Best Manga Recommendations Fantasy Comedy

Dragon Ball is a classic that still stays in the heart of manga lovers all around the world. The story centers on the seven Dragon Balls. The dragon balls have the power to grant any wish in the world when combined. The story begins with the adventures of Goku and a teenage girl, Bulma. They start their journey of bringing together all the seven dragon balls.

Goku undergoes intensive Martial Arts training under Master Roshi. He wants to win the World Martial Arts Championship. Goku and his friends face dangers from evil every day and fight it off bravely. Eventually, the biggest threat comes their way from invaders from outer space.

The captivating story and the coming of age theme make Dragon Ball one of the best manga of all time. It is full of humor, however, there is a serious undertone to it that makes the series so enthralling. The classic is also available in the form of anime.

#5 — Doraemon – Best Manga For Beginners

Is there anyone who has not heard of the adorable Doraemon? Doraemon is my favorite. I can resonate with Nobita Nobi, and I am sure many of you do as well. He is lazy but, he is a good guy who is sensitive and thinks of his friends. But due to his bad grades, his descendants suffer.

Tired of this, they send a cat robot from the future to aid him and improve his life, thereby improving their lives in the future. The robot cat is blue with missing ears. Doraemon is probably the only cat who is scared of mice.

Doraemon and Nobita work hard together to improve their future. However, laughter ensues in the pages when we see them go on in their everyday lives.

For people beginning their Manga journey, Doraemon is the best series. It is humorous and you will find yourself turning pages. Doraemon is a popular and loved character whom we can see on the screen now.

#6 — Slam Dunk – Best Manga Stories To Read

Are you into sports? If yes, Slam Dunk is soon going to be your favorite manga. It probably is the most prominent sports manga series in the history of Japanese Manga. It is an all-time classic that has become an inspiration for youth to play basketball.

The story revolves around Hanamichi Sakuragi, who is a bad guy and a gang leader. He picks up fights and uses his fists more often than he should.

His life takes a turn with the entry of a beautiful young girl called Haruko Akagi. Since he is extremely tall, she enquires whether he plays basketball. He pretends to be a basketball genius since he wants to impress her. He tries the Slam Dunk, which is the coolest move in basketball but he fails miserably.

He then joins his school’s basketball team and works hard to become a good player.

You must read Slam Dunk to get some inspiration.

#7 — One Piece by EIICHIRO ODA

Best Manga Recommendation 2021

Hands down, One Piece is the best manga recommendation on this list. It’s a must-read.

One Piece first debuted in 1997, which makes it a classic. But, it is not just any classic, it is one of the most influential manga series of all time. It has always been amongst the best sellers ever since it first came out.

One Piece is about a young boy whose wish is to become a pirate king. The boy is Monkey D. Luffy who takes inspiration from a powerful pirate, Red-Haired Shanks.

The story is D. Luffy’s quest to find the One Piece, a treasure hid by the king of the pirates, Gol D. Roger. He challenges his fellow pirates to find the One Piece when he is being executed. He says that whoever finds the treasure will become the king of pirates.

Monkey D. Luffy begins his journey in search of the treasure.

The whole story truly is enigmatic and keeps you hooked to the adventurous pages.

#8 — Hunter X Hunter – Best Action Manga Recommendation

Hunter X Hunter is the story of a young boy called Gon Freecss. He lives on a tiny island and is happy with his life. His peaceful life changes when he finds out that his father, who is a world-class hunter and was believed to be dead, is alive.

Once he finds this out, he leaves his peaceful life and goes to find his father. He, who had never seen the mysterious world of hunters, delves into it. His adventure is endless and he is accompanied by good friends, a fishing rod, and his incomparable determination to find his father.

Hunter X Hunter is a story with a plot that will excite and intrigue you. You will feel happy with each page you turn.

#9 — Tokyo Ghoul

Ken Kaneki, an ordinary college student turns into something alien – half-human and half-ghoul. Now trapped between the human world and the ghoul world, he has to take on wars on ghouls turfs to survive. 

Read this action-filled manga to transcend into the Ghoul society and learn how Ken masters his new-found powers. 
Check out this Tokyo Ghoul full box set with fourteen volumes. It also includes a double-sided poster!

#10 — Ouran High School Host Club by BISCO HATORI

Presenting the contrast between the rich and poor, this manga is one of the best-selling manga’s today! 

Haruhi, hailing from a poor household, has to repay an $80,000 debt forcing her to work in her school, packed with the rich kids. She works for the most elite, all-male, club at her school. But to do this, she has to pretend to be a boy! 

Click the link below to check out the entire manga collection!

#11 — Assassination Classroom

Be ready to laugh until you start crying with this action-packed and hilarious manga. A hilarious story of a mysterious, tentacled, superpowered, smiley-faced teacher and his students trying to assassinate him, while he tries to help them find themselves. 

List of short volumes manga

This box set also includes a yearbook of all the characters from the manga. Check out the box-set containing 21 volumes of the manga.

#12 — Fairy Tail

A modern-day story filled with wizards, magicians, and… a flying cat? It’s about adventure as much as it is about the friendships we make journeying through these adventures. 

Lucy, a young wizard – rebellious girl with a dream to become a part of the world’s most powerful magical guild – Fairy Tail. To her luck, she meets one of Fairy Tail’s top wizards and goes on an action-packed adventure with his flying cat. Pirates, devious magician, and an evil wizard killing duke – all stand in their way. Will they get through?

One volume manga

Check out this 11 Volume set to find out!

#13 — A Silent Voice – Critically-Acclaimed Manga Of The Decade

This emotional-drama manga is about a hearing-impaired girl, Shoko, who is bullied by a boy in her school – Shoya and his friends. Until the tables turn and now he’s the one being bullied and alone. 

This manga has earned an Eisner nomination and accolades from the American Library Association. It was also adapted into an anime in 2017 and won many hearts across the globe! Check out this box set with all seven volumes of the manga. 

1 page manga

BONUS: The set also includes a 10 by 15 in poster and a copy of Shoko’s notebook!

#14 — Battle Angel Alita 

A cyber-punk classic, battle angel Alita is an action-packed manga that was recently released as a major Hollywood film!

A disgraced cyber-doctor Daisuke, living the Scrapyar, a lawless dump, finds the head of a cyborg woman who he turns into a powerful cyborg with a new body and names her Alita. Having lost all her memories, she seeks to find her origins. And in that journey, Alita helps the world by becoming a hunter-killer. 

Manga stories to read

Check out this action-drama manga on Amazon. Click below to get the full-volume box set of this manga!

#15 — My Hero Academia by KOHEI HORIKOSHI

A  world where having superpowers, known as quirks, is the new norm, one boy struggles having no quirks. But is determined to become a Hero. Join Izuku is his path of becoming a Hero as he faces his bullies in school with this manga

Click below to check out the 15-volume set!

#16 — Sailor Moon by NAOKO TAKEUCHI

This is another one of the best manga recommendations I have for you! Sailor Moon is the pioneer of the Magical Girl genre and definitely one of the best mangas I’ve read. Here’s the plot: Usagi Tsukino realises that she’s Sailor Moon and destined to protect the Earth from everything evil. To represent other planets in the solar system, she assembles Sailor Scouts along her journey to help her in this mission! Check it out below! 

#17 — Attack On Titan by HAJIME ISAYAMA

Attack on Titan is another one of popular manga and the anime series is a super-hit as well. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic era surrounded by man-eating giants. The plot of the manga has evolved and gotten heavier since its initial story, obviously. Filled with conspiracies, concepts of oppression and more – this is definitely one of the best manga recommendations from my end! Check out this best action packed anime below! 

#18 — Astro Boy by OSAMU TEZUKA

The next best manga recommendation on the list is AstroBoy. This is one of the modern classics. This manga is historically significant as it defined the iconic look of mangas when it was released. 

Dr. Tenma,  a scientist, loses his son in an unfortunate accident. And so looks for a solution to bring back his son. In the world of AstroBoy, technology has evolved so much so that humans have to consider robots as a species of their own. Desperate to be reunited with his son, Dr Tenma creates a rocket-powered robot in his late son’s image. After a series of unfortunate events, AstroBoy is rescued by Dr Ochanomizu. After which AstroBoy decides to help the world by fighting crime. This brings a lot of action to the manga with AstroBoy fighting evil villains, mad scientists, and giant evil robots! Check it out below!

#19 — Fruits Basket by NATSUKI TAKAYA

This manga revolves around a high school student called Tohru Honda. She looses her mother in an unfortunate car accident. After which she finds shelter with the Sohma family. She soon realises that the Sohma’s are not a normal family and uncovers their secrets. 

She learns that the members of the Sohma family are possessed by the Chinese zodiac spirit animals and can turn into one. Tohru promises to keep this a secret and then takes it upon herself to break this curse. Will she succeed? Find out in this next best manga recommendations!

#20 — Devilman by GO NAGAI

The next on this list of best manga recommendations is the Devilman. What happens when a good-hearted young man is as powerful as a demon? Well, in this manga at least, he uses it to protect all of mankind. But alas, with power comes complication. Now this young man is at a cross road where he needs to chose between protecting all humans or his best friend. WHat will he do? Find out by clicking on the link below!

#21 — Inuyasha by RUMIKO TAKAHASHI

The next one on this list of best manga recommendations is Inuyasha

manga recommendations

Written by Rumiko Takahashi, Inuyasha is about a Japanese school girl called Kagome. Things take an unexpected turn when she visits her family shrine and falls into a well! There she gets transported to the Sengoku era where she meets Inuyasha – half dog, half demon. What happens next? Find out by reading the manga below!

#22 — One-punch Man By ONE AND YUSUKE MURATA

Genre: Action-comedy | Editor’s rating: 9/10 

One punch man is one of the best ongoing manga series. If you’re a fan of One Piece, you’ll definitely love this manga too!

One Punch Man revolves around ‘Saitama’, who was once an average man but now is an all powerful superhero who can defeat anybody with just one punch. Unfortunate for Saitama, he now faces an existential crisis as he has all this power but no worthy opponent to challenge his power. 

One Punch Man then joins the Hero Association to battle the most powerful villains and hopefully find a worthy opponent in the process!

#23 — Akira by KATSUHIRO OTOMO

Genre: Cyberpunk, Post-apocalyptic | Editor’s Rating: 8.5/10

Here’s another influential classic manga series you cannot miss out on! If you’re a fan of the cyberpunk genre of manga then Akira is one of the best manga recommendations I can give you!

The plot of Akira manga goes something like this… 

A mysterious explosion destroys the city of Tokyo. Two decades later the manga begins in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo – Neo-Tokyo. Teh manga revolves around Kaneda (a biker gang leader), trio of espers, Kei (militant revolutionary) and Colonel Shikishima (Neo-Tokyo military leader) — all of whom are desperately attempting to stop Tetsuo (Kaneda’s childhood friend) from awakening ‘Akira’, a mystical being with psychic abilities just like Tetsuo. ‘Akira’ was responsible for the destruction of Tokyo. 

Akira explores the concepts of corruption, politics and power all throughout the manga series. 

Here’s where you can get Vol 1 of Akira

#24 — Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP

Genre: Magical girl | Editor’s rating: 7/10

If you liked Sailor Moon then Cardcaptor is one of the best manga recommendations for you!

Following the magical girl concept as in Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor revolves around a girl named Sakura. 

Sakura must now retrieve all the magical cards she released accidentally and seal them away! 

Why? 

Because sealed in those magical cards were dangerous spirits. And since they got away because of Sakura. It is now her responsibility to seal them back again and save the world!

#25 — Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure by HIROHIKO ARAKI

Genre: Occult Fiction, Fantasy | Editor’s Rating: 9.5/10

Here’s another one of classic manga series recommendations from me! 

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of those manga series that influenced the industry. In fact, if you read a good amount of this manga series, you’ll find several references that go back to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures in other mangas

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is about the Joestar family and their battle against evil. What makes this manga series stand out is its structure. Each part of this manga series focuses on a different family member of the Joestar family set in a different time and place. 

Part one of Jojo’s Bizarre adventure focuses on Jonathan Joestar who meets his adopted brother Dio. 

Dio loves watching Jonathan suffer and tests Jonathan’s patience every chance he gets. But Jonathan can only tolerate so much. 

Check out the Part 1 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures below

#26 — High School Debut by KAZUNE KAWAHARA

Genre: Romance | Editor’s rating: 10/10

I’m not a sucker for romantic manga but this one definitely caught my attention. Storywise, characters, illustrations – everything about this manga is on point!

The plot: 

High School Debut revolves around Haruna who was a softball superstar in middle school. But when she joins high school she only wants one thing and that’s a boyfriend! 

The only problem is that Haruna was never into fashion, romance, make-up or any of those typically girly things and now has no idea how to make a boy fall for her. 

So she asks for help from the most popular guy in school. Who better to advice on how to make a guy fall for you? However, he has just one condition: Haruna cannot fall in love with him. 

I know this sounds like your typical romantic novel or movie but there’s a charm in Haruna’s character that you will simply fall in love with!

Check out Volume 1, 2 and 3 below!

#27 — Paradise Kiss by AI YAZAWA

Genre: Coming of Age, Romance | Editor’s rating: 8/10

This manga follows a high school student named Yukari. 

Yukari is preparing for college entrance exams but her encounter with a group of fashion design students changes everything for her. 

Paradise Kiss is a manga about love at first sight, fashion, and simply growing up and how anything and everything can change with a blink of an eye!

Check out Part 1 of Paradise Kiss below!

#28 — Love Com by AYA NAKAHARA

Genre: Romance | Editor’s Rating: 7.5/10 

Highschool is generally difficult for everybody but even more so when you don’t look like a typical highschooler. 

Love Com revolves around Risa and Atsushi. Atsushi is shorter than a typical Japanese high school boy while Risa is taller than a typical Japanese highschool girl. Their classmates, obviously, bully them all the time and to make things worse they pair them as a joke. 

However, Atsushi helps Risa in winning over the guy she’s in love with and Risa helps Atsushi do the same. 

But things take a different turn for them both!

Check out Vol 1 of Love Com below!

#29 — Kimi Ni Todoke by KARUHO SHIINA

Genre: Shojo manga, coming of age, slife of life | Editor’s Rating: 9/10

Kimi Ni Todoke is one of the most heart felt manga b=series I’ve read in my whole maga reading life!

Kimi Ni Todoke revolves around a girl named Sawako Huronuma. She looks just like ‘Sadako’ of The Ring. 

This, obviously, leads to her classmates spreading rumors about her. Poor girl is avoided by everyone and is excluded from everything. 

In reality, however, Sawako is a simple, sweet girl who just want to make friends. All this changed when Kazehaya, the most popular (and might I mention handsome) guy in school starts talking to Sawako. But by being friends with the most popular guy in school, Sawako, unknowingly is also about to make some enemies!

Check out volume 1 Kimi Ni Todoke below!

#30 — My Love Story by KAZUNE KAWAHARA AND ARUKO

Genre: Romantic Comedy | Rating: 8.5/10

If you liked High School Debut then My Love Story is one of the best manga recommendations I can give you!

This manga is charming, sweet and packed with a lot of laughter. 

My Love Story revolves around Takeo Goda who has bad luck in finding love. Eventhough, muscular and young, Takeo Goda always loses the girl he likes to his best friend Makoto who is more good-looking than he is. 

Until, finally, one day he meets Rinko who finally falls in love with Takeo. Will she stay in love with him or will things get complicated because of his handsome best friend. 

Find out in volume 1 of My Love Story below!

#31 — Skip Beat! by YOSHIKI NAKAMURA

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Coming of Age | Editor’s Rating: 7.5/10

Kyoko Mogami is heart broken when her best friend and one true love, Sho, rejects her after he becomes famous. Kyoko accompanied Sho all the to Tokyo to help him achieve his dream of becoming an idol. 

But when Sho just casually throws her out of his life, Kyoko wants revenge. She plans to get her sweet revenge by making it bigger than Sho in the star business. 

Does Kyoko beat Sho at becoming popular and find another love? 

Find out in Skip Beat! Manga below. It includes Vol 1, 2 and 3 

Kuroko’s Basketball By Tadatoshi Fujimaki

Kuruko’s basketball revolves around middle school basketball players who are obviously very gifted when it comes to playing this sport. In fact, this manga made the sport manga genre popular again!

The manga explores how these brilliantly talented middle school basketball team players have a falling out and then face each other as opponents in high school. 

The only thing I don’t like about this manga is that the game is not represented accurately. But then this manga is less about the game and more about the emotional drama that goes between the players! 

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A Bride’s Story By Kaoru Mori

If you’re into manga of historical genre then A Bride’s Story is a great pick!
The manga is about a bride who marries someone who is eight years younger than her. The manga then explores the bride’s story along with her husband and his family. 

The manga then explores the stories of other young brides and the men they marry. This historical fiction manga will also educate you about the history of Japanese culture as the story progresses. 

Check out this best manga recommendation below!

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Ace Of The Diamond By Yuji Terajima

I’m adding this sport manga recommendation because of Japan’s love for baseball. 

This manga revolves around Eijun Sawamura who joins a baseball team in a Tokyo high school. It beautifully captures the emotional highs and lows of baseball! 

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Haikyu!! By Haruichi Furudate

Here’s another sports manga for sports lovers! 

Haikyu!! revolves around Shoyo Hinata who dreams of becoming the best volley ball player ever! And even though he’s shorter than your typical volleyball player, he’s confident that he can achieve his dreams. 

When he joins high school, he encounters Tobio Kageyama, an amazing volley ball player himself. Shoyo once faced Tobio as an opponent in a volleyball match in middle school. But now, they’re supposed to play in the same team and make sure that their school wins the volleyball championship! 

View on Amazon

Best Manga Recommendations: Top Picks

Best Manga RecommendationsGenreEditor’s Rating
Death NoteMystery, Psychological thriller,
Occult Fiction, Fantasy
10/10
NarutoAdventure fiction, Fantasy9/10
Fullmetal AlchemistAdventure fiction, Dark fantasy,
Steampunk
9/10
Dragon Ball Adventure fiction, Martial Arts,
Fantasy Comedy
8/10
DoraemonComedy, science fiction7/10
Slam Dunk Sports manga, Coming-of-age story8/10
One PieceAdventure fiction, Fantasy10/10
Hunter X HunterAdventure Fantasy, Martial Arts10/10
Tokyo GhoulDark fantasy, Horror fiction, Thriller9/10
Ouran High School Host ClubDrama, Comedy, Romantic comedy8/10

What Is The Best Manga Of All Time?

From this list, in my opinion, the top 3 best manga recommendations are:

  1. One Piece
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist
  3. Slam Dunk

What are the best completed manga series?

Some of the best completed manga series are: Some of the best completed manga series are Dragon Ball, Inuyasha, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Death Note, Fruits Basket, Sailor Moon, My Hero Academia

What manga should I start with?

One piece is the best manga recommended for beginners. It’s an action-filled manga that takes you on an adventure. The best part about One Piece is that it’s a great manga for all age groups. The story line is hilarious, clever, and inspirational. But the one piece manga is very long and has many chapters to it. So you’ll never get bored of it!

Which is longest manga series?

Kochikame is the longest serial comic running. In fact, Kochikame also has a Guinnes book of world records for the longest running serial comic. Prior to this One Piece had set the Guinness world record for the same.

What’s the most sold manga?

One Piece is the most sold manga with 480 million copies sold. Written by Eiichiro Oda, One Piece is a manga that is loved by all age groups and is packed with fun, action, and adventure!

Which one is your favorite manga from the list?

This ends my list of favorite manga recommendations. I hope you enjoyed the diverse manga recommendations in this list. These are comics that have come a long way and are loved across the globe by people of all ages.

If you want to start reading manga, you can choose any one of the recommendations. Trust me, you will be hooked and right after your first series, you will want to read more.

There is no stopping this manga obsession. One series is never enough. You will soon find yourself getting more volumes.

Did I miss out on any of your favorites? Let me know what you thought of it.

Also Read:

  1. Best books to learn Japanese for beginners
Death Note

Love Manga? Me too! Here are my best manga recommendations - doesn't matter if you're a manga beginner or someone who binge-reads manga series (like me!) - you will definitely love these manga recommendations 2021!

URL: https://amzn.to/37viFgV

Author: Tsugumi Ohba

Editor's Rating:
5

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