Viruses in real life are pretty annoying. Whether you’re talking about computer viruses or biological ones, once a virus comes your way usually bad things follow. However, in the manga world, viruses are usually ten times worse. Often a virus within a mangaka’s work leads to a slew of horrible things for either the entire world or a select group of individuals. Death and/or tragedy tends to follow once a virus hits leading to some rather dark stories of survival.
That’s why an interesting list came to our minds here at Honey’s Anime. We pondered the question of which viruses are the more interesting in the manga world. With a little research and some re-readings of our favorite manga, we came to a consensus that we think makes for an interesting list. With that, we welcome you all to our Top 10 Manga Viruses list. Horror and sci-fi are just a few genres awaiting in our list but regardless we know you’re going to want to read this one.
10. Influenza-like Virus from Kansen Rettou
- Authors: Kakizaki, Masasumi
- Genres: Drama, Horror, Psychological, Seinen
- Volumes: 1
- Published: 2008
Dr. Matsuoka Tsuyoshi has seen many viruses in his life of being an ER doctor. However, one day when he deals with a patient with what looks to be influenza, Matsuoka is stunned at the power of the virus. The patient was sick one day and the next, is dead due to multiple organ failure. If this wasn’t alarming enough, this infected patient isn’t the only one as multiple are coming into the hospital with the same symptoms! With Japan’s infection rate reaching high numbers, it’s up to doctors like Matsuoka to see if there’s a way to stop the infection from exterminating Japan.
We here at Honey’s Anime were really trying to figure out what was the best way to start our list. Then it occurred to us why not start our Top 10 Manga Viruses list with the Influenza-like Virus seen in Kansen Rettou. While Influenza, in general, is a common thing in all parts of the world, in Kansen Rettou we see a new strain of Influenza with horrifying symptoms. While Kansen Rettou might be a mere 1 volume long manga, the story will last with you sometime after reading. Viruses in the real world change all the time and that’s why it’s not impossible for something like this to occur in the real world…
9. Emergent Virus from Emerging
- Authors: Hokazono, Masaya
- Genres: Drama, Horror, Psychological, Seinen
- Volumes: 2
- Published: 2004
Japan, by many, is considered one of the best countries around. With a model system of government and crisis prevention, Japan seems almost impervious to a large-scale threat. However, what if a virus spread and began infecting the bigger areas such as Shinjuku? How would Japan respond and is there a way to avoid a mass panic? Find out in Emerging where several men and women race against the clock to prevent Japan from sinking into destruction from a viral outbreak.
In Emerging by mangaka Hokazono Masaya, we see a real-life Japan hit by a large-scale viral outbreak. Dubbed the Emergent Virus, those infected suffer pretty horrific symptoms. Not only do their eyes become blood red but they eventually will bleed out suddenly leading to death. Making matters worse is that this isn’t an overly ridiculous concept. In the real world, infection from touching or a simple cough can lead to nasty flus and viruses which ultimately makes the Emergent Virus a scary virus if something like this should ever occur.
8. Zombie Virus from Apocalypse no Toride (Fort of Apocalypse)
- Authors: Kuraishi, Yuu- Inabe, Kazu
- Genres: Action, Mystery, Horror, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Psychological
- Volumes: 10
- Published: Sep, 2011- Aug, 2015
Yoshiaki Maeda was wrongfully convicted for murder and has been sent to Shouran Academy Juvenile Detention Center. Here Maeda is put into Cell 4 and while he makes friends with some his cellmates, he’s not to happy to learn of a power struggle going on within the detention center. Unfortunately for Maeda, this is just the beginning of horrible things to come. Outside the detention center, a virus has begun to spread turning people into zombies and a bus coming to the detention center delivering more inmates is carrying one of the infected…
While the virus in Apocalypse no Toride is an unknown one, it still makes our list for the sheer fact that it’s a terrifying zombie virus. One bite is enough to spread the symptoms and cause the infected to die and resurrect as a bloodthirsty cannibal. While some may think Apocalypse no Toride is yet another zombie story, mangakas Kuraishi Yuu and Inabe Kazu do a great job of keeping tension and fear high as we witness the various characters surviving in a jailed facility. That’s why the zombie virus from Apocalypse no Toride makes it onto our list of the Top 10 Manga Viruses. Seriously, surviving a zombie infestation is bad but being locked in a prison-like facility with zombies is even worse.
7. Kamiyadori Virus from Kamiyadori
- Authors: Sanbe, Kei
- Genres: Action, Drama, Ecchi, Seinen, Sci-fi, Shounen
- Volumes: 5
- Published: Mar, 2004- Mar, 2006
The world that was once beautiful has become a living nightmare. After a biological virus spread, humans began to change into monsters. These monsters called Kamiyadori have to be killed to prevent mankind from being 100% annihilated. Thus, a group called Right Arms has given special individuals a minor version of the Kamiyadori virus to grant them enhanced power. As agents of Rights Arms, these warriors must use their power to kill the Kamiyadori and save whatever’s left of the world.
We here at Honey’s Anime have had our fair share of nightmares. Monster would chase us and we’d have to fight to survive or just end up perishing at their strength of them. However, imagine if this wasn’t just a mere nightmare but the reality? Well, we get to see that in mangaka Sanbe Kei’s work known as Kamiyadori. Here, we see a virus—the Kamiyadori Virus—spread across the world and create horrific monsters that only wish to kill anything they see. The Kamiyadori Virus might be pure fiction but that doesn’t stop us from hoping that it stays that way.
6. Zombie Virus from I Am a Hero
- Authors: Hanazawa, Kengo
- Genres: Drama, Horror, Psychological, Seinen
- Volumes: 22
- Published: Apr, 2009- Feb, 2017
35-year-old Hideo Suzuki was a great mangaka at one time. However, after Hideo’s series begins to produce terrible sales numbers, he is downgraded to a mangaka assistant. With a slew of mental problems and a girlfriend who may be cheating on him, Hideo’s life has hit rock bottom. Though life for Hideo only gets worse when Japan is overcome with zombies. Now Hideo needs to somehow become a hero and maybe change his life for the better despite the dire circumstances around him.
While this isn’t our first zombie virus on our list, we included it because I Am a Hero is one heck of a zombie manga. Crafted by mangaka Hanazawa Kengo, I Am a Hero creates a tale of suspense as we see the zombie virus spread across Japan infecting one person after another. With beautiful art work and a truly gripping tale spread across 22 volumes, I Am a Hero’s zombie virus leads to an interesting take on a comeback tale of a man who has lost it all and now has to try to get a new life from the ashes of the old one. Definitely check out I Am a Hero if you want a great manga to read!
5. The Heart of Akuro from Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen (Alive- The Final Evolution)
- Authors: Kawashima, Tadashi- Adachitoka
- Genres: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 21
- Published: Oct, 2003- Feb, 2010
Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen focuses our story on a young man named Taisuke Kanou. With a normal high school life and a normal slew of friends, life for Taisuke seems pretty average. Though this normality is shattered one day when a mysterious infection changes the world. Those infected tend to commit suicide but a small portion who are infected end up undergoing a change. This change occurs in Taisuke and now with special powers he must fight alongside others to keep his friends and his own life from being destroyed by those who wish to abuse this “gift”.
Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen’s virus is one that is pretty interesting. Known as The Heart of Akuro, this alien life form isn’t a virus per say but it does infect others like a virus. Meant to separate the weak from the strong, the alien virus infects the host and causes suicide to occur if the host is weak. That sounds pretty creepy but we won’t lie it almost makes for one heck of a story. If you haven’t read Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen then we fully recommend it to see how humans survive this odd alien-like virus.
4. Nightshift from Dawn: Tsumetai Te
- Authors: Ueda, Shinshu
- Genres: Drama, Horror, Josei
- Volumes: 6
- Published: Apr, 2002- Aug, 2007
Ever hear of this old saying? History is bound to repeat itself? Well for Nagasawa Takashi, he’s about to learn the horror of that statement. An old virus known as Nightshift has returned to the world. Once infected, you become a horrifying zombie and that means for Takashi and his friends it’s time to do battle against a zombie plague.
You might be thinking: wow, there are a lot of zombie viruses on our list. While you’re not wrong, very few of them have actual names. That’s what makes Nightshift—the zombie virus in question—so interesting in the manga Dawn: Tsumetai Te. With an apparent history and an actual name, we see Nightshift decimate humanity once more. How many zombie manga have a history of people surviving a zombie apocalypse to only have it happen again? Not many to say the least folks.
3. NSS Infection from Biomega
- Authors: Nihei, Tsutomu
- Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Seinen
- Volumes: 6
- Published: Jun, 2004- Jan, 2009
Sometime in a far-off future a terrible infection begins to spread in the world. Titled by man the NSS Infection, those who are infected begin to change. The virus begins to alter the infected and change their bodies into mutated husks. With no cure, the NSS Infection begins to make the world into a zombie infested wasteland. Zouichi Kanoe and his AI partner Fuyu Kanoe are hired by Toha Heavy Industries to search for those immune like Zouichi. Together these two must enter a horrific landscape in search of a means to stop the utter extinction of mankind.
Coming in at number 3 on our Top 10 Manga Viruses list, we look at the NSS Infection from Biomega. Mangaka Nihei Tsutomu is known for creating tales of sci-fi and horror but Biomega is indeed a step above the rest. The NSS Infection Nihei created for Biomega seems like a scary thought when you realize it’s not just a normal zombie like virus. Within Biomega we see people with distorted proportions and zombie-like mentalities. If we’re being honest, that’s what makes the NSS Infection so terrifying and yet so interesting. It’s a twist on your normal zombie outbreak story and we always like when a zombie story isn’t done in an overly cliché manner.
2. Bloody X from Bloody Monday
- Authors: Kibayashi, Shin- Megumi, Kouji
- Genres: Action, Drama, School, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Psychological
- Volumes: 11
- Published: Mar, 2007- Apr, 2009
Deep in Russian land a virus has been created called Bloody X. Once a victim is infected with the virus, they will perish within 3 hours. Unfortunately for the world, the virus has been taken into the hands of a terrorist organization. With the information being only visible on the online space the Japanese government is forced to take action. Hiring young Fujimaru Takagi—known online as the famous hacker The Falcon—Fujimaru must hurry to crack a series of mysterious to prevent humanity from being infected by this deadly virus.
We knew going into this list of the Top 10 Manga Viruses that Bloody X from Bloody Monday would be on here. The fact that this virus seems so powerful is a scary thought indeed. A mere 3 hours after infection causes death? That alone makes the whole story of Bloody Monday a race against the clock! That’s why if you have not picked up and read Bloody Monday, you need to rectify that immediately if you love action and drama stories with a tinge of political agendas and espionage.
1. Hinamizawa Syndrome from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Onikakushi-hen
- Authors: Suzuragi, Karin- Ryukishi07
- Genres: Mystery, Drama, Horror, Psychological
- Volumes: 2
- Published: Mar, 2005- Mar, 2006
Keiichi Maebara has gone with his family from the city to a small little town called Hinamizawa. Here in the year of 1983, the town seems almost isolated from the world with an eerie calm and old style feeling. Though quickly, Keiichi is able to make the most out of his new home and even befriends a group of girls like Rena Ryuuguu and Mion Sonozaki. However, Hinamizawa holds a dark past that is hidden away from most. Whether he wishes to or not, Keiichi is about to learn the darkness that looms of Hinamizawa as he and his friends begin to experience it firsthand…
Now, we won’t spoil anything much here but one of the major themes of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Onikakushi-hen is the Hinamizawa Syndrome. This odd “virus” seems to infect the host through unknown means and makes them experience terrible symptoms such as hallucinations, formication—which is what the syndrome is loosely based on—and violent urges to name a few. While most who aren’t privy to the world of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Onikakushi-hen might argue this isn’t a virus. We shall only say that as the story progresses—this is a mystery manga after all—you will understand why we placed Hinamizawa Syndrome at number one on our list of the Top 10 Manga Viruses. Trust us, you want to read Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Onikakushi-hen as this mystery manga is one of the best out there.
The idea of any type of virus and then the leading infection changing our world is a scary one. That’s what makes some of the manga above even creepier is that some of these stories aren’t too farfetched. Yet, at the end of the day we’re glad the stories above are all fiction and their viruses mentioned within are just crafted ideas by mangaka who have a pretty amazing imagination. Though we here at Honey’s Anime will pose a final question to you all. Which of the manga about in our list of the Top 10 Manga Viruses is the scariest to you and why? Comment down below and for even more articles of intrigue keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!