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Best manga: the TOP 10 Japanese works of history

10 world’s best manga stories

The “manga” format has become part of popular culture. The biggest names have allowed some works to explode in the West and reach thousands of people. Precisely, here’s what these fans had to say when asked about the 10 best manga of all time.

Whether the work is funny, violent, or thoughtful, everyone can appreciate this Japanese art because the themes evoked are all different and are all brought to life with maturity. This fictional literature allows for original expression and shows a rare creativity. It is no coincidence that the animated version of these mangas has become so popular in Europe, which is simply referred to by the name anime.

While we were recently ranking the top 20 anime in 2021, here is the time to talk about the original works. After gathering plenty of anecdotes about the One Piece manga for example, or about Dragon Ball Z, find below the top 10 manga to today!

Manga : The 10 Japanese masterpieces

Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece… but which one is the best? Tastes, colors, everyone will obviously not agree with this classification. On the other hand, each of the presented works has, at its own scale, favored the popularization of manga and has brought something new in this art. Here is the TOP 10 of the best Japanese works !10. Gunnm© Glénatthumbnail

First of our ranking, but last of this top, is Gunnm. Released in 1990, this seinen manga plunges us into the universe of Gally, a young cyborg who is actually a terrible fighter. 

This dystopia features humans who have mutated thanks to cybernetics. The dark and violent atmosphere of the manga makes it unique. The work has received a film adaptation with Alita: Battle Angel in 2019!. Hunter x Hunter© KANAthumbnail

Released in 1998, Hunter x Hunter tells the story of Gon Freecss, a young child who dreams of becoming a Hunter. 

A true commercial success with 65 million copies sold, Hunter X Hunter remains a reference du shonenmanga !8. Death Note© KANA


Released in 2003, Death Note is the work of Tsugumi Oba.It immerses us in the world of Light Yagami, a gifted high school student. 

His pejorative view of the world leads him to accidentally find the famous notebook Death Note which can decide the cause of an individual’s death. The mythical and charismatic god of death, Ryuk, helped popularize this manga. 

The dark and unique universe immediately became a runaway success. 26.5 million copies of the work were sold as a result! The narrative and storyline have made this manga one of the most beloved in the world. 

The sequel, 14 years after the last volume, was greeted with colossal success.7. Attack of the Titans© PIKA edition


Attack of Titans, created by Hajime Isayama, was released in 2009. The success of such a work lies mainly in its mixture of gore, horror, fantasy and thriller. 

Recently, it is mostly the anime that has been exported and not the manga, which is why SnK is only at this 7th place.

By 2018, the manga had sold 86 million copies: a monster success. 6. GTO© PIKA edition


GTO, for Great Teacher Onisuka, dates from 1997. Written by Toru Fujisawa, this shonen tells us the story of Eikichi Onizuka, a not-quite-common 22-year-old teacher. 

Dark past, cool and casual appearance, this teacher and this manga marked with their vision of education Nippon particularly dark

The success is also explained by a non-conformity of teaching, which is something sacred in Japan. More than 37 million volumes have been sold internationally!5. Fullmetal Alchemist© Kurokawathumbnail

Fullmetal Alchemist is a manga first released in 2001. Created by Hiromu Arakawa, the work takes place in the country of Amestris where we follow the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric. 

The two protagonists will travel the world in search of the famous philosopher’s stone but will leave a lot of feathers… The maturity of the themes present in the manga constitute its main strength: handicap, science, genocide, quality of life... 

4. Berserk© Glénat


Berserk was created in 1989 by Kentaro Miura. If, after 30 years, it is still so popular, it is largely due to its trash universe.

His magnificent visual effects will immerse you in the world of Guts Griffith, two mercenaries. The success of the manga was made thanks to its lack of taboo: all the dark sides of human society are evoked (pedophilia, rape, massacre). In total the manga has sold 35 million copies.

3. One Piece© Glénat


One Piece is quite simply the best-selling manga in history. With 470 million tomes sold!! 

The work of Eiichiro Oda has been able to mark a whole generation since 1997 and when the announcement of the serious illness of the man, fans were terrified. First, the manga had to take a long break and was almost cancelled just a few chapters from its very end.

Then, at the same time, an official One Piece x Gucci collaboration pops up on the Internet and leaves avid readers confused.

Finally, One Piece was planned as a series on Netflix, and it was later confirmed with the recovery of Eiichiro Oda: this series will be in live action (with real actors) and will be released on Netflix exclusively!2. Naruto© Jump Comicsthumbnail

This is The manga of the 2000s. It’s the story of a young teenage orphan who wants to become the leader of his ninja village. With its retro-futuristic universe, neat fights and incredible storylines, Masashi Kishimoto’s manga has sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. 

It is such a social phenomenon that it will have left its mark on the children of the 2000s. Some fictional aspects of the work have moved into the real world, such as the famous Naruto-Run.

Such success makes this manga one of the most famous names, if not THE name, of manga in the world. 

And the numerous video games (that were also classified) are not for nothing !

1. Dragon Ball© Glénat


There was no real surprise for the first position. This is the most famous manga in the world, the work that has crossed all borders and eras. 

Dragon Ball, released in 1984 and created by Akira Toriyama, tells the story of Son Goku, a super-powered little boy who goes on a quest to find the seven crystal balls. Everything in this manga has become cultish, including the few scenes that were censored in the anime adaptation!

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