Looking for the best short manga for beginners? Well, you’re at the right place. Check out here the list of best manga for beginners to read.
Entering the world of manga is quite exciting. But it can also be a little confusing. There are hundreds of manga series available and every manga fan has their own favorite. So where do you start as a beginner?
Manga originated in Japan and has become an integral part of Japanese culture. Manga is nothing like your regular comic books and novels. Japanese manga is usually released chapter by chapter in weekly or monthly publications. They are later compiled into volumes called Tankoban.
Japanese manga is usually published in black and white print and is read from right to left. So reading them may take a little bit of practice and getting used to. However, English publications run from left to right.
Best Manga for Beginners: Quick Summary
|Best Manga for Beginners||Number of Volumes||Manga Artist|
|Dragon Ball||42||Akira Toriyama|
|One Punch Man||24||Yusuke Murata|
|Fullmetal Alchemist||10||Hiromu Arakawa|
|Demon Slayer: Kimeetsu no Yaiba||23||Koyoharu Gotouge|
|Attack on Titan||34||Hajime Isayama|
|Death Note||12||Takeshi Obata|
I remember when I first started reading manga I was completely lost and had no clue where to start. I was overwhelmed by all the suggestions that were thrown my way and quite frankly, I had no idea what I was doing when I went shopping for manga for the first time.
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So if you’re in the same spot that I was in as a newbie, I got you!
Here is a list of some of the best manga for beginners that will help you kick start your manga journey!
Best Short Manga For Beginners
Manga Artist: Taiyō Matsumoto
Genre: Coming-of-age, Surreal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Tekkon Kinkreet, written and illustrated by Taiyo Matsumoto, is an award-winning manga and anime classic.
This genre-defying piece of fiction follows two street urchins called Black and White as they defend their beloved city of Treasure Town from scheming yakuza, police, and other nefarious forces.
Tekkon Kinkreet received immense praise upon its debut and has attracted legions of dedicated fans over the years.
At the heart of it, Tekkon Kinkreet is a daring, yet heartwarming story. It blends a thrilling adventure story with a profound meditation on life, and showcases the struggles of a pair of boys desperately trying to protect their home in the face of overwhelming odds.
The artwork of Tekkon Kinkreet is simply breathtaking. Matsumoto’s illustrations create a vivid and mesmerizing world filled with bright, vibrant colors and detailed settings.
His dynamic images evoke a wide range of emotions and truly showcase the style of this beloved classic.
The characters of Tekkon Kinkreet are one of the manga’s greatest assets. Black and White, the street urchins, are dynamic, complicated, and relatable.
Though the two perhaps have extreme differences in terms of morality and view of the world, they share a bond of friendship and a commitment to protecting their beloved Treasure Town.
The characters interact with the city almost like a character of its own, playing a significant role in the story.
Tekkon Kinkreet is a one-of-a-kind manga and is a perfect introduction to the medium for beginners. Its unique artwork, dynamic characters, and thrilling plot make it an essential title for any manga enthusiast.
So, if you’ve been contemplating getting into this popular Japanese art, then you owe it to yourself to read Tekkon Kinkreet. Who knows, you may even find yourself defending Treasure Town right alongside Black and White.
Manga Artist: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Genre: Dark fantasy, Dystopian, Supernatural thriller
Fire Punch is an intense, dark and thrilling manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto which serves as an excellent introduction for inexperienced manga readers.
This 8-volume manga follows the adventure of two young orphans, Agni and Luna, who live in an oppressive and twisted world cruelly ruled by the Ice Witch.
This malevolent sorceress has cursed the world with snow, starvation, and madness, forcing its inhabitants to seek salvation in fire.
The artwork and tone of Fire Punch are dark and dramatic, with a stylish presentation that transports readers into a hostile fantasy world. T
he gothic-style art captivates the reader, creating an incredibly immersive experience that supports its thrilling narrative. Fujimoto’s works artistry captures the spirit of death, despair and darkness the story paints, providing an unforgettable reading experience.
The story further presents a consideration of morality and tragedy, as the protagonists attempt to make choices that will allow them to save the world from the Ice Witch’s harsh rule.
In Fire Punch, readers are presented with captivating dilemmas that challenge what is right, as Agni and Luna must grapple with difficult decisions. This manga’s powerful narrative is deeply thought-provoking and sure to leave readers in contemplation.
In summary, Fire Punch is an outstanding story for beginners, as it provides a gripping narrative with strong artistry and a thought-provoking consideration of morality. Its 8-volume read is sure to keep readers engaged from beginning to end with its intense, thrilling story and dark fantasy genre.
Those who embark on the adventure of Fire Punch are sure to experience a memorable journey filled with tension, despair, horror and heroism.
Gyo: The Death-stench Creeps
Manga Artist: Junji Ito
When it comes to the best manga for beginners, there is no question that Junji Ito’s Gyo deserves to be at the top of the list.
Spanning two volumes, Gyo showcases classic Ito storytelling with its horror-filled atmosphere and death that hangs over the island like a miasma.
The plot follows the protagonists, Tadashi and Kaori, who find themselves in the midst of a mysterious and devastating event.
Described as Ito’s creepiest masterpiece, Gyo takes horror to the next level. As readers, we are pulled into a world filled with creatures that are powered by the “death-stench” and driven by an overwhelming bloodlust.
As we follow the two protagonists on their journey, we find ourselves fixated on the corpse-like creatures that are just as equally fascinating as they are terrifying.
As if the creatures weren’t enough, Ito also ramps up the horror with a very frightening evil entity who is responsible for this terror in the first place.
What really sets Gyo apart from other manga is the way in which Ito tells his horror-filled stories.
He manages to capture the essence of dread, accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling of awe with every single panel.
Everything from his illustrations to his dialogue, the way in which Ito builds the tension and horror within the story, is simply breathtaking. We’re not just scared, but on the edge of our seat, scared and held captive by a single page.
This kind of captivating horror is what makes Gyo a must-read for beginners and long-time fans alike.
While it definitely isn’t recommended for younger readers due to its heavy content, it presents itself as an opportunity for readers to dive into a story that, although terrifying, is still wonderfully compelling and has the power to stay with them.
In conclusion, Gyo is a beautifully crafted horror-filled manga that is perfect for those just starting out.
With the use of classic Ito horror tropes, the story of Tadashi and Kaori and the ever-so-creepy “death-stench”, Gyo stands as a perfect example of one of the best manga to start with. Junji Ito’s Gyo marks an incredible start into the world of horror manga, and should absolutely be experienced.
Manga Artist: Hajime Ueda
Genre: Comedy, Science fiction, Surrealism
FLCL is a two-volume manga series that ran between 2000 and 2001 and eventually spawned both a manga, anime, and novel series all released in the same period.
It is abstract in terms of art and storytelling, but its story follows Naota Nandaba, a twelve-year-old boy whose suburban life is disturbed by the arrival of the mysterious Haruko Haruhara.
The story of FLCL revolves around the coming-of-age journey of Naota navigating both the real-life issues that he is facing and a fantasy-inspired world.
The juxtaposition of Naota’s ordinary life and the more outlandish aspects of the story, such as robot fighting and the arrival of an alien, keep the audience engaged and entertained.
The series also delivers strong messages regarding growing up, such as accepting change and sacrificing something to gain something else.
The visuals and music of FLCL are among its most remarkable features, as the vibrant artwork and surrealist imagery create a dream-like quality that mesmerizes viewers of all ages.
Music—particularly rock and alternative music—forms an essential part of the world of FLCL, and the series makes sure to explore the relationship between music and emotions.
The series also features subtle comedic elements and plenty of references to Japanese pop culture, making it perfect for viewers interested in Japanese culture.
The characters of FLCL are unforgettable, with each main character having a unique personality and backstory that give the series a pulse.
Haruko Haruhara, for example, is an eccentric, headstrong woman with a knack for getting into trouble—and she’s more than a match for the seemingly harmless Naota.
On the other hand, Naota’s immature and cynical brother, Mamimi, is another character that viewers can sympathize with; her loneliness and vulnerability show that she too is affected by the changes in Naota’s life.
Overall, FLCL is an exciting and adventurous manga series with a unique mix of real-life issues, fantasy elements, and stunning artwork.
Its memorable characters, set against a backdrop of notable music, will keep you hooked and entertained, making it an excellent series for anyone who is interested in starting their manga journey.
Manga Artist: Masashi Kishimoto
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Action, Comedy
Naruto is written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It’s one of the OG manga series and probably an all-time favorite of many manga fans.
Naruto ran from late 1999 and concluded in late 2014. It consists of 72 volumes and has also been adapted into a successful anime series.
The series tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki as he trains to become a ninja. He is accompanied by Sasuke and Sakura and together they make a very likable trio.
While the series is primarily a shonen series (aimed mainly at teen boys), I assure you that you will be hooked once you start this series, regardless of your age or gender. It’s my favourite manga and was one of the first that I watched.
Naruto is not named one of the best-selling manga of all time for nothing. 72 seems like a huge number, but you’re doing to get through all 72 volumes pretty easily once you start. It’s definitely the best manga for beginners.
Manga artist: Akira Toriyama
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Action, Comedy
Dragon Ball is another classic in the manga world. It has been around since before Naruto was released. It ran from late 1984 to mid 1995.
Naruto has been often compared to Dragon Ball because of they share a similar genre. Dragon Ball is considered to have laid the foundation for the shonen genre.
The series is actually divided into two parts- Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. I guarantee you that if one catches your interest, you’re bound to be drawn to the other (I speak from personal experience).
The series is about Son Goku whose immense strength sets him apart from others on Earth. Dragon Ball follows him through his childhood while Dragon Ball Z is about his journey during his adulthood.
This manga series was also made into an anime series that is frequently aired on TV. The franchise has turned into an empire of its own with merchandise and various forms of media made available to fans. Dragon Ball is one of the best manga for beginners for sure.
One Punch Man
Manga artist: Yusuke Murata
Genre: Comedy, Action, Superhero
If you’re into superheroes then One Punch Man maybe just for you. What started as a webcomic in 2009 was remade into a manga series in 2012.
Now in my many years of being a manga fan, I haven’t come across a series that balances out action and comedy as well as One Punch Man. And no, I’m not talking about slap stick humour.
The series is about Saitama, a superhero whose super power is to defeat his enemies with a single punch. The manga gained much popularity after its release and was later adapted into an anime series in 2015 and a videogame in 2020.
Manga artist: Hiromu Arakawa
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Adventure, Steampunk
Fullmetal Alchemist ran from mid-2001 to mid-2010. This is another classic manga series that every manga fan should read.
As the name suggests, the series is about alchemy and draws much inspiration from the European Industrial Revolution. In the series, two brothers- Edward and Alphonse Elric, try to use alchemy to bring back their mother from the dead.
In the process, their bodies are destroyed. In order to restore their bodies, they go on a quest to find the philosopher’s stone. It’s amongst the best manga to read for beginners because of it’s amazing plot.
The series is full of dark fantasy and adventure. The riveting series was later made into an anime series, light novel, and video game amidst other media adaptations.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Manga artist: Koyoharu Gotouge
Genre: Martial Arts, Dark Fantasy, Adventure
Demon Slayer is a new series when compared to the others on our list. It ran from early 2016 till mid 2020. It is one of the best manga and anime series of all time.
The series is about Tanjiro Kamado, a young teenage boy on a mission to become a demon slayer after his family was wiped out and his little sister was turned into a demon.
Many have named this series the best manga of the 21st century and for good reason! I loved Demon Slayer and especially Tanjiro’s character because he is brave. It’s one of the best manga for beginners.
The anime gained so much popularity and a strong fan base that it was adapted into other forms of media including anime films and light novels.
Attack on Titan
Manga artist: Hajime Isayama
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Action, Post- apocalyptic
Okay so the artwork may be a little iffy at the beginning but I promise you that story makes up for it. Attack on Titan has earned the title of best manga of the last decade.
The manga ran from late 2009 to early 2021. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans live inside walled cities and are terrorized by enormous man-eating humanoids that they call Titans.
The manga series was credited as being the reason for the publishing company’s increase in revenue for the first time in eighteen years.
The manga gained much popularity and was later made into an anime series and a light novel. There are many spin-offs that came after as well.
Manga artist: Tite Kubo
Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Adventure
Bleach is an incredible manga series that has a large fan base. It ran from August 2001 to August 2016. It still continues to be active after all these years post conclusion.
The series tells the story of Ichigo Kurosaki as he inherits his parents’ destiny. He is given the powers of a Soul Reaper by another Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki.
The series is the perfect combination of the supernatural, adventure, and action. I was hooked from the first chapter and went on to read all 74 volumes.
The manga series was later adapted into an anime and a series of films. Other forms of media that the series was adapted into were trading card games, videogames, light novels, and musicals.
Manga artist: Takeshi Obata
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Supernatural, Mystery
The title may seem a little…. scary. But the series ranks in my top 5 favourite manga (and anime) series of all time.
This psychological thriller has a one-of-a-kind storyline. The main protagonist is Light Yagami. He finds a the Shinigami Ryuk’s Death Note that he uses to bring his version of justice to the world.
The series is one of the shorter ones on our list with only 12 volumes. But those 12 pack in so much that I couldn’t stop until the end. It’s amongst the best manga for beginners.
The series was also adapted into an anime series, light novel and multiple films.
Best Manga for Beginners: FAQs:
Is manga read left to right?
Traditional manga, that is Japanese manga, is read from the right to left. Manga that is translated into English is read as usual, from left to right.
Why is manga black and white?
Drawing manga is not an easy task. It takes a whole lot of time and effort. Most of the time, anime artists don’t have enough time to add color to their art in time for publication. In some cases, since line art is very different from adding colour, artists lack the skill required to make colored manga art.
Is manga cheaper in Japan?
Manga is cheap in Japan! You can easily get your hands on a brand new copy for under 500 yen. Second-hand and pre-owned manga come by even cheaper.
Naruto Box Set 1: Volumes 1-27 with Premium
Check out the Best Manga for Beginners, a list of curated manga to start with if you're just begin to take interest. Do check out Naruto as it;s the best manga for beginners.
Product SKU: 309589058BHTY3948395
Product Brand: Naruto
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 800
Price Valid Until: 2022
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