Seinen manga is in an entirely different hemisphere than either Shonen and Shojo. Not only regarding mature content but, most noteworthy, in the themes presented. Shonen manga focuses more on interpersonal development, and personal growth has to do with characters becoming physically stronger. But Seinen manga tends to be more introspective, and It deals with the main characters who face their inner demons. This list deals with the best seinen manga of all time.
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Best Seinen Manga
31. Sun-Ken Rock
A cliche love story of a Japanese guy falling for a Korean woman but with a twist!
The Korean girl is in the police, and the Japanese guy is a gang leader, but this is not the twist, the twist is the guy wanted to be a policeman when he followed the girl to Korea.
The artwork of this manga is good with a lot of fighting, but sometimes the fight could seem to be repetitive, but overall, it is full of action. The manga deals with severe issues like gang wars, kidnapping, murder, and rape in a humorous way. Yeah! You read it correctly in a humorous way and do a pretty good job of doing so.
The manga quickly changes theme from the dark mafia genre to hentai to a comedy with great ease. All those wanting a deep driven story will be disappointed a bit, but those wanting a lot of action and drama will be pretty much satisfied with this best seinen manga.
The year is AD 2048. Japan is now related to the Eurasian continent by a transcontinental railway. The capital of Tokyo has become a cauldron of crooks and terrorists. And so, in the metropolitan darkness, a mysterious presence assaults and massacres people, unnoticed, night after night. Just what are these “things that are not human” living in hiding in the human realm? And just who is this “Origin” person who faces them?
This manga will answer all these questions to the readers, and as the story continues, it becomes more interesting.
It is an ongoing story with excellent artwork and a fantastic storyline. But just like other entries on our list, this best seinen manga has a lot of violence and gore too. Viewer discretion is advised because it can get bloody sometimes.
29. Otogi Matsuri
What happens when you have a main character that is smart, cool, and badass? I’ll tell you what happens, and you get a fantastic storyline with a lot of action. This entry is less graphic than other anime in this list, but! It has its fair share of blood and violence.
Yousuke is a regular high school student who resides in the town of Miyakono. One fateful day he unintentionally breaks a shrine of the Guardian of the South. He then gains the bow of phoenix.
To reacquire his life energy and protect the people of Miyakono, Yousuke must fight a bloodthirsty demon.
This manga has a very emotional storyline, and the artwork depicts the same. The characters are portrayed in the right way as we get to know about the backstory of each character. But most of the character development is given to the main character that is Yousuke.
With an amazing story and a great cast of characters, this is a story one should not miss to read.
In the manga Fire Punch, two orphaned siblings Agni and Luna, are two of the “blessed,” humans who hold special abilities. Although not all who are blessed are kind, and after one of the “blessed” ambushes Agni and destroys his village, Agni fights to persist and take revenge.
It is not your other go-to redemption story but is much more than that and for a depressing story and is for a mature audience.
The people who are “blessed” are accepted and welcomed by the people, or they shun them. Agni and Luna are lucky. They found a village that received them. Just know that this manga is not for the weak-hearted. It grabs a lot of dark themes, such as slavery and persecution. We do not recommend this manga for anyone under the age of 18. It can get explicit sometimes.
The art style of this best seinen manga is marvelous and attracts the reader towards the characters. The cold and sad world made by the witch has a perfect setting to show such kind of depressing storyline.
If the genre of violence had a class rainbow would have topped that class! That’s the amount of violence this manga contains. But one should not feel dishearted because this is a kind of manga that requires violence to give the storyline justice.
It has earnest storytelling. Readers will rarely come across any comic relief or comedy.
The manga has genuine issues and points to put forth and takes it serious tone too seriously!
The theme of this manga is sad and dark. Anyone who wants some intense storytelling is in for a treat. The artwork is impressive, with a lot of character design.
There is a lot of character development in this manga as each of the six main characters get their backstory. This way, readers can dive into the emotions of the characters and feel what they read.
But again, as every best seinen manga, this manga is not for everyone. To read this story, one must possess the ability to digest some pretty disturbing artwork and dialogues.
Jisatsutou, in English it means suicide island. This means it contains a concept of a severe issue like suicide and death, which further says it is for a mature audience. This story orbits throughout a group of seemingly average people who have one thing in common. That is, they have all tried suicide on many occasions in their lives. They have attempted suicide so many times that the Japanese government no longer wants to support such people and strands them on an island. The irony is that those people who no longer wish to live their life have to fight for their lives to survive.
This best seinen manga has solemn themes and is a psychological thriller where the readers find out about the reality of each character and why they wanted to die.
The storyline dwells deep in the character’s background, and the readers see the real face of each character.
The artwork is smooth and does a pretty good job of depicting such a dark and tense saga, which will surely captivate the emotions and feelings of readers. As each character who wanted to end his/her life struggles to save his life, we as readers come to know about the value of life!
Spoiler Alert!!! it is a sorrowful story. Oyasumi Punpun is possibly one of the most disheartening and pragmatic story one can ever come across. It is the tale of a boy named Punyama Punpun and trails him from school to around his 20’s. This manga has mind-boggling and psychological themes. One of the main psychological aspects of the story has to do with the character design of punpun.
There are just so many ideas that the author goes into amazing depth about in this dark and depressing story.
The artwork of this best seinen manga is just amazing and to the point. The depiction of the main character as somewhat odd and that makes the story unique as we see the world through his eyes and base our opinions.
The elementary school phase is a must-read for all the readers as it is the most important too. Overall the readers will enjoy this depressing and sad story and introspect it with themselves.
What happens when a wealthy born 16-year-old kid murders his parents? Shit happens! And a lot of shit happens to the main character Ryo Narushima who is sent to a reformatory for young offenders where his whole life turns upside down.
He is subjected to beatdowns, sexual assault, and whatnot in the penitentiary, and he copes with all such atrocities by learning karate and gets pretty good at it. When released after a few years, he is thrown back to the ugly world and has to live in the streets and face the music. Often while reading, you will feel like punching some sense in the main character that is Ryo, but sometimes you feel sad for him when thought the story many times Ryo has visuals of his dead parents and understand him more and more.
This anime is for mature readers who can withstand a mental takedown because this story gives many. The main character murders, rapes, assaults, and does most of the nasty stuff like that, but we still feel pity for him, and that is the epitome of writing such an intense and excellent story arc.
This anime is not for the weak-hearted as you already read but gives a mysterious, sadistic pleasure to the readers, and that can only be felt when you read it.
With outstanding artwork and even more significant character development, this story of Ryo, you should read.
Zombies! A genre that everyone has to dig into a write their own stories. I am Hero is no such exception but in the right way. The story is excellent, and the artwork is great, the ending is good, overall its a total package.
The story revolves around Hideo Suzuki, a former unsuccessful manga writer with a rocky relationship. When a sudden disease starts spreading to the people of Japan, he does everything he can do to survive. Although the story begins slowly with a lot of characters to develop and read, when it acquires pace, My God! it does wonders with the story.
A typical zombie movie where savage zombies go on a rampage, but there is a twist after a person turns to a zombie, a part of there personality remains intact.
With a lot of comedy and horror, this is one of the best seinen manga, which should be on your must-read list.
With fantastic artwork, this manga series focuses on fighting, and every scene is portrayed with an outlandish amount of detail. The author gives a lot of attention to detail as every fighting technique is shown with the utmost realistic approach. The artwork of this manga gives a dark tone to the central theme of this storyline.
The story is this manga is very ingrained, there is a lot of bullying, and there is a lot of fighting!
As the story continues, there is a lot of character development as the story continues because its a character-driven storyline. The protagonist at the start of this manga will make the readers feel pity for him, but as the story progresses, we see how he comes out in the real world by facing all the hardships and beatdowns from the streets.
But this best seinen manga is not for the weak-hearted as it has a lot of fighting, and what comes with struggle? That’s right! A lot of blood and gore! So reader discretion is advised.
The story is simple at the beginning; our broke protagonist (Nakoshi) receives an offer of 700,000 yen for agreeing to get a hole drilled in his head. And guess what, he agrees while being initially reluctant. Therefore, he ultimately undergoes surgery and receives a supernatural effect of the trepanation: that is the ability to see Homunculi, the repressed feeling of an individual by covering one of his eyes.
Notwithstanding what you just read, Homunculus still manages to remain stubbornly rooted in reasoning. Because what Nakoshi sees is the reality of human emotions! That is often, at times, disturbing.
The readers will have to use their minds to truly understand the premise because the imagery that Nakoshi sees is very complicated and dismal.
With exceptional characters and detailed artwork, this manga tries to achieve something, and that’s the charm of this manga. But readers must keep in mind this best seinen manga has abstract art so faint-hearted people, read with caution!!
The tale is concerning a boy named Arisu Ryouhei and his friends being trapped in the alternate dimension known as the Borderlands and their struggle for their lives.
Every person must participate in a game in order to survive. The game is all about collecting points as the points give you days to live as you run out of points. There is only one end, sweet, sweet death! Every game is very different, as players have no idea what game they will be playing until they enter the arena.
The artwork of this manga is rugged, which genuinely highlights the central theme of this manga. There is a lot of character development in the storyline because each character gets his/her backstory, which is great!
This best seinen manga focuses on psychological and horror survival themes.
Toua Tokuchi, a master of betting and mental games, holds an exceptional record of 499 wins and zero losses in “One Outs.” It is a purer form of baseball that consists of only a batsman and a pitcher. Paying a visit to Okinawa, Tokuchi’s hometown, is Hiromichi Kojima, the hero batsman of the Saikyou Saitama Lycaons. But it is the feeble team in the Japanese baseball championship. Fantasizing of leading the Lycaons to win the league, and in terrible need of a substitution for their wounded pitcher during a training camp, Kojima includes himself in a game of One Outs, only to lose to a standard fastball from the invincible Tokuchi.
Enthralled by his skill, Kojima hires Tokuchi to the team after barely avoiding defeat in a rematch, thinking he might be their answer to victory. Nevertheless, the greedy owner of the Lycaons declines to give him a decent salary, leading Tokuchi to suggest an unusual contract. Every out he pitches will get him fifty lakh yen, but every run he gives up will lose him fifty million yen. With his fate now tied to that of the team, Tokuchi’s fight to bring the Lycaons to victory becomes yet another gamble—the very thing that he does best.
After recently moving to Onomichi, Hiroshima, high school student Tasuku Kaname is tossed into anguish at the chance that he may have been outed for being gay. Persuaded his life is over, his anxiety turns into trauma when he spots a woman jump out of a window of a neighboring house.
Tasuku races to the house in an alarm only to find out that it’s a public meeting sitting room owned by the woman he saw earlier. Tasuku comes face to face with the woman as she strolls past him safe, but not before she tells that she had been watching him from afar. Bewildered, Tasuku follows her up to the top of a slopy hill where she accepts to listen to what is on his mind briefly. Even though Tasuku doesn’t go into too much information, he later agrees with her invitation to come to the lounge to meet others with similar issues.
The story is placed in the future of Japan. In which the sea level has arisen and submerged many of the coastal areas. Also, Mt. Fuji has belched lava within living memory. The populace has been dramatically reduced, and political and technological organizations have broken-down. Local groups have become nations, and telephone and TV no longer exist. Although coffee vending machines and streetlights adamantly proceed to work. There are peculiar new animals and plants (like airborne fish and glowing streetlight trees).
The remaining people have embraced a slower-paced, straightforward way of life and depend more on each other. Along with humanity are some brilliant, humanlike robots. One of the robots, a female, called Alpha, owns a café by the same name in the countryside of what remains of Yokohama. With her reliable motor scooter and her camera, she travels around the area befriending the humans and robots, gathering new experiences, and noticing the passage of time.
Tomomi Nomiya, late captain of his high school’s basketball team, turned lawless. He ends up dropping out of school after being squeezed by the guilt of destroying a young girl’s life in a traffic accident. As he devotes his free time to provide for her, he comes across Kiyoharu Togawa. Also, she is a former runner who has lost the use of his right leg and now enjoys wheelchair basketball as an alternate outlet.
After daring Kiyoharu to a one-on-one game, Tomomi is vanquished. Inspired by this meeting, he understands that he can’t let his love for basketball perish so quickly. Also, he decides that he will do whatever he can to provide for others while trying to become a professional player. Meantime, Hisanobu Takahashi, Tomomi’s substitute as the high school’s team leader, gets into an accident. Sadly, he finds himself forever paralyzed below the waist. Real tells the touching story of these three young men as they fight to beat their disabilities and inner conflicts. They have to do this to attain their dreams while lighting a passion that will bring them together.
Our hero is Rei, a 17-year-old shogi player. He lives by himself. Also, he does not have a family and does not go to school. Also, he has very few friends. Among his contacts is a family, which comprises of a young lady, Akari, and two young girls, Momo and Hinata. Also, they keep a high number of cats. You should definitely check out this best seinen manga.
1988: It is World War III. Tokyo is demolished by a puzzling black explosion, unmatched in immensity.
2019: Moving on to 31 years. Neo-Tokyo, hurriedly built on the ruins of old Tokyo, is a stretching cityscape of neon spectacle. It is a combination of tall skyscrapers and cutting-edge technology. Also, it is permeated through and through with a volatile, hyper-violent mixture of biker gangs, poverty, and revolutionaries. In this dangerous metropolis live Tetsuo Shima and Shoutarou Kaneda, two motorcyclists who are the best of friends and the strongest of rivals, despite being associated with the same gang. Hopeless to prove himself as Kaneda’s equal, Tetsuo accidentally pulls a stunt that climaxes in the rise of mysterious existence that threatens to change both the face of Neo-Tokyo and the lives of those who call the city their home—the growth of a government secret known as Akira.
13. Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan
They wanted to perish for their reasons.
Juri Mutou is the daughter of an erstwhile-famous pianist whose career concluded after giving birth to her. After a shocking event she underwent as a teenager, Juri has attempted suicide thrice and has started to hate her mother. With her life darkened due to a dark past. Her aunt Monica, a member of the clergy, summons her to visit a criminal sentenced to death.
Yuu is a death row inmate charged with killing three people, leading to many efforts at ending his own life within his jail cell. He repeatedly gets letters from Monica, who believes in helping him, but he sees this as an act of pity. But when Yuu agrees to meet Monica to say that he wants her to stop sending letters, he meets Juri, an encounter that would change both of their lives.
Ittou Ogami has very little left to exist for. Though once the Shogunate’s chief official killer, his name is left in ruination after being conceived for treachery. The traitorous Yagyuu Clan did this, seeking to take his position of power. His problems do not end here; however, the climax in the brutal killing of his entire family, including his spouse Azami, with only his child Daigorou still left alive.
With shame upon his head and his loveable wife in the grave, Itou takes up a new role as an assassin for hire. Alongside his young son, Itou roams the country in search of vengeance, and He wanders with only the total annihilation of the Yagyuu Clan on his mind. As he wanders the land, the number of his victorious assassinations rapidly grows. And soon, the nickname of “Lone Wolf and Cub” becomes famous across the land as the choice assassin to get the job done right.
11. Vinland Saga
Thorfinn, son of one of the Vikings’ exceptional warriors, is one of the best fighters in the merry band of hired soldiers. The scheming Askeladd, a magnificent task for a person his age, is the one who runs it. However, Thorfinn is not part of the group for the pillage it needs—instead, for having created a great tragedy for his family, the boy has promised to kill Askeladd in a fair duel. Not yet experienced enough to win him, but unable to let go of his revenge, Thorfinn spends his childhood with the mercenary team. He is sharpening his skills on the battleground with the war-loving Danes, where murdering is just another pleasure of life.
One day, when Askeladd gets a word that Danish prince Canute has been held hostage, he conjures an ambitious plot; A plot that will determine the next King of England and completely change the lives of Thorfinn, Canute, and himself. Set in 11th century Europe, Vinland Saga tells a brutal epic in a time where violence, insanity, and unfairness are unavoidable. It provides a paradise for the battle-crazed and utter hell for the rest who live in it. If you are looking for an awesome story and historical action/drama, then wait no more, because Vinland saga is one of the best seinen manga.
10. Houseki no Kuni
In the distant future, new organisms called Gems come to life. The 28 gems must battle against the Moon People who want to fight them and turn them into decorations. Therefore, each gem is given a role such as a fighter or a medic. Though they hope to battle the moon people, Phosphophyllite is a gem who is assigned no assignment until the gems’ manager Kongou asks them to copy edit a natural history magazine.
“Mushi”: the most standard form of life in the world. They live without any ambition or purpose, aside from naturally “existing.” They are way past the handcuffs of the words “good” and “evil.” Mushi can live in many forms and can mimic things from the natural world such as plants, diseases, and even phenomena like rainbows.
This is, however, just an unclear definition of these beings that occupy the vibrant world of Mushishi, as to even call them a form of life would be an oversimplification. Detailed data on Mushi is very less because most of the humans are unaware of their existence.
So what are Mushi, and why do they live? This is the question that a “Mushishi,” Ginko, wonders continuously. Mushishi is those who investigate Mushi in hopes of understanding their place in the world’s ranking of life.
Ginko continuously chases rumors of happenings that could be tied to Mushi, all for the sake of finding an answer. Mystery and thriller elements make this one of the best seinen manga to check out.
08 Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen
Considered an intellectual due to having the sky-high grades in the country, Miyuki Shirogane leads the reputable Shuchiin Academy’s student council as its president. Also, He is working along with the beautiful and rich vice president Kaguya Shinomiya. The two are typically seen as the perfect couple by students in spite of them not being in any romantic relationship.
However, the fact is that after spending so much time together. The two have begun to have feelings for one another. Sadly, neither are willing to tell it, as doing so would show a sign of fragility. With their dignity as best students on the line. Miyuki and Kaguya start on a quest to do whatever is needed to get a confession out of the other. Through their daily behavior, the fight of love begins!
07. Uchuu Kyoudai
“An elder brother must always stay ahead of his small brother. That is my job as the elder sibling”—these are the words that had always driven Mutta Nanba to give his best when it came to his younger sibling Hibito. So usually, in the summer of 2006 when the Nanba brothers see something peculiar in the night sky, Hibito decided that he would become an astronaut and go to the Moon, while Mutta countered with the declaration that he would go to Mars. Both of them took this oath.
Now in 2025, Hibito is working with NASA and getting ready to become the first Japanese to set foot on the moon. Also, an automotive development company has fired Mutta from his job.
Having a problem finding another job, Mutta is given a life chance once he receives a letter from JAXA—the Japan region Exploration Agency—telling him that he has been accepted to participate in the next astronaut selection. As if fate has given him a chance to fulfill the promise he made all those years ago, Mutta undertakes the problematic challenge of going to space. If you like Slice of Life then this best seinen manga is what you are looking for.
06. 20th Century Boys
As the 20th century approaches its end, people all over the world are anxious that the world is changing. And probably not for the better.
Kenji Endo may be a traditional shop manager who’s merely attempting to urge by.
But he learns that one of his old friends going by the name “Donkey” has suddenly committed suicide. Also, a new cult led by a figure known as “Friend” is becoming more notorious. So Kenji starts to feel that something isn’t right.
With several critical clues left behind by his deceased friend, Kenji realizes that this cult is much more than he ever thought it would be.
This is because this mysterious organization is directly targeting him and his childhood friends. Also, the whole world faces a grave danger that only his friends have the key to stop.
Kenji’s natural lifetime of barely creating ends meet is flipped the other way up once he reunites along with his childhood friends. And along they have to discover the reality of however their past is connected to the cult.
This because, as the turn of the century could mean, the possible end of the world.
In the 16th century Japan, Shinmen Takezou is a wild, rough young man in both his appearance and his actions. His hostile nature has won him the rebuke reproach and fear of his village. This makes him and his best friend, Matahachi Honiden, to run away in search of something grander than a provincial life. The pair enlist in the Toyotomi army, yearning for glory. But when the Toyotomi suffers a crushing defeat at the hands of the Tokugawa Clan at the Battle of Sekigahara, the friends barely make it out alive.
Shinmen returns home on a self-appointed mission to notify the Hon’iden family of Matahachi’s survival after they are separated. But he finds himself a wanted criminal. He is framed for his friend’s supposed murder based on his history of violence. Upon being caught, he is tied up on a tree and left to die. A nomadic monk, the eminent Takuan Soho, takes pity on the “devil child.” He secretly frees Shinmen and christens him with a new name to avoid pursuit by the authorities: Musashi Miyamoto.
Vagabond is the fictional retelling of the life of one of Japan’s most celebrated swordsmen, the “Sword Saint” Musashi Miyamoto. This story is about his rise from a swordsman with no desire other than to become “Invincible Under the Heavens” to an enlightened warrior who slowly learns of the importance of close friends, self-reflection, and life itself.
During the Warring States period in China, Xin Li and Piao are two brother-like youngsters who dream of becoming Great Generals, despite their low status as orphaned slaves. One day, they encounter a man of nobility, who allows Piao to undertake an essential duty within the state of Qin’s royal palace. Parting ways, Xin and Piao promise each other to one day become the greatest generals in the world. However, after a vicious coup d’état occurs in the palace, Xin meets with a perishing Piao, whose final words spur him into action. Also, it leads him to encounter the young and soon-to-be king of Qin, Zheng Ying.
Although initially on bad terms, Xin and Zheng become friends and start on a path filled with trials and slaughter. Zheng’s aim is to bring all the warring states under Qin, and Xin wants to reach to the very top of the army ranks. This is set against a backdrop of the persistent calculated battle between states and significant political disruption. The two friends endeavor towards their grand ambitions that will change history forever.
03. Grand Blue
Among the seaside town of Izu’s ocean waves and rays of shining sun, Iori Kitahara is just beginning his freshman year at Izu University. As he moves into his uncle’s scuba diving shop, Grand Blue, he eagerly expects his dream college life, filled with attractive girls and good friends. But things don’t exactly go according to plan. Upon going to the shop, he meets a group of unruly, naked upperclassmen. Also, they instantly pressure him into taking part in their alcoholic activities.
Though reluctant at first, Iori soon gives in and becomes the heart and soul of the party. Sadly, this earns him the contempt of his cousin, Chisa Kotegawa, who walks in at correctly the wrong time. Steadfast, Iori still pledges to realize his perfect college life, but will things go according to plan this time? Or will his situation take yet another dive? Grand Blue provides excellent adult humor earning its place on the top 3 best seinen manga.
Dr. Kenzou Tenma is a celebrated brain surgeon of Japanese ancestry working in Europe. His peers highly laud him as one of the great young minds that will revolutionize the field. Also, he is blessed with a beautiful fiancée. He is also on the cusp of a big promotion in the hospital he works at.
But all of that is about to change with a grave dilemma that Kenzou faces one night. Should he save the life of a small boy or that of the town’s mayor? In spite of being coerced by his superiors to perform surgery on the mayor. His morals force him to operate on the other critical patient. He ends up saving his life and forfeiting the mayors.
A doctor is educated to believe that all life is the same; however, when a sequence of killings occurs in the surgeon’s vicinity, all of the evidence points to the boy he saved. Kenzou’s beliefs are shaken after these incidents. During his expedition to resolve the true identity of his patient, Kenzou finds that the destiny of the world may be interlaced with the enigmatic child. Monster’s psychological aspects are what make it one of the best seinen manga.
Guts used to be a hired soldier. Now he is famously known as the “Black Swordsman,” and he is out for revenge. After a turbulent childhood, he finally meets a person he holds high in esteem and believes he can have faith in him. But everything takes a wrong turn when this person snatches everything significant to Guts to attain what he desires. Therefore, Guts is sentenced to a destiny in which demonic beings continuously chase him after being marked for death.
Guts, who is equipped with a huge sword and has terrifying strength, decides to go on a terrifying journey riddled with difficulties. Also, Nothing can put a halt to his quest as he won’t stop his massacre until he slices off the head of the person who ripped the humanity from him and his loved one.
With this, we have reached the end of the Best Seinen Manga list. Check out our Best Vampire Movies and Horror Manga lists to find more anime and movies that you can enjoy now and in the coming future. Sayonara!
I’m a total fan of Japan and Japanese culture. In fact, my wish is to go and live in Japan. At least for some short period of time to see how things really work there. Because, like every other country, Japan also has some good and some quite bad sides. But, in this article, we are going to focus only on…