Throughout the world and in the course of humankind’s history, there have been stories of fantastic beasts, creatures, and beings that inspired various cultures. Creatures in the arts, literature, and folklore continue to excite, entertain, thrill and terrify today. Evolving from species that existed in the past or beings that are entirely made up, a creature’s shape, quality, and characteristics remain in our mind and never fade away. Over time, stories of creatures grow into epic legends with their prestige transcending their maker. Creepy, magnificent, unique and grim, in the following manga, we present to you ten recommendations for the best creatures. We know there are many more beautiful and fearful beings, but here’s what we’ve gathered so far! Here we go!
10. [Goblin] Teppei Ushizume from Iron Knight
- Mangaka: Yagi, Tomohiro
- Genre: Action, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 3
- Published: December 2013 – March 2014
In the manga Iron Knight, we are introduced to Teppei Tsubasa, a young boy who experiences the means to survive after a life-altering event causes a strange epidemic. On this fearful day, many villains and criminals mysteriously transform into terrible monsters resulting in their attack on the rest of humanity and the imminent destruction of the world. Demons, monsters, and goblins roam the Earth, some mindlessly, and a few have a bit of their humanity left in them. As for Teppei, he has a quality that differs from the rest of the creatures, something that can protect and save the people.
Teppei was just an average kid, ambitious in serving justice and peace like his father until this situation took place. When Teppei turned into a goblin, he retained his righteousness and morality. His willpower and control allowed him to keep his personality intact. Teppei's mind was clear, which allowed for fewer distractions, focusing on his physical powers like having an iron body and creating fire.
9. [Lethal Virus] Kamiyadori from Kamiyadori
- Mangaka: Sanbe, Kei
- Genre: Action, Ecchi, Horror, Sci-Fi, Shounen
- Volumes: 5
- Published: July 2003 – January 2006
Kamiyadori tells the tale of specialized government agents, Girard and Vivi, whose objective is to find and destroy people “infected.” As “Right Arms” agents, this elite agency came into formation after a strange virus swiftly swept their world, turning humans into monsters called Kamiyadori. The only way to keep the population under control is to exterminate the infected. At the first sign that the person has the virus, they are eliminated at once. It is a cruel operation, but Girard and Vivi must remain proactive to ensure humanity’s survival.
The virus that the Kamiyadori possess is crazy scary, as not men, women, or children are safe from the risk of contamination. What’s scarier are the agents ordered to destroy them based on the slightest evidence of abnormality. The government may believe this method to be the most efficient, but we honestly see it as harsh and extremely severe.
8. [Subterranean Monsters] from Hakaijuu
- Mangaka: Honda, Shingo
- Genre: Action, Mystery, Horror, Shounen
- Volumes: 21
- Published: April 2010 – June 2017
Hakaijuu begins seemingly ordinary, as a high school student, Akira Takashiro, is gearing up to shoot some hoops with his buddy, Elji Kudou. The boys make a wager on the game, with the winner scoring a chance to ask out a girl of their choosing. As the ball escapes his grasp, the court is suddenly jolted with a huge earthquake, knocking Akira unconscious. After he comes to, Akira wakes to the sight of monsters consuming people! Akira rallies to a group of survivors searching for safety but realizes that there is nowhere to run.
With origins unknown, questions of how they came to exist are answered with uncertainty, such as how long these creatures were dormant underneath the surface or why they chose this time to make an appearance. Everyone is scrambling for their lives, unsure of where to turn to if the monsters are approaching the surface from below. Some people want to play hero, and others grow delusional over time. As we move further into the manga, authorities finally step in to learn more about these monsters, thus putting the brakes on all hell breaking loose.
7. [Immortal] Kijin-sama from Uratarou
- Mangaka: Nakayama, Atsushi
- Genre: Action, Fantasy, Historical, Supernatural, Seinen
- Volumes: 6
- Published: July 2016 – September 2017
The story of Uratarou chronicles the life of Princess Chiyo Taira. As a child, Princess Chiyo evaded being captured by the Minamoto Army due to her mother’s ultimate sacrifice. Ducking the officials, the Princess has been on the run for a long time, traveling the land in search of immortality. At 15 years old, she finally has a lead on an immortal named Kijin-sama, eventually meeting him. Puzzled by his urge to end his life, Chiyo and Kijin-sama form an unusual friendship. How will they help each other in the end and will they both achieve what they wish?
Immortality has been a quality sought after, demonstrated throughout a wide range of mythology. However, it is an element to be carefully considered and not to be taken lightly. To live forever grants an individual the chance to see and do all that they desire. On the other hand, if an individual has had their fill of life and doesn’t wish to broaden their horizons, they are caught in the dilemma of living a life they want terminated, just like Kijin-sama. A prize or a burden, Uratarou opens our eyes to living a fulfilling life.
6. [Skeleton] Skeleton Knight from Gaikotsu Kishi-sama, Tadaima Isekai e Odekakechuu (Skeleton Knight, Going Out to the Parallel Universe)
- Mangaka: Sawano, Akira; Hakari, Enki
- Genre: Action, Fantasy
- Volumes: 2+
- Published: February 2017 – Ongoing
While playing an online game, our protagonist falls asleep. As he comes to, he finds himself in a peculiar world as his in-game character with nothing but his weapon and armor. Suddenly, the notable avatar skin “Skeleton” transforms the protagonist’s appearance as he enters this new world. However, wanting to live harmoniously in this new world by not drawing any attention he encounters a dark elf named Ariana. Now, his quest has been slightly detoured.
Whether it is a fantasy or a nightmare waking up as a max-level MMO character, it is even more frightful emerging as a skeleton. His holy knight armor is as good as they come, showing off his brute strength and taking down his enemies in one or two blows. A deathly looking creature underneath that helmet and protective coverings, this guy is someone you don’t want to mess with.
5. [Yokai] Rokka from Monster Girl (Yokai Girls)
- Mangaka: Funatsu, Kazuki
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, Harem, Supernatural, Seinen
- Volumes: 14
- Published: March 2014 – June 2017
Yatsuki Nishizuru is as run-of-the-mill as they come—he’s graduated from school, works part-time at a general store in Akiba, and has never had a girlfriend. However, a characteristic that makes him stand out from the crowd is his ability to see yokai spirits. Not wanting to stick out, he ignores his unique sight, keeping it a secret until one day, he meets a mysterious young lady named Rokka. Waving his normalcy goodbye, Yatsuki is now guardian to a clan of sexy supernatural yokai.
Yokai are a class of supernatural creatures ranging from demons, monsters, and spirits in Japanese culture and folklore. Diverse in purpose, yokai can be either mischievous or malevolent and occasionally bring good fortune. This manga brings a warm lightheartedness to these entities, showing that a balance can exist between the spirit world and the living world.
4. [Cyclops] Hitomi Manaka from Hitomi-sensei no Hokenshitsu (Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary)
- Mangaka: hake O
- Genre: Comedy, School, Supernatural, Seinen
- Volumes: 7
- Published: September 2013 – Ongoing
Monster Infirmary or Hitomi-sensei no Hokenshitsu is an adorbs story which features all sorts of students with physical and mental issues, even cute monsters. These teenager monster girls seek help from favorite school nurse Hitomi as they undergo difficult changes through puberty. Did I mention Hitomi has one eye?! You will surely laugh at the scenarios the monster girls face and get a glimpse of Hitomi’s personal life. This story has unique characters and is fresh in the monster girl genre. Eye would recommend it!
A Cyclops origin comes from Greek and Roman mythology, stemming from a class of primitive giants. They were strong and wild, adept at doing things their way. Hitomi-sensei shares this quality with her ancient comrades, as her unique and peculiar habits gets her into trouble sometimes. One of the more exciting and interesting creatures on this list, Hitomi-sensei made a trip to the nurse’s office an exciting experience!
3. [Spider] Kumoko from Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? (So, I’m a Spider, What About It?)
- Mangaka: Kakashi, Asahiro; Baba; Okina
- Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
- Volumes: 4
- Published: December 2015 – Ongoing
A whole class full of high school students were found dead. The cause was a mysterious explosion. The souls of the students were carried into a fantasy world and reincarnated. Some students were reborn as princes or prodigies, and others were not as lucky. The main character, lowest of the social chain, realizes she reincarnated as a spider!! This story focuses on Kumoko’s efforts of climbing up the food chain in the dangerous dungeon she seems to be stuck in. Survival is vital; feast or be eaten!
Arachnophobia is the irrational fear of spiders and one of the most common phobias in the world. People with this fear of spiders tend to become uneasy in any area believed spiders reside or existed, such as evidence of spider webs. Reaction to spiders can vary but nevertheless is a scary experience. In this manga, Kumoko becomes the black widow herself. In as little as two years, she made quite a reputation for herself as the “nightmare of the labyrinth,” a fearful and threatening force. I wouldn’t want to get tangled in her web, yikes! Kumoko is a deadly creature!
2. [Dream Eater] Hiruko from Yumekui Kenbun (Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun)
- Mangaka: Mashiba, Shin
- Genre: Demons, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Shoujo, Supernatural
- Volumes: 9
- Published: April 2008 – August 2009
If there is anyone who suffers from extreme night terrors, there is someone out there who can help you, for a cost. At the Ginseikan Tea House, customers can order more than just fancy beverages. Hiruko offers his talents as a particular kind of private investigator, only that his service is off the menu. Digging into your deepest and darkest nightmares, he can get rid of them for you because he is a dream eater.
Hiruko is the nightmare inspector; a creature called a Baku, which feeds on dreams. According to Japanese folklore, Baku were molded out of the spare parts of other supernatural beings. As a dream eater, he can filter out the bad in your dreams, and in return, he eats them. Although dream eaters sound terrifying, their existence proves more helpful than harmful.
1. [Ghost] Yusuke Urameshi from Yuu ☆Yuu ☆Hakusho
- Mangaka: Togashi, Yoshihiro
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 19
- Published: November 1990 – July 1994
Yuusuke Urameshi lived a rough teenage life. He didn’t have a father, and his mother was always absent, partaking in activities that a mother shouldn’t consider a priority over her child. As a delinquent, he acted and reacted to get others to acknowledge his presence, mainly getting into fights. One day, a selfless act of kindness changed his life and at the same time, ended it. After he saved a child from a speeding vehicle, the afterlife didn’t know what to do with him, so it pushed him back into the world of the living, as a ghost! Now given a second chance at life, Yuusuke is required to perform good deeds under the orders of members of the spirit realm.
Ghosts exist in a myriad of folklore, defined as a soul or spirit of a deceased person that persists in the material, living world. Their presence in our space is regarded as unnatural, often associating them with a fearful reaction. Long ago, and to this day, ghosts remain an essential feature of the topics of horror and urban legends. In regards to this manga, the author takes this concept and switches it up a bit, twisting our ideals of what we usually think about ghosts by placing Yuusuke in a more pleasant light.
We hope you enjoyed our recommendations for top 10 manga creatures! If you haven’t already, make sure to check out all of these great titles! As always, we truly appreciate you guys tuning in, letting us know if we’ve missed any other great manga creatures by commenting below! Thanks, and see ya!