We are fortunate enough to be living in an age wherein the manga industry has flourished enough that we have literally thousands of titles available to us. The list only grows longer as each day passes, so finding a good manga to read is no longer an arduous task. The popular ones are almost always good choices if you ever run out of manga to read, but while it’s good to have all of these at arm’s length, these mainstream titles also have a tendency to overshadow less popular but equally great titles.
That’s where we come in. We hope to shed some light on these manga and, hopefully, help them gain the attention they deserve. Here are ten great ongoing manga you’re probably sleeping on right now.
10. Paripi Koumei (Ya Boy Kongming!)
- Authors: Ryo Ogawa, Yuto Yotsuba
- Genres: Comedy
- Volumes: 6+
- Published: June 2021 - Present
Kongming is a renowned general who has fought and won countless battles during the Three Kingdoms period. Even though he’s had a pretty successful career, living during the chaotic war period leaves a lot to be desired. So on his deathbed, Kongming only wishes one thing—to be reborn in a peaceful world. Almost immediately, he gets transported to modern-day Tokyo. This brilliant strategist now has to wade through the crazy and busy streets of today.
We’re not sure how the idea for Ya Boy Kongming! first came into being, but if we’re going to take a guess, we’d bet our gold coins that it included alcohol and late-night banter. But hey, it works! This manga is like a fever dream. It takes a renowned historical figure, puts him in today’s age, and then makes him work wonders. Of course, he does that while wearing out-of-place historical apparel at all times. Somehow, that adds to its comedic effect. The sheer absurdity of the premise and the scenarios he gets himself into are hilarious enough to slightly brighten up a bad day.
9. Choujin X
- Authors: Sui Ishida
- Genres: Action, Supernatural
- Volumes: N/A
- Published: May 2021 - Present
Two high school friends are out and about trying to do some vigilante justice in their town. However, a body made of mere flesh and bone can only do so much, so they avoid supernatural creatures known as the Choujins. These creatures may seem human, but they possess abilities beyond what any mortal can have. The two face the inevitable when a thug comes back seeking revenge. This time, however, he’s no longer human. The two are forced to take a drug that’s supposed to turn them into Choujin, but there are only visible changes to one of them.
Choujin X is another manga from the acclaimed creator of Tokyo Ghoul, Sui Ishida. Similar to his former work, Choujin also tackles a relatively darker premise than most shounen manga. It features chilling power designs, and there are rarely any funny bits to it. Understandably, not everybody may find it to their liking. The dark theme may have a potent charm, but it may be too niche for some. Nonetheless, it does have a unique premise and a plot that’s still getting interesting. If you want to check Choujin X, there’s no better time than now.
- Authors: Yuuji Kaku
- Genres: Action, Supernatural
- Volumes: N/A
- Published: November 2021 - Present
Maruo is a battle-crazed maniac. He just loves the feeling of fighting someone stronger than him, since he really wants to be like a manga main character. In order to achieve that, he trained incredibly hard. He’s become so strong that there’s nobody that can give him a good fight - no human, at least. During one fortunate event, he meets a girl named Urara as she runs away from a group of thugs. He enthusiastically saves her after realizing that the thugs chasing Urara are not mortals. With a crazy smile on his face, he now aims to fight anybody who tries to harm Urara as well as anybody who needs a beating.
Ayashimon is still in its very early phase, but it already shows promise. It has interesting characters, and the premise is already quite established. On one hand, we have an intimidating mistress aiming to exact revenge and destruction. On the other hand, we have a strong crazed fighter. Together, they may shake some supernatural things up, and we are preparing our snacks as we wait for that to happen. Then, there’s also the fact that the main character’s primary motivation is wanting to be like the manga heroes he’s always read about. Very relatable, right?
7. Boku to Roboko (Me & Roboco)
- Authors: Shuuhei Miyazaki
- Genres: Comedy, Sci-Fi
- Volumes: 5+
- Published: July 2020 - Present
The world is now so technologically advanced that almost every household has a cute robot maid, but the Bondo household is unfortunately too poor to afford one. However, they get (un)lucky enough to pick one up. The robot’s name is Roboco, and she’s definitely not an ordinary one. She has weapons, a unique attitude, and also lacks every skill a proper robot maid should have. Even so, Roboco proves to have a unique charm that draws everybody toward her.
First and foremost, Me & Roboco is a parody manga. Do not expect a plot or anything serious from it. It’s a pure-blooded gag manga. If we’re going to put it loosely, it’s basically a Doraemon ripoff but more wholesome. It’s not afraid of directly referencing other manga, even going to such lengths as copying the designs for its volume covers. However, that’s not its only charm. It has unique humor and has a knack for breaking stereotypes. It doesn’t conform to typical notions of comedy and almost always ends on a wholesome and positive note. With all of that said, check Me & Roboco out, as its kind seems to be getting rarer and rarer as years go by.
6. Shouha Shouten (Show-ha Shoten!)
- Authors: Takeshi Obata and Akanari Asakura
- Genres: Comedy
- Volumes: N/A
- Published: October 2021 - Present
After vowing to say something funny to his crush the next time they meet, Azemichi has been trying to improve his comedy skills each day. He’s been submitting and winning a daily one-line comedy contest. He doesn’t plan to go pro - all he wants is to tell his crush something funny when they meet again. However, this changes when he meets a former child actor turned aspiring comedian, who tricks him into being his partner for his school competition. Azemichi discovers his love for performing, and now, he aims to be the best.
Like Ayashimon, Show-ha Shoten! is still in its early chapters. It’s an interesting mix of comedy and slice of life, and its premise is also a bit similar to Bakuman, one of Takeshi Obata’s many works. But since Takeshi Obata is responsible for the art, we’re quite sure it’s not a ripoff or whatnot. Nonetheless, the manga tackles the theory of comedy and chops it into bite-size pieces. It shows comedy as an art, while also throwing in some funny scenes. Sounds interesting? Do give it a try.
5. Isekai Meikyuu no Saishinbu o Mezasou (DUNGEON DIVE: Aim for the Deepest Level)
- Authors: Saki Ukai, Tarisa Warinai, Keisuke Sato
- Genres: Fantasy, Isekai / Another World
- Volumes: 1+
- Published: October 2021 - Present
Kanami has pretty bad luck. One moment he’s in the hospital, and the next thing he knows is that he’s about to be killed. To be fair, he may still end up back in the hospital—if this world actually has one. Without equipment, knowledge, powers, or anything else, he must now tread through this world using his own might. Worse is that he eventually learns that he needs to reach the deepest part of the dungeon to even have a chance of going back.
The greatest aspect of DUNGEON DIVE: Aim for the Deepest Level is the fact that the readers get to explore this new world with the protagonist. The manga doesn’t show anything that the protagonist hasn’t discovered. That means we’re as clueless as he is. Because of that, there are a lot of mysteries and missing lore that we can’t wait to learn about, and it means we can speculate as much as we want and try to string things together as the story progresses. Needless to say, it’s a really interesting read.
- Authors: Mapollo 3
- Genres: Music
- Volumes: N/A
- Published: September 2018 - Present
Lucky Sonoda is the seventh sibling of the Otogami septuplets, but he’s been abandoned because of his mediocre talent at playing the piano. After all, the Otogamis are renowned for their piano-playing prowess, and the other six of the septuplets are natural-born geniuses. When Lucky’s mediocrity comes to light, his father starts to abuse him. His mother protects him against this, which then leads to his parents’ divorce and Lucky’s disownment. But even after all that, Lucky’s love for the piano never fades. Lack of talent and whatnot aside, he finally now faces his dream and strives for a chance to play.
The first things that grabbed our attention about PPPPPP were the title and the art style. We mean, just what kind of title is that? It doesn’t offer any information or any kind of hook. Well, we guess it does a good job at catching attention. Anyway, it has a unique art style. The character designs are shaggy and rough, and yet it’s not really dirty-looking, which perfectly matches the manga’s theme. The plot is also a pleasant surprise. It’s interesting and laid down in a way that isn’t difficult to digest. Most of all, Lucky’s character is easy to empathize with. After all, who hasn’t ever felt mediocre but still pushed through for the sake of their own happiness?
3. Nige Jouzu no Wakagimi (The Elusive Samurai)
- Authors: Yuusei Matsui
- Genres: Adventure, Comedy
- Volumes: 3+
- Published: January 2021 - Present
The age of samurai is not peaceful. People of this age, including children, have experienced war and bloodshed, and most aren’t fortunate enough to live a long life. Even families of high-ranking officials are no exception. In fact, Tokiyuki Houjou will probably vehemently argue that he has it the roughest. After his clan is betrayed and massacred, he’s the only hope that his clan has of regaining its former glory. However, he’s only a kid and he has a lot of pursuers aiming for his head. All he can do is run!
From the same creator as Assassination Classroom, we’re given another intense action-packed manga. The manga is now 3 volumes through, and the story is still getting better. Tokiyuki’s faction is continuously growing, and he’s starting to prove that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Instead of following the typical route of merely growing stronger, The Elusive Samurai tells the story of someone who is just good at fleeing. The manga also has a nice, clean art style and refreshing comedy. Surely, you won’t want to get away from it.
2. Twin Star Exorcists
- Authors: Yoshiaki Sukeno
- Genres: Action-Adventure, Romance, Supernatural
- Volumes: 23+
- Published: July 2015 - Present
When the world is plagued by demon-like creatures known as Kegare, one boy named Rokuro vows to be anything other than an exorcist. However, his life takes one sudden rollercoaster dive that changes his fate. He meets a mysterious girl named Benio and a weird man who claims that the two of them are the Twin Star Exorcists. That means he has to marry Benio and get to work in order to give birth to the prophesied child. Now, Rokuro racks his head to figure out what to do with this constantly growing debacle.
Twin Star Exorcists perfectly fits the definition of a shounen manga. We have a hotheaded protagonist who jumps head-first into action, an interesting demon-busting plot, intense fight scenes, and, of course, bits of comedy to lighten up the mood every now and then. That’s why we’re confused why this manga isn’t up there with Jujutsu Kaisen, My Hero Academia, and Black Clover. Also, it’s one of the few manga that actually has good romance progression. The pairings aren’t really forced, and the mangaka knows how to build up their relationships. That said, be sure to check it out if you’re a fan of typical shounen.
1. Blue Lock
- Authors: Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Yusuke Nomura
- Genres: Sports, Thriller
- Volumes: 10+
- Published: March 2021 - Present
Japanese football players can play on the world stage with the best in the field. However, the national team always falls short during the World Cup. The Football Association decides that things have to change. They employ one crazy enthusiast who wants to revolutionize Japanese football. He believes that Japan’s love for order and fitting in with the group have dulled its strikers’ skills. What Japanese football needs are great strikers—crazed, extremely selfish strikers.
Blue Lock may be a soccer manga, but it isn’t the typical sports manga. In fact, it’s probably more appropriate to call it a death game manga without anyone actually dying. That is what makes it intriguing. The Blue Lock program aims to produce the most egocentric striker - someone who is not afraid of devouring everybody, including his teammates, just to score a goal. By doing so, we are presented with monsters filled with killing intent, giving the typical passionate and cheerful sports manga a big slap in the face. Of course, it wouldn’t make this list if it wasn’t actually good.
Manga that have made it mainstream are almost always good. After all, that’s the reason they’ve made it big in the first place. However, it doesn’t always mean that less popular titles are crap. Sometimes, fate just doesn’t shine upon them and they don’t get the opportunity they deserve. Hopefully, this article will help with that. Plus, the fact that we’ve discovered these manga before they’re cool will definitely be a good flex. Tell us in the comment section below if you’re picking up any of these amazing titles!