The 20 Best Shounen Manga Of All Time, Ranked

I am a big fan of shounen manga. But it’s often hard to find a good shounen manga, especially in the US. Just to name a few of the best, there’s Fairy Tail, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach. The list goes on. But, if you’re looking for some great ideas of manga series, then here’s a list of the top 20 most popular ones.

In this list, I have ranked twenty of my favorite manga series in terms of my enjoyment of the series and their overall quality. Since I love anime and manga so much, I have a lot of favorites, and this list is likely to change every year. While I’m sure these are all high quality series, and I have read most of them, I decided to only include series that were released within the past five years, as this would give me more fresh material to read. I have tried to take into consideration the quality of the manga, not the anime.

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As I get older, my tastes have become more focused. Sure, I still enjoy watching all sorts of movies and shows, but I’ve always been a sucker for Shounen series. Inevitably, I’ll find myself at a loss during an episode of a series that I’m not quite familiar with. That is, until I read an article like this one, where I can see which series are being discussed, and I’m instantly hooked. To save you the trouble of doing the research yourself, here are some of my favorite shounen series and what I think of them.. Read more about best shonen manga 2020 and let us know what you think.

One of the most well-known manga genres of all time is shounen.

And that’s probably what allowed manga to grow into the global phenomenon that it is today.

And how did it manage to do so?

By including tremendous humor, action, and adventure in its pages, as well as demonstrating the real value of friendships.

Which shounen manga are worth your time now that you know this? Let’s have a look at some of our favorite books that you should read and appreciate.


20. Noragami: Stray God

Noragami: Stray God Vol 1 Manga Cover

This recounts the tale of a small god’s attempt to collect enough money to purchase himself a shrine and, in the process, gain a large following.

This story has a distinct storyline that makes it stand out.

But isn’t simply having an intriguing summary enough to keep your readers entertained? So, how does this manga accomplish that?

With very relatable characters that develop and grow with each chapter.

The importance of character development in this story cannot be overstated.

When you combine it with a high-quality visual style, you have a narrative that demands your attention.


19. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Demon Slayer Manga Vol. 1

Tanjirou, the eldest brother of a poor family whose whole family is ruthlessly slaughtered by demons, is the protagonist of Demon Slayer.

To make matters worse, his only sister is transformed into a flesh-eating monster.

The concepts of family and friendship, in my opinion, are the primary draw here.

The protagonist’s determination to rescue his sister despite all obstacles, as well as the friendship among the major characters, is simply amazing and well worth the read.


18. Gintama

Gintama Vol. 1 Manga Cover

It’s the Edo era, and aliens have recently invaded Japan.

The nation quickly surrenders due to its inability to protect its people against these monsters. This is the start of a new age in which swords are forbidden and samurais are extinct.

Except for our main character, who carries a wooden sword and refuses to relinquish his samurai identity.

You’d be correct if you thought this premise was absurd.

It’s absolutely insane, yet it works so perfectly for the manga’s incredible goldmine of humor.

The primary theme is comedy, with a variety of parodies thrown in for good measure.

Still, the author proves time and time again that he can write action, drama, sci-fi, and a variety of other genres well. It wasn’t an easy job, to say the least.


17. Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 1 Manga Cover

Yuuji excels in the track and field events. He, on the other hand, has no interest in going around in circles and spends his days as a member of the Occult Research Club.

But all changes when a genuine spirit appears at his school.

To be honest, the story’s premise is a little bland… Despite this, the manga manages to stand out from the crowd.

This occurs because, despite the fact that the tropes have been used before, they have been tweaked and twisted to make them more entertaining.

In addition, the battles in this game are very excellent, with strong tactics and a hard magic system to back them up.


16. Pandora Hearts

Pandora Hearts Manga Cover

The tale of Oz, a child who was punished for a transgression he didn’t commit, is told in Pandora Hearts (or knows anything about for that matter).

We observe as he tries to get out of his penalty and figure out what’s going on.

Reading this manga is like piecing together a jigsaw, with each chapter presenting you with a new piece and smacking you in the face if you think you’ve got it figured out.

There are a lot of riddles and narrative twists in this book, and none of them are terrible.

To be honest, it’s pretty fantastic.


15. Bakuman

Bakuman Volume #1 Manga Cover

Bakuman is, without a doubt, one of the most intriguing mangas for manga fans.

It’s right, you read that correctly.

If you’ve ever been curious in how mangas are published, produced, or what difficulties their creators face, this is a good book to read.

Bakuman depicts the lives of two young boys who team up to become renowned mangakas and have a manga adapted into an anime.

There’s a lot of industry knowledge here, and it’s definitely a fascinating read.

It’s not your typical manga fare, but it’s certainly worth a look for any manga fan!


14. Spy x Family

Spy x Family Manga Vol. 1 Cover

I always see people online saying that this manga is a different take on “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”.

And, well, that’s fairly accurate.

Spy x Family follows the lives of a hitman pair (both of whom is concealing their true identities from the other) and their adoring adopted daughter.

Seriously, her interactions with anybody will either make you laugh out loud or warm your heart to the core, and occasionally both.

This book has the right balance of humor, romance, action, and suspense, making it a must-read.


13. Death Note

Death Note Manga Vol. 1 Cover

Death Note is one of the most well-known shounen manga that isn’t specifically about battles.

Not in the traditional sense, because this is a fight of the minds rather than fists.

Allow me to pose a question: what occurs when an unstoppable force collides with an immovable object?

On one hand, there’s Light, a bored young prodigy who discovers a notebook that gives him the power to murder anybody whose name is inscribed on it.

On the other hand, there’s L, a cryptic detective who’s never had a case he couldn’t crack.

What’s the end result?

One of the most entertaining cat and mouse games ever created.


12. Black Butler

Black Butler Volume 1 Cover

After a tragic tragedy, Ciel, a 12-year-old orphan, is forced to take his father’s position as the family patriarch.

Is that not terrible enough? What’s more, his family runs London’s criminal underworld.

So, what should a young guy do?

Of sure, make a deal with the devil and hire him as your butler!

If you’re thinking that this manga will be dark, horrible, and twisted, you’re correct.

It’s also one of the finest you’ll ever read.


11. D. Gray-man

D. Gray-man Volume 1 Cover

Allen Walker is a white-haired kid who is orphaned by demons and loses his adoptive father. As a result, he chooses to join the Black Order and aid in the final annihilation of these creatures.

A classic good versus. evil story with no room for debate.

Isn’t it very straightforward?


There are twists and turns in this story that will make you question all you think you know and, in the end, help you see the world for what it truly is:

A bleak journey in which no one is really good or bad.


10. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Manga / Volume #1 Cover

Magi recounts the adventures of Aladdin, a young magician who is leaving his home to see the world.

It’s an adventure and friendship tale that may catch you off guard with high-octane action and profoundly poignant moments when you least expect it.

The series’ depiction of real-life civilizations, and therefore real-life problems, is one of the most intriguing aspects.

The author isn’t afraid to bring up difficult subjects like slavery, tyranny, and corruption.

Magi is certainly worth checking out, with a fantastic universe and a cast of entertaining characters.


9. Claymore

Claymore Manga Vol. 1 Cover

This manga is a genuine dark fantasy set in the Middle Ages, in which humans are preyed upon by hideous creatures that like the taste of human flesh.

You may think this description sounds awfully similar to Attack on Titan, and you’d be right, but there are more distinctions between the two than you would imagine.

(As a side note, Claymore came out eight years before AoT, thus the analogy is backwards.)

Claymore demands to be read at least once, with a fantastic ensemble of female fighters, gorgeous combat scenes, excellent artwork, and jaw-dropping twists and turns.


8. Beastars

Beastars Volume #8 Manga Cover

Beastars depicts a world that is eerily similar to our own, except for one important difference: there are no people.

Everyone is a unique anthropomorphic animal breed.

This clearly creates a whole new set of issues for the way our society functions.

However, what seems to be a ridiculous concept quickly transforms into an engrossing book that delves into how our circumstances may influence who we are.

It’s simple to sense the author’s passion and thought put into her writing.

The world-building in this game is nothing short of incredible.

With some complicated characters thrown in for good measure, you have a wonderful tale that needs to be seen.


7. Haikyuu!!

Haikyuu!! Manga Vol. 1 Cover

Haikyuu is initially and foremost a volleyball comic, with everything else coming in second.

Even if you aren’t a huge lover of the sport, I strongly advise you to give it a try.

If you believe sports mangas are dull, this one may persuade you otherwise.

It has endearing characters that will make you root for even the smallest win. Plus, the games have a flowing visual style that makes you feel like they’re ready to burst off the page and into your home.

Aside from that, there’s a tale that will pull at your emotions.

Haikyuu!! is a one-way ticket to the world of volleyball that you will not regret purchasing.


6. Chainsaw Man

Chainsaw Man Vol 1 Cover

Is there a term that adequately describes this manga?

Nothing can prepare you for what Chainsaw Man really is, even if madness and mayhem come close.

Blood, cruelty, chaos, dark/mature topics, deep characters, and the unexpected are all present in this film.

This is the kind of thing you can anticipate here.

You may believe you know where the narrative is going in the outset, when the characters are introduced and the plot is just getting started.

You have no idea, I swear.

Buckle up, because this is going to be a wild (and enjoyable) ride.


5. Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist Manga Cover / Volumes 1-3

Aren’t we all a little bit acquainted with this one?

FMA recounts the sad story of two brothers who pay a high price in order to get their mother back.

You’ll join Edward and Alphonse on their travels as they attempt to set things right for one other while also helping others around them. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The supporting cast is likewise well-developed, with several memorable moments sprinkled throughout the series.

The storyline is basic enough from the start, but it quickly leads you to places you wouldn’t anticipate.

In addition, the way alchemy works in this universe is, to put it simply, incredible.


4. Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan Manga Vol. 4 Cover

The universe of AoT is harsh and ruthless, with kickass characters, secrets within mysteries, and plenty of blood.

What’s not to like about this?

Eren Yeager is a young kid on a quest to kill the titans in Attack on Titan (monstrous creatures that eat humans).

The comic debuted in 2009 and quickly became a smash success — and with good reason.

For better or worse, the author understands how to toy with the hearts of its readers.

Add in a storyline with so many twists and turns that you’ll have to hang on to your seat to avoid falling over, and you’ve got yourself a ride to remember.

If you intend on reading it, be prepared to weep, applaud, get furious, and then cry some more.


3. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Series)

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4 Manga Cover

This manga’s title explains it all better than I ever could.

JoJo is a strange (duh) experience to read.

We’re discussing a piece of work that sticks out even amid other “abnormal” tales. Vampires, time travel, road rollers, immortal creatures defeated, serial murderers pursued, and one of the greatest power systems in all of literature.

This is what JoJo brings to the table.

Now, I’ll confess that certain sections aren’t as strong as others.

But I can tell you that each one is memorable in its own way.

Regardless, this series is chock-full of action, humor, and strange experiences that every shounen fan should experience at least once.


2. Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter Manga / Volume 4 Cover

What exactly does it entail to be a hunter?

That is precisely the question that propels Gon Freecs, our fascinating protagonist, off his island into a world of adventure.

While Jojo’s power system is one of the greatest in all of literature, Hunter x Hunter has one of the best universes.

There isn’t a single place, monster, or ability that I don’t want to learn more about.

Add in a cast of compelling characters that will keep you wanting more, and you’ve got one of the greatest shounen to date.

Unfortunately, I feel compelled to bring out one flaw in an otherwise fantastic series:

The author has taken a number of lengthy breaks from writing.

You know something’s wrong when your manga’s fans start calling it “Hiatus x Hiatus.”


1. One Piece

One Piece Manga Cover For Vol. 58-59-60

To be honest, that was bound to happen.

Is it really possible to discuss shounen manga without mentioning One Piece?

Actually, can you speak about manga without mentioning One Piece?

It is the best-selling manga of all time.

It’s also the second-best-selling comic book series of all time.

And believe me when I say that it is deserving of all the acclaim it receives.

It all starts with a simple premise:

Monkey D. Luffy, our protagonist, sets sail for the seas with the hopes of assembling a crew and discovering the fabled treasure known as One Piece.

I could go on and on about why you should read this manga, but I’ll keep it short and sweet.

If you want to read about a crew you’ll want you could join with all your heart, in a world full of adventures around every corner, hilarious comedy that will take you off guard, tragedies that will break your heart, followed by a loving embrace that will heal it…

Do yourself a favor and start reading One Piece right now.

The big news in the world of Shounen manga is that the Shounen Jump magazine introduced an official list of the “20 Best Shounen Manga Of All Time”, and now we can finally find out which shounen manga are the best of the best. With the list of the 20 Best Shounen Manga Of All Time, we can finally see how each of these manga stacks up against each other.. Read more about best battle shonen and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best shounen manga?

One of the best shounen manga is One Piece.

What is the best Shonen manga of all time?

One of the best Shonen manga is Naruto.

What is the number 1 shounen anime?

One Piece is the number 1 shounen anime.

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This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • best shounen anime 2018
  • shounen anime list
  • best shounen anime
  • top shounen anime
  • shounen anime
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