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Top 15 best Seinen manga of all time

What is Seinen manga? The top 15 best Seinen manga of all time

What is Seinen manga?

Seinen manga, which translates to “youth” or “young adult” in Japanese, is a genre specifically tailored to target a demographic of young and adult men, typically ranging from 18 to 40 years old or even older. Referred to as Adult manga in English, Seinen manga is characterized by various art styles and diverse themes, including action, politics, science fiction, religion, mythology, horror, military, and even adult content.

Here are some key features that distinguish Seinen manga:

  • Diverse Themes: Seinen manga explores a wide range of themes, offering versatility in topics such as action, politics, science fiction, religion, horror, and more.
  • Realistic Content: Unlike shounen manga, Seinen manga presents realistic and less idealized characters. Many Seinen manga feature complex concepts and storylines.
  • Action-Focused: While often centered around action themes, Seinen manga tends to delve into heavier and more mature content compared to shounen manga.
  • Sophisticated Language: Seinen manga uses kanji more extensively and often lacks furigana (small hiragana characters indicating kanji pronunciation), assuming that the primary readership is composed of adults.

Top 15 Must-Read Seinen Manga

1. Berserk

Tin buồn: Tác giả của Berserk đã qua đời - cuộc hành trình của siêu phẩm  manga chính thức kết thúc

  • Author: Miura Kentaro
  • Genre: Dark Fantasy, Epic, Seinen
  • Publication: Since August 1989
  • Status: Ongoing

Berserk is a Seinen manga that revolves around Guts, a Black Swordsman, and former mercenary alongside Griffith, a leader of a mercenary band named the Band of the Hawk. The story unfolds in a dark fantasy world inspired by medieval Europe, filled with action scenes drenched in blood, violence, demons, and religious undertones. Berserk is considered a masterpiece of fantasy manga, influencing many other works.

2. Vagabond – The Wanderer

Vagabond | Vagabond manga, Japanese artists, Good manga

  • Author: Inoue Takehiko
  • Genre: Martial Arts, Seinen
  • Publication: Since 1998
  • Status: Ongoing

Vagabond is a Seinen manga that narrates the life of the renowned swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Set during the transition from the Warring States period to the Edo period, the story follows Musashi’s journey from a rural youth named Takezo to becoming a great swordsman, searching for the meaning of wielding a sword. Throughout the narrative, Musashi encounters and clashes with various fictional and historical characters like Sasaki Kojiro, Otsu, Matahachi, Takuan, Yagyu Sekishusai. The manga features visually stunning battle scenes and deep portrayals of the characters’ psychology and philosophy.

3. Real – Reality

Real Is the Wheelchair Basketball Manga That Surpasses Inoue's Slam Dunk


  • Author: Takehiko Inoue
  • Genre: Seinen, Sports
  • Status: Ongoing

Real is a sports manga with strong humanistic and societal elements, depicting the journey of individuals facing numerous difficulties and challenges in life as they engage in basketball. The characters include Nomiya Tomomi, a school dropout following a car accident; Togawa Kiyoharu, a former track and field athlete paralyzed from the waist down who plays wheelchair basketball; and Takahashi Hisanobu, a renowned basketball team captain who becomes paralyzed from the chest down after an injury. The story illustrates their struggle to overcome insecurities, rediscover passion, and find meaning in life.

4. Sanctuary

Sanctuary”, il manga che tra crimine, violenza e politica spiega il  successo dei fumetti giapponesi - la Repubblica

  • Author: Fumimura Sho
  • Genre: Seinen, Adventure, Action
  • Status: Completed

Sanctuary is a Seinen manga that follows two young men determined to change the fate of their homeland, regardless of the means. Hojo and Asami, survivors of a genocide in Cambodia, set out to become the leaders of the Japanese parliament and the underworld, holding the power to transform their country. The manga features intense action scenes, violence, sexual content, and political intrigue.

5. Gantz

Analysis: The Ending of "Gantz" - HobbyLark

  • Author: Hiroya Oku
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Seinen
  • Publication: Since November 17, 2015
  • Status: Completed

Gantz tells the story of Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato, high school students who die at a subway station and become part of a “semi-posthumous” game. In this game, they and others must hunt and kill extraterrestrial beings using modern equipment and weapons provided by Gantz. The manga has been adapted into an anime, both of which are labeled for their violent content.

6. 20th Century Boys

20th Century Boys" Trilogy: Become One With This Universal Editorial -  ReelRundown


  • Author: Urasawa Naoki
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery, Seinen
  • Publication: 1999
  • Status: Completed

20th Century Boys is a Seinen manga created by Urasawa Naoki. The story follows the adventure of Kenji and his childhood friends as they uncover a terrifying conspiracy orchestrated by an individual known as “Friend.” The timeline of 20th Century Boys spans various periods, from 1969 to 2017, featuring mysterious, suspenseful, and emotional elements. It is acclaimed as a classic in the Seinen genre and has received numerous prestigious awards.

7. Akira

Introducing Manga to the West: Celebrating the Debut of Akira

  • Author: Otomo Katsuhiro
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk, Seinen
  • Status: Completed

Akira is set in a post-apocalyptic world in 2019, where the city of Tokyo is destroyed by a mysterious explosion. The story revolves around Kaneda, a motorcycle gang leader, and his childhood friend Tetsuo. Tetsuo gains formidable psychic abilities after an accident, becoming a formidable threat to the entire military and pursued relentlessly.

8. Mushishi – Mushi Master

Mushishi Manga Anime HD #cartoon/comic #anime #manga #mushishi #1080P  #wallpaper #hdwallpaper #desktop | Anime hd, Manga anime, Anime

  • Author: Yuki Urushibara
  • Genre: Adventure, Slice of Life, Supernatural, Seinen
  • Publication: November 1999 – August 25, 2008
  • Status: Completed

Mushishi is a manga that follows Ginko, a researcher who specializes in solving issues related to Mushi, supernatural creatures with the ability to affect humans and nature. Written and illustrated by Yuki Urushibara, the series was published from 1999 to 2008. Mushishi is praised for its beautiful art style, profound storyline, and intriguing characters.

9. Ghost in the Shell

The Live-Action Birth of 'Ghost in the Shell' - The New York Times

  • Author: Shirow Masamune
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Seinen
  • Publication: 1989 – 1997
  • Status: Completed

Ghost in the Shell follows Kusanagi Motoko, a cyborg public security agent specialized in hunting down a mysterious hacker known as Puppet Master. The story is set in the year 2029 in Japan, where cybernetic technology allows humans to access the Internet with their thoughts. Exploring philosophical themes of self-identity, consciousness, and humanity in an advanced technological world, Ghost in the Shell has garnered high praise and love from a diverse audience.

10. Planetes

Planetes (Manga series) – MAHQ

  • Author: Makoto Yukimura
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Seinen
  • Publication: 1999 – 2004
  • Status: Completed

Planetes is a Seinen manga set in the year 2075, where humans can travel and live in space. It revolves around a group of space janitors specialized in collecting space debris. The story explores themes of life, love, dreams, and society in a new world.

11. Maison Ikkoku – One Moment Apartment


  • Author: Takahashi Rumiko
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance, Seinen
  • Publication: November 1980 – April 1987
  • Status: Completed

Maison Ikkoku is a work by the renowned female author Takahashi Rumiko. The story revolves around the life and love of Godai Yusaku, an unemployed college student, and Otonashi Kyoko, a young widow managing the apartment where Godai lives. The manga features many humorous situations as Godai pursues Otonashi, highlighting the genuine and profound emotions of the characters.

12. Pluto

Acclaimed Pluto Manga Being Adapted As Anime

  • Author: Urasawa Naoki
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery, Seinen
  • Publication: 9/9/2003 – 5/4/2009
  • Status: Completed

Pluto, created by Urasawa Naoki, is based on a storyline from Tezuka Osamu’s Astro Boy. The manga follows the investigation of Gesicht, a robot detective, into a series of murders involving the world’s most powerful robots and humans. The story delves into themes of humanity, violence, and peace in a perilous world.

13. Vinland Saga

Vinland Saga is a great Viking anime to watch - Polygon

  • Author: Yukimura Makoto
  • Genre: Adventure, Historical Fiction, Epic, Seinen
  • Publication: 13/4/2005 – ongoing
  • Status: Ongoing

Vinland Saga narrates the adventures of Thorfinn, a Viking warrior, during the war between Denmark and England. The storyline draws inspiration from historical events related to Knud the Great (or Canute), paralleled with Thorfinn’s quest for vengeance for his historically real explorer father. In the later stages, the focus shifts to Thorfinn’s journey in search of Vinland (the promised land).

14. Parasyte – The Maxim

Parasyte (2015) | MUBI

  • Author: Iwaaki Hitoshi
  • Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Seinen
  • Publication: 1990 – 1995
  • Status: Completed

Parasyte tells the story of the battle between humanity and extraterrestrial parasites known as Parasytes. Following Shinichi Izumi, a high school student invaded by a Parasyte on his right arm, Shinichi and his Parasyte, named Migi, must cooperate to survive and confront other Parasytes who seek to consume human flesh.

15. Liar Game

Truyện tranh "hack não" Liar Game chuẩn bị kết thúc


  • Author: Shinobu Kaitani
  • Genre: Drama, Psychological, Gambling, Fiction, Seinen
  • Publication: 17/02/2005 – 22/01/2015
  • Status: Completed

Liar Game, by Kaitani Shinobu, unfolds the intellectual battle among participants in a mysterious gambling game called Liar Game. The main character, Nao Kanzaki, an innocent and honest girl, is deceived into joining the Liar Game, where she faces cunning and ruthless opponents. Nao is aided by Shinichi Akiyama, a genius swindler also drawn into the game.

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