Joelbook’s Selection of The 18 Best Modern Mangas Of All Time
Have you ever experienced that torturous feeling of needing to wait a few weeks for your favorite Manga to update? You force through those long days of drought before you could experience the euphoric joy of being able to read just one new chapter, and just one new update of that manga series you come to love and anticipate. If you do, congratulations on getting into the world of manga lovers.
Mangas are Japanese graphic novels that continually grew popularity worldwide. It started picking up real fame and attention during the late 90s. Since then, countless Mangas have been published and marketed. Some garnering more attention than others.
At present, there are hundreds, even thousands, of timeless and classic mangas that are worth your time to read. Here are some of the best mangas of all time that you shouldn’t miss, based on our special taste.
One Piece: East Blue, by Eiichiro Oda
Gol Roger, aka the Pirate King, is the famous pirate that accomplished the feat of crossing the Grand Line. The World Government had him executed, fearing he’ll become uncontrollable. With his final breath, he told the existence of the ultimate treasure, the One Piece. This had become the goal of countless pirates in the world, one of them named Monkey D. Luffy.
This follows the quest of Luffy, a boy with a dream of being the King of Pirates and can stretch his body after accidentally eating the infamous Devil Fruit. He and his crew of pirates, the Straw Hat Pirates, ventured the sea to explore the Grand Line and search for the One Piece. Will they succeed in this quest or will they die trying?
My Hero Academia, by Kohei Horikoshi
A 2010s superhero manga, with great personalities. This kick ass action manga illustrates the character development of the protagonist (Izuku Midoriya) in a world where literally everybody has some kind of superhero power (Quirks).
Midoriya will finally become part of U.A. High School, a superhero academy, and will face the evil to rescue the world.
Naruto, by Masashi Kishimoto
This manga tells the adventure of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja that has a flair for mischief and trouble. The Ninja Academy doesn’t take him seriously and often underestimates him. While he comes off as a joke for some people with his wild and loud sense of humor, he is serious with his dreams of being the next Hokage, the leader of their village, Konoha.
Join Naruto and his classmates as they set about an exciting adventure of training and studies at Ninja Academy. What they didn’t expect is that it goes beyond what they could have possibly imagined, and the center of it all is Naruto himself. Who is Naruto? What is his true destiny? Read the manga to find out!
Dragon Ball, by Akira Toriyama
This story follows an adult Son Goku who, five years after defeating Piccolo, had started a family of his own. He is married to Chi-Chi and is raising a son named Son Gohan. Peace on Earth didn’t last as long as Goku wanted as he found himself once again defending the world from various villains and masterminds. They can’t seem to stop coming from intergalactic fighters to strong androids and magical beings.
To add more to the drama, Goku found out his real heritage! It is revealed that he’s an alien, and Raditz, the off-world killer, is his brother. He now needs to defeat his newly found brother, protect his family from him, and save the human race. Piece of cake, right?
Fist of the North Star, by Buronson
Set in a post-apocalyptic time where the world is barren, and the powerful feed by preying on the weak and defenseless. A warrior and man named Kenshiro dedicate his life to protecting and defending the innocent against the evil and wicked through assassin-style fighting and technique. He is an heir to the deadly and lethal martial art known as Hokuto Shinken, an ability to kill his enemies in a violent, gruesome, and gory manner by hitting their hidden vital and channeling points.
Join Kenshiro as he fights against bandits, gangs, criminals, lawbreakers, and warlords who threaten and hurt the defenseless, as well as other strong martial artists, including his so-called ‘brothers’ who go to the same school as he does.
Slam Dunk, by Takehiko Inoue
Shohoku Basketball Team has one goal, and that is to be the best and to place on top. For that, they need strong and athletic members… such as Sakuragi.
Hanamichi Sakuragi is a delinquent who has no game with the girls and has a staggering amount of rejection on his plate. He almost gave up on the idea of having a girlfriend when he met Haruko Akagi, the girl of his dreams.
She had recognized his athleticism and had introduced him to the school’s basketball team. Sakuragi worries about his negative impression of the game and having no prior experience of playing. However, he joins in the end, hoping to impress Haruko. Then, it turns out to be one of his best decisions ever as he proves himself to be natural.
Yuyu Hakusho, by Yoshihiro Togashi
Yusuke Urameshi, a 14-year-old delinquent, was killed after committing an out-of-character act of kindness and altruism by pushing a young boy out of the way of a car. The afterlife, not knowing what to do with him after the kind act, had given him a second chance to live. The catch is that he needs to accomplish a series of tasks.
Now armed with a mission, he embarks on a spiritual quest with the guidance of Botan, the death god, and the help of his friends Kazuma Kuwabara and Keiko Yukimura. He is to eliminate evil spirits and presences on the living world as a Spirit Detective. Will he be able to succeed on his mission? Read it now to know!
Fullmetal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa
This manga’s fictional universe takes place in a steampunk world set after the Industrial Revolution of the Europeans. They place great value and respect on Alchemy, a mystical power and advanced natural technique that alters and modifies the natural world. The series follows the story and adventure of two brothers: Alphonse and Edward Elric.
The brothers played with alchemy, hoping to bring their deceased mother back to life. It failed, costing Edward his arm and leg, and Alphonse his body. Edward now works with the government as State Alchemist, willingly following orders, even if they were against killing.
The Elrics set out on an adventure to find the famed philosopher’s stone, hoping that it’ll help achieve their wish.
Bleach, by Tite Kubo
Ichigo Kurosaki is a hotheaded student that also acts as a Soul Reaper. How did that happen?
Well, to start, Ichigo never believed that his ability to see ghosts is a gift. He didn’t ask for it. To his luck, his life gets even more complicated after he inherited the destiny of his parents’ as Soul Reapers after acquiring powers.
Enter Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper that attempted to save Ichigo and his family from a Hollow. Having realized that he has psychic energy, Rukia lends him her powers. It didn’t turn out as planned as Ichigo absorbed too much and became a full Soul Reaper himself. With his new abilities, Ichigo must dedicate his life to defend the innocent and help spirits to find peace.
One-Punch Man, by ONE
How is it feels like to defeat everyone with one punch? One-Punch Man wasn't always so strong, but eventually he managed to became the strongest man on Earth. The recipe is simple: 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats and 10 km running, EVERY DAY!
The manga is action centric, and the protagonist's personality is phenomenal! This is why we love this manga after all!
Case Closed, by Gosho Aoyama
This manga follows the adventure of one of the most prominent teenage Sleuth of Japan, Shinichi Kudo (Jimmy Kudo), who got accidentally transformed into a child after an unfortunate encounter with a mysterious black organization. After being caught investigating, the men in black had given him an experimental drug designed to kill him. It failed as it instead transformed him into a grade-schooler!
Now a kid, Shinichi is forced to take on a new identity as Conan Edogawa and live under the roof of his childhood friend, Ran, and her lazy and drunkard detective father, Kogoro. Join Shinichi as he continues to solve the most complicated cases while finding the cure and tracking down the black organization.
See if you can find the killer before Conan does!
Death Note, by Tsugumi Ohba
A notebook that can kill those whose name is written within its pages. Given that kind of power, would you use it for good or evil?
Light Yagami is a genius student whose life had turned upside down after finding this otherworldly notebook that was dropped by a Shinigami. After discovering the powers of the notebook, Yagami used it to free the world from evil. Donning the alias of ‘Kira’, he carried out a massacre and killed people who he deemed as evil and unworthy of his image of a utopian society.
With the endless and countless death count, the police had decided to assign the case to the well-known detective, L. With the sleuth on his tail, will Yagami be able to accomplish his paradise-like world?
Attack on Titan, by Hajime Isayama
The story is set in an apocalyptic world where humans live in cities within giant walls to protect themselves against enormous humanoids called Titans. There is nothing much to be said about where they come from and why they choose Earth. What is known is that for the past century, they had been terrorizing and killing humans.
The manga series tells the story of Eren Yeager that is hell-bent on taking back their world from the Titans after they destroyed his hometown and killed his mother. He vowed to take revenge for changing their lives for the worst. He, along with his sister and childhood friend, joined the elite group called Scout Regiment that actively fights and combats Titans beyond the walls.
Hunter x Hunter, by Yoshihiro Togashi
In this world, Hunters are professional and licensed individuals who undertake pursuits of unidentified species of animals, hunting lawless individuals, and treasure hunting. To become such, they are required to pass an almost impossible, brutal qualification exam.
Gon Freccs is a young country boy from Whale Island. When he discovered that his absent father is a legendary hunter, he instantly wanted to become one too, hoping he’ll meet him if he is. Due to his dream, he left the island to partake in the infamous Hunter Examination. Along the way, he meets Kurapika, Leorio, and Killua who all have the same dream of becoming hunters.
Will Gon be able to conquer all the tasks thrown his way and become a Top Hunter like his father?
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, by Hirohiko Araki
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure entails the multigenerational adventure of the Joesters, a family cursed with intense psychic powers. It is divided into multiple parts, each telling the life of the Joester bloodline.
The story set during the 1800s, Jonathan Joester's life turned to a rough turn when his father adopted Dio Brando that sought nothing more than to become the sole inheritor of the Joester wealth. When Dio’s plans are halted to a stop, he uses the Stone mask that allows him to be a vampire. Jonathan sets out to stop Dio from accomplishing his plans.
The next installments of the series are about the other members of the Joester bloodline whose lives were touched and affected by the stone.
Rurouni Kenshin, by Nobuhiro Watsuki
This manga is a historical fiction that tells the adventure of a swordsman named Himura Kenshin, formerly known as the assassin called Hitoriki Battosai. After a significant life-altering event, he gave up his work as an assassin, and focused on protecting Japan and its people instead. He made a vow to himself that he will not kill anyone again and end up on the same path as he did before.
Carving his new destiny, he set out on an adventure to atone for his sins and repent his mistakes. He wandered around and helped anyone he could. Along the journey, he met friends who joined him on his quest to repentance. Join Kenshin as he embarks on this quest of keeping the peace, protecting the defenseless, and upholding justice.
Dr. Stone, by Riichiro Inagaki
Dr. Stone is a bizarre story starts in the not so distant future. A strange, mysterious flash destroys the whole civilization as we know today. Fast forward 3,700 years in the future, seemingly nothing happened since the disaster, but nature claimed the planet back. A 16 year old genius science lover boy starts its journey to re-build the civilization.
The manga has a special atmosphere, packed with science and a lot of actions.
Pokémon, by Hidenori Kusaka
Well, Pokémon hasn't the best storyline among mangas, not even the best characters, but we like the world created by Hidenori Kusaka. It's special and really kid friendly. If you are looking mangas for younger children this series is definitely a good choice.
Mangas have the purpose of entertaining. It has the power to send the readers’ minds to a place of wonder and creativity. Mangas are gateways that transport us to a whole new world that is beyond what we can imagine and hope. It’s a key that can unlock the depths of our imagination.
If you’re new to Mangas, try to keep an open mind and heart before diverging into the fictional world of your choice. You will see wonders, you will feel new emotions, and you will ache for more. You will enter this new realm and leave with new experiences. Refer above and choose amongst the best mangas of all time.