35 Best Seinen Manga You Need to Read

In the Japanese language, the term seinen literally means “youth.” However, the term “seinen manga” is also used to describe the target audience of magazines that cater specifically to men’s interests, and are marketed towards a demographic of adult men between the ages of 18 and 40. The female equivalent to seinen manga is josei manga. In this article, we will bring you a list of the 35 best seinen manga you need to read.

1. 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.”

RELATED: Death Note Watch Order: The Complete Guide (Series and Movies)

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.

2. Berserk

Original Run: August 1989 – present
Number of Volumes: 41

Berserk tells the story of the meeting of Guts and Griffith, leader of the Falcon Troop, a band of mercenaries in the pay of the kingdom of Midland. From this meeting will be born an ambiguous friendship, but nevertheless efficient: the presence of Guts, a warrior with the disproportionate sword, will quickly prove essential to the ambition of the young Griffith, swashbuckler and outstanding tactician.

RELATED: 25 Best Manga Like Berserk You Need to Read

The anime is thus the account of the rise and fall of the Falcon Troop and the relation between Guts and Griffith. It examines the particularly complex relation of interest (Griffith uses the force of Guts), mutual respect (both see each other as soldiers), and deep affection (each inexplicably needs the other’s presence).

3. 🢒M⊙NS†ER🢐

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; his twin sister Anna is also hospitalized in shock. However, the director criticized the fact that he had chosen to operate on the child instead of the mayor, and Tenma loses his social status. Later the twins suddenly disappear, while in the hospital garrison, some crimes involving Tenma’s main opponents occur.

4. Akira

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.

5. One-Punch Man

Original Run: June 14, 2012 – present
Number of Volumes: 24

Saitama is an unemployed, depressed young man with no deep purpose in his life. One day, he meets a crab man looking for a young boy “with a chin split like an ass,” in his words. Saitama ends up meeting this young boy and decides to save him from the crab man, whom he manages to beat with difficulty. From then on, Saitama decides to become a superhero and trains for three years very seriously: 100 push-ups, 100 squats, 100 abs, and 10 km of daily running, and there are no heating or air conditioning conditions.

RELATED: One-Punch Man Webcomic Vs. Manga: Differences and Which Is Better?

At the end of his training, “so intense that he loses his hair,” he notices that he has become so strong that he can now beat all his opponents with a single punch. His excessive strength is a source of problems for him since he cannot find adversaries of his size and is bored in his job as a hero because the fights no longer give him any feeling or adrenaline. Although he put an end to several threats, each more dangerous than the next, no one seems to notice Saitama’s incredible ability, except for his friend and disciple Genos, a young man turned cyborg.

6. Grand Blue

Original Run: April 7, 2014 – present
Number of Volumes: 18

Iori Kitahara’s life takes a different turn when he decides to move to the small coastal town of Izu to do his university studies and start a new dream life that he imagines filled with beautiful girls and women. However, when he arrives at his uncle’s dive shop, the “Grand Blue,” he discovers a group of noisy, naked elders who force him to participate in their alcoholic activities.

Although reluctant at first, Iori gives in and quickly fits in with the revelers. Unfortunately, this earns him the contempt of his cousin, Chisa Kotegawa, who arrives at the wrong time. Nevertheless, he does not let himself be discouraged and still wants to achieve his dream student life despite his new friends from the “Peek a Boo” diving club and their alcoholic parties.

7. The Ghost In The Shell

Original Run: 1989 – 1997
Number of Volumes: 3

In 2029, thanks to the support of the institutions, Daisuke Aramaki and Motoko Kusanagi receive the necessary funds to create their own international rescue team, in reality, an elite anti-terrorist organization placed under the control of the interior minister but with a lot of freedom to maneuver and officially called Public Security Section number 9.

Over various completed missions, Section 9 investigates a dangerous cybercriminal who calls himself the Puppetist, whose main activity is ghost hacking, which is taking control of the human mind. The agents of Section 9 finally discover that the Puppeteer is a particularly advanced artificial intelligence, born within a secret government project and then escaped its control, which has become aware of its existence and requires to be accepted as a form of life in all respects.

The Puppetist, who wants to get a human ghost to move to a higher stage of evolution and create his own lineage, convinces Kusanagi, who is initially skeptical, to merge with her consciousness. After this event, Kusanagi, who faces a public trial for irregularities committed in the service, abandons Section 9 to go on his own.

8. Parasyte

Original Run: 1988 – 1995
Number of Volumes: 10

One night spheres the size of tennis balls containing snake-like creatures fall in unknown numbers all over the world. They are programmed to take the place of human brains. One of these attacks a young man, Shinichi, during his sleep, trying to enter through his ear but cannot reach him, the latter having kept his headphones on for the night.

RELATED: 15 Best Anime Like Parasyte You Need to Watch

Jolted awake as the parasite tries to enter through his nose, he tries to defend himself but ends up having his right hand punctured. The high school student then takes his headphones and wraps them around his arm, preventing the parasite from climbing to the brain.

9. Tokyo Ghoul

Original Run: September 8, 2011 – September 18, 2014 / October 16, 2014 – July 5, 2018
Number of Volumes: 14 / 16

In the city of Tokyo, creatures named ghouls have appeared and fed on human flesh to survive. One day, Ken Kaneki, a young student, is attacked by one of them and suffers a serious injury.

RELATED: Tokyo Ghoul Arcs in Order: How Many Are There & What Are They About?

To stay alive, he receives a transplant from the ghoul that attacked him and becomes a hybrid, half-human half-ghoul (artificial one-eyed). Quickly, he realizes that he can no longer eat the same foods as before. He then enters the service of the café “L’Antique,” a den of ghouls, where he learns to feed himself without harming humans.

But he will soon find himself at the heart of a bloody war between the CCG (Ghoul Control Center), determined to find and exterminate them to the last, and the Aogiri Tree, an organization of merciless ghouls. He discovers that ghouls are not so different from humans, and he will begin to adapt little by little.

10. HELLSING

Original Run: May 1997 – September 30, 2008
Number of Volumes: 10

It centers around the Royal Order of Protestant Knights, an organization founded by Abraham Van Hellsing and run by his descendants. His mission is to protect the queen and the country’s borders 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.

RELATED: Hellsing v Hellsing Ultimate: The Differences Explained and Which One Is Better

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.

11. Vagabond

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. Shinmen Takezo, son of a great samurai, is ready to do anything to survive among the fighters. 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.

12. Dorohedoro

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.

RELATED: Dorohedoro Season 2: Release Date, Trailer, Plot, Cast, and More

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.

13. Uzumaki

Original Run: January 19, 1998 – August 30, 1999
Number of Volumes: 3

Kirie Goshima lives in the small town of Kurouzu, a bit isolated between the sea and the surrounding mountains. She’s a perfectly normal high school girl, but her boyfriend’s father begins to behave in a disturbing way: he is obsessed with observing spiral-shaped objects. This form is becoming more and more present in the small town, as if under the effect of a curse.

14. GANTZ

Original Run: June 29, 2000 – June 20, 2013
Number of Volumes: 37

Kei Kurono is a relatively cynical and selfish high school student from Tokyo, a big consumer of erotic magazines. One day, while waiting for his subway, he meets a childhood friend, Masaru Katô, whom he had lost sight of and who happened to be at the station. He is then pushed against all odds to make a heroic gesture: to save a drunken tramp who has fallen on the tracks.

15. 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.

RELATED: Vinland Saga Season 2: Release Date, Trailer, Plot, Cast and More

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.

16. Mushishi

Original Run: November 1999 – August 2008
Number of Volumes: 10

Blending fantasy, ecology, and traditional Japan, Mushishi is a series of stories or tales about mushi, a primitive life form, more basic than all other life forms.

These stories tell of the adventures of Ginko, a mushi specialist, one of the few people who can see them, and who has the gift of attracting mushi, which means that he cannot stay long in one place and the pushes to be an itinerant.

Each story relates an investigation into more or less strange cases related to mushi; each mushi encountered caused different effects that are always manifested through their relationship to humanity. They range from illnesses to extraordinary gifts, including the fertilization of the land and the ability to restore life.

17. 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 and 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.

18. Liar Game

Original Run: February 17, 2005 – January 22, 2015
Number of Volumes: 19

Here is Nao Kanzaki, a person considered “stupidly honest.” She can fall for the same joke a thousand times and will surely be the only person who would deliver a 100 yen coin that she found on the street to a lost property office. When Nao is forced to participate in a terrifying game called LIAR GAME, her life will change drastically. She now has 100 billion yen in cash and has to protect them with her life and get the other hundred from the other player.

Otherwise, she will steal hers, and if she loses, she will have to return double that amount. Desperate at her situation, Ella Nao seeks help from Shinichi Akiyama, a college student who has just been released from prison and accused of fraud, to survive the Liar Game. If she succeeds, her reward will be one hundred million in cash, of which the organizers of the Liar Game will keep the other one hundred.

19. 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.

20. 20th Century Boys

Original Run: 1999 – 2006
Number of Volumes: 22

Kenji Endō is the manager of a small supermarket in Tokyo. He lives with his mother and Kanna, the daughter of his sister, whom he left in his care before he disappeared. Kenji attends the funeral of a childhood friend, Donkey. When he meets his former schoolmates, it doesn’t take long for him to relate his death to others and in whose surroundings there appears a symbol that the group itself created when they were little. Now, the game seems to be coming true through a sect led by an enigmatic individual named Amigo.

Kenji and his friends swore to defend peace and justice in the world when one day it was threatened by an evil organization. However, all of them see how each of the predictions they made is coming true, including the most feared: the Bloody New Year’s Eve of the year 2000, in which the planet’s survival will be at stake.

21. Higurashi When They Cry

Original Run: July 6, 2007 – December 17, 2007
Number of Volumes: 24

June 1983, Maebara Keiichi is a young student belonging to a middle-class family who, in search of rest, decides to move to the small and secluded village of Hinamizawa. Here, the forest air is strange and mysterious, but Keiichi manages to feel comfortable in that place that somehow looks so cozy.

He also makes some friends at his new school, and with them, he engages in after-school club activities, mostly playing strategy and card games. The days go by, and the town seems as normal and calm as ever until the arrival of “Watanagashi,” a local festival in which the god Oyashiro-sama is revered.

22. Umineko no Naku Koro ni

Original Run: December 22, 2007 – February 23, 2011
Number of Volumes: 57

In October 1986, members of the wealthy Ushiromiya family reunited on an island called Rokkenjima, the home of the family’s head, Kinzo. The family doctor has announced that the latter only has three months left to live, and his heirs, therefore, meet to negotiate the division of the inheritance as well as to designate who will take the head of the family.

In addition to members of the Ushiromiya family, several servants live on the island, as well as an appointed doctor, bringing the number of people present to eighteen people. However, shortly after the family’s arrival, a typhoon breaks out, preventing them from leaving the island. On the island, now cut off from the world, strange events occur, and people are killed inexplicably, leading those present to believe that the culprit may be the legendary witch Beatrice, who is said to haunt Rokkenjima.

23. Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Original Run: May 19, 2015 – present
Number of Volumes: 25

The Shūchiin Academy is a prestigious school where the country’s future elites, almost exclusively the children of the rich, continue their studies. Within the high school students’ office, the two brilliant exemplary models of the academy, the vice-president Kaguya Shinomiya and the president – from a modest background – Miyuki Shirogane, develop a particular relationship: they are attracted to one by the other, but they can’t confess their feelings because of their too much pride.

Indeed, considering the correlation between inequality of love interest and the relationship of domination in a relationship of this ilk, they each conclude that whoever confesses first will become the “loser” of the couple. Thus begins their daily life filled with various plots and stratagems to force the other to confess his feelings.

24. BLACK LAGOON

Original Run: April 19, 2002 – present
Number of Volumes: 12

Rokuro Okajima, a young Japanese employee of a large company, is tasked with traveling the seas of Southeast Asia to deliver a disc containing confidential and vital data on the company for which he works.

Unfortunately, his boat is attacked by a band of freelance pirates wanting to recover his property, and he will be taken hostage on their boat, the Black Lagoon, an old torpedo boat. Thinking that his company will do everything to help him, he is not overly worried.

He does not know that his superiors hired mercenaries to silence him and destroy all evidence of the record’s existence. At the end of this incredible first episode, he decides to give up his life in Japan to join the adventure of these modern-day pirates.

25. Drifters

Original Run: April 30, 2009 – present
Number of Volumes: 6

Toyohisa Shimazu, a young samurai, taking part in the Battle of Sekigahara in feudal Japan, suddenly finds himself plunged into another world. Quickly, he discovers that several other renowned warriors have drifted into this dimension.

The young man finds himself plunged into a relentless war whose ins and outs he still does not know. It is a war he must lead alongside two famous Japanese historical figures, Oda Nobunaga and Yoichi Nasu, before being joined by other fighters and strategists from various eras, such as Hannibal Barca and Sundance Kid.

26. Kingdom

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 occurs during the Warring States period, when China was divided into 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.

27. Blue Period

Original Run: June 24, 2017 – present
Number of Volumes: 11

Yatora Yaguchi is a fairly popular student who excels in his studies at school but often deals with inner emptiness and frustrations. One day he became so fascinated by a painting at his high school art club that it inspired him to try painting. Later, he was inspired by a friend Ryuji and later joined the art club, becoming more deeply involved, and attempts to apply to Tokyo University of the Arts as his college choice.

28. Oyasumi Punpun

Original Run: March 15, 2007 – November 2, 2013
Number of Volumes: 13

The manga tells the story of Punpun, a real boy represented as a 2D caricatured bird. He tells us about his unstable family situation, then addresses his first love, describing his entourage, while going through his early adolescence with his mind being more or less hyperactive over several years of his life.

29. Bungō Stray Dogs

Original Run: December 4, 2012 – present
Number of Volumes: 22

The story centers around certain individuals with supernatural powers who use them for different purposes like running a business, solving mysteries, and carrying out armed detectives agency missions against the port mafia. It revolves particularly around the members of the “armed detective agency” and their everyday life.

The story revolves around a detective agency, each member of which possesses supernatural powers. This characteristic gives them the right to resolve investigations that are too dangerous for the police. Nakajima Atsushi, a young orphan on the verge of starvation by a river, accidentally finds himself having to save a man from a suicide attempt. This one is none other than Dazai Osamu, a member of this strange agency.

30. March Comes In like a Lion

Original Run: July 13, 2007 – present
Number of Volumes: 16

Rei Kiriyama, a 17-year-old professional shōgi player, lives alone in Tokyo. Having no more family and very few friends, he prefers to live alone after distancing himself from his adoptive family, but the loneliness weighs on him. The only people close to him are Akari Kawamoto, a young single woman, and her two younger sisters, Hinata and Momo. In contact with them, he will gradually assert himself, and mature as a player and person.

31. REAL

Original Run: 1999 – present
Number of Volumes: 15

Tomomi Nomiya has just been expelled from her high school. Passionate about basketball, he has not played since the motorcycle accident in which Natsumi Yamashita, his passenger, lost the use of his legs. His exclusion plays into Hisanobu Takahashi’s game, giving him the field to win as the high school basketball team leader.

RELATED: 20 Best Basketball Anime & Manga

While visiting Natsumi, Tomomi meets Kiyoharu Togawa, a leg amputee due to bone disease who has excluded himself from his own handi-basketball team, which he considers mediocre. Then, Hisanobu was the victim of a serious traffic accident, hit by a truck while riding on a stolen bicycle. He then goes to the hospital for rehabilitation but does not want to believe that he will have to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

32. Land of the Lustrous

Original Run: October 25, 2012 – present
Number of Volumes: 11

The story takes place in the distant future, where humanity has disappeared. Instead, a new form of life developed: the “Hōseki” (“gems”), of humanoid appearance. Their number is limited to 28.

These 28 Hōseki must fight the “Tsukijin” (“Selenians,” inhabitants of the Moon), who want to transform them into simple decoration. Thus, each Hōseki is assigned the role of fighter, doctor, or gunsmith. The main character is Phosphophyllite. Reputed to be weak (with one of the lowest hardnesses), its peers consider it useless.

33. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Original Run: January 1, 1987 – present
Number of Volumes: 131

The plot unfolds around the story of the Joestar bloodline, a powerful family of British origin destined to combat evil supernatural forces using acquired powers. The work covers several generations of said lineage, which are adapted in each part by putting a descendant as the protagonist, starting with Jonathan in the year 1880.

Parts 1 to 6 have a continuous and linear story, while parts 7 and 8 occur in an alternate universe. The name “JoJo”, present in the work’s title, consists of a play on words composed of the name of the protagonists of each part, which can be abbreviated as “Jojo” and used as a nickname.

34. Homunculus

Original Run: March 17, 2003 – February 21, 2011
Number of Volumes: 15

Manabu Ito is a wealthy medical student interested in the occult, while Susumu Nakoshi is a very rational salaryman, on extended leave and recently living in his car. Due to money troubles, Susumu accepts Manabu’s offer to undergo trepanation in exchange for 700,000 yen. This trepanation activates a new function of Susumu’s Sensitive Homunculus, which then acquires a sixth sense.

35. BLAME!

Original Run: 1997 – 2003
Number of Volumes: 10

Killee is an investigator surveying the Megastructure, a titanic building, searching for a genetic terminal (and a carrier of healthy genes). He works indirectly on behalf of a certain government office, an instance of the resosphere. He meets Shibo, a scientist who offers to accompany him during his quest. Shibo and Killee have to face silicias (augmented humans) and countermeasures, strange creatures pursuing a very specific goal in a technological war where there is neither mercy nor prisoners.