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Best Complete Manga Series Under 15 Volumes

Best Complete Manga Series Under 15 Volumes

The best complete manga series you can enjoy in 15 volumes or less! Quick, amazing reads you don’t want to miss.

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Even though I’m a fan of long-running manga series that can get into the 70s or even 100s of volumes, like the popular Shonen series One Piece, I often find myself craving an amazing series that offers a quick yet satisfying read—usually under 15 volumes or so.

Despite being fast reads, these series are some of the most well-thought-out and best-developed I’ve ever read. They dive into the action quickly without sacrificing plot or character development, making them some of the best series in manga you can read.

All these short manga reads are available for purchase now with English translation at manga retailers. I’ll note the US publisher for each below, and if multiple editions of the series have been released, I will note that as well.

Here are the best complete manga series you can enjoy in 15 volumes or less!

Best Manga Hardcovers - Uzumaki Deluxe Edition
Uzumaki Deluxe Edition. Credit: Anime Collective.

Uzumaki – A 3-volume Spiral Into Madness

Volumes: 3 volumes collected in 1 Deluxe Edition in the US

Uzumaki, by Junji Ito—one of the most renowned horror manga creators—follows the story of a young girl and her family as they become increasingly obsessed with spirals. This obsession spreads throughout their town, leading to mysterious disappearances and deaths.

Out of all of Junji Ito’s works, Uzumaki is my favorite. The series masterfully depicts the descent into madness, filled with drama and suspense, focusing primarily on psychological horror. Although episodic at times, it maintains a cohesive overarching story that ties everything together. Junji Ito’s creepy, highly detailed art style is particularly striking. While Uzumaki is more disturbing than scary, it is still one of the most unsettling series you can read, with great characters like Kirie and Shuichi that add even more to this story.

It’s hard to talk about Uzumaki without revealing too much. What I can say is that this manga stands in a class of its own within the horror genre. It’s bizarre and twisted, yet highly original in its storytelling and art style. If you want to explore Junji Ito’s works, I highly recommend Uzumaki. With only 3 volumes, collected in one Deluxe Edition released by Viz, it’s easy to get into.

Blame! Manga Review
Blame! Master Editions. Credit: Anime Collective.

Blame! – A 10-volume Masterclass in Worldbuilding

Volumes: 10 volumes or 6 Master Editions

Blame! stands out as one of my all-time favorite sci-fi horror manga thanks to its immersive cyberpunk setting. Tsutomu Nihei focuses on every detail and creates a meticulously crafted world that pulls you into this story. Nihei’s other works, such as Knights of Sidonia and Biomega, are ones I recommend looking into. They are all quick reads, but Blame!, in my opinion, is his best.

The story follows Killy, a lone wanderer navigating a vast superstructure searching for the Net Terminal Gene, facing allies and adversaries like the Safeguard and Silicon Life on his journey. Blame! excels in two main aspects: its world-building and striking art.

Tsutomu Nihei’s panels compel you to take in every meticulously crafted detail, but the series’ unsettling atmosphere captivated me the most. Blame! is an expansive and quick read, collected in only six Master Editions or 10 singles. Blame! was the first manga to prove to me that a story doesn’t always have to be told with words, but that it can be done through art instead. It’s a unique read and one that I highly recommend.

Want to learn more about what makes Blame! a good manga series? Check out our review of Blame!.

Best Horror Manga - Homunculus Manga

Homunculus – A 15-volume Psychological Masterpiece

Volumes: 15

Hideo Yamamoto’s Homunculus is one of the best psychological horror manga you can read and it only has 15 volumes. Seven Seas recently began releasing the series in English in an oversized 2-in-1 omnibus format.

The story is about Susumu Nakoshi, who transitions from a life of luxury in a lavish hotel one day to living out of his car the next. His life takes a drastic turn when he meets Manabu Ito, a 22-year-old medical student, who persuades him to undergo an experimental surgery, claiming Nakoshi is an ideal candidate. Initially, Nakoshi feels unchanged by the procedure, but soon, he starts seeing homunculi within every individual, marking the beginning of his trippy and emotional journey into the unknown.

The complex relationship between Nakoshi and Manabu is part of what makes this series such a success. The series masterfully blurs the lines between reality and the surreal as Nakoshi navigates his new, peculiar perceptions of the world. Its ambiguity and mystery pull you into Nakoshi’s quest for understanding.

This manga dives into the supernatural but remains deeply rooted in reality, exploring themes such as the psyche, emotions, and the human condition through Nakoshi’s interactions with others. On top of all that, the artwork in Homunculus is simple but beautiful, especially with Hideo Yamamoto’s use of symbolism.

Best Supernatural Manga - Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara

Mushishi – A Soul-Soothing Journey in 10 Volumes

Volumes: 10

Mushishi, a 10-volume series, holds a special place as one of my top supernatural manga series. This series is a true masterpiece and it connects with you on a deeper level. Mushishi invites you into the mysterious world of Mushi, with Ginko, the wandering Mushi Master, as your guide through a series of mesmerizing stories.

What makes Mushishi so remarkable is how effortlessly it blurs the lines between the living and the supernatural. You find yourself immersed in narratives where the two worlds seamlessly intertwine, and it’s utterly captivating as a result. This manga has a unique, almost soothing quality even though it’s often melancholic. It’s not just about exploring different settings and character journeys; it’s a profound exploration of life’s intricacies and the complexities of existence. Mushishi is thought-provoking and otherworldly, but it is also genuine and relatable. It’s a reading experience that’s personal, profound, and entirely worth diving into.

Mushishi was once available in English through Del Rey, but it has since gone out of print. I remain hopeful that another publisher will pick this series up for release again and bring it back into the limelight. It deserves it, because it’s one of the most incredible, if not the very best, supernatural manga to release.

Best manga hardcovers - Akira Hardcovers (35th Anniversary Box Set)
Akira Hardcovers (35th Anniversary Box Set). Image Credit: Anime Collective.

Akira – The Iconic 6-volume Sci-Fi Series

Volumes: 6

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo is a series that probably doesn’t need an introduction. A classic of the sci-fi and cyberpunk genres, Akira has not only withstood the test of time since its debut in the 1980s but has continued to grow in popularity and influence.

Set in a dystopian Tokyo ravaged by a thermonuclear attack, Akira takes place in a world where biker gangs rule the streets and the elite carry out unethical experiments, unleashing devastating supernatural forces upon an unsuspecting populace. The series remains a towering figure in post-apocalyptic fiction, celebrated for its dark themes and innovative premise. While Akira was created in the 1980s, it is set in 2019. It’s interesting to compare Otomo’s vision of the future and our contemporary world.

If you have watched the Akira film but haven’t read the manga, I highly recommend doing so. The manga has a richer, more detailed story than the film, with even more content than made it to the screen. The best way to collect the series is the Akira 35th anniversary manga box set‘s hardcovers, which collect the series in six volumes.

Best Sci-Fi Manga - Pluto by Naoki Urasawa & Osamu Tezuka

Pluto – Naoki Urasawa’s 8-Volume Love Letter to Astro Boy

Volumes: 8

Pluto, Naoki Urasawa’s take on Astro Boy‘s “The Greatest Robot on Earth” arc, is one of the best sci-fi manga you can read under 10 volumes. Initially hesitant about this retelling, Macoto Tezuka, son of Osamu Tezuka eventually greenlit Urasawa’s project on the condition that it not only goes toe to toe with and respects the original but creatively stands out from his father’s work.

Naoki Urasawa, known for Monster and 20th Century Boys, reimagined this story by turning it into a complex mystery, where the world’s greatest robots are being hunted down by an unknown assailant. Instead of focusing on Astro Boy, or Atom, the story follows Gesicht, a detective robot whose human-like actions and interactions highlight the blurred lines existing between humans and robots in this world.

Pluto explores themes of discrimination against robots and the emotional turmoil they experience, even showcasing what happens when human emotions such as hatred and sadness are thrown into the mix.

Set against a post-war backdrop, this story is an exciting mystery and a profound exploration of identity and the societal aftermath of war. It’s a respectful yet innovative retelling of the classic, collected in just 8 volumes, and it’s one that fans of Astro Boy or newcomers to the series can both enjoy.

Best Sci-fi Manga - Neon Genesis Evangelion Manga

Neon Genesis Evangelion – A 14-Volume Manga Series that Revolutionized the Mecha Genre

Volumes: 14 volumes or 5 omnibuses

Neon Genesis Evangelion, originally based on the anime released in 1995, was adapted into manga form by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the anime’s character designer. The manga debuted in 1994, a year before the anime, due to production delays.

In 2012, Viz reissued the manga in a new omnibus format, making it much more affordable to get into the series than its 14-volume out-of-print singles. The manga has a different ending from the anime and dives deeper into the events and character backstories, so if you watched the anime, the manga is a completely new experience.

Neon Genesis Evangelion follows the story of NERV, a paramilitary research organization, and its pilots who pilot Evangelion units (EVA Units) to battle mysterious and powerful entities known as Angels. The setting is a richly detailed post-apocalyptic world full of secrets, extensive lore, and unexpected twists and turns.

One of the best manga series of all time, it explores deep psychological and religious themes, tackling themes of individuality, instrumentality, and more, making it a complete original in its genre.

Best New Manga 2023 - Insomniacs After School

Insomniacs After School – A Sweetly Serene 14-volume Read

Volumes: 14

Insomniacs After School is a uniquely refreshing and healing manga with a sweetly serene and somewhat melancholic atmosphere. The series brilliantly captures the beauty of the nighttime, and its chill vibe reminds me series like Call of the Night. Though it doesn’t have supernatural elements, the tone and emotional stories of its main characters give it a similar feel.

The story centers around two students with insomnia who find solace in their school’s abandoned observatory. This secluded space becomes their haven, allowing them a place to rest and more importantly, it nurtures an unexpected and comforting bond between the two. It’s beautiful to watch their relationship develop, finding someone who shares but understands their struggles intimately.

Since it’s a slice-of-life manga, Insomniacs After School‘s charm is thanks to its relatable characters. With a unique premise and endearing characters, this story is entertaining and has a lot of emotional depth. With only 14 volumes, it’s the perfect series for anyone searching for a calming read.

Parasyte Full Color Collection vs Singles

Parasyte – The Classic 8-volume Sci-Fi Horror

Volumes: 8

Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki follows Shinichi Izumi, an average high school student whose life is forever changed when an alien Parasite invades his body. Miraculously, Shinichi manages to confine this alien intruder to just his hand. Now sharing his body with Migi, a murderous alien, Shinichi faces a new reality.

Unlike Shinichi, other victims weren’t so lucky; they’ve been fully taken over by Parasites that morph their hosts into monstrous forms to blend seamlessly among humans. Knowing the truth behind these horrors, Shinichi now must take on the lofty endeavor of alerting humanity about the threat.

Released over 30 years ago, Parasyte remains to this day one of the best sci-fi horror and seinen manga. Its influence is undeniable, and it has some of the most unforgettable alien and body horror panels I’ve ever seen in manga. If you’re thinking about getting into this classic, it’s fully collected in just 8 volumes. You can read Parasyte in English either through the Full-Color editions or the singles released by Kodansha.

A Silent Voice Complete Collector's Edition Review
Image Credit: Anime Collective

A Silent Voice: A 7-volume Exploration of Redemption and Second Chances

Volumes: 7 volumes or 2 Collector’s Editions

A Silent Voice follows Shoya Ishida, a young boy who used to bully Shoko Nishimiya, a girl with a hearing disability. However, when Shoko transferred schools, Shoya, who was once the bully is now bullied himself. Now that he’s older and he knows what it feels like to be bullied by the students in his class, he regrets his actions. A few years later, Shoya meets Shoko again and he decides to make things right.

A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ōima is a heartwarming and tear-jerking series about the importance of second chances, but even more so than that, it’s a moving story about redemption and how people, with time and experience, can change. It’s also very much a story about communication and how difficult it can be to express one’s emotions.

Few series have made me feel as much as A Silent Voice. More accurately, a few series have made me cry as much as A Silent Voice, and it did so with only seven volumes. Amazingly, though, it not only had me crying sad tears, but happy tears as well. It will take you on an emotional, but also an inspiring journey, and it is one of the best and most profound manga I’ve ever read.

Death Note Manga Editions
Death Note Editions in English. Credit: Anime Collective.

Death Note – The Ultimate 12-volume Crime Thriller

Volumes: 12

Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata are among my favorite manga creators, largely due to their collaborations on series like Death Note and Bakuman. Of all their projects, though, Death Note is my all-time favorite, not only for its thrilling storyline but also for its amazing artwork.

Death Note follows Light Yagami, a high school student who acquires a mysterious notebook called the Death Note. This notebook has the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it, provided the writer knows the face of their target. Envisioning a crime-free world, Light decides to use the Death Note to deliver his idea of justice, attracting the attention of law enforcement and the brilliant detective, L. This leads to a thrilling intellectual duel between the two, turning the series into a suspenseful game of cat and mouse that’s full of strategy and excitement.

What’s most compelling about Death Note, though, is how it explores moral dilemmas surrounding power. Light, armed with god-like abilities, highlights the fine line between heroism and tyranny. The series, through its tense and clever plot twists, challenges us all to think about the ethical dilemmas that come with absolute power. I truly can’t believe what this series was able to accomplish in only 12 volumes and it’s one of the very best you can read, especially if you enjoy crime thrillers.

Best Romance Manga - Your Lie in April

Your Lie in April – An 11-volume Touching Melody of Loss and Love

Volumes: 11

Passion can be a fleeting thing. Sometimes we can become less passionate about the things we love as a result of things we do ourselves, like overworking ourselves, but it can be caused by the hands of others, like parents who push their children too hard to become perfect at what they do. In piano prodigy Kosei Arima’s case, it’s the latter, so when his mother suddenly passes away, he abandons his love for the instrument. Sometimes we forget why we do something and why we love doing it, but sometimes we just need a reminder.

That reminder is Kaori Miyazono—a violinist whose uninhibited style contrasts with Kosei’s reserved demeanor and pushes her way into his bubble. Your Lie in April is a story about two individuals, one who is burning with passion and another who has lost it, but it’s also about finding fulfillment, joy, and love in life as well as paving your own path. Because our two main characters have been through a lot, this is quite a heartbreaking series, but it’s heartwarming and moving too, thanks to the connection these two form.

The relationship between Kaori and Kousei is what makes Your Lie in April so effective. The symphony—both literally and figuratively—between these two characters is a big reason why this one hits all the right notes, but it’s the emotions this one stirs up as you watch these two express their feelings through not only their words and actions but their music as well, that makes it a truly special 11-volume read.

The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún Deluxe Editions - Best Manga Hardcovers
The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún Deluxe Editions. Credit: Anime Collective.

The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún – A Bittersweet Tale of a Girl and Her Guardian

Volumes: 11 volumes or 4 Deluxe Editions

The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún by Nagabe is an 11-volume series that paints a stark divide between the Inside and the Outside, with those on the Outside, ostracized due to a mysterious curse. This story has a tense atmosphere akin to a witch hunt, as anyone suspected of carrying the curse faces condemnation.

The story revolves around two characters: Shiva, a young girl, and Teacher, an Outsider who takes Shiva under his wing. Together, they navigate this grim world, but amidst the darkness, their relationship blossoms, giving us moments of genuine warmth and kindness. Their bond is at the heart of the story and their interactions are a stark contrast to the bleakness that surrounds them.

The artwork of this series is minimalistic but beautiful, perfectly complementing the tone of the story. Its simplicity is part of what makes this series such a strong release, but it’s its sophisticated world-building that makes it a top-tier fantasy manga. If you are interested in diving into this world, The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún is available in both single volumes (11 volumes have been released) and hardcover Deluxe Editions by Seven Seas, complete in just 4 volumes.

Best Supernatural Manga - Summertime Rendering by Yasunori Tanaka

Summer Time Rendering – Where Time Travel Horror Meets Small-Town Beauty

Volumes: 13 volumes collected in 6 volumes in the US

Summertime Rendering follows Shinpei, a young man who returns to his hometown on Hitogashima Island for the funeral of his childhood friend Ushio, only to discover that her death is surrounded by mysterious circumstances. Determined to uncover the truth, Shinpei’s investigation leads him to a sinister presence on the island, threatening the safety of his loved ones. As he digs deeper, the stakes rise, putting the entire community and Ushio’s little sister, Mio, at risk.

The series is particularly thrilling due to its use of the death loop. While this concept has appeared in other series, Summertime Rendering uses it in innovative ways that refresh the genre. The story is only further enhanced by its cast of well-developed characters, each playing a vital role by the story’s end.

The intricate lore of Hitogashima Island is one of the best things about Summertime Rendering, making it a compelling read that’s hard to put down. This series is a must-read for fans of horror, supernatural, or mystery manga. Not only is it thrilling and full of suspense, but it’s also meticulously sprinkled with twists that keep you guessing at every turn. In the US, the series is concisely packed into just 6 volumes, which maintains an excellent pace and delivers a punch of excitement in a short run. Udon has recently released Summertime Rendering in both paperback and hardcover editions if you’d like to shop the series.

Best Romance Manga - The Flowers of Evil by Shuzo Oshimi

The Flowers of Evil – A Twisted 11-volume Series by Shuzo Oshimi

Volumes: 11

The Flowers of Evil by Shuzo Oshimi is an 11-volume stark portrayal of the tumultuous path to finding love, illustrating the darker side of romance through a coming-of-age story. This manga deviates from typical romance tropes by telling the story of misfits who are outcasts in their class and town.

In The Flowers of Evil, we follow Takao Kasuga, a boy who idolizes his classmate Saeki Nanako without really knowing her and sees her as his muse. His impulsive decision to steal her gym clothes one day, thinking he’s alone, shatters his normal life when his classmate Sawa Nakamura catches him in the act. Nakamura seizes this opportunity to blackmail Kasuga, manipulating him into bending to her will just as he begins to bridge the gap between him and Nanako.

What initially seems like a straightforward story soon spirals into a complex web of manipulation and control, complicating Kasuga’s life and relationships further. This twisted situation lays the foundation for a story that dives deep into the complexities of self-acceptance and the consequences of our actions.

The Flowers of Evil is far from a conventional romance, but it is still one of the best romance manga you can read; it’s a psychological exploration of unconventional relationships and the struggles of those who deviate from societal norms. The story challenges the idea of fitting in and celebrates the bravery required to embrace one’s true self and others. With its unique take on romance and its unique blend of drama and psychological thriller, this series is an incredible read.

Best Romance Manga - Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku by Fujita

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku – A 6-Volume Series About Otaku in Love and in the Workplace

Volumes: 11 volumes collected in 6 volumes in the US

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku by Fujita is a rom-com that holds a special place in my heart, not just for its take on romance but also for its celebration of otaku culture. This manga, much like Genshiken, captures the essence of being an otaku through its colorful cast of characters that bond over their shared love for manga, anime, video games, and more.

It’s the dynamic within their group, alongside their unfolding romances, that makes the story so amazing. The series has a great sense of humor, which hits close to home with its relatable jokes and perfect comedic timing. Watching these characters navigate their different social settings—from the workplace to casual hang-outs—allows us to see how they interact with different people in their lives, making them feel like real people as well. It’s hard not to connect with this group of characters.

Initially released as a doujinshi before being picked up by Kodansha, Wotakoi was released in 11 volumes which were collected in six 2-in-1 English editions in the US. It’s a quick read but packed with a lot of heart and humor. Despite its straightforward setup, Wotakoi has so much to offer—it’s not only hilarious but also moving in ways that take you by surprise, making it one of my all-time favorite manga series.

Best Sci-Fi Manga - Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction Manga

Dead Dead Demons Dededede Destruction – Inio Asano’s 12-volume Sci-Fi Gem

Volumes: 12

Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction by Inio Asano, the creator of Goodnight Punpun, is a sci-fi manga series that blends comedy, satire, and social commentary with high-detailed art. While it has Inio Asano’s signature melancholic tone, it’s lighter than his other works, making it the series of his I recommend most to newcomers.

Set in Tokyo, the story takes place under the shadow of an alien mothership, exploring themes of fear, societal response, and the unknown. We follow the main characters Koyama Kadode and Nakagawa Ouran, along with their friends, as they navigate the complexities of high school life amidst the looming presence of the alien invaders. Through their experiences, the series delves into the human condition, through an introspective and thought-provoking lens.

Inio Asano has a knack for creating interesting characters and unique perspectives, which is ever-present in Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction. It’s an absolute gem of the sci-fi and slice-of-life genres. If you enjoy satirical humor, series that highlight societal issues, or coming-of-age stories, this manga is one I highly recommend.

Best Complete Manga Under 15 Volumes - The Horizon

The Horizon – A 3-Volume Heart Wrencher About Two Kids Surviving the Apocalypse Together

Volumes: 3

The Horizon, a manhwa by JH, is a compact yet impactful story that’s set in a post-apocalyptic world. Despite only having 21 chapters, it rivals even the longer-running series thanks to its emotional and well-developed story.

While not as gut-wrenching as other series on this list like Goodnight Punpun, it still left me with a haunting impression with its bleak portrayal of survival and devastation. In The Horizon, the story unfolds poetically, showcasing the harrowing journey of a young boy and girl who are navigating a scary world without parental guidance. Their quest for survival leads them to encounter other survivors, each grappling with the apocalypse in ways of their own; Some resorting to terrible acts to survive.

Even though it has minimal dialogue, The Horizon speaks volumes through its art, which is atmospheric and captures the loneliness and desperation of its characters and this world. While it has a dark setting, moments of light and hope emerge thanks to the bond between our two main characters. It’s an unforgettable series that leaves a lasting impact and it can be collected in just 3 volumes.

Best Complete Manga Under 15 Volumes - Erased

Erased – A 9-volume Psychological Thriller with Time Travel

Volumes: 9

Erased holds a special place in my heart as one of my all-time favorite manga series. The story follows Satoru, who possesses a mysterious ability known as “Revival,” which allows him to travel back in time. When a loved one becomes the victim of a murder, Satoru is transported 18 years into the past, inhabiting his younger self but with his adult consciousness intact. In his hometown, a shadow of fear looms as children, including his classmates, fall prey to kidnappings and murders.

Satoru embarks on a race against time to solve this murder mystery, hoping to change both the past and the future. As crime thrillers go, Erased sets the gold standard. It weaves a complex story in just 8 volumes, developing the narrative in a manner that feels neither rushed nor incomplete, with all plotlines coming to a satisfying conclusion by its end.

Every element of this manga is thoughtfully crafted, unfolding in a way that keeps you thoroughly captivated. I think that a binge-worthy series like Erased is perfect to start with because you want a series that will hook you at the start. Once you start reading Erased, stopping becomes nearly impossible, as you find yourself deeply rooting for Satoru and the children to overcome the daunting challenges they face. Erased explores dark themes, but it is also one of the most emotionally impactful series I’ve ever read.

Tokyo Ghoul Manga Editions Compared
Tokyo Ghoul Manga Editions in English. Credit: Anime Collective.

Tokyo Ghoul – The Essential 14-volume Series

Volumes: 14

Technically, Tokyo Ghoul is collected in 14 volumes, but it also includes a sequel, Tokyo Ghoul:re, which continues the story in 16 additional volumes. But, if you’re seeking a more concise yet incredible series to delve into, Tokyo Ghoul is a must-read. This fascinating seinen manga challenges traditional notions of good and evil, exploring the complex gray areas between them.

The series follows Ken Kaneki, an ordinary college student whose life changes forever after a fateful encounter with a ghoul—an entity that preys on human flesh—leaves him as a half-human, half-ghoul hybrid. As Kaneki grapples with his newfound identity, he must navigate the intricate web of alliances and conflicts between humanity and ghoul society. Kaneki’s internal struggles are at the heart of Tokyo Ghoul, as he must make difficult choices and blur the lines of morality.

Part drama, action, and horror, the series dives into themes of identity, belonging, and the nature of good and evil. Although it has a dark tone, Tokyo Ghoul has moments of hope and redemption.

With its intricate storytelling, complex characters, and beautiful artwork by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul is amongst the best of the best. Whether you’re drawn to its thought-provoking themes or adrenaline-fueled action sequences, Tokyo Ghoul is a manga you don’t want to miss.

Best Seinen Manga - Goodnight Punpun Manga

Goodnight Punpun – The Saddest Yet Best 13-volume Series You’ll Ever Read

Volumes: 13 in Japan, 7 in the US

Goodnight Punpun by Inio Asano is an emotional and thought-provoking manga series that I initially hesitated to read due to its reputation for being extremely sad but I couldn’t be happier that I did. I don’t want this to put any of you off from reading the series, because it’s one of the best manga I’ve ever read, but you need to be in the right headspace before you get into this one. It’s one of those series you need to reach for on the shelf without hesitation because it is one of the toughest series you’ll ever read.

It is a coming-of-age story about Punpun Onodera, whose tumultuous journey through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood is marked by family strife, existential questions, and complex relationships. The series dives into themes of friendship, growth, and the harsh realities of life, and it’s all told through Inio Asano’s stunningly detailed artwork and storytelling.

One unique thing about Goodnight Punpun is its portrayal of Punpun and his family as bird-like characters amidst a cast of human counterparts. This artistic choice highlights their sense of isolation and the challenges they face. The series masterfully delves into complex emotions and mental health issues, offering a raw and unflinching exploration of the human condition.

Despite its intensity, Goodnight Punpun is a masterpiece that gives us profound insights into life’s complexities. With only 13 volumes, collected into 7 volumes in the US by Viz Media, it’s a series that leaves a lasting impact.

Final Thoughts

These manga may be shorter in volume count compared to longer-running series, but they pack just as much punch. Their concise yet impactful storytelling, coupled with well-developed characters and thought-provoking themes, goes toe to toe with even the most lengthy of series. These series prove that great manga comes in all lengths and they don’t always need a lot of volumes to be the best of the best.

You can shop all these series now wherever you shop manga!

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