Manhwa are emerging as a hub of storytelling potential and artistic brilliance in the industry and fans are beginning to view them as such. Titles like Noblesse have even spawned animated OVAs released in Japan. So they're a pretty big deal and one iteration of this big deal is Ares, our manhwa of choice today as we endeavour on a mission to find others just like it... This body of work by Ryu Kum Chel follows the lives of Ares, Michael and Baroona as they are budding young warriors of the Temple Mercenaries, all set in a world resembling Ancient Rome. Without further ado, we'd like to get right into the 6 manga like Ares!
Similar Manga to Ares
- Authors: Hara Yasuhisa
- Genres: Action, Military, Historical, Drama, Seinen
- Volumes: TBC
- Published: January 2006
Set against the backdrop of a yet to be unified China, two orphaned friends at the lowest point in the social pecking order dream of becoming Generals. One day, Piao is offered an opportunity by a nobleman to undertake an important duty in the royal palace of their state of Qin. Piao and Xin Li exchange parting words of encouragement; however, a fierce coup d'état leaves the palace in shambles and Xin is forced to see his best friend die in his arms. Piao's last words inspire Xin Li to action and he meets the soon-to-be king of Qin, Zheng Ying. Unfortunately, Xin and Zheng don't get along initially, but shared battles bring them closer, and with Zheng's goal of unifying Qin, Xin Li sees an opportunity to climb the ranks of the army.
Kingdom's greatest similarity to Ares is in how they are both based in a fairly ancient society, where the main characters are warriors in some capacity. In both titles, there are multiple characters of importance and these characters generally experience the happenings of their respective stories together. There is a heavy emphasis on war and battle in both Kingdom and Ares, and any fans of strategy or stories where the main characters exist in a militaristic setting will definitely enjoy both.
- Authors: Inoue Takehiko
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Samurai, Historical, Drama, Seinen
- Volumes: 37
- Published: March 1999 - May 2015
Shinmen Takezo is a rowdy and incredibly violent child. He is so violent that his fellow villagers fear him and label him "the devil child". As Takezo grows older, his aggression garners fear and reproach from his fellow villagers, which prompts Takezo and his best friend, Honiden Matahachi, to run away from the village. They enlist in the Toyotomi Army; however, after narrowly surviving a crushing loss at the Battle of Sekigahara, the two are separated. After their separation, Takezo decides to head back to the village in order to notify Matahachi's family of his survival; however, he finds himself returning to a village that is convinced that he murdered his best friend. He is then apprehended and sentenced to a slow death, but a monk visits the village and sets Takezo free, giving him a new name: Miyamoto Musashi.
Like Ares, Vagabond is a story placed in a historical setting, with the latter being based in 16th/17th century Japan. The dynamic of having characters who are friends share a common goal is prevalent in both, as it is the reason why Takezo and Matahachi decide to leave their village and enlist in an army. Both manga emphasise action and combat as a result of their setting in a historical context.
- Authors: Kim Byung Jin (Art), Murata Shinya (Story)
- Genres: Action, Martial Arts, Seinen
- Volumes: 7
- Published: December 2005 - September 2008
Cicero City is a dangerous cesspool of crime and destruction. With immigrants arriving in order to find work and shelter, the town is chaotic and rife with people of different origins all congregating in a single place. Within the city, hiding in the shadows, are the Jackals. They are skilled assassins with no allegiance and they only ever offer their services to the highest bidder. Who are the Jackals and where do they come from?
Like Ares, Jackals is a story about a group of individuals who are trained in the art of combat. As a result, both stories present mysterious organisations which instruct and train certain individuals. These people are adept at combat. Much like Ares, the art for the Jackals manga is done by a Korean artist, bringing it that much closer to manhwa territory - only just.
Any Manga Like Ares ?
4. Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn)
- Authors: Kusanagi Mizuho (Art), Fujitani Touko (Story)
- Genres: Adventure, Romance, Historical, Shoujo
- Published: March 2015 -
Long ago, the Kingdom of Kouka was led by a red dragon in human form. The dragon led the people to much prosperity with the help of four warriors imbued with dragon blood. Yona is the sheltered princess of Kouka who is in love with her cousin, Su-Won. Living in the royal castle has made Yona unable to see the suffering of her citizens; however, her sheltered life ends when Su-Won ruthlessly murders Yona's father, the King, and usurps the throne. With these bloody developments, Yona has no choice but to flee the country. Alongside her trusty bodyguard Son-Hak, Yona embarks on a quest to one day return to Kouka and save her kingdom.
Much like Ares, Akatsuki no Yona is set in a historical period, although this is set in a fictional land, the general feel is that of an ancient Asian empire. The setting then also makes Akatsuki no Yona a manga which is fairly rife with battle. The dynamic between characters is fairly similar to Ares in the sense that there are several characters of importance, namely Yona herself and her bodyguard, Son Hak.
5. Ubel Blatt
- Authors: Shiono Etorouji
- Genres: Action, Ecchi, Adventure, Fantasy, Seinen
- Volumes: TBC
- Published: July 2005 -
When Wischtech threatened to invade all the fiefdoms of the land of Szaalanden, the emperor employed 14 youths. Seven of these youths became the Seven Heroes who halted the invasion and defeated a group known as the Four Lances of Betrayal. Twenty years later, the Lances of Betrayal have returned, starting up a bandit militia; however, a mysterious man appears and single-handedly defeats a troop in this militia. With dark hair and a scar on his face, the mysterious assailant becomes the object of fear and hope in this land.
With Ubel Blatt being set in a land akin to Medieval Europe, it greatly resembles Ares as it is also entrenched in a historical setting. The manga is also quite similar to Ares in terms of art style. Where the story is concerned, Ubel Blatt mirrors Ares in its presentation of 14 chosen warriors - in Ares, Ares, Michael and Baroona are being trained by the temple mercenaries. This shows that both titles bear a particular affinity for militaristic themes.
6. Sengoku Strays
- Authors: Shingo Nanami
- Genres: Action, Fantasy, Historical, Shounen
- Volumes: 15
- Published: December 2007 - October 2014
Kasane is a cheerful and optimistic teenage girl who is absolutely obsessed with Kendo. One day, when she comes into contact with a mysterious sword, she is suddenly sent back in time to the Sengoku Era, right in the middle of the Battle of Sekigahara! Now trapped in the past with no way to get back to her time, Kasane is taken in by Oda Nobunaga... And thus her Sengoku adventures begin!
Ares and Sengoku Strays share the common trope of being based in a particular point in history. Anime and manga generally reference the Sengoku Era due to how pivotal that period of time was for Japan as it exists now. Like Ares, the main character is a youth with a particular affinity for battle - with Ares being trained by the Temple Mercenaries and Kasane being completely crazy for Kendo.
At the end of every great manga, that feeling of accomplishment at having followed the characters to the end of their journeys is followed by a wave of melancholy. The end isn't something we like to think about or see or experience, but it always comes. That's why we come ready to keep you reading what you love - we exist to put you on! We won't always get it right, and that's where you come in - drop a comment below about any manga like Ares so we can be put on too!