The Seinen manga aims mainly at young adults while choosing more mature and relatable themes compared to Shounen Manga. Seinen covers a variety of genres ranging from action to romance but takes a more realistic and grounded route rather than trying to go through a very fictional way.
Due to their more complex plots and characters, many consider them to be the pinnacle of quality in a manga. In this list, we shall be taking a look at the 10 best Seinen Manga that have been made while ranking them.
10. One Punch Man
While many might not realize this because of its comedic tone and gags, One Punch Man is also a manga aimed at the Seinen demographic.
The protagonist of the series, Saitama, is a man who has become too strong for his own good to the point where he is bored with life and its lack of excitement. After gaining a young cyborg as his disciple, he gets convinced to become a hero in his search for a good fight while also contributing to society. Through this, they face many villains and meet friends who assist them in defending the world.
While the plot seems very serious, the manga in reality is the exact opposite. It takes a light tone with everything while making the leader tear up with laughter several times.
9. Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Kaguya-sama is the perfect representative to show the various kinds of genres and unique plots under Seinen manga. Set in an esteemed academy, the series mainly focuses on its 2 main characters, Miyuki- the student council president, and Kaguya- the vice president. While the two of them have romantic feelings for each other, neither admit it as they feel that they would be losing in a twisted game. Rather than that, they constantly try to make the other confess their feelings for them which leads to a series of hilarious events.
Kaguya-sama has one of the most memorable casts in manga as both main characters and side characters are very likable and make the reader invested in each of them.
Made by the great Takehiko Inoue who is known as one of the greatest manga creators ever, Real is a brutally relatable, realistic, and bittersweet story. With 3 intriguing protagonists, the story starts by introducing us to a delinquent who doesn’t seem to have a single decent bone in his body. However, after ruining the life of a girl due to an accident, he actively works toward changing himself. In a coincidental occurrence, he runs into a person playing the game of wheelchair basketball which inspires him to keep working hard. At the same time, it also follows the touching story of its other protagonist who used to be a talented basketball player but ended up paralyzed after an accident. As he struggles to come to terms with his new body, we see him face difficulty after difficulty.
This tale of the delinquent, the wheelchair basketball player, and the paralyzed man inspires us the reader constantly while engrossing us more through every page.
7. March Comes in Like a Lion
March Comes in Like a Lion is a very deep story about the mentality of a young boy who has very high expectations placed upon him. It follows the life of Rei Kiriyama, a middle school student who is considered to be a Shogi genius. Due to this, he has a lot of pressure building up from those around him, and living alone only adds to his anxiety. However, one day he meets three friendly sisters who live with their grandfather and invite him into their home. Their cheery attitudes and friendliness instantly create a bond with Rei as they help him deal with his emotions.
March Comes in Like a Lion is a series that psychologically impacts the reader a lot while looking at the story of this boy who has achieved so much but is still completely unsatisfied with life.
6. Goodnight Punpun
Goodnight Punpun is an extremely depressing series that paints a very dark outlook on society.
It follows the life Punpun Onodera, a boy who is drawn very weirdly with no proper form but is still relatable to most of us. He is extremely naïve and ordinary and seems to be ready to do anything to win the admiration of the girl he likes. However, as life keeps straying his path from her, his feelings only intensify for her despite her having a very twisted personality of her own. Punpun also faces several problems at home which exposes him to several harsh realities and puts an end to his hopeless idealism.
Goodnight Punpun is a very frustrating coming-of-age story that shows us a rarely portrayed version of becoming an adult.
5. Vinland Saga
Vinland Saga is an epic journey set in the age of Vikings. It follows the life of Thorfinn as he grows up in peaceful surroundings as an innocent boy surrounded by his family. However, after his father gets killed, Thorfinn decides to live for the sake of vengeance and constantly chases after Askeladd, the man who killed his father. In the background, there is a huge war stirring between nations, and the life of Canute, the son of the king becomes intertwined with Thorfinn.
The development of Thorfinn from a person filled with rage to one who eventually goes on to preach peace and non-violence is amazing to watch while its historical fiction is immaculately written.
Made by yet another one of the greats in Seinen Manga, Naoki Urasawa, Monster is a thrilling and suspenseful series with a very entertaining storyline.
The story starts as we see a talented doctor by the name of Kenzou who decides to save a little boy over the mayor. However, he goes on to regret this decision as it costs him his career. To top that, our protagonist also finds out that the person he saved is a serial killer by the name of Johan Liebert. Now being accused of the killings of Johan, Kenzou decides to escape while chasing down Johan who he believes is a monster that he himself created.
In this cat-and-mouse chase, we are introduced to a very memorable side cast as well as one of the best antagonists in manga as a whole.
Vagabond tells the story of the life of one of the greatest swordsmen to ever exist, Miyamoto Musashi. It begins as we see him as a young man jumping into war in order to gain fame. Musashi goes in search of strong opponents around the world while striving to become the strongest person under the heavens. While initially, he believes this to be achievable by beating down all his opponents, after running into several people, Miyamoto undergoes changes in his ideals and revaluates the meaning behind his existence.
In addition to having some of the most beautiful fights in manga, Vagabond also has a very beautiful story that keeps us engaged throughout each stage of Miyamoto Mushashi’s life.
For any fans of action and war, there is no manga out there that is better than Kingdom. Set in the warring states period of China, it tells us about the various states in China and the complicated relationships between them. This is told through the eyes of its protagonist, a young boy named Shin who is a very talented warrior.
After losing a friend whom he considered a brother, Shin, who was a slave, escapes and strives to become a great general as per the promise he made to his friend. After a coincidental meeting with the exiled king of the state of Qin, he helps him get his position back while climbing the ranks in the army himself. This epic tale only keeps increasing in scale through each chapter as we get introduced to an amazing cast of characters and a dark tone that aptly conveys the brutality of war.
Berserk is not only widely considered as the best Seinen manga, but the best manga in general. It follows the brutal journey of Guts as he chases after a former friend Griffith who betrayed Guts and killed everyone he loves. His path is filled with danger, however, as he has a mark on his body that makes demons constantly attack him. While leading a lonely life meant only for vengeance, he meets many acquaintances who accompany him along the way while he tries to regain emotions such as happiness which he thought he lost.
Berserk is an extremely gory and mature series with several dark themes and some of the most eye-catching art ever. It has undoubtedly earned its place at the top of this list and deserves to be read by everyone at least once.