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My Top 10 Shounen Manga

Updated on June 2, 2019

Shounen manga are Japanese comics typically aimed for an audience of male teenagers, or young boys. The plots are often action-packed, but the story lines are definitely things to look at, as well.

Below, you will see my top 10 favorite shounen manga. If one of them appeals to you, I suggest you try them out!

10. ATTACK ON TITAN

Author: Hajime Isayama

Current Number of Chapters: 107

Current Number of Seasons: 2

Current Number of Episodes: 37 (without the OVAs)

Status: Ongoing

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Set in a dystopian world where Titans, giant creatures that feast on humans, exist, humanity has been threatened with extinction. The survivors decided to build three walls that would shelter them from the Titans. This action granted them a period of peace, until a Colossal Titan, a Titan larger than the average ones, was able to destroy a part of the outermost wall, allowing smaller Titans to enter.

The main character of this manga is Eren Jaeger. He aims to join the Scout Regiment, a group of people that were trained to combat Titans and protect the remaining survivors, after his mother is eaten by a Titan. Together with his friends, Mikasa and Armin, he fights to exact his revenge on the Titans.

One nice thing about this manga is, I think, the plot twist. It's something you probably didn't expect, and it just makes the story all the more interesting and nerve-wracking. If this seems like your thing, I'd suggest you check it out.

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9. BLEACH

Author: Tite Kubo

Current Number of Chapters: 686

Current Number of Seasons: 16

Current Number of Episodes: 366

Status: (apparently) Ongoing, although it has reached a hiatus

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Ichigo Kurosaki can see ghosts. This particular ability also allows him to see Shinigami, Soul Reapers who go to the Human World to help souls move on to a place called Soul Society. Shinigami also protect souls and living people from Hollows, corrupt spirits.

One day, Ichigo sees Shinigami Rukia Kuchiki, who fights a Hollow. Later on, a Hollow targets Ichigo's family. Eventually, this leads to him obtaining Rukia's powers to protect his family, and she later teaches him the importance and challenges of being a Soul Reaper.

One thing I liked about this manga were the action scenes and the whole plot itself. It was very interesting to go from daily life to really serious events that involve Soul Society itself. That, and the political repercussions of certain actions. If you think Soul Reapers and Hollows interest you, I suggest you check this out.

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8. PRINCE OF TENNIS

Author: Takeshi Konomi

Current Number of Chapters: 380

Current Number of Seasons: 7

Current Number of Episodes: 178

Status: Complete

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Tennis prodigy Ryoma Echizen returns to Japan and joins Seishun Gakuen Middle School, where he quickly becomes a regular in the tennis team. Growing up, he used his father's style of tennis, but thanks to Kunimitsu Tezuka, the captain of Seigaku's tennis team, he develops his own style of tennis.

Together with the rest of the tennis team, Ryoma aims to win the National Tournament, where they will face many other challenging and skilled opponents with their own set of special moves and skillsets.

What I liked about this manga is that it actually helped me understand the basics of tennis, even if I don't actually play. That, and it's actually very lighthearted for me, save for the really serious matches and squabbles with other teams.The bonds between the characters and in their respective teams is also quite heartwarming. If tennis seems to be your thing, I suggest you check this out. (That, and this actually has a sequel called The New Prince of Tennis, so this should be something worth trying.)

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7. HAIKYUU

Author: Haruichi Furudate

Current Number of Chapters: 269 (not yet including the chapters that have not yet been translated into English)

Current Number of Seasons: 3

Current Number of Episodes: 60

Status: Ongoing

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Hinata Shoyo is small, which puts him at a disadvantage in volleyball, where players are known to be tall. However, he makes up for this with his amazing jumping power that shocks those who go against him.

Hinata idolizes a player called the Little Giant, who came from Karasuno High School. As such, Hinata attends Karasuno with his once rival, Tobio Kageyama, in order to follow the footsteps of his idol.

This manga is filled with comedy and team bonding, which makes it very entertaining. The volleyball moves here are epic and also quite nerve-wracking. What's nice, though, is the character development that each of the team members go through, especially the bond between Hinata and Tobio, as they strive to go to Nationals. If volleyball interests you, I suggest you check this out.

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6. NARUTO

Author: Masashi Kishimoto

Current Number of Chapters: 700

Current Number of Seasons: 26

Current Number of Episodes: 720

Status: Complete

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Naruto Uzumaki is the dead-last of his class. It's not just because he prefers to go pranking all the time and slacks off in his schoolwork. It's actually a mix of him finding it hard to adapt to how much chakra, the combination of physical and spiritual energies, he has, and of most of his teachers hating him. Why? It's because he houses the Kyuubi, the Nine-tailed Fox that wrecked their homeland called Konoha years ago.

Still, Naruto manages to graduate and go on his way to become a ninja. Together, he and his teammates, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, learn what it means to be a ninja and to improve themselves even more. This is just one step to Naruto's goal: to become the Hokage, the leader of Konoha, and to be acknowledged that he is Naruto Uzumaki, ninja of Konoha, and not Naruto Uzumaki, jailer of the Kyuubi.

This manga is actually quite lengthy, but the plot is rather interesting and really goes in-depth about chakra, chakra affinities and the like. The team bonding also helps, since it's seen how Naruto's relationships with other people develop. That, and the secrets behind the Kyuubi being stored in Naruto are revealed slowly, but surely, adding interesting details to the story. If ninjas seem to be your thing, I suggest you check this out. (Once you're done with this, you can try out Boruto, which is the sequel to Naruto, and it focuses on Naruto's son, Boruto.)

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5. HUNTER X HUNTER

Author: Yoshihiro Togashi

Current Number of Chapters: 380

Current Number of Seasons: (technically) 1

Current Number of Episodes: 148

Status: Ongoing (but on hiatus)

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Gon Freecss wants to be a Hunter, an elite. This is because he wants to find his father. So, he journeys from home to take the Hunter Exam, where he meets his friends: Killua Zoldyck, an assassin; Kurapika, the last member of the Kurta Clan; and Leorio Paradinight, a physician.

He grows closer to his friends after the Exam, learning more and more about them, and goes on many adventures all to find his father.

The nice thing about the anime is that it's really interesting how they incorporate all these powers and character personalities and the whole fantasy-ness of it all. The adventures and plots per arc really help further the development of the story and really ties up the other loose ends. If adventure is your thing, I suggest you try this out.

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4. FAIRY TAIL

Author: Hiro Mashima

Current Number of Chapters: 545

Current Number of Seasons: 8

Current Number of Episodes: 277

Status: Ongoing

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Lucy Heartfilia runs away from home to become a mage in Fairy Tail, a (in)famous guild in the region of Fiore. There, she becomes partners with Dragon Slayer Natsu Dragneel, and teammates with Requip Mage Erza Scarlet, Ice Make Mage Gray Fullbuster, and Exceed Happy.

Together, the team goes through many adventures and dangers that help them learn all the more about each other. They also learn more about their guildmates and learn what it means to be a mage of Fairy Tail.

The plot is very fun and comedic. There is always humor in every situation and the fights are very epic. The characters and their powers also develop along the way. This manga was one that I grew up with, so if you're interested in magic and friendships and adventures, this is the one for you.

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3. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST

Author: Hiromu Arakawa

Current Number of Chapters: 108 (excluding the bonus chapters)

Current Number of Seasons: 1

Current Number of Episodes: 64 (for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)

Status: Complete

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Edward and Alphonse Elric use Alchemy to try and resurrect their dead mother, only to have the attempt cost Edward his left leg and Alphonse his whole body. Edward sacrifices his right arm to bring Alphonse's soul back and places it in a suit of armor. Eventually, they join the military and become State Alchemists.

Along the way, they become caught up in many conflicts with the government, with homunculi, with other alchemists, enemies of the state, and even their father, who walked out of their lives long ago.

The story is funny. There's always room for comedy and the development of bonds between the characters. Alchemy itself is really interesting, so being able to place it in this way in an anime is very nice. The inclusion of homunculi and governmental affairs makes it even more interesting because it's actually quite unexpected. And, the fact that Elric brothers are unintentionally led to discovering more about their estranged father makes this even more interesting. If alchemy and homunculi are your thing, you might want to try this out. You won't regret it.

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2. KUROKO NO BASUKE

Author: Tadatoshi Fujimaki

Current Number of Chapters: 275

Current Number of Seasons: 3

Current Number of Episodes: 75

Status: Complete

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Tetsuya Kuroko is the Phantom Sixth Man of the Generation of Miracles, a team from Teiko Middle School that has continuously dominated the middle school basketball circuit. However, they've all gone their separate ways to different high schools because they agreed that basketball wasn't fun if they would just keep on winning; besides, even as individuals, they could easily dominate, so why not fight each other?

Kuroko disagrees with this ideology, so he transfers to Seirin High School with the intention of beating his old teammates and showing them just how fun basketball really is when you play with your team.

The beauty of this manga is the friendships, I think. Yes, their moves are very flashy and are very amazing to look at (my friend once attempted Midorima's half court shot and he was able to do it thrice in a row, talk about amazing). Yes, the matches are jaw dropping and make you anxious to see if Seirin will make it and push through to the finals. But what touched me the most was the friendships. The Generation of Miracles had a pretty solid friendship back in middle school, so the thought that maybe they could be able to recreate that is very heartwarming. If basketball is something you're interested in, I highly recommend this manga.

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1. KATEKYO HITMAN REBORN

Author: Akira Amano

Current Number of Chapters: 409

Current Number of Seasons: 9

Current Number of Episodes: 203

Status: Complete

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Tsunayoshi Sawada is known as Dame Tsuna to his classmates and peers. He's clumsy and has below average grades - no remarkable talent at all. So, imagine his surprise when a baby in a fedora hat comes in his house and tells Tsuna that Tsuna himself was the heir to a powerful Mafia family.

The baby, Reborn, reveals himself to be Tsuna's tutor to becoming this Mafia boss. Tsuna is very against the idea at first until he eventually accepts his fate to be able to protect his family and friends.

The beautiful thing about this manga is also the relationships Tsuna has with everyone. His powers and weapons are interesting, and the whole Mafia affair just makes this all the more intriguing. But how Tsuna grows, and how his Guardians (people who will protect him, as he is the boss. Think: bodyguards) and friends develop along the way, make this all the more lovely to watch. If Mafia and comedy are your things, then this is the manga for you.

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Among these 10 mangas,

which of these do you or would you prefer the most?

See results

© 2018 Kim Soo-Mi

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