30 Best Shōnen Manga You Need to Read in 2023
Shōnen manga are marketed towards “young teen males” (boys) between the ages of 12 and 18; they include a variety of different subgenres. Often featured topics of this genre include martial arts, robots, science fiction, fantasy, sports, horror, or mythological creatures. The shōnen group of manga is probably the most popular and best-known group since the majority of the most famous manga are actually shōnen works. In this article, we are going to bring you a list of the 30 best shōnen manga you need to read.
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 captain of the 6th Division of the Gotei 13, Byakuya Kuchiki, and his lieutenant, Renji Abarai, where all deceased souls, including the Shinigami reside.
2. Demon Slayer
Original Run: February 15, 2016 – May 18, 2020
Number of Volumes: 23
Demon Slayer is set 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.
3. Jujutsu Kaisen
Original Run: March 5, 2018 – present
Number of Volumes: 18
Yuji Itadori is an out-of-the-ordinary high school student who lives in Sendai with his grandfather. Despite his innate talent for sports, he refuses to join the sports team due to his aversion to athletics. Instead, he chooses to join the occult research club, where he can relax and leave school by 5 pm to visit his grandfather in the hospital.
While on his deathbed, his grandfather invites him to “always help others” and recommends that he “die surrounded by people”. After his grandfather’s death, he meets Megumi Fushiguro, a sorcerer who informs him of the existence of a high-level cursed talisman in the school Yuji attended. Meanwhile, his friends from the occult club, in possession of the talisman, open the seal placed on it and attract all the curses in the school on them.
Reaching the school but unable to defeat the curses due to her lack of magical powers, Yuji swallows the finger (the true form of the talisman) to protect Megumi and her friends, becoming the host of Ryomen Sukuna, a very powerful curse. Despite being possessed, Yuji is still able to maintain control of his body.
As a curse, Yuji should have been executed, but thanks to Gojo Satoru (the most powerful and responsible sorcerer of the first-year alumni at the Tokyo Institute of Occult Arts), the upper echelons of the world of witchcraft agree to postpone the execution. until he has absorbed all 20 fragments of Sukuna’s soul (i.e., her 20 fingers), so as to definitively exorcise the curse.
Original Run: September 21, 1999 – November 10, 2014
Number of Volumes: 72
The story begins during Naruto’s adolescence, around the age of twelve. The orphan dunce and great prankster, he does all possible stupid things to get noticed. His dream: is 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.
5. 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.
6. One Piece
Original Run: July 22, 1997 – present
Number of Volumes: 101
Twenty-two years after Gol D. Roger’s execution, the interest in the One Piece treasure is waning. Many have given up on it, some even wonder if it really exists. Although pirates are still a threat to the locals, the Navy has become more effective in countering their attacks on all four seas: East Blue, North Blue, West Blue, and South Blue.
However, this change did not deter Monkey D. Luffy, a young boy, from wanting to become the successor to the legendary Roger. He will thus set off on an adventure, giving himself the first objective of creating a crew in order to reach the Grand Line sea, where the fever of the “great wave of piracy” continues to rage, and where many big names in the piracy are in pursuit of the One Piece, supposed to be on the last island of this great sea, Laugh Tale.
7. Black Clover
Original Run: February 16, 2015 – present
Number of Volumes: 31
When humanity was about to fall to an ancient demon, a single wizard saved it and defeated it. Later that wizard became a legend and was named Wizard King. After that event, the Clover Kingdom enjoyed peace through generations of wise men and nine subordinate magical orders. Asta and Yuno are orphans who were raised together from birth after being abandoned at a church orphanage in Hage, located in the forgotten area of the Clover Kingdom at the same time.
In a world where everyone has Magical Power, whose ability to control it comes naturally: Asta is the only person born without magic, leading him to train physically as compensation. In contrast, Yuno was born a prodigy with immense magical power and the talent to control it. At the age of 15, Asta and Yuno have the ability to become magicians known as Magic Knights by receiving their respective grimoires, with which all magical power is channeled.
8. My Hero Academia
Original Run: July 7, 2014 – present
Number of Volumes: 33
The story is set in a world where, due to a genetic mutation, evidenced in the first place by the lack of a joint in the little toe, mankind has obtained the ability to develop superpowers called Quirks, which manifest themselves in children. by the age of four: it is estimated that around 80% of the world’s population own a Quirk.
There are infinite types of Quirks, and it is extremely unlikely to find two people who possess the exact same power unless they are closely related. These particular abilities have allowed the development of a new category of people: the Heroes, who confront the individuals devoted to evil who use the Quirks for selfish and criminal purposes, commonly known as Villain. Additionally, Heroes who choose to exercise heroism on a professional level are recognized as Pro Heroes.
9. 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.
10. Hunter × Hunter
Original Run: March 16, 1998 – present (on hiatus)
Number of Volumes: 36
Twelve years before the start of the story, Ging Freecss abandoned his son Gon in the hands of his aunt Mito on Whale Island. Gon, who always believed that his parents were dead, discovers one day, thanks to his father’s apprentice, Kite, that he is still alive and has become one of the best hunters, elite individuals and accredited for tracking of secret treasures, exotic beasts, and even other individuals.
Motivated by this revelation, Gon decides to leave his home and take the Hunter Exam, a series of challenges that seek to test the skills, survival, and teamwork of its participants.
11. Detective Conan
Original Run: January 19, 1994 – present
Number of Volumes: 100
Shinichi Kudo is a 17-year-old high school detective frequently associated with the police. During a visit to an amusement park with his childhood friend, Ran Mouri, he discreetly overhears a private conversation between two individuals – Gin and Vodka – belonging to a mysterious criminal organization whose each member is dressed in black.
Spotted then stunned, he is forced to swallow a new poison (APTX 4869) developed by this organization, before being left for dead. This poison, supposed to kill him without leaving a trace, causes him to regress to his former physical appearance as a six-year-old boy due to a rare and unknown side effect.
In order to hide his true identity and invest his time in tracking down this organization called the “Organization of Men in Black”, he adopts the pseudonym of Conan Edogawa. To find clues concerning the Organization, he succeeds, thanks to his friend and neighbor, Professor Agasa, in being placed in the custody of Ran Mouri, with whom he is in love and whose father, Kogoro Mouri, works as a private detective.
12. 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.
13. 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.
Original Run: May 31, 2004 – present
Number of Volumes: 27
Towards the end of an imaginary and particularly Gothic nineteenth century, the young Allen Walker is an exorcist belonging to a special order called the Order of Shadow. The purpose of this order is to confront and eliminate living weapons called Akuma (weapons created with the soul of a dead man and the body of one of his relatives), as well as their creator, the Millennial Count, whose goal is to destroy the world and the human species.
To carry out this fight, the exorcists each have an Innocence, a kind of extremely rare fantastic personal weapon. But now the clan of Noah (also called Noah) (friends of the Millennial Count), comes to appear on the battlefield of the exorcists.
They are semi-human beings, claim to be descendants of Noe, and are endowed with phenomenal power, bringing the exorcists to the fore. The struggle is tough to get the world out of the grip of darkness.
15. 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.
16. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Original Run: May 9, 2016 – present
Number of Volumes: 16
Since his father became Hokage and holds the highest office in the village of Konoha, Boruto Uzumaki, son of Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyūga, lives in his shadow. Always seeking to attract the attention of the latter, he took the firm resolution to surpass him. But the life led by high-flying ninjas is punctuated by complex missions and rigorous training, he will also learn the hard way that becoming the best ninja is not an easy task.
In the company of Sarada Uchiha, the daughter of Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, and Mitsuki the son of Orochimaru, Boruto will therefore discover the universe of ninjas, as well as its foundations.
17. BURN ☩HE WITCH
Original Run: August 24, 2020 – present
Number of Volumes: 1
The story takes place in “Reverse London”, a city hidden in the shadow of London, scarred by the damage caused by dragons, creatures invisible to most humans and causing enormous problems in a world which nevertheless has them. seen living together.
A third community is linked to the first two: the wizards, forming a group called Wing Bind, with among them Noel Niihashi and Ninny Spangcole whose main objective is to protect the inhabitants of the city from the sudden threat that these dragons and to find a common understanding between them.
18. 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: 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.
Original Run: September 9, 2014 – present
Number of Volumes: 14
After an untimely and embarrassing death, Kazuma Satō, a Japanese hikikomori teenager, meets a goddess named Aqua, who offers him to reincarnate in a parallel world with MMORPG elements, where he can embark on adventure and combat. against monsters.
Although offered a divine item or overpowered ability to use in this new world, Kazuma, following a taunt from Aqua, chooses her to accompany him to Axel’s town, where he quickly finds that the latter’s lack of judgment is of little benefit to him.
21. 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: 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.
23. 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.
24. Gin Tama
Original Run: December 8, 2003 – June 20, 2019
Number of Volumes: 77
The story takes place in Edo —the old name by which the city of Tokyo was known—, which has been conquered by strange extraterrestrial beings called “Amanto”. The samurai of that time fought against the invaders, but the Amanto defeated them and forbade all people in the city to carry swords.
The play centers on the adventures of a silver-haired samurai known as Gintoki Sakata, who helps a teenager named Shinpachi Shimura save her sister from a group of aliens who wanted to make her part of a brothel. Impressed with Gintoki, Shinpachi decides to become his apprentice and work with him as a freelancer in order to pay Gintoki’s monthly rent.
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. 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?
27. 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.
28. Blue Exorcist
Original Run: April 4, 2009 – present
Number of Volumes: 27
The world of Blue Exorcist is made up of two dimensions that oppose each other like two faces of mirrors. The first is the world in which human beings live, Assiah. The other is the world of demons, Gehenna. Normally, travel and even any form of contact between the two is impossible. However, demons can pass into this world possessing everything that exists within it.
Satan is the god of demons, but there is one thing he does not have: a vessel in the human world powerful enough to contain him. To this end, he fathered Okumura Rin and Okumura Yukio (but only Rin inherited Satan’s powers, Yukio being too weak), his sons, from a human woman, but are the latter in line with his plans, or should they become something else?
After killing the guardian father Fujimoto, in an attempt that should have allowed Rin to return to the demon world, he gives him a dream: to become an exorcist to defeat the god of demons.
Original Run: December 6, 2010 – present
Number of Volumes: 24 + 2 special
Hiyori Iki was a normal middle school student until she was rammed by a bus trying to save someone from being run over. The stranger wears a sports suit and a scarf and later turns out to be God Yato. This incident causes her to become half an ayakashi, a demon. When she meets Yato again and learns that he is a god, she asks him to help her get back to normal. But Yato recently lost his sacred weapon (shinki) – another supernatural being who serves a god and strengthens his power.
He is also only a very little-known and therefore weak god. When both are attacked by an Ayakashi, Yato chooses a boy’s ghost as the new Shinki and names him Yukine. This turns out to be a good weapon but is very insecure and impetuous due to his early death. Even with Yukine’s help, Yato cannot help Hiyori at first. When he turns to Tenjin, the god of education, he sees that his former weapon Mayu now serves him.
30. 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.