Berserk is a dark fantasy manga by Kentarō Miura. It has been published since 1989 with a total of 41 volumes having been released as of December 2021. Aimed at a mature audience, Berserk enjoys relative popularity in Japan in terms of sales compared to other adult series such as JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure or Golgo Since Kentarō Miura on May 6, 2021, the future of the series remains uncertain.
To honor the legacy of Kentarō Miura and Berserk, we have decided to compose a list of the best manga series like Berserk that every fan needs to read. The list is going to include a total of 25 different titles which resemble the Berserk manga in one way or the other.
1. Blade of the Immortal
Original Run: June 25, 1993 – December 25, 2012
Number of Volumes: 30
The story is set in Japan in the Edo era. The protagonist, Manji, is a warrior who has a great advantage over his rivals: no wound can kill him. In the past, he killed 100 other samurai, including his sister’s husband. An elderly nun, who is said to be 800 years old, grants him the gift of immortality through worms called kessenchū, which heal any wound and even restore amputated limbs even though the amputation was hours ago.
The death of his sister leads him to accept the mission that will end his immortality: he must kill 1000 evil men to redeem himself. Manji crosses paths with a young woman named Rin Asano and promises to help her avenge her family, who was killed by a group of expert swordsmen led by Kagehisa Anotsu. Anotsu killed Rin’s father and her entire dojo.
Original Run: June 29, 2000 – June 20, 2013
Number of Volumes: 37
Kei Kurono is a selfish and apathetic student who is forced to save a person from being hit by a subway train when his childhood classmate Masaru Kato calls him for help. As a consequence, he and Kato die trying. They later show up in a visually normal apartment with other people just as baffled as they are.
There, a mysterious black sphere forces them to participate in a sadistic game and for this, it places at their disposal an exotic futuristic arsenal that they must learn to use to combat various species of aliens and other threats that ordinary people do not notice. Those who make it to the room are not seen by the mortal humans until the sphere “drops” them after each mission.
Original Run: June 6, 2001 – October 4, 2014
Number of Volumes: 27
Claymore takes place in a fictional world co-inhabited by the human species and by a species of demons known as Yōma, which are natural predators of human beings (in the manga they are also known as Specters). An innate ability of the Yōma is to take human form, which allows them to live hidden among humans.
The only beings capable of identifying these creatures and eliminating them are the female warriors known among humans as Claymores, who are beings created by a secret organization from humans. The name given to these warriors is due to the large sword they carry, known as a claymore. Although their appearance is very similar to humans, they have some peculiarities. The most outstanding physical feature is their silver eyes, which has also earned them the name “silver-eyed witches”.
4. Blade of the Phantom Master
Original Run: 2001 – 2007
Number of Volumes: 17 + 1 Shin Angyo Onshi Gaiden
The story takes place in an unknown land. After the fall of the Jushin Empire and the death of the emperor, the country finds itself plunged into chaos, allowing terror and the law of the strongest to reign. Secret agents of the vanished kingdom, the Angyo Onshi had the mission of ensuring respect for the laws and punishing the governors who oppressed the people. Today, an Angyo Onshi named Mun-su continues this mission through the devastated country, accompanied by his faithful bodyguard (sando) Chun-Hyang, his squire and a small desert bat.
5. GOBLIN SLAYER!
Original Run: February 15, 2016 – present (light novel)
Number of Volumes: 15
In a whimsical universe where everyone’s fate is ruled by dice rolls by the destiny rolls of deities, adventurers in search of wealth and glory come from all over the world to join the Adventurers’ Guild. An inexperienced young priestess who has joined the Guild joins a group of rookie adventurers, but her first quest turns into a nightmare when the rest of her team is slaughtered by Goblins: she owes her salvation only to a mysterious man in armour, the “Goblin Slayer” (in the original version, Goblin Slayer), an adventurer knight whose one and only objective is the eradication of these creatures.
6. Übel Blatt
Original Run: December 3, 2004 – March 25, 2019
Number of Volumes: 24
The story takes place in a separate world between the empire of Szaaland and a mysterious place named “Wischtech” otherwise nicknamed the evil empire, where the war took place between the evil forces of Wischtech and the others. The scenario is centered on a legend that tells that, to defeat the army of darkness of Wischtech, the Emperor sent fourteen warriors to whom he entrusted fourteen sacred Spears.
Three of them, the “Glorious Warriors of No Return”, perished in battle. Four others, nicknamed the “Spears of Treason”, were executed by their companions for a felony. The last seven accomplished their mission and were welcomed back as heroes. Thus was born the legend of the Seven Heroes. Twenty years have passed. A rebellion breaks out in the Border Provinces of the Empire of Szaaland, led by individuals claiming to be the “Spears of Treason”.
Original Run: September 17, 1998 – May 21, 2015 (on hiatus)
Number of Volumes: 37
In 1600 the terrible battle of Sekigahara took place, which established the power of the Tokugawa shogun. Among the fighters, Shinmen Takezo, son of a great samurai, is ready to do anything to survive. Returning to his native village, he is rejected by the inhabitants for having deserted. Pursued, he then begins a long wandering, with a single objective: to become the greatest samurai in Japan.
Vagabond is a long initiation manga, which leads the hero to discover, to understand the world around him and himself, dedicating himself to the way of the sword. Changing his name to Miyamoto Musashi, he challenges and confronts the most powerful samurai, carried away by a murderous spiral, and torn by his love for Otsu, his childhood friend.
Original Run: May 1997 – September 30, 2008
Number of Volumes: 10
It centers around the Royal Order of Protestant Knights, who are an organization founded by Abraham Van Hellsing and run by his descendants. His mission is to protect the queen and the borders of the country from any supernatural threat. The organization is led by Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, the last living member of the family, who inherited her responsibility as director after her father’s death when she was 12 years old.
Under her command are Walter C. Dornez and Alucard, a powerful vampire who was captured by the family a hundred years ago. Later the ex-policewoman Seras Victoria also joins, who after being bitten by Alucard becomes her offspring and by extension a Hellsing soldier.
9. Attack on Titan
Original Run: September 9, 2009 – April 9, 2021
Number of Volumes: 34
In the year 845, a giant about sixty meters high appears and with a kick creates a breach in the outer wall of Wall Maria, near the district of Shiganshina. The giants swarm inside it, devouring as many humans as possible, while these try in vain to defend themselves and transfer as many people as possible within the second circle of walls; but before the men are able to close the inner door of the walls, an armored giant smashes it through and the humans are forced to fall back on the Wall Rose.
Later they attempt a desperate reconquest of the lost territory, about a third of the total, which fails miserably. The enormous loss of men contributes to the food shortage created by the loss of such a large territorial portion. The colossal giant and the armored giant disappear mysteriously after clearing the way for their fellow men.
Original Run: January 26, 2006 – present
Number of Volumes: 64
In China, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, the story follows young Shin on his journey to fulfilling his dream of becoming a Great General under the heavens. In this ancestral China, Shin is originally from the State of Qin, which has been plagued by many upheavals both inside the kingdom and outside. Indeed, the story takes place during the Warring States period, when China was divided between seven kingdoms: Qin, Zhao, Han, Wei, Chu, Yan, and Qi. Through Shin’s story, we also follow the story of Ei Sei, the man who would later be known as Qin Shi Huang, the unifier of China.
Original Run: October 31, 2002 – July 24, 2014
Number of Volumes: 20
Jin is a mysterious boy. He lives in autarky with his grandfather as his only parent. It is then that a mysterious professor tries to get his hands on the young child. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose in town. He will be confronted with various failed attempts to generate artificial humans, giving rise to mutant monsters with extraordinary powers. The goal of this manga is to find, for each of these heroes, a different meaning of justice.
Original Run: December 1994 – December 2001
Number of Volumes: 18
Düsseldorf, 1986. The young and brilliant Japanese neurosurgeon Kenzo Tenma saves a child, Johan Liebert, from certain death, after he was found wounded with a bullet in the head; her twin sister Anna is also hospitalized in shock. The fact that he had chosen to operate on the child instead of the mayor is however criticized by the director, and Tenma loses his social status. Later the twins suddenly disappear, while in the hospital garrison some crimes involving Tenma’s main opponents occur.
Original Run: June 11, 1972 – June 24, 1973
Number of Volumes: 5
Akira Fudô, a cowardly and insecure young boy, is unable to defend his friend attacked by hoodlums. That’s when his childhood friend Ryo comes to his rescue armed with a gun. His presence is anything but fortuitous; he came to look for him to reveal his terrible discovery to him: demons exist and are about to wake up from their polar prison (the hell of the ice which Dante Alighieri had witnessed).
14. Fist of the North Star
Original Run: September 13, 1983 – August 8, 1988
Number of Volumes: 27
After the Third World War, the planet became a desolate and hostile place, few people have survived this catastrophe and water became the most precious resource in the whole world, just as strength is the most necessary skill, because Only the strongest rule the world. This will change when a man, who is known by some as “the savior of the end of the century”, appears and practices the Hokuto Shinken, which is a martial art with devastating effects on opponents. With this, he will help himself to understand and fulfill his destiny in this new world, while he helps the defenseless survivors to achieve a more dignified life.
15. Made in Abyss
Original Run: October 20, 2012 – present
Number of Volumes: 10
Riko, a twelve-year-old girl, lives at the Belchero orphanage in the city of Orth. The city overlooks a huge chasm in the ground called Abyss, with a diameter of 1000 meters and an unknown depth. This chasm is a source of magical relics that are collected for resale on the surface, and is a travel destination for many explorers from all over the world. However, only a very few experienced explorers have returned to the surface from the lower strata, called white whistles, all others have stayed deep or died from the curse.
Each depth layer has different characteristics starting from the vegetation and fauna that populates it, ending with the symptoms of ascent that become more severe as you descend. One day Riko, while out and about in the first layer of the Abyss looking for relics, is attacked by a monster, and Reg, a strange robotic child, rescues her by chasing the monster away with an heirloom. Riko, along with her friends of hers, devises a ruse to get Reg adopted by the Belchero orphanage.
Original Run: November 30, 2000 – September 12, 2018
Number of Volumes: 23
The series is set in a fantasy world divided into three distinct realms: Hole, a dirty, degraded, polluted and violent metropolis where humans live; the world of sorcerers, a rich, colorful, and magic-dominated kingdom, connected to the human world through magically created doors; and hell, where the souls of dead sorcerers gather and demons live.
Although indistinguishable in appearance, humans, and sorcerers belong to two different species: the former developed naturally, and the latter created by the primeval demon Chidaruma. Sorcerers have a unique circulatory system, which allows them to produce smoke from their fingers or mouth through which they perform their magical abilities. Each sorcerer possesses a specialized type of magic, which can be either common or highly sought after, such as healing, the ability to bring the dead back to life, or control time.
17. Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku
Original Run: January 22, 2018 – January 25, 2021
Number of Volumes: 13
Gabimaru, “The Nothingness”, the most famous and powerful of the ninja-assassins has been captured and languishing in prison. Claiming to have no more reason to live, he desperately waits for an executioner to manage to take his life because his superhuman training allows him to resist the worst punishments. It is then that he receives a visit from an executor like no other: a powerful swordsman and head slicer.
After a bitter fight from which he barely survived, she pushes him to his limits. In exchange for saving life, she offers him a deal: he will have to go to a mysterious island in order to recover an elixir of immortality. Only problem: everyone who went to this island came back cut into pieces.
18. Chainsaw Man
Original Run: December 3, 2018 – present
Number of Volumes: 11
The story takes place in a world where demons are born from human fears. Demons are often dangerous and malevolent, their power proportional to how strongly their corresponding fear is incited into the collective human consciousness. However, humans can sign contracts with them to use their powers.
People who specialize in hunting and employing demons are called demon hunters. Demons originate from Hell and exist in an endless life cycle between Earth and Hell: they are reborn on Earth when they are killed in Hell, and vice versa. In Hell live extremely powerful demons called Primal Fears, who have never been killed. The transit between the two worlds seems to be supervised by the Devil of Hell.
19. Wolf Guy
Original Run: 1970 – 1971
Number of Volumes: 2
Wolf Guy tells the story of Akira Inugami, a problematic and mysterious boy, who after being expelled from the private institute he attended, begins to attend the Hakutoku municipal school, in which the busty Miss Aoshika teaches. his new teacher. With the arrival of Akira, however, the problems begin immediately, the class in which he is placed is under the control of Dou Haguro, the son of a leader of a powerful mafia clan.
Original Run: August 2000 – February 2011
Number of Volumes: 18
Ten years before the story begins, Kurohime ended a massive war fought to own and rebuild the Tower of the Gods, which when completed would allow the builder to become a god. When finished, Kurohime destroyed the tower and entered the realm of the gods to slaughter them, as they were the ones who started the war in the first place.
Through a combination of deception and brutality, the gods captured her and then split Kurohime into two beings, one representing his anger and the other representing his compassion. The being who represents his anger, in the form of a little girl named “Himeko”, tries to regain his body and her powers and tries to bring down the gods again; however, the curse can only be undone with love.
21. Eden: It’s an Endless World!
Original Run: 1997 – 2008
Number of Volumes: 18
The series begins with a long introduction, with the characters Enoa and Hannah living a peaceful life on a remote and isolated island called Eden, with researcher Lane Morris, who is their guardian and a victim of the pandemic, the so-called “Virus Closure” ( shutdown virus) that has killed 15% of humanity.
The events leading up to this situation are revealed in flashbacks, leading up to the return of Enoa’s father, along with the Propater Federation forces. After this, the story moves forward twenty years and focuses on Enoa’s son, Elijah, the main character, and his own conflict with the powerful and monopolistic Propater federation to save his sister, Mana Ballard, kidnapped by Propater when he was very young.
22. Vinland Saga
Original Run: April 13, 2005 – present
Number of Volumes: 25
In 1002 A.D. in a small village in Iceland lives Thorfinn, a six-year-old boy, with his father Thors, mother Helga, and sister Ylva, delighting in hearing stories about the legendary land of Vinland from the mouth of the trader and navigator Leif Erikson. Father Thors is a former mercenary of the Jomsborg Vikings who faked his death to retire to lead a peaceful existence away from violence.
But when King Sweyn I of Denmark summons his vassals to invade England, Thors must also answer the call to protect his village from possible repercussions. However, his boss has not forgotten his desertion and plans to kill him by hiring the pirate Askeladd. Having been ambushed, Thors prefers to be killed in order to save little Thorfinn, who had secretly boarded his ship.
Original Run: 2001 – 2007
Number of Volumes: 26
The story takes place in an imaginary world, with detailed geography as it unfolds (at the beginning only a kingdom called Chronos is known), at a time similar to ancient Rome. The plot focuses on four characters, Ares and his three brothers in arms Baroona Michael and Gohu, who join the mercenaries of the Temple.
Original Run: 1998 – 2010
Number of Volumes: 26
The story is about a vampire, Deshwitat, who awakens at the end of the 20th century, after an absence in the world lasting more than three hundred years. Deshwitat is determined to destroy his enemy, the mysterious Kalutika, by whom he had been defeated in the past. To do this, he is forced to get help from unlikely allies: the Korean girl Remi, the Vatican exorcist Millenear and the two mysterious masters of secret techniques Rett and Beryun.
25. Battle Angel Alita
Original Run: December 15, 1990 – April 1, 1995
Number of Volumes: 9
The story tells about Gally (Alita in the western version), an amnesiac cyborg who is found by Doctor Daisuke Ido among the junk dumped from Salem, the utopian floating city (renamed in the West as Tiphares). Ido rebuilds Gally and adopts her as her daughter, but as time passes, it becomes clear that Gally hides great and mysterious combat skills.
Given this and as a way of discovering her own past, she will be put to the test in situations that stimulate and make these abilities flourish, so that she can obtain answers about her origin. With this objective, she will face various enemies fulfilling roles such as warrior hunter, motorball runner, security agent, and many others that will put her life at risk. Later, her story will lead her to face even greater challenges and dangerous off-planet creatures.