Along with zombie manga, the vampire genre is one of my favorite sub-genres of horror manga. As with everything, I really look for series that stand out in their category and are unique, whether it be in their tone, setting, take on vampires, and more. Some of these series are bloody, action-packed and take inspiration from vampire classics, while others are modern takes that change as well as challenge the way we think about vampires entirely.

That all being said, here are the best vampire manga that have released so far! I have read all of the series on this list and I will continue to update this post as more vampire series are released.

Best Vampire Manga - Blood Lad Manga
Credit: Yuki Kodama

Blood Lad by Yuki Kodama

Blood Lad isn't your traditional vampire manga. The Demon world in Blood Lad is a abundant landscape full of not only vampires, but werewolves, ghosts, mummies and all kinds of undead creatures. Our main character Staz C. Blood is a vampire who refuses to drink human blood. He's a territory boss for the Eastern District of Demon World and is obsessed with human culture, but more specifically otaku culture.

One day a human girl, Fuyumi, appears in his territory and through a quick series of events is killed and turned into a ghost. This event sets Staz on a mission to bring Fuyumi back to life so she can regain her human form.

Blood Lad has a lot going for it. The world and characters in it are unique and interesting. Every character that's introduced has a purpose. The comedic moments are also on point. Since Staz loves human culture, there are plenty of references to other manga, like Dragon Ball Z and Astro Boy to name a few.

If you're looking for a truly entertaining vampire manga with great characters, comedy and world-building, look no further than Blood Lad.

Mars Red by Bun-O FUJISAWA & Karakara Kemuri

Mars Red is a historical vampire manga set in Taishō Era Tokyo. The story follows the members of "Code Zero", a special unit of vampires that have been tasked with hunting the feral vampires in Tokyo for the Japanese Military. Things are not what they seem, though, and when S-Class vampire Defrott appears in the city, everyone's lives change for good.

For being such a quick read and having only three volumes, Mars Red packs a big punch. The world generally sees all vampires as monsters, and it's fascinating to see the members of Code Zero come to terms with their new reality. As they question their own existence, purpose, and what it means to be a vampire, each character grows a lot in a short period of time.

The art in this series is incredible as well from the action sequences to the elaborate outfits the characters wear. Mars Red has some romance, action, and thrills, so it has a little bit of something that everyone can enjoy.

Best Vampire Manga - Happiness Manga
Credit: Shuzo Oshimi

Happiness by Shuzo Oshimi

Happiness by Shuzo Oshimi follows Makoto Okazaki, a high school student who is constantly being bullied by the kids in his class. One night, during a late night bike ride, he's attacked by a mysterious vampire girl who gives him two options: Die or become a vampire too. Makoto quickly realizes his life will never be the same as he's forced to navigate his new life and his newfound and insatiable thirst for human blood.

The plot of Happiness isn't exactly breaking new ground for fans familiar with the genre, so some might find that disappointing; However, I think the simplicity of the story is refreshing and it's expertly crafted.

What I enjoyed most about Happiness is that you could see the world through Makoto's eyes. I haven't read many vampire manga that really make you empathize with the character as they're slowly transitioning from human to vampire and this was compelling to see. I would recommend Happiness for fans of the vampire genre that are searching for a manga with great storytelling, interesting characters and plenty of mystery.

Best Vampire Manhwa - Unholy Blood Manhwa
Credit: Lina Im

Unholy Blood by Lina Im

Unholy Blood is a manhwa about vampires, but I wanted to include it on this list, because it’s an incredible read and it avoids the typical themes and characters that are commonly rehashed in the genre. It tells the story of a young woman who, after being attacked by a vampire as a child, finds out that she has been infected with his blood. As she grows older, Hayan's desperate desire to live a normal life comes into conflict with her thirst for revenge. This desire to blend in with human society is a interesting one, as many times, we get vampires that would rather seek dominion or control over humans instead.

Unholy Blood is an action-packed manhwa with a strong female lead, striking art, and a main character who’d give anything to be normal again. This series allows you to walk in the shoes of the vampire and see things from their perspective, and it’s told through the lens of a strong and kind lead. As a result, you are able to empathize with them more in this story. This is unique and is something that few series about vampires offer, especially given that they are oftentimes painted to be violent creatures of the night.

All in all, Unholy Blood’s biggest success is that it presents vampires in a different light. They are not affected by crosses, garlic, or sunlight in this world and instead walk among humans during the day. Many people do not know what they really are until it's too late and they blend into society as a result, which makes it an interesting entry in the genre.

You can read Unholy Blood now on manhwa readers like Webtoon!

Best Vampire Manga - Call of the Night Manga
Credit: Kotoyama

Call of the Night by Kotoyama

Call of the Night is a modern take on classic vampire romance manga. Ko Yamori is a middle school boy, who's become bored with his current life and has developed a bad case of insomnia as a result. To deal with his trouble sleeping, Ko roams the streets at night. One night, he meets Nazuna, a vampire girl he's determined to fall in love with. But why? What dangers plague these vampires and what mysteries will come to light in his process of self-discovery?

What makes Call of the Night unique is that is not only takes inspiration from multiple different genres, but that it makes use of them well. It has enough mystery to keep you guessing, but there's a little bit of romance and elements of horror sprinkled in at times as well. Kotoyama's depiction of the night is also conveyed really well. Being someone who also enjoys the calmness of the night, I could relate to this aspect of the story and it really connected with me as a result.

If you're looking for a vampire manga that isn't all about aggressive blood thirsty vampires, but still want an interesting story in the vampire genre, Call of the Night is for you.

The Witch and the Beast by Kousuke Satake

The Witch and the Beast is a supernatural, dark fantasy manga that follows a quiet man named Ashaf, and an abrasive, hot-tempered girl named Guideau, who are members of The Order of Magical Resonance, as they investigate mysterious cases of supernatural phenomena from witches to necromancers to vampires.

Even though The Witch and the Beast only has one arc that involves vampires, it's so good that it's earned a spot on this list. The world-building in this manga is incredible, mainly because of the way the world is set up, but also because many distinct worlds exist within this series. One of these worlds being the vampire realm.

One of Kousuke Satake's greatest strengths is his ability to quickly and vividly create a world and drop you right in the middle of it. The vampire world in The Witch and the Beast is your classic Victorian setting, which is in stark contrast to the human world this story mainly takes place in. The way you're brought up to speed on all of the various clans and politics is effortlessly executed as well.

The art in this manga is incredible, but the art in this arc is even more breathtaking. From the extravagant clothing to the gothic architecture, not a single detail was spared. The fights contained within this arc are also some of the most exciting to experience. If you're a fan of dark fantasy manga and are open to a manga that doesn't revolve wholly around vampires, you should give this one a shot.

Best Vampire Manga - Bakemonogatari Manga
Credit: NISIOISIN and Oh! Great

Bakemonogatari by NISIOISIN & Oh! Great

Bakemonogatari’s manga adaptation, which features art by one of my favorite manga artists, Oh! Great, the creator of Air Gear, Tenjo Tenge and more, is another series I highly recommend. Out of all the manga titles on this list, it is the most unconventional take on vampires.

There’s so much going on in this series. There’s action, drama, horror, a little romance, supernatural elements, and some mystery and humor too. Nothing about Bakemonogatari from its art, which I give a 10/10, to its characters and story is typical, and this is part of the reason why I love it so much. 

Its concept of monsters is more abstract, which I love, and it’s unlike any other supernatural story I’ve read before. While it’s otherworldly, the human experience and the struggles the characters face are explored well here, so it’s extremely relatable too.

If you are looking for an eccentric and entertaining series with good character dynamics, highly-detailed, stunning art and a unique story, Bakemonogatari is one you need to check out. Vertical is releasing the series with English translation, and so far, 14 volumes have been released!

Best Vampire Manga - Hellsing Manga
Credit: Kohta Hirano

Hellsing by Kohta Hirano

Hellsing by Kohta Hirano, who is also the creator of Drifters, is a bloody and thrilling manga that follows the vampire Alucard and the organization, Hellsing, as they battle a range of monstrous foes. 

Our main character, Alucard is likable, but he has a sadistic side to him that makes him very entertaining. There are a number of other characters, like Integra Hellsing, Seras Victoria, and Walter C. Dornez, that make this one such an enjoyable read as well. Many of these series are full of terrifying monsters, but none are quite as fearsome as the vampire Alucard, the Hellsing Organization's most powerful weapon.

The art style used in Hellsing is unique and raw; It has a very distinctive look that makes it stand out among other works of similar genres. The art improves over time as well, becoming more detailed as you progress through volumes of the series.

If you enjoy manga where the main character is more of an anti-hero that blurs the line between protagonist and antagonist, that’s action-packed and full of blood and gore, Hellsing is one you’ll want to check out. It’s one of the more mature vampire manga series on this list too being that it’s a seinen and it’s pages are horror-filled more so than others on this list. Because of this and more, it’s one of my favorite vampire manga that has been released so far. 

You can collect Hellsing via the singles or the Hellsing Deluxe Editions released by Dark Horse!

Best Vampire Manga - The Case Study of Vanitas Manga
Credit: Jun Mochizuki

The Case Study of Vanitas by Jun Mochizuki

The Case Study of Vanitas is a manga series by Jun Mochizuki, who you may also know as the creator of Pandora Hearts. It's a whimsical series set in a dark steampunk Paris, where rumors abound of a clockwork grimoire said to sow curses among the vampires exists. Now, guided by the Book of Vanitas, two men begin their journey: Noé and Vanitas.

It's an interesting tale that combines mystery and horror with a bit of humor. The characters are likable, if not outright lovable, and the story is full of twists and turns. One of my favorite things about The Case Study of Vanitas is the setting. It has a wonderful victorian and steampunk setting reminiscent of those you’d find in 19th century mystery novels, but it feels modern too. The two main characters, Noé and Vanitas, have totally different personalities, which makes for an interesting dynamic.

On top of having a wonderful story and great characters, the art in The Case Study of Vanitas is beautiful to witness. The character expressions are great. The backgrounds are also gorgeous. They're detailed enough to be interesting but not so much that they distract from the story or characters. The level of detail in the panels is incredible and, as always, I love the designs of Jun Mochizuki’s characters.

The story itself is full of mystery and it really peaks your curiosity about what's going on in this world. So if you are looking for a vampire manga that's shrouded in mystery, The Case Study of Vanitas is an incredible choice. As of now, there are many questions left unanswered, but I'm excited to see how things develop in the coming volumes.

These are the best manga about vampires you should check out now! As new vampire series are released, I will continue to update this post. Want more manga recommendations? Check out the best horror manga and best sci-fi manga!