14 Best Japanese Comic Books (2020)

Japanese comic books definitely hold some of the most unique stories and ones that you can easily get addicted to once you start reading them.

Most of the stories are also adapted to ridiculously popular anime series which if you watch, you will surely recognize some of the stories and characters from the comics that we are about to list here, so be sure to check out this list of some of the best Japanese comic books if you want to find out about more amazing Japanese stories.

 

Death Note Series by Tsugumi Ohba

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba is a Japanese comic book series and also the title of the famous anime that countless people are starting to watch.

This amazing series starts out on a normal and boring day as you get to meet a few of the most important characters in the whole series. The first one is Light Yagami and you find out that he is a high school student who is feeling pretty down as boredom is taking over his life.

All of that is about to change when a mysterious artifact drops out of the sky, a notebook that comes from the world of the Death Gods, also known as the Shinigami. Light quickly discovers that this book has a special power, whoever’s name is written in this notebook, that person dies, so he starts his quest to eliminate all of the evil in the world.

You can imagine what exciting adventures come after that as the whole comic book series introduces you to a ton of new characters and many others who desire this notebook but for different reasons.

 

Fullmetal Alchemist Series by Hiromu Arakawa

This Japanese comic series by Hiromu Arakawa is also a very popular anime series as well and the story inside is just as addicting as all of the others in this list. The story is filled with tons of amazing characters, some of them bare the title of an alchemist and those are the ones who have special transmutational abilities that allow them to create things out of other things.

Initially, you meet two main characters who start out the series, they are brothers, Edward and Alphonse Eric. They start dabbling with alchemy after their mother dies in hopes of finding the power to revive her, instead one of them loses an arm and a leg and the other is turned into a whole suit of armor as his soul is transmuted into it just before he dies.

The author also has an obsession with a magical stone so that object is something that many of the characters who you meet here will be trying to get their hands on.

 

Fruits Basket Series by Natsuki Takaya

The Fruits Basket comic book series by Natsuki Takaya definitely hits the spot when it comes to some of the best Japanese comic book series as this story is long and the characters inside are sure to make you want to hear more about them. The main plot follows the protagonist of the series, a girl named Tohru Honda who has been living in a tent since the death of her mother.

The main plot also introduces you to a family who has an ancient curse following them around for a long time. This curse is in the Sohma family and Tohru soon finds out all about it when they offer her a home and place to feel safe.

Some members of this Sohma family are definitely into a lot of suffering as when a member of the opposite sex gives them a hug, they turn into an animal and there is definitely more excitement where that came from as you read further.

 

Ouran High School Host Club Series by Bisco Hatori

If you like romantic comedies, this Japanese comic book series by Bisco Hatori will be the perfect thing to offer you some great entertainment.

The first and definitely very important character who you get to meet in the series is Haruhi, a poor girl who goes to a rich kids’ school. Her misfortune catches up to her when she breaks a $80.000 vase that belongs to the Host Club.

This club consists of six extremely rich boys and Haruhi is about to walk into a totally different world than hers, here is when the true excitement of this comic book series finally begins. There are 18 books in this series and you definitely have a lot to read if you enjoy this type of romantic comedy story that is about to introduce you to some pretty interesting characters. You will definitely find out for yourself why this one is also in our top Japanese comic books list.

 

Vampire Knight Series by Matsuri Hino

The vampire genre is always something that many people look forward to and this Japanese vampire comic book series by Matsuri Hino definitely has a lot of surprises in store for you if you are a fan of this type of story.

The story starts off with a character called Yuki who can’t remember a single thing before she was saved by a deadly vampire attack almost ten years ago. After that, Yuki is introduced to a whole new world for her, one that is never too boring and there is always something thrilling going on.

She is taken and housed in a school called Cross Academy. This school is home to two different kinds of students, they are referred to as the Day Class and the Night Class. Yuki is tasked with being the guardian of the Day Class students alongside Zero, an interesting character who will play a big part in the series.

The events that take place in this school and out of it after are definitely worth taking a look at if you really like reading about vampires as you will be meeting them very soon.

 

Bleach Series by Tite Kubo

The Bleach comic book series by Tite Kubo has been successfully turned into one of the most popular Japanese anime television series thanks to the thrilling events and fascinating characters present within the series. The plot of the story includes a character with a very short temper, a fifteen-year-old boy called Ichigo Kurosaki, he is the hero and protagonist of the Bleach series.

The reason for him having such a hot temper is because he has a cursed ability that allows him to see spirits, ones that others can’t, and that never allows him to have a moment of peace. A lot of unique characters are introduced later in the series, one of them is Rukia, she is a Soul Reaper and she is the

one who offers Ichigo a new kind of power after she transfers hers into him when she is badly injured in battle. If you are looking for one of the best Japanese comic books, then this series might just be the closest thing to it.

 

Naruto Series by Masashi Kishimoto

Chances are rare that you haven’t heard of the legendary Naruto Japanese anime TV series, well that extremely popular anime comes from Masashi Kishimoto’s comic book series in which he writes the brilliant story behind all of Naruto’s adventures. The story talks about ninjas and martial arts, highly- trained warrior characters are present all around and the fighting in the series is just something unbelievable.

Uzumaki Naruto is the main character and protagonist of the series, he is an 11year-old boy when the story first begins and you read about how he is working hard to graduate from the Ninja Academy. The reason that this series is adored by so many is because of the heartwarming attachments that you begin to develop for the characters.

The story goes very in-depth and the long journey which the characters must face is definitely something to get you very addicted to it. The Naruto series is definitely one of, if not the best Japanese comic book series that you can ever read.

 

Kuroshitsuji Black Butler Series by Yana Toboso

Yana Toboso writes this extremely amusing and addicting Japanese comic book series that talks about a character named Sebastien Michaelis and everyone and everything around him. He is described as a demonic butler who is forced to serve Ciel Phantomhive thanks to a supernatural contract that is very hard to break.

Ciel is another interesting character from this comic book series, he is a rich fellow who owns a toy manufacturing company and someone who knows a lot about business. Ciel is obsessed with revenge and he is about to start his quest on getting his revenge and giving what everyone who has wronged him what they deserve, the perfect character to help him with this is Sebastian who definitely has a lot of unique tricks up his sleeve.

The series has around 30 comic books so you sure have a long way to go in the series, but that’s definitely not a problem for the readers who enjoy this thrilling adventure.

 

Inuyasha Series by Rumiko Takahashi

This thrilling story by Rumiko Takahashi opens with a character named Kagome Higurashi, a fifteen-year- old girl living in Tokyo. Her life is definitely not very exciting until she finds herself in the strangest place ever, one that definitely seems unbelievable to her.

Kagome falls down a mysterious well and wakes up in Japan’s Sengoku period, a time when Japan was in the middle of constant civil war for many years. There, she meets a half dog-demon known as Inuyasha.

She accidentally frees this demon boy from a life of imprisonment because he stole a precious jewel called the “Jewel of Four Souls.”

These two characters form a special bond and the story starts as they go on magical adventures together, ones that definitely make this story addicting thanks to the thrill and in-depth details of the characters. Their journey has a purpose, to recover the Jewel that was shattered in many pieces and spread over all of Japan before a great evil has the possession of all the pieces.

 

Skip Beat! Series by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! is a Japanese romantic comedy comic book series written by Yoshiki Nakamura. The story introduces you to many amusing characters but the main one who takes most of the spotlight is a character named Kyoko Mogami. Mogami’s whole world gets turned upside down after she overhears a very disturbing conversation.

Before all of that happens, you need to meet one more important character who definitely is responsible for the way she changes. His name is Sho Fuwa and Kyoko did everything for him out of love, she even followed him until he realized his dream of becoming a famous singer. After that, in the conversation that she overhears, Sho mentioned that he had been using Mogami all along and she vows for revenge.

The whole book and the main story finally starts after this and events start to get really exciting after that, you are going to be reading a story that is definitely worth to be among the top Japanese comic books ever.

 

One Piece Series by Eiichiro Oda

This greatly popular comic book series and Japanese anime TV series by Eiichiro Oda is a desired story that has become increasingly popular in Japan thanks to the many thrilling and unique characters in the series and the wild adventures that never seem to stop coming.

Monkey D. Luffy is definitely one of the most interesting characters in this story, he has special powers that start appearing when he eats the Gum-Gum Fruit. Eating the fruit also bestows a curse on the one who consumes it, this curse prevents the person to ever learn how to swim. This is especially tricky because Monkey D. Luffy has a dream of becoming a pirate.

Roronoa Zoro is another character who appears earlier in the series and together with Monkey, they start sailing the seven seas in search of a treasure desired by many, called One Piece. The plot of this book is nothing but the best Japanese comic book material.

 

Fairy Tail Series by Hiro Mashima

The Fairy Tail comic book series by Hiro Mashima is a pretty long series consisting of a little over 60 books. It is a fantasy story about wizards and a world that is filled with mystery at every corner. Fairy Tail is actually the name of a popular and respected wizard guild and the story follows a character named Natsu Dragneel who is a member of this guild.

His duties involve searching the entire world for something precious to the wizards, called a dragon Igneel. Another character who gets involved in everything quickly is Lucy, she also wants to be a member of the Fairy Tail guild and in her quest to become just that, she takes the wrong turn which gets her in a lot of trouble with a gang of ruthless pirates who are led by a sinister magic user.

This is actually when you really get to meet Natsu himself as he comes to the rescue and you finally discover just what type of character and hero he actually is. His appearance may very well tell a whole different story about him, but he is yet to reveal his true self.

 

Sailor Moon Series by Naoko Takeuchi

Naoko Takeuchi is a Japanese writer who has written and illustrated this amazing story herself. You get to read 18 comic books about this story which involves the adventures of the protagonist of the series, a 14-year-old underachieving girl named Usagi Tsukino.

She becomes a totally different person after she meets a talking cat named Luna. This magical cat offers Usagi a power that completely transforms her and turns her into a powerful warrior, referred to as a Sailor Soldier.

The Sailor Soldiers are powerful warriors who have a duty to defend the world against a group of evil villains who definitely present quite the difficult challenge. You get to find out why this comic book series has a spot on our list about a few of the best comic books from Japan of all time.

 

Rurouni Kenshin Series by Nobuhiro Watsuki

Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki is the last comic book series of this list but rest assured as the story in this series is definitely not less fascinating than the others above.

In this one, you read about a character named Himura Kenshin as he wanders the world protecting innocence everywhere with a single vow that is the main thing controlling his life, to never take a single life ever again.

You also get to read the backstory of this legendary swordsman as his life is a truly fascinating one. His past and his future are something definitely worth reading about as it doesn’t get more exciting than that.

Hopefully, you find our top picks about the best Japanese comic books ever written to have the same taste as yours as you choose the perfect one for yourself.

Author

Robert Hazley

Robert Hazley

Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)