Let us not kid ourselves – we read the stories we read because, at one point, we want to see how a story ends. No story can last forever and in a way, it is good that it is like that. You get a sense of fulfillment when you reach the end of a long journey and a sense of satisfaction that you’ve achieved your goal (in most cases) and reached the end of an adventure. In light of these thoughts, we have decided to compose a list of the 30 best manga series that are finished, and that you absolutely have to read.
1. Dragon Ball
Original Run: December 3, 1984 – June 5, 1995
Number of Volumes: 42
This anime tells the story of Son Goku, a little boy who is very good at martial arts, and who has a mysterious monkey tail. He meets a young woman named Bulma, and the two go together in search of the Dragon Balls (seven magic crystal balls which allow, if they are united, to invoke the dragon Shenron, then offering to grant the wish of the one who pronounces a specific formula in front of him).
Along the way, they meet many adversaries (most of them being competitors in the quest for the famous balls, often with selfish or even evil intentions), some of whom later become allies, such as Yamcha or Ten Chin Han.
Original Run: September 21, 1999 – November 10, 2014
Number of Volumes: 72
The story begins during Naruto’s adolescence, around the age of twelve. Orphan dunce and great prankster, he does all possible stupid things to get noticed. His dream: to become the best Hokage in order to be recognized by the inhabitants of his village. Indeed, the nine-tailed fox demon sealed within him has fueled the fear and contempt of the other villagers, who, over time, no longer differentiate between Kyūbi and Naruto.
Despite this, Naruto trains hard in order to become genin, the first level among ninjas. After failing the genin exam 3 times, he finally manages to receive his Konoha forehead protector. He is then included in a team of three ninja apprentices, with Sakura Haruno and the talented Sasuke Uchiha who wants to avenge the people dear to him, by killing his brother Itachi Uchiha.
Original Run: August 7, 2001 – August 22, 2016
Number of Volumes: 74
The 15-year-old high school student Ichigo Kurosaki has had the ability to see ghosts since childhood. One day he meets the shinigami Rukia Kuchiki who is hunting a hollow. Seriously injured during the fight, she is forced to transfer her powers to Ichigo to defeat the hollow in her stead. Until Rukia recovers, Ichigo must now do the work of a shinigami.
Rukia enrolls at Ichigo’s school and moves into his closet. Over time, the two become friends. Since Rukia Kuchiki has exceeded her stay in the human world, Rukia is forcibly returned to Soul Society by her stepbrother, the commander of the 6th Division of the Gotei 13, Byakuya Kuchiki, and his lieutenant, Renji Abarai, where all deceased souls, including the Shinigami reside.
4. DEATH NOTE
Original Run: December 1, 2003 – May 15, 2006
Number of Volumes: 12
Light Yagami is a gifted high school student who judges the current world as criminal, rotten, and corrupt. His life changes completely when he accidentally picks up a mysterious notebook entitled “Death Note.” Its user manual states that “the person whose name is written in this notebook dies.”
At first skeptical, Light, however, decides to test the notebook and discovers that its power is very real. He meets the former owner of the Death Note, a death god named Ryuk. This one declares to have voluntarily dropped his notebook to entertain himself. Light decides to use the Death Note to exterminate the criminals to build a perfect world in which he will be the god.
5. Fullmetal Alchemist
Original Run: July 12, 2001 – June 11, 2010
Number of Volumes: 27
In the land of Amestris, where Alchemy is elevated to the status of universal science, two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, live with their mother, Trisha Elric, whose husband, Van Hohenheim, left years before. The latter dying from an illness, the two young children try to bring her back thanks to alchemy, defying the law which formally prohibits human transmutation.
Edward, the eldest, loses his left leg and his little brother loses his whole body. Ed sacrifices his right arm by sealing the soul of his little brother Alphonse in armor. Edward then enlisted in the army at the age of twelve as a State Alchemist, passed the exam, and obtained his alchemist name, the Fullmetal Alchemist.
With the advantages linked to the status of State alchemist and their research, the two brothers seek, at the risk of their lives, the philosopher’s stone that would restore their lost bodies.
6. Elfen Lied
Original Run: June 6, 2002 – August 25, 2005
Number of Volumes: 12
The story is set in Kamakura, Japan. It revolves around the Diclonius, mutant beings very similar to humans but with two strange horns on their heads and endowed with very strong invisible limbs called “vectors.” Believed to be dangerous to the normal human race, Diclonius babies are killed at birth or locked up in research laboratories, subjected to terrible torture and extremely violent experiments.
However, one of them, Lucy, manages to escape to the sea, massacring anyone who comes in front of her. She is found on the beach by two boys in a complete state of amnesia and double personality caused by a shot in the head while escaping.
The young Diclonius finds herself with a completely different personality, and the two boys decide to call her by the only word she can pronounce, namely “Nyu.” Unable to leave her alone in those conditions, they take her home waiting to find out about her past. But the military does not give up and remains on her trail of her. Every time the girl hits her head, she goes back to being Lucy.
Original Run: January 1970 – June 23, 1996
Number of Volumes: 45
The robot Doraemon is sent from the 22nd century to the present. Nobita’s great-great-grandson tries to save the clumsy Nobita from his biggest mistakes, lead a carefree life and not get into trouble that will affect the future. In particular, Doraemon should make sure that Nobita doesn’t get into trouble unnecessarily and marries Shizuka as planned. The stories follow predetermined patterns. Nobita comes home crying and calls loudly for Doraemon: “Doraemon, help me!”.
Together they go through many adventures and deal with Nobita’s problems, which range from school problems to trouble with classmates to insecurities in dealing with girls. To help Nobita, Doraemon keeps conjuring up new imaginative gadgets from the future from his pocket. However, their use often gets Nobita even deeper into the mess.
Original Run: March 6, 2017 – March 7, 2022
Number of Volumes: 25
Taiju, a regular high school student, tells his best friend Senku, a science genius, that he’s about to reveal his feelings to Yuzuriha, a girl he’s been secretly in love with for a few years. As the young man is about to declare his love for her, a brilliant light appears in the sky and transforms all of humanity into stone statues.
When Taiju finally manages to free himself, he finds himself facing a completely different world where nature has taken over. But he is not the only one to have woken up. His friend Senku, who preceded him in his awakening, tells him that 3,700 years have passed since the mysterious event. Together they will have to combine the exceptional scientific skills of one and the physical abilities of the other to save the 7 billion still petrified human beings and discover the origin of this disaster.
9. Tokyo Ghoul
Original Run: September 8, 2011 – September 18, 2014 / October 16, 2014 – July 5, 2018
Number of Volumes: 14 / 16
The story of Tokyo Ghoul revolves around the student Ken Kaneki, who falls in love with a young woman named Rize Kamishiro. After meeting her, she bites his shoulder in a secluded alley and reveals that she is a ghoul, which shocks Ken.
As Rizeis about to eat Ken, several large metal poles fall on her from the construction site of a building. Roze dies in the process, while Ken is rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries. After recovering, he is released from the hospital. On the day of his release, he finds out that he is no longer human. He looks in the mirror and shivers run down his spine because he now has one “red eye”.
He realizes that Rize’s organs were transplanted into him in the hospital. Since he now owns Rize’s organs, he is a so-called and very rarely occurring “half-ghoul”.
10. Demon Slayer
Original Run: February 15, 2016 – May 18, 2020
Number of Volumes: 23
In Taishō-era Japan, Tanjirō Kamado is the first child of a family of coal merchants whose father has died: to support the family, he sells charcoal in the village below the Mountain. Despite the difficulties of life, they manage to find little happiness in their daily lives. One day, due to rumors circulating about a man-eating demon hanging around after dark, he is forced to spend the night with a Good Samaritan in the village.
Only, everything changes on his return when he detects, thanks to his keen sense of smell, a strong smell of blood: he rushes home and finds his family massacred.
11. Jujutsu Kaisen 0
Original Run: April 28, 2017 – July 28, 2017
Number of Volumes: 1
Yuta Okkutsu is haunted by the spirit of Rika, his childhood friend who died 6 years earlier and is now cursed because they both vowed to get married when they grow up. He meets Satoru Gojo, a sorcerer under whose leadership he joins the Tokyo institute of occult arts, so that he can learn to control Rika and fight evil beings at the same time.
Original Run: November 13, 1996 – June 18, 2008
Number of Volumes: 56
During the Sengoku period, a half-demon (hanyō) named InuYasha steals the Shikon Pearl (Shikon is not in original; Jewel of the 4 souls or the Sphere of the Four Spirits in the Castilian anime adaptation) with the aim of using it to become into a full demon (yōukai).
However, her plan is foiled by a priestess named Kikyō who, on the verge of death from a very serious wound, using the last of her strength, shoots a sacred arrow at him, nailing him to the sacred tree (Goshinboku); leaving him paralyzed and asleep for 50 years. Minutes later, the priestess, before dying, asks that his body be burned along with the jewel.
Number of Volumes:
The Royal Knights of Protestant Order are a noble house of London led by Abraham Van Helsing. For generations, he has been fighting against creatures that most ordinary people are unaware of like vampires, ghouls, and any non-human entity that is generally referred to as a “monster”.
The Order operates in great secrecy and has long been a paramilitary organization in the service of her Majesty. Leading the organization is Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, a direct descendant of the first Lord Hellsing. Still a teenager, she is forced to take control of the Order.
Her father Arthur, sick and close to his death, orders his daughter, should she feel threatened, to go down to the basement of the mansion, where there is something able to protect her.
Number of Volumes:
The story begins in Germany in 1986, at the Eisler Memorial Hospital in Düsseldorf. Kenzô Tenma, the main character, is a young Japanese neurosurgeon with exceptional skills. He is engaged to Eva Heineman, the daughter of the director of the hospital, and is destined for a brilliant career. However, one day, he refuses to give priority to his care to the mayor of the city and prefers to operate on a boy injured by a bullet in the head, who arrived at the hospital before the mayor.
15. Mirai Nikki
Original Run: January 26, 2006 – December 25, 2010
Number of Volumes: 12
Yukiteru Amano is a solitary young boy who takes refuge in his imagination to escape the social void that constitutes his daily life. He considers that he can avoid any annoyance by observing the world from an external point of view, and records all the events happening around him in the form of a diary which he keeps using his mobile phone.
One day, one of the imaginary entities serving as his playmates, Deus ex Machina, god of time and space, and Mumur, Deus’ helper, offers him to participate in a game. Yukiteru realizes that the phone on which he recorded his observations begins to contain entries about the future around him. Initially he uses this power excessively and is happy to possess it until his diary predicts his own death and a girl from his class, Yuno Gasai, who also has a diary from the future follows him; he then ignores that she wishes to save him.
16. Fairy Tail
Original Run: August 2, 2006 – July 26, 2017
Number of Volumes: 63
The story mainly focuses on the missions carried out by one of the teams of the Fairy Tail guild, composed of Natsu Dragneel (fire dragon hunter), Lucy Heartfilia (constellationist), and Happy (an Exceed, a blue cat that can appear with wings, fly and talk), who will soon be joined by Erza Scarlett (Knight Mage) and Gray Fullbuster (Ice Mage then later Ice Demon Hunter), two other members of the famous guild. They are joined during the adventure by Carla (an Exceed white cat, like Happy), Wendy (a celestial dragon slayer), and many others.
17. Assassination Classroom
Original Run: July 2, 2012 – March 25, 2016
Number of Volumes: 21
The story takes place at the prestigious Kunugigaoka Middle School. Koro-sensei is a strange creature who claims to have suddenly destroyed 70% of the Moon. He then plans to destroy Earth next March for unknown reasons. He then introduces himself to the Japanese government and announces that he wants to become the homeroom teacher of Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Middle School so that he can train them as assassins and eliminate a very specific target: himself, their own teacher.
The students of this class will therefore have the objective of assassinating their teacher in order to save the Earth, the reward being 10 billion yen. However, a problem arises: Koro-sensei moves at Mach 20, has tentacles with infinite functions and, moreover, he is an excellent teacher! The government will agree so they can keep an eye on it on the condition that Koro-sensei does not harm the students; but will the students succeed in their mission before the set date?
18. Crayon Shin-chan
Original Run: August 1990 – February 2, 2010
Number of Volumes: 58
The series follows the adventures of a five-year-old boy named Shinnosuke Nohara (nicknamed Shin-chan) and his family, neighbors, friends and entourage in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Shinnosuke’s family is initially made up of four members, including Shinnosuke, Misae Nohara (the mother), Hiroshi Nohara (the father), and Shiro (the dog).
The family members grow to five in number upon the arrival of the last, Shinnosuke’s younger sister, Himawari Nohara. Also on the family side, his cantankerous and often overbearing grandfather Yoshiji is the opposite of his other grandfather, Ginnosuké, nicknamed “Ginny”, who is a joker and also a perv.
19. Kimi ni Todoke
Original Run: May 25, 2006 – November 13, 2017
Number of Volumes: 30
The high school student Sawako Kuronuma is loathed by her classmates, as various rumors manifested in the school that she could see ghosts and curse people. The reason for this is the similarity of her name to Sadako, a character from the Ring.
Many students fear her presence and avoid her as much as possible. Only the new and very popular student Shōta Kazehaya treats her like any other girl. One day they get the opportunity to talk to each other, which turns their entire life upside down.
With his help, she tries to make new friends and to talk to strangers like any other schoolgirl. She is almost exaggeratedly grateful for his support and a close relationship slowly develops between the two, which has to overcome many hurdles.
20. The Promised Neverland
Original Run: August 1, 2016 – June 15, 2020
Number of Volumes: 20
Emma and her siblings, all orphans, were placed in a special institution when they were very young. Although their freedom is limited and the rules are sometimes a little strict, the children live a happy life at Grace Field House, and the woman they call “Mom” (real name Isabella) takes care of them. and offers them all the love that a mother could offer her children.
But one evening, after the departure of one of their own, Emma and Norman discover that the children of this orphanage are delivered to demons, with the consent of “Mom”. To survive, they will have to be resourceful and try to escape.
21. SLAM DUNK
Original Run: October 1, 1990 – June 17, 1996
Number of Volumes: 31
Hanamichi Sakuragi, an immature and unpopular young man, is determined to put an end to romantic disappointments when he enters Shohoku High School. He then meets Haruko Akagi, a girl he falls in love with. Following her advice and to please her, he decides to play basketball and join the high school club. During an altercation with the captain of the basketball team, Hanamichi is forced to challenge him to a basketball duel.
Sakuragi ends up winning and learns that the captain is none other than Haruko’s older brother: Takenori Akagi. Despite some reluctance, the latter finally lets him join the basketball team. Unfortunately for Hanamichi, the boy Haruko is in love with, Kaede Rukawa, idol of all the girls and the most talented first-year player in the department is also there.
Original Run: June 6, 2001 – October 4, 2014
Number of Volumes: 27
Claymores are half-human, half-demon warriors called upon by villagers to protect themselves from monsters such as demons. Feared and dreaded, they are distinguished by their silver eyes and the gigantic sword they carry on their backs, hence their names by humans of “silver-eyed witches” or “Claymore” (the name of the type of sword they use). Claire is one of them.
Called to a village to eliminate the demons that attack and devour the population, she kills the penultimate member, who has become a monster, of an already decimated family. The last survivor, Raki, finding himself alone, then decides to follow her in her bloodthirsty adventures, as a cook. He will gradually discover the secrets and the tragic destiny of these singular women.
23. Fist of the North Star
Original Run: September 13, 1983 – August 8, 1988
Number of Volumes: 27
The story takes place in the 1990s (which was then a relatively near future), in a land ravaged by a nuclear war, which has resulted in the evaporation of most of the seas and oceans, as well as the destruction of much of the vegetation.
During the introduction of the series’ plot, one can read “199X”, that is to say, an indeterminate year at the end of the 20th century. In this post-apocalyptic universe, the survivors are either humble villagers trying to survive, or vicious bandits grouped into gangs who loot and persecute the villagers.
24. Astro Boy
Original Run: April 3, 1952 – March 12, 1968
Number of Volumes: 23
Astro Boy is a science fiction series set in a futuristic world in which robots coexist with humans. It is based on the adventures of Astro Boy (often and simply referred to as “Astro”), a powerful robot created in 2003 (in the original manga) by the head of the Ministry of Science, Doctor Tenma to replace his son Tobio, who died in a car accident.
Dr. Tenma builds Astro in Tobio’s image and raises him out of love as he would have with his real son Tobio. But he soon realizes that the robot cannot fill the void left by his son, as Astro could neither express the character traits of a human, nor age as any human does. In the original 1960 edition, Tenma rejects Astro and sells him to a cruel circus manager, Hamegg.
25. Soul Eater
Original Run: May 12, 2004 – August 12, 2013
Number of Volumes: 25
Several young students from Shibusen School are learning to become Meisters. This school was founded by Master Shinigami (the God of Death), on the one hand with the aim of training young meisters with their demonic weapons, which can take human form, to mow down souls; on the other hand to prevent the Great Devourer, who nearly engulfed the world in despair and madness, from being reborn again.
The goal of the meisters is to swallow 99 corrupted human souls and one witch soul to their weapons, in order to gain access to the rank of Death Scythe. Unfortunately achieving this goal is not so simple, and many obstacles will stand in the way of the protagonists.
26. The Seven Deadly Sins
Original Run: October 10, 2012 – March 25, 2020
Number of Volumes: 41
Liones, Kingdom of Britannia. The Grand Master of the Holy Knights Zaratras was brutally murdered, and the culprits are said to be an order of seven legendary knights in the service of the king who wanted to overthrow the throne.
Ten years later, a young girl named Elizabeth Liones goes in search of these mysterious knights who were once the pride of Liones: the Seven Deadly Sins, a group bringing together seven major criminals chosen by the king himself, to thwart a conspiracy engineered by the holy knights against royalty. It was then that she ended up at the Boar Hat, a tavern whose owner is a little boy accompanied by his pig Hawk.
But what was her surprise when she discovers that the child at the head of the tavern is none other than the Sin of the Dragon of Wrath, leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, Meliodas. It is then that their adventures begin in search of the other six Deadly Sins, in order to save Liones.
27. Maid Sama!
Original Run: December 24, 2005 – September 24, 2013
Number of Volumes: 18
The Seika High School was once a school for boys only, but over time it opened up to girls too. The isolation created a harsh climate in the classes, so the girls find it very difficult to gain a foothold and repeatedly suffer from the humiliation of the boys.
The girl Misaki Ayuzawa still manages to assert herself against her classmates and become the first student representative. Because of her behavior, she is soon seen as a man-hater but is respected or feared. But behind this facade, she also fights against various other problems.
Among other things, her family, which consists of her mother and little sister, was abandoned by her father and is now sitting on a large pile of debts. To stop the collapse of her own apartment and to help her overworked mother, Misaki looks for a job in a maid café. Since she mainly has to serve male customers there, she tries to keep her job a secret from her classmates.
28. Attack on Titan
Original Run: September 9, 2009 – April 9, 2021
Number of Volumes: 34
The plot of Attack on Titan revolves around the young Eren Jäger, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackermann and his best friend Armin Arlert, who live together with the rest of humanity in cities that are protected by huge walls from the attacks of the so-called Titans, gigantic humanoid beings who devour people for no apparent reason.
The walls that promised peace have existed for 107 years. But one day the Titans break through the outermost Wall Maria and the people are pushed back further. Eren’s mother dies and he and many other people flee behind the second wall, Wall Rose. Eren swears when his mother dies that he will wipe out the Titans.
29. YūYū Hakusho
Original Run: December 3, 1990 – July 25, 1994
Number of Volumes: 19
Fourteen-year-old Yusuke Urameshi is the perfect thug: brawler and rebel. Yet one day he dies saving a little boy from an accident, but this child would have miraculously survived even if Yusuke hadn’t intervened. Not foreseen by the authorities of the kingdom of the dead, his sacrifice poses a problem.
This is why he is offered to come back to life, after having succeeded in proving that he is worthy of it. He then becomes a detective of the spirit world without knowing it, and is endowed with powers that will help him in his various tasks, both in the human world and in that of the spirits.
Helped by Botan, the “ferryman of souls” who settled her case at the time of her “death”, of her friend Kuwabara, and under the direction of Enma junior, the son of the Dark King in charge of the examination of souls, he is tasked with finding three demons (Goki, Hiei, and Kurama) who have stolen three relics from the world of darkness: the sword of darkness, a mirror and the ball of Gaki.
Original Run: December 20, 1982 – June 25, 1990
Number of Volumes: 6
Tokyo was destroyed by a mysterious explosion on December 6, 1982, and this triggered World War III, with many cities destroyed by nuclear weapons. In 2019, Neo-Tokyo is a corrupt megalopolis crisscrossed by gangs of idle and drug-addicted young bikers. One night, one of them, Tetsuo, has a motorcycle accident while trying to avoid a strange boy who is in his way.
Wounded, Tetsuo is captured by the Japanese army. He is the subject of numerous tests as part of an ultra-secret military project aimed at identifying and training beings with predispositions to psychic powers (telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, etc.).
Tetsuo’s friends, including their leader Kaneda, want to know what happened to him because when he escapes and finds himself free, he is no longer the same. Tetsuo tests his new powers and wants to establish himself as a leader among junkies, which doesn’t sit well with everyone, especially Kaneda.