Supernatural manga allows us to enter new worlds, worlds where ghosts, ghouls, devils and demons, and monsters of all kinds reside. Many focus on topics like the occult or urban legends, and they oftentimes overlap with mystery, fantasy, and/or horror manga. They can be dark and terrifying, but they also can be heartwarming and funny as well.
There’s a lot to explore, especially given the endless themes and topics that exist within the world of the supernatural. For these reasons and more, it’s one of my favorite genres of manga to get into.
That all being said, here are the best supernatural manga you can read with English translation! All of the series on this list have been printed in English. If I’ve done a review of the series, I’ll be sure to include that down below as well, so you can find out more about it as well as the editions of the series that you can collect.
Oshi no Ko by Aka Akasaka and Mengo Yokoyari
Yen Press is releasing Oshi no Ko in 2023 and it is from the creators of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War and Scum’s Wish. An Oshi no Ko anime is releasing in 2023 too, and it’s one you definitely don’t want to miss.
Oshi no Ko is out there, but in the best way possible, and it’s one of the most unexpected and unique titles I’ve ever read that involves reincarnation. I was also excited about this one because it’s written by two creators, whose previous works I’ve enjoyed. If you are looking for a series about an idol, the MC is one, but if you are thinking this is going to be your typical idol story, you are in for something else entirely. It shines a unique light on what it means to be famous and the struggles that come with it, like always being in the public eye and having to fake emotions for the camera, but it’s a supernatural story too.
In this story, Ai Hoshino, an idol, ends up pregnant and heads to a rural hospital to secretly have her twins. The doctor there, Gorou, just so happens to be a fan of hers. One thing leads to another, and a mysterious figure kills him. He wakes up to find out he’s been reborn as Ai’s newborn son, Aquamarine. There’s quite a bit of mystery to this one that makes it an interesting read, but the art is stunning as well.
The Summer Hikaru Died by Mokumokuren
The Summer Hikaru Died (Hikaru ga Shinda Natsu) is one of the best supernatural horror manga series I’ve read in a while. It follows two boys, Yoshiki and Hikaru, who grew up together in a small village. One day, Yoshiki notices that something is different about Hikaru, and discovers that an imposter has taken control of his body. With the real Hikaru gone in spirit, but not in body, Yoshiki struggles to let him go and decides that he’d rather be together with whatever it is than lose Hikaru forever.
Since it’s set in a village where strange incidents begin occurring, it reminds me a lot of Higurashi in regard to its setting and atmosphere. There’s something that’s just not quite right about this village. The people are secretive and dark whispers move around the town, the animals are uneasy, and there’s an ominous terror lurking in the shadows as well as the trees of the mountains.
You very much get the feeling as you are introduced to this place that the village is steadily descending into madness. All in all, with all of the unexpected and unexplained happenings, it is an unsettling read. At the same time, it’s a very emotional read too, as you watch Yoshiki comes to terms with his new reality. There’s a lot of mystery in this one that will keep you guessing, but each volume is like a new piece of the puzzle.
The story and emotions of the characters are expressed well, the art is beautiful, and it’s the best new horror manga I’ve read to date. If you love horror, mystery, and supernatural manga, you’ll want to give this one a shot. Yen Press announced that they are releasing The Summer Hikaru Died in 2023 with an English translation, so it will be available to collect soon! The first volume is expected to release on July 18, 2023.
Dark Gathering by Kenichi Kondō
Dark Gathering is an exciting supernatural horror series releasing from Viz in 2023. The story follows Keitaro Gentoga, a college freshman who has been haunted by his ability to attract spirits and the collateral damage it’s caused in the past. In an attempt to blend into society, he becomes a private tutor—but supernatural danger returns when his first student, Yayoi Hozuki, enlists him in her quest to find the spirit that took her mother away.
It’s really good, has a unique art style, intriguing premise, and cool designs, and it shows a lot of promise so far. For these reasons and more, it’s one that I highly recommend keeping an eye out on, because it’s one that’s going to catch fire in the next few years.
Dark, supernatural fantasies, like Kemono Jihen, Shadows House, and Mieruko-chan are series I enjoy, and Dark Gathering is very much in the same vein as these types of series. It contains topics and themes, like the occult, that are interesting too. This one is pretty dark and horror-filled, more so than much other shonen I’ve seen, so if you are a fan of horror, you’ll be surprised to see the panels that show up in this series.
Hellsing by Kohta Hirano
Hellsing by Kohta Hirano is a bloody and thrilling story that follows the vampire Alucard and Hellsing as they take on a myriad of monstrous foes. Admittedly, if a manga has vampires in it I’m going to buy it, because I love anything that explores the world of vampires, especially if it has a unique twist and take on them as Hellsing does. It’s one of the best vampire manga, but it is also one of the best supernatural manga to release so far.
The story is set in a world that has monsters but humans as well with warring factions and groups that make things interesting, so it’s more than just a vampire series. Because of its fast-paced, unrelenting action, unique art style, and the fact that it’s a manga with an antihero as well as an overpowered MC, Hellsing is a gory and exciting read.
I think it is an excellent take on the vampire genre, and I highly recommend reading Hellsing if you’re into these types of series. You can collect Hellsing via the singles or the Hellsing Deluxe Editions!
Mieruko-chan by Tomoki Izumi
Mieruko-chan is a comedy horror with supernatural themes and it has a simple premise that works so incredibly well. Miko, a normal girl, can see ghosts everywhere she looks, but her friends and family are totally oblivious to them. The manga has an overarching plot that ties everything together, but it’s episodic as well, which keeps things interesting.
The manga is a comedy horror, so it’ll make you laugh as much as it will scare you. It’s a very interesting blend because it’s a lighthearted read, but at the same time, it’s filled with monsters that look like they are straight out of Silent Hill. Mieruko-chan is a recently released horror manga that is picking up steam thanks to its anime adaptation, but it is still underrated for how amazing it is. I think it deserves more praise because it strikes the perfect harmony between horror and comedy, which landed it on this list and my top comedy manga list.
The story is funny with bone-chilling monster designs, which fit perfectly with the tone of the story. It is one of the most enjoyable and best supernatural manga you can read right now, so if you’re looking for something fresh and new to read, look no further than Mieruko-chan.
Jujutsu Kaisen by Gege Akutami
Jujutsu Kaisen‘s manga, which is created by Gege Akutami, rose to popularity within a short period of time, and with an exciting premise and some of the most interesting, likable characters, like some of my favorites Yuji Itadori, Megumi Fushiguro, Yuta Okkotsu, and Satoru Gojo, it’s easy to see why. It’s edgy, but not for the sake of being edgy, and it’s set in a dark world. I’m a huge fan of horror manga too, and Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the most horror-leaning shonen series, in addition to Chainsaw Man, that I’ve read.
This is a series that doesn’t hold any punches, which I really appreciate for a shonen because it really hones in the dangers that these characters are faced with. Gege Akutami makes sure that, even though Jujutsu Kaisen is set in a supernatural world, it feels believable.
If you enjoy the series, be sure to check out Jujutsu Kaisen‘s prequel, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, as well!
Summertime Rendering by Yasunori Tanaka
Summertime Rendering follows Shinpei, a young man who returns to his hometown of Hitogashima Island for the funeral of his childhood friend Ushio. However, upon his arrival, Shinpei discovers that Ushio’s death was shrouded in mysterious circumstances. Determined to uncover the truth behind his friend’s death, Shinpei begins to investigate a mysterious presence on the island that could have been responsible.
As he delves deeper into the island’s dark secrets, Shinpei realizes that this presence poses a serious threat to the safety of everyone he loves. With the fate of his hometown and the people he cares about at stake, Shinpei must use all of his wit and strength to stop the dangerous forces at work all the while protecting Ushio’s little sister Mio in the process. Will Shinpei be able to unravel the mysteries of Hitogashima Island and save the day before it’s too late?
Part of what makes Summertime Rendering such an engaging supernatural mystery is its use of the death-loop story mechanic. While the death loop is a concept that has been explored in other works, the way it is used and evolved in this series makes it a unique entry to the genre. Additionally, the cast of characters is extremely well-developed. By the end of the story, every character plays a crucial role, which is always great to see. On top of that, the lore surrounding the island was so interesting I couldn’t put this series down.
I highly recommend Summertime Rendering to anyone who enjoys horror, supernatural, or mystery. At only 13 volumes, the pacing is great and twists happen at every turn, so it’s a quick but also well-thought-out and impactful series that knows how to keep you on your toes. Udon recently released the series in both paperback and hardcover versions if you’d like to check it out!
Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida
Where most supernatural stories are centered around monsters, like vampires, or the paranormal, Tokyo Ghoul takes a different approach by taking us into the world of the ghoul. Our protagonist Kaneki is torn between two worlds, human and ghoul. The series deals with his struggle to understand his place in each world, as well as his struggle to find a sense of belonging.
Part of what makes Tokyo Ghoul so unnerving, apart from the fact that it’s set in a horror-filled world, is that it takes an average kid and turns him into a ghoul. If you could put yourself in his shoes, the horror of knowing that you’ll never be human again—and must now survive off human flesh—is enough to break anyone.
Tokyo Ghoul may be dark, bloody, and violent, but it follows characters who dream of a peaceful world and aspire to be better, so it has a light side as well. On top of having one of the best MCs and stories in all supernatural manga, Sui Ishida’s aesthetic and art style is one of the most unique you’ll ever witness.
Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto
Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto, the creator of Fire Punch, is one of the best new shonen manga to release in quite some time. It’s set in a world where devils, whose power is determined by fear, are hunted down by the Public Safety Devil Hunters. To give you an idea as to what you are in store for, there’s a gun devil, a bomb devil, a katana devil, infinity devil, a darkness devil, and of course, the chainsaw devil, which now resides within our MC, Denji.
Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man is a manga that stands out from the crowd with its dark themes and complex characters. The interesting backstory that he created for the devils, coupled with their strength and the fact that they are mankind’s fears manifested into reality make it such an appealing read. Devils are something we commonly see in manga, but I’ve never come across anything like the ones in Chainsaw Man before.
It is the perfect mix of horror, action, drama, and even slice of life, and then we have the tone, which shifts drastically between light and dark fast, and suddenly. One minute our characters are laughing together and cracking jokes. The next they are facing a strong devil and are being cut to pieces.
The situation the characters in Chainsaw Man have found themselves in is dire, but Tatsuki Fujimoto still allows them to experience happiness. And each character experiences that happiness in their own way. Some won’t be able to achieve it, until they get revenge, while others just want a comfy bed and some good food.
Its characters and tone are very reminiscent of what you’d see in a Quentin Tarantino movie. It’s wildly violent and funny, but there’s a great deal of sadness and depth to these stories, and they always feature an incredible group dynamic too. While a big part of Chainsaw Man’s appeal is its action and bloody battles, it has a ton of heart and emotion packed within it that is sure to capture you as well.
Dandadan by Yukinobu Tatsu
Dandadan is a unique entry because it highlights the paranormal and supernatural as well as the extraterrestrial. In this one, the two mix together and create a world unlike any other, landing it on my top sci-fi manga list also. It’s a manga you may already have heard of because it was recommended by two of my favorite manga creators, Tatsuki Fujimoto, the creator of Chainsaw Man and Fire Punch, and Yuji Kaku, the creator of Hell’s Paradise and Ayashimon. Yukinobu Tatsu was an assistant to both of them.
The story follows Momo Ayase, who comes across a boy named Ken Takakura that’s being bullied. Because of her kind heart and her knack for jumping into situations without thinking, she ends up confronting the bullies and saving Ken. In return, he takes this opportunity to try and make a friend and attempts to connect with her by talking about one of his favorite topics: The occult. Ayase rejects his claims but says that she does believe in ghosts. Ken believes in aliens, but he doesn’t believe in ghosts.
Ayase and Ken set up a challenge to determine who is correct; Ayase will go to a fabled local alien hot spot, and Ken will go to a fabled local ghost hot spot. Both arrive at their destinations, and it turns out that both of them were right. Because of their discoveries, their lives are turned upside down. Now, they have to navigate the supernatural and sci-fi worlds they have stumbled into, all the while working to return their lives back to normal.
There’s something endearing about Dandadan, and that charm is undeniable. It’s quirky and wacky but in a lovable way.
Bakemonogatari by Oh! Great
Bakemonogatari’s manga adaptation, which features art by Oh! Great, the creator of Air Gear and Tenjo Tenge, is another I highly recommend. Its concept of monsters is more abstract, which I love, and it’s unlike any other supernatural manga I’ve read before.
Our story begins with high-school student Koyomi Araragi catching a girl named Hitagi Senjougahara when she trips. But much to his surprise, she doesn’t weigh anything at all. She says an encounter with a so-called “crab” took away all her weight. Mysterious occurrences like this one occur all throughout the series, and we learn that in this world, monsters exist everywhere.
Bakemonogatari is hard to describe because it’s a little bit of everything. It has action, drama, horror, romance, supernatural elements, and mystery and humor too. The story is compelling and unique, but it’s Oh! Great’s art, which is jaw-dropping, shines the most.
If you’re looking for a series that’s both eccentric and entertaining, with good character dynamics, gorgeous art, and an unusual story, Bakemonogatari is one you need to check out. Vertical has released 14 volumes of the series so far with English translation.
Toilet-bound Hanako-kun by AidaIro
Toilet-bound Hanako-kun by AidaIro is set in Kamome Academy, where rumors of the “Seven Mysteries” run wild. One such mystery is one of our main characters, Hanako-san, who resides in the third stall of the third-floor girls’ bathroom. When summoned, it’s said he grants any wish. High schooler and occult fanatic Nene Yashiro heads up to the bathroom to make a wish, but the Hanako-san she meets is a lot different than she expected.
One of the things I love the most about Toilet-bound Hanako-kun, in addition to its characters and its premise, is its art. AidaIro’s panels and character designs are some of the most unique I’ve seen, and I really enjoy the style of the art in Toilet-bound Hanako-kun. So much so that AidaIro is one of my all-time favorite manga artists.
If you enjoy stories that are centered around the occult or urban legends, enjoy stories that are full of mystery, or enjoy manga where the main character’s a ghost, Toilet-bound Hanako-kun is a must-read. Not only is it one of the most charming supernatural manga on this list, but the fact that it’s character-centric also allows you to connect with the characters and they are relatable as well.
You can collect Toilet-bound Hanako-kun via the singles or the upcoming Toilet-bound Hanako-kun box sets releasing from Yen Press!
Death Note by Takeshi Obata & Tsugumi Ohba
Death Note is a story about Light Yagami, who finds a notebook that allows him to kill someone—as long as he knows their face. He uses this power to rid the world of evil and creates a perfect world for himself. But this attracts the attention of law enforcement, who enlist L to capture him. This cat-and-mouse game between two incredibly intelligent minds is not short on action or suspense.
Always looking over Light’s shoulder, and lurking in the shadows, is a Shinigami named Ryuk. He adds a lot to this story, especially since you never know what he’s planning and are always questioning what his true intentions are. The supernatural in this one comes from the power as well as the beings from which Light obtains said power. While it’s still very much rooted in reality, and the story is told mostly in the human world, we still get glimpses into the extra-dimensional world and learn more about the beings from which he’s acquired this new and all-powerful notebook.
The most exciting thing about Death Note, though, is its take on moral dilemmas. With great power comes great responsibility, but when said power gets put in the hands of a high school student who thinks he’s a god, lines are bound to be crossed. It’s just a really interesting premise, and you’ll find yourself more and more captivated as the story unravels.
Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara
Mushishi holds a special place as one of my all-time favorite paranormal manga. This series is a true masterpiece, and it’s something I’ve personally connected with on a deep level. It 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. For me, this manga has a unique, almost soothing quality even though it’s often a melancholic read. 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 definitely deserves it being that it’s one of the most incredible, if not the very best, supernatural manga to release to date.
A lot of supernatural manga have been released over the years, but these are my favorite to release so far. I will continue to update this post with more series as I read them and as new series release.
Looking for more series to get into? Check out all of the new manga that will be released in 2023!