One genre which will never stop being popular and will probably run forever is action, especially when shootings, explosions and violent hot babes are involved. Hollywood made action genre its best since the Twenties, and it rapidly spread all over the world getting many people interested in experimenting it by all kind of forms of art. The manga’s universe is no exception. Indeed, action has been introduced in Japanese manga production since the Fifties and since then, many works such as Golgo 13 and Kozure Ōkami became very popular pretty soon, and developed in many types of genres.
The interest in action manga has, indeed, increased since original works like Black Lagoon were able to keep the curiosity of readers alive and intense. Those who have read it know that Black Lagoon is not just “another manga” about gunfights, mercenaries, and murderers, but a complex and kind of realistic story about international illegal traffics between countries in the Southeast of Asia. The work behind Black Lagoon could be defined as “incredible” due to all the details its mangaka Rei Hiroe was careful to add. Every character – who has a different nationality – has his/her unique way of speaking, his/her own elaborate story, and his/her own good reasons for being part of the group. Moreover, the story finds its strong point in the beautiful but the dangerous Revy who – together with Rock and the complicated relationship they share – is the most loved character of the series and best represents what Black Lagoon’s universe really is.
Surely, a series like this is hard to emulate, but there are many good authors who were able to create manga like Black Lagoon. Honey’s Anime tried to gather all the best in this list, so take a look if you want to know 6 manga like Black Lagoon.
Similar Manga to Black Lagoon
1. Dogs: Bullets & Carnage
- Mangaka: Miwa, Shirow
- Genre: Action, Drama, Seinen, Sci-fi
- Volumes: Unknown
- Published: Jun. 2015 – currently
The first manga like Black Lagoon that Honey’s Anime would like to recommend to all Black Lagoon fans is Dogs: Bullets & Carnage. Written and illustrated by ex-doujinshi author Shirow Miwa, Dogs is set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian Europe, in a megalopolis built on many metal underground levels where violence and danger are always behind the corner. Heine, an albino mutant result of an experiment, is the main character in this story. His childhood is connected to the one of three people who were experimented on and are connected to the organization as well: Mihai, a retired assassin in search for revenge, Badou, a smoke-addicted freelance information broker and photographer, and Naoto, a sword master who suffers with amnesia. Their objective? Deal with that tragic past they can’t get rid of.
While this manga like Black Lagoon is considerably darker, Dogs isn’t short in action and shooting sequences. Indeed, the plot revolves all around a group of marginalized characters with a difficult past whose activities just border on legality since it has to deal with secret and dangerous associations. Also, both of the manga’s art style is pretty cinematic, with incredibly detailed fight scenes illustrated so well it could give you the feeling you are watching it on the big screen. Brutality, blood, and guns are what Dogs won’t lack, so if that is what you loved the most about Black Lagoon, you should make some time for Dogs: Bullets & Carnage too.
2. Star Light Woman
- Mangaka: Kanou, Rie
- Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Seinen
- Volumes: 2
- Published: Sep. 2013 – Apr. 2014
Another manga like Black Lagoon that absolutely needed to be on this list is Star Light Woman. With a sci-fi set that reminds a little on the more well-known Cowboy Bebop, Star Light Woman follows the adventures of #214, namely the last hope of an alien race on the verge of extinction Hoshi Yumako. What’s so special about Yumako? Well, she is the possessor of an amazing power able to save the alien race from annihilation. Unfortunately for them, Yumako would just like to live a normal life and isn’t interested at all in being experimented on and being used to help aliens with their revolution. Will she be able to defeat them and realize her dream?
If you ask a Black Lagoon’s fan what is the best thing about this manga, (s)he would certainly reply “Revy”. Defined by some Black Lagoon’s lovers as “the Lara Croft of manga’s world,” Revy is the unquestioned star of the story both for her femme fatale look which made her gain the sympathy most of all of the male audience and her tragic past which made of her a cynical assassin with no regards for human’s life. Well, Revy’s fans would probably be very happy to know that Yumako from Star Light Woman resembles Revy more than pretty well. Starting from her outfit, which consists of ridiculously short pants and shirt, Yumako is far more human than Revy, but this won’t stop her from being destructive, passionate, and determined on fulfilling her mission. Fight scenes and hot camera angles are guaranteed and you can’t definitely afford to miss them!
3. Peepo Choo
- Mangaka: Smith, Felipe
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Parody, Seinen
- Volumes: 3
- Published: Jul. 2008 – Jan. 2010
Have you ever thought that your first flight to Japan could turn into a crazy adventure involving yakuza and mercenaries on their last job? This is the main idea behind Peepo Choo which starts by introducing us to Milton, a teenage otaku who lives in Chicago but would like to live in Japan. Milton spends most of his time dreaming about Japan and out at a local comic shop owned by Gill, a man who had spent a long time in prison and now is trying to make his life better. One day, Gill’s shop hosts a contest which awards the winner an all-expensed vacation to Japan, and Milton happens to win it. What Milton doesn’t know is that Gill has some affair with yakuza and something else in mind for him…
Action and gangster genres were born in America, so who better than an American author could write a story about a mafia and shootings? Yeah, you heard it correctly, because Felipe Smith is an enthusiast author from Ohio who found his art style in Japanese comics and is currently working for Kodansha, in Tokyo. In a similar fashion to series such as Durarara!!, Smith’s Peepo Choo is maybe the one manga which resembles Black Lagoon the most on this list. Not only for the exaggerated style of each comic strip, but also for the content and the characters’ concept. Unconventional people with a complicated past fighting on the streets trying to survive in a hostile environment is the whole point of both of the series. Fans of Black Lagoon won’t be disappointed by giving this manga like Black Lagoon Peepo Choo a try!
Any Manga Like Black Lagoon ?
4. Shi ga Futari wo Wakatsu made (Until Death Do Us Part)
- Mangaka: Song, Ji-Hyung (Art), Takashige, Hiroshi (Story)
- Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Seinen
- Volumes: 26
- Published: Jun. 2005 – Nov. 2015
Some people were born special, like the middle schooler Haruka Tooyama who has always been able to predict the future. Because of her mysterious ability, Haruka is sought after by a powerful organization that wants to land its hand on her and find out about the secret which surrounds her birth. In an attempt to save herself from a terrible destiny, Haruka uses her power to get in contact with Mamoru Hijikata, a blind swordsman to which she assigns a crucial role; to be her protector until death do them part.
What many people found interesting about Black Lagoon was its international setting and its characters that came from different parts of the world. Revy, for example, is Chinese-American, Benny is a Jewish-American, and Rock is the only one of the group to be straight-up Japanese. Also, the nation in which the events take place is Southern China, obviously far away from Japan. Differently from Black Lagoon, Shi ga Futari wo Wakatsu made takes place in Japan, but it preserves the same international atmosphere as Black Lagoon. Indeed, the organization the main characters work at is not composed solely of Japanese. While blades swing and bullets fly from a page to another, big fights and international intrigues in Shi ga Futari wo Wakatsu made could really made you experience the same adrenaline Black Lagoon gave you again.
5. Marginal Operation
- Mangaka: Shibamura, Yuri (Story), Kimura, Daisuke (Art)
- Genre: Action, Military, Seinen
- Volumes: Unknown
- Published: May 2013 – currently
International is also the setting of Marginal Operation, and the main character Ryouta Arata wasn’t absolutely ready. Ryouta is, in fact, a 30-years-old Japanese NEET who spends all of his time watching anime and reading manga. His life changes when he is sent to join a private military company in the Middle East to serve as a strategic battlefield coordinator. Together with his new comrades from all over the world, Arata will undergo a hard training in order to accomplish the mission he was entrusted with.
There is no NEET in Black Lagoon, but just like Rock also Arata is an ordinary poor Japanese man out of place who ends up in a mercenary group far away from home in which all kind of death planners and cruel assassins work. The atmosphere in Black Lagoon is a little less heavy than the one in Marginal Operation, but the awkward situation in which Arata gets involved with is at least as funny as the one Rock was into. Surrounded by weirdos he finds hard to get used to, Arata’s adventures brings up all the best moments in Black Lagoon which made fans fond for it.
- Mangaka: Endou, Tatsuya
- Genre: Drama, Action, Shounen
- Volumes: 2
- Published: Nov. 2007 – Aug. 2008
In a Catholic orphanage located in New York City, an introverted girl was raised to become a dangerous serial killer. In the morning she is just Tista, a shy girl who dreams of becoming a teacher, but at night she becomes Sister Militia, a ruthless assassin who stalks and murders criminals with her sniper rifle. In fact, Tista has got special eyes which allow her to spot targets from huge distances, and she never miss her shot whether they are moving or are stationary. But, what is the purpose behind all the murders? Why is the church involved in criminals’ extermination?
Violence, murders, corruption, and gunfights are the elements which make Black Lagoon the great work it is, so if that is what you want in a manga like Black Lagoon, look no further than Tista. Unlike Black Lagoon which is about a group of mercenaries who work together to smuggle goods around Southeast Asia, Tista follows the adventures of a solitary woman who was raised to be a professional sniper. Does this remind you of someone in particular? Exactly, because Tista’s tragic past and destiny are very similar to Revy’s ones. Like Revy’s, Tista’s destructive personality is the result of a tragic chain of events which led her to an illegal path she has no other choice but to follow. But Tista doesn’t seem to suffer too much about it, and supported by “friends” which end up in her same boat, Tista will accomplish her mission leaving a trail of blood behind her steps.
At the end of a bloody trail what is left is just suffering and regret… except if your name is Revy, Tista, or Yumako and you feel no pain while taking someone else’s life by a hail of bullets. After all, this is what action is meant to be and we hope this list of manga like Black Lagoon were worth enough to make you agree with us that these works are the best Japanese action manga in circulation.
What do you think abou this list of 6 manga like Black Lagoon? Will we able to raise your interest a little? Do you have best options you would like us to write about? Then, let us know with a comment!