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Top 25 Most Popular Manga Right Now

Manga refers to a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, characterized by its unique artwork, thematic elements, and storytelling techniques. The term “manga” literally means “whimsical pictures” in Japanese. If you’re searching for the most popular Manga right now, this top 25 list is your ideal starting point.

A colourful and dynamic collage featuring many manga elements, used as the main image to represent the most popular manga right now.

A Brief History of Manga

Historically, the origins of manga can be traced back to the 12th century with scroll paintings known as “Emakimono,” which combined pictures and texts to tell stories. However, the modern form of manga developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, influenced by both Japanese art traditions and Western comic strips.

Post-World War II, manga evolved significantly under the influence of artists like Osamu Tezuka, known as the “God of Manga.” His works, such as “Astro Boy,” set the foundation for contemporary manga, introducing aspects like large expressive eyes and serialized storytelling.

In the latter half of the 20th century, manga became an integral part of Japanese culture, catering to a wide range of audiences with diverse genres, including action, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. It also started influencing other art forms and has become a significant cultural export, gaining immense popularity worldwide. Manga has not only entertained but also served as a medium for social commentary and exploration of complex themes.

The manga world continues to dazzle with its diverse storytelling and captivating artistry. This list of the top 25 most popular manga right now brings a mix of old favourites and new hits, from thrilling adventures to deep, thought-provoking stories. Whether you’re a long-time manga enthusiast or a newcomer to this unique medium, these top 25 most popular manga right now are must-reads that reflect the best of what this ever-evolving art form has to offer.

  1. Aoashi (Ao Ashi) – This sports-themed manga series by Yūgo Kobayashi captures the journey of Ashito Aoi, a young soccer talent from a small town, as he joins the prestigious Tokyo Esperion youth team. The story is filled with intense training, team dynamics, and Aoi’s development both as a player and a person, offering a realistic and inspiring portrayal of the world of professional soccer.
  2. Astro Boy – This groundbreaking series created by Osamu Tezuka, is often credited with shaping the landscape of manga and anime. First appearing in 1952, it tells the story of a powerful robot boy, Astro, created by a scientist in the image of his lost son. Set in a futuristic world where humans and robots coexist, Astro Boy embarks on various adventures, often tackling issues of morality, discrimination, and the complexities of human and robotic relationships. With its unique blend of action, emotion, and thought-provoking themes, Astro Boy not only captivated audiences in Japan but also gained international fame, becoming a cultural icon and paving the way for future generations of manga and anime creators. Its influence can still be felt in many modern manga popular right now, making it a timeless classic in the world of graphic storytelling.
  3. Attack on Titan – Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this series by Hajime Isayama revolves around humanity’s struggle for survival against the Titans, gigantic humanoid creatures. The protagonist, Eren Yeager, joins the military with his friends to fight these creatures after his hometown is destroyed and his mother is killed by a Titan. The story explores themes of freedom, oppression, and the moral complexities of revenge and war.
  4. Berserk – This dark and intense manga series by Kentaro Miura chronicles the life of Guts, a mercenary with a tragic past, and Griffith, the charismatic leader of the Band of the Hawk. The story delves into the supernatural, with themes of fate, betrayal, and the struggle against dark forces. The artwork is notable for its detailed and dark style, perfectly capturing the grim world of Berserk.
  5. Bleach – This supernatural adventure by Tite Kubo follows teenager Ichigo Kurosaki, who gains the powers of a Soul Reaper and is tasked with protecting the living world from evil spirits and guiding the souls of the dead. The manga series is known for its unique blend of action, humor, and complex characters, as well as its expansive world-building involving various spiritual dimensions.
  6. Chainsaw Man – A blend of horror, comedy, and action, this manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto follows Denji, a young man living in poverty who merges with his pet devil-dog Pochita and becomes Chainsaw Man. The series is praised for its unique storytelling, unpredictable plot twists, and exploration of themes like poverty, love, and the meaning of happiness.
  7. Death Note – A psychological thriller by Tsugumi Ohba, this manga centres on Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it. Light’s attempt to use the Death Note to create a crime-free utopia brings him into conflict with the enigmatic detective L. The story is a cat-and-mouse game filled with moral dilemmas and intellectual battles.
  8. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – one of the most popular manga series right now, by Koyoharu Gotouge. Tanjiro Kamado’s life changes drastically when his family is slaughtered by demons and his sister Nezuko is turned into one in this popular manga series. He becomes a Demon Slayer to avenge his family and cure his sister. Known for its vibrant artwork and heart-wrenching story, the manga beautifully portrays themes of family, perseverance, and the battle between humans and demons.
  9. Dragon Ball – A seminal work in the manga and anime industry, “Dragon Ball” Akira Toriyama follows the adventures of Goku from childhood into adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the Dragon Balls. The series is known for its colorful cast of characters, humorous storytelling, and epic battles that have become a staple of the shonen genre.
  10. Fullmetal Alchemist – This series by Hiromu Arakawa is a blend of fantasy, action, and philosophy. It follows the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who use alchemy in their quest to regain their original bodies after a disastrous attempt at resurrecting their mother. The story explores themes of sacrifice, the consequences of tampering with nature, and the quest for redemption.
  11. Hunter x Hunter – This adventure manga by Yoshihiro Togashi follows Gon Freecss as he aspires to become a Hunter like his father and explores a world filled with rare creatures, exotic treasures, and Hunters who specialize in various dangerous tasks. The series is renowned for its complex characters, intricate plot, and deep psychological elements.
  12. Jujutsu Kaisen – A manga series by Gege Akutami that blends action and horror, the story revolves around Yuji Itadori as he joins a secret organization of Jujutsu Sorcerers to battle Curses, malevolent entities born from human negativity. The dark fantasy is celebrated for its high-energy battles, intricate magic system, and exploration of themes like mortality and the nature of evil.
  13. Kingdom – This epic historical manga by Yasuhisa Hara tells the story of Xin and his journey from a war orphan to one of the greatest generals of his time. The story is set during the Warring States period in China and is filled with detailed battle strategies, political intrigue, and a deep look into the characters’ ambitions and challenges.
  14. My Hero Academia – In a world where superpowers, or “Quirks,” are the norm, this manga by Kōhei Horikoshi follows Izuku Midoriya, a quirkless boy who dreams of becoming a hero. The story focuses on his journey at a school for superheroes-in-training after he is bestowed a quirk and explores themes of heroism, individuality, and the pursuit of one’s dreams.
  15. Naruto – This manga series by Masashi Kishimoto follows Naruto Uzumaki, an energetic ninja who seeks recognition from his peers and dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The story is a rich mix of adventure, action, and coming-of-age, with deep explorations into the characters’ backgrounds and motivations.
  16. One Piece – This popular manga series by Eiichiro Oda follows Monkey D. Luffy and his diverse crew of pirates in their search for the ultimate treasure, the One Piece, to become the Pirate King. This high-seas adventure is renowned for its imaginative world, dynamic characters, and overarching themes of adventure, freedom, and the bonds of friendship.
  17. One-Punch Man – This series, by One, parodies the superhero genre, focusing on Saitama, a hero who can defeat any opponent with a single punch but struggles with boredom due to his overwhelming strength. The manga combines action, comedy, and a satirical take on the superhero and shonen genres.
  18. Sakamoto Days – This series by Yuto Suzuki, one of the most popular manga right now, is a unique blend of action and comedy. The story revolves around Taro Sakamoto, a legendary hitman who retires and opens a convenience store. His peaceful life is frequently disrupted as figures from his past and various challenges emerge, leading to humorous and action-packed scenarios.
  19. Slam Dunk – A sports manga by Takehiko Inoue that has significantly influenced the popularity of basketball in Japan. It follows Hanamichi Sakuragi, a delinquent-turned-basketball player, as he joins his high school team and discovers his passion and talent for the game. The series is a mix of humor, drama, and thrilling basketball action.
  20. Spy x Family – This popular manga series by Tatsuya Endo combines espionage, action, and comedy. It follows a spy who creates a fake family as part of a mission, unaware that his “wife” is an assassin and his “daughter” is a telepath. The story explores themes of family, secrets, and the humorous situations that arise from their hidden identities.
  21. Tokyo Ghoul – A dark fantasy by Sui Ishida that delves into the life of Ken Kaneki, a college student who becomes a half-ghoul and struggles with his new identity and the moral dilemmas of his existence. The manga explores themes of identity, belonging, and the fine line between humans and monsters.
  22. Tokyo Revengers – This series by Ken Wakui combines elements of action, drama, and time travel. It follows Takemichi Hanagaki, who travels back in time to save his girlfriend and change the fate of his friends, entangled with a dangerous gang. The story is filled with intense battles, deep character development, and a look at the consequences of one’s actions.
  23. Undead Unluck – This manga by Yoshifumi Tozuka revolves around an immortal man, Andy, and a girl, Fuuko Izumo, who brings misfortune to anyone she touches. As they are pursued by an organization seeking to use their powers, the story combines action, comedy, and a unique exploration of themes like life, death, and destiny.
  24. Vagabond – Based on the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, this manga series by Takehiko Inoue is a visually stunning and philosophically deep portrayal of his quest for enlightenment. The story is a journey of self-discovery, intense duels, and Musashi’s interactions with historical figures and rivals.
  25. Vinland Saga – Set in the Viking era, one popular manga right now is this manga by Makoto, which follows Thorfinn, a young warrior on a quest for revenge against the man who killed his father. Along the way, he explores the world and confronts the realities of war, honour, and the quest for a peaceful life.

These top 25 most popular manga right now, each with their distinct themes and artistic styles, have captivated audiences around the world and continue to influence the manga and anime industry.

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