In case you were wondering, the world of manga is full of various amazing stories with different genres. The fantasy genre, along with its subgenres like fairy tales, dark fantasy, sword and sorcery, superhero fiction is well-known and is one of the most exciting genres of fiction, whether that be across manga, prose, film, or TV. The best fantasy manga tend to be successful even though they are not usually described with “fantasy” as their primary tag. However, there are some brilliant manga series where the fantastical aspect of it is front and center. That said, we have a list of the 15 best fantasy manga series you need to read.
The Seven Deadly Sins
Sword Art Online
The Rising of the Shield Hero
Attack on Titan
Hunter x Hunter
15. Seven Deadly Sins
Written by: Nakaba Suzuki
Seven Deadly Sins is a shōnen manga written and drawn by Nakaba Suzuki. It was pre-published between October 2012 and March 2020 in Kōdansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine, and was compiled into a total of forty-one volumes.
Liones, Kingdom of Britannia, The Grand Master of the Holy Knights Zaratras has been brutally murdered, and the culprits are said to be seven legendary knights at the service of the king who wanted to overthrow the throne. Ten years later, a young girl named Elizabeth Liones goes in search of these mysterious knights who were once the pride of Liones: the Seven Deadly Sins namely Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride, is a group bringing together seven major knights chosen by the king himself, to thwart a plot hatched by the holy knights against royalty.
She ends up near a tavern whose owner is a little boy accompanied by his pig Hawk. She discovers that the child at the head of the tavern is none other than the Sin of the Dragon of Anger, leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, Meliodas. It is then that their adventures begin in search of the other six Deadly Sins, in order to save Liones.
14. Fairy Tale
Written by: Hiro Mashima
Fairy Tale is a manga written and drawn by Hiro Mashima. It is prepublished in the Weekly Shōnen Magazine. Facing success, the manga was adapted into an anime with a 328-episode anime television series that aired from October 2009 to September 2019.
Lucy Heartfilia, a young magician, dreams of joining a magic guild. Magic guilds are associations offering different tasks to magicians. She meets Natsu Dragnir, a fire-bending magician, who then invites her to join his guild. This is the famous Fairy Tail. The story is focused mainly on the missions carried out by one of the teams of the magic guild Fairy Tail, composed of Natsu, Lucy and Happy, an Exceed, a blue cat with wings. They will be joined by other characters during the adventure.
It is a manga written and illustrated by Atsushi Ōkubo. It was pre-published in Square Enix’s Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine between May 2004 and August 2013, and was compiled into a total of twenty-five volumes. Following the success of the manga, an anime series adaptation premiered and aired from April 7, 2008 to March 30, 2009 on TV Tokyo in Japan.
Several young students of the Shibusen School learn to become Meisters, combat specialists whom harvest souls. This school was founded by master Shinigami, the God of death, with the aim of training young meisters with their demonic weapons, which can take human form, to capture souls. The goal of the Meisters is to swallow 99 corrupted human souls and one witch soul to their weapons, in order to gain access to the rank of Death Scythe.
Black Clover is a shōnen manga written and drawn by Yūki Tabata. It has been pre-published since February 16, 2015 in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, then published by Japanese publisher Shūeisha. An anime television series adaptation by Pierrot studio airs from October 3, 2017 to March 30, 2021. The series has 170 episodes which adapts the first 27 volumes of the manga.
Yuno and Asta have been best friends since childhood and share the same dream: become the next Mage Emperor of the kingdom of Clover, thanks to the power and omnipresence of magic. Yuno is naturally gifted with magic, Asta is unable to handle it. During the ceremony of awarding their grimoire to the school of mages, Yuno receives the legendary four-leaf clover grimoire while Asta leaves his exam empty-handed. But an ancient and mysterious five-leaf decorated black book popped up in front of him! It is a grimoire of anti-magic that could reserve a future full of adventures for our young hero.
Inuyasha is an isekai manga by Rumiko Takahashi pre-published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine between November 1996 and June 2008 and compiled into a total of 56 volumes between April 1997 and February 2009 by Shōgakukan. Kagome, a 15-year-old Japanese girl, leads a peaceful life with her family near a temple in Tokyo until the day she falls into a well and jumps back in time through it. She finds herself in the Sengoku period where monsters and evil spirits abound. She then meets Inu-Yasha, a hybrid being partially human, dog and demon. Inuyasha is looking for the pearl of Shikon to achieve his dream of being a full demon. Following adventures, the pearl of Shikon is burst and Kagome finds herself in possession of one of its fragments. Kagome and Inu-Yasha will be forced to team up to find the missing parts of the pearl of Shikon.
Sword Art Online is a light novel written by Reki Kawahara. Since April 2009, 27 volumes have been published. It was adapted into several manga like Sword Art Online: Aincrad, Sword Art Online 4koma and Sword Art Online: Fairy Dance but also into a 25-episode animated television series between July and December 2012.
Kirito, a video game ace, helps to create a new technology that allows players to guide their avatar with their own body, but things go wrong. They are trapped in virtual reality and have to battle for their own lives. Kirito and his allies go on a mission to release all the minds imprisoned in Aincrad once it is revealed that the only way to exit the game is by beating it. It is one of the best manga about online games.
Written by: Kentaro Miura (1989–2021), Kouji Mori (2022–present)
Set in a medieval dark fantasy world, the story centers on the characters of Guts, a lone swordsman, and Griffith, the leader of a mercenary band called the “Band of the Hawk”. Aiming a mature audience, Berserk enjoys relative popularity in Japan in terms of sales, due to the themes addressed in the manga. Particularly raw, the manga is uncompromising in its way of presenting things: religion, pedophilia, infanticide, incest, rape and the many massacres reflect a particularly dark image of the human soul.
8. The Rising of the Shield Hero
Written by: Aneko Yusagi
The Rising of the Shield Hero is a Japanese light novel series written by Aneko Yusagi. The manga has been compiled in bound volumes since June 2014. In this manga, we discover Naofumi Iwatani, summoned to another world with three other boys to become the “Legendary Four Heroes” of this world. Each of the Heroes was equipped with their own legendary equipment as soon as they were summoned: Naofumi received the “Legendary Shield”, the only defensive equipment of the four, while the others respectively received an offensive weapon.
Having the only defensive weapon, he is the least popular of the four heroes. As a result, he is less appreciated and loved and finds himself with only one teammate to accompany him, an attractive young woman, Myne Suphia while the others receive several teammates. Unfortunately, Naofumi is betrayed, robbed, and falsely accused of rape by his teammate. He thus becomes the unloved of the whole kingdom and is despised by all. Begins his long adventure where he will have to survive on his own.
Gintama is a longstanding shonen manga. Given its comedic nature, it gained popularity amongst readers as one of the best fantasy manga. The series is all about a group of aliens named the Amanto who attack humans causing terror all over the world. Their influence is felt especially in feudal Japan with the prohibition of swords and, as a result Sakata Gintoki, a young man who never left his wooden sword, decides to establish himself as a freelance samurai. He offers his services for any job that will pay, in order to survive. He and his group are among the very few who have not lost sight of a swordsman’s spirit.
At first glance the manga has a historical background without any real story and without any real objective to be achieved by the main character. But as the manga advances, we discover the rest of the characters and their rather dramatic stories.
6. Vinland Saga
Written by: Makoto Yukimura
This manga is inspired by several Icelandic sagas: the Flateyjarbók, the Saga of the Greenlanders and the Saga of Erik the Red. The title of the series refers to the discovery of North America by the Vikings, who named this land Vinland. The discovery would probably have been the fact of the Icelandic navigator Leif Erikson around the year 1000, a character who appears precisely in the manga.
Vinland Saga is the story of a young Icelander, Thorfinn Thorsson. Son of an illustrious warrior, he is driven by revenge against his father’s assassin, Askeladd. Thorfinn will follow and then join his gang to gain combat experience and avenge his father’s death.His quest for revenge will lead him in particular to participate in the invasion of England by the Danes, at the beginning of the eleventh century. This part of the story brilliantly deals with various subjects such as war, politics, religion, and shows a convincing and human portrait of the daily life of the populations victims of the war but also and especially of the warriors, far from the clichés usually conveyed by the Vikings.
5. Attack on Titan
Written by: Hajime Isayama
The manga is a worldwide commercial success, with a total circulation of over 110 million copies in September 2022, making the manga one of the top-selling manga.
The story centers on a world where gigantic man-eating creatures known as titans terrify the world. These creatures nearly exterminated humans and the few percent of them still alive survive by walling themselves behind three enormous walls which protect them from titan attacks. One day, they witness a terrifying scene. A colossal titan made a large entry through the first protective wall and smaller titans passed through to feed on the population. After his hometown is destroyed and his mother killed, young Eren Jaeger, the main protagonist, vows to cleanse the earth of all titans as a revenge for humankind.
Fullmetal Alchemist is a manga pre-published between 2001 and 2010 in the monthly magazine Shōnen Gangan and has been compiled into 27 bound volumes. In Amestris, alchemy has the rank of universal science. Two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, live with their mother, Trisha Elric, whose husband left years earlier. The latter dying from an illness, the two brothers try to bring her back thanks to alchemy, defying the law which formally prohibits human transmutation. Edward, the eldest, loses his left leg and his little brother loses his whole body. Edward sacrifices his right arm and one of his legs by sealing the soul of his little brother Alphonse in armor.
Edward then enlisted in the army at the age of twelve as a State Alchemist, passed the exam and obtained his alchemist name, the Fullmetal Alchemist. With the new status of State alchemists and their research, the two brothers seek the philosopher’s stone which they hope would restore their lost bodies.
We enter the top three of our best fantasy manga series with three successful anime which gained popularity due to the original stories they embark and the well designed characters they have making the series special
3. Demon Slayer
Written by: Koyoharu Gotouge
Demon Slayer justifies its presence in this ranking of best fantasy manga with more than 150 million manga sold worldwide and currently occupies the ninth position of the best-selling manga of all time. It is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge, it follows Tanjiro Kamado, a kind hearted boy who makes a living selling charcoal. However, his peaceful life is shattered when a Demon slaughters his entire family. His little sister Nezuko is the only survivor, but she has been transformed into a Demon herself! No longer controlling herself, she attacks her brother and tries to devour him but he is saved by a powerful demon slayer, Giyū Tomioka.
Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to find a way to return his sister to normal and destroy the Demon who ruined his life. Through this long adventure, he will have to train hard in order to be able to fight more powerful and intelligent demons that he will meet on his way.
Did you know some scenes from the series exist in real life ? Actually some places in the series were inspired from some part of Japan. If you want to learn more head to the Demon Slayer anime pilgrimage right away
2. Hunter x Hunter
Written by: Yoshihiro Togashi
It has been pre-published since March 16, 1998 in Shūeisha publisher’s Weekly Shōnen Jump, and is compiled into thirty-seven volumes as of November 4, 2022. Hunter × Hunter is a highly successful manga and has sold more than 84 million copies to date.
Gon Freecss is a young boy who dreams of becoming a Hunter in order to find his father, the greatest Hunter of all, whom he has only ever seen in pictures. But to become a professional Hunter, you have to pass several very difficult trials and tests. Indeed the hunter’s exam, which takes place every year, is extremely difficult and perilous. It is said that one candidate out of 10,000 arrives at the place of the tests and that only one candidate every three years becomes a hunter on his first attempt. During the trials, it is not uncommon to be injured or even killed by monsters, traps or even other competitors.
On his way, he makes friends such as Kurapika, Killua but also enemies like Hisoka. Will he be able to achieve his dream?
1. One Piece
Written by: Eiichiro Odo
And here is the best fantasy manga series that exists ! With more than 500 million copies sold worldwide, it is the best-selling manga of all time. The adaptation of the manga into an anime has the same success with more than 1000 episodes to date. It is also one of the longest-running anime because since its release on July 22, 1997, the series has been running its course till today but will soon round up as the author announced. One Piece is set in a world of pirates and seafaring folk. The pirates, captains, crews, ships are all carefully designed.
In this world of pirates, there was a time when Gold Roger was the greatest of all pirates, the “Pirate King” was his nickname. Upon his death, his priceless treasure known as “One Piece” was hidden somewhere on the Grand Line. Many pirates went in search of this treasure but no one ever got the treasure. Monkey D. Luffy dreams of finding this legendary treasure and becoming the new Pirate King. After eating a devil fruit, he possesses a power that may allow him to fulfill his dream. Now he has to find a crew to go on an adventure!