We all have that manga that we adore. Whether it’s the amazing artwork, captivating storyline, or interesting characters, something about that manga draws us in.
That’s why the most heartbreaking discovery is a lack of an anime accompaniment to our favorite manga. Instead of experiencing the storyline in all of its anime glory, we’re stuck using our (let’s face it) shriveled-up imagination.
Not only are the manga on this list a must-read, but they really deserve an anime adaptation.
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This manga actually inspired the 2014 movie Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise. While Tom Cruise is awesome, it doesn’t make up for the fact that there’s no detailed anime to go along with it.
All You Need Is Kill follows Keiji Kiriya, a young man who joins the United Defense Force (UDF). Earth is under attack by spiky spheres with teeth, known as Mimics. These alien creatures may not sound all that threatening, but they can obliterate a battlefield in seconds.
When Keiji steps foot on the battlefield for the first time, he’s killed by a Mimic. The story doesn’t end there! Keiji finds himself reliving the same day over and over until he can figure out a way to survive the battlefield.
2. MPD Psycho
The “MPD” in MPD Psycho stands for “Multiple Personality Detective.” The title alone is enough to forewarn you of this manga’s demented plot. But despite its dark elements, MPD Psycho is one of the most requested mangas of all time.
Meet Yosuke Kobayashi, a police detective investigating a series of strange murders. When Yosuke uncovers the most agonizing murder of them all, he starts showing signs of multiple personality disorder and flies into a rage against the serial killer.
Thus, two of his other personalities are born: Kazuhiko Amamiya and Shinji Nishizono. While Kazuhiko is a calm and collected detective, Shinji is a complete psychopath.
Even though a live-action MPD Psycho was produced in 2000, its crisp artwork would truly come to life as an anime.
3. I Am a Hero
Forget The Walking Dead. I Am a Hero is way cooler.
At first, I Am a Hero seems like your typical comedic manga starring a goofy protagonist. 35-year old Hideo Suzuki works as a manga artist’s assistant.
Like many of us, he suffers from low-self esteem and frustration with his job. And yes, he has hallucinations sometimes, but that’s normal (right?).
One day, the world doesn’t seem quite right. He chalks it up to his illusions until he realizes that something much more dangerous is happening: a zombie apocalypse.
Unlike many Japanese citizens, Hideo possesses a shotgun. He equips his gun to protect himself against zombies, and his story of survival begins.
Doubt gives a whole new meaning to the word “rabbit.” Its sick and twisted plot will force you to keep reading, even if you’re scared to see what’s on the next page.
The story revolves around the fictional, cellphone-based Rabbit Doubt Game. This seemingly innocent game resembles the real-life party game, Werewolf, which you might’ve played with your fellow board gamers on game night.
The Rabbit Doubt Game consists of a set of players or “rabbits”. One player secretly assumes the role of a wolf and must survive by eating the rabbits. As the game progresses, the rabbits have to guess which person plays the wolf.
If they guess incorrectly, a rabbit will lose their life. The wolf wins once all the rabbits are gone.
In the case of Doubt, the characters get forced into a real game of Rabbit Doubt. Just one wrong answer results in death.
You’ve heard of zombies, vampires, ghosts, and demons wreaking havoc in a manga or anime, but have you ever heard of a haunted shape? That’s right, Uzumaki is all about the frightening tale of a ubiquitous spiral pattern.
The small, foggy town of Kurouzu-cho has a spiral curse. Local high school students, Kirie Goshima and her boyfriend Shuichi Saito, begin to notice how the curse begins to change the townspeople.
As the curse causes odd occurrences and deaths throughout the town, people only get more paranoid.
The town sits on an island, and the spiral curse makes sure that no one gets in or out. Can Kirie and Shuichi escape? Uzumaki‘s uniquely haunting art style will lure you in immediately.
I think every young adult can identify with Solanin. This manga (unfortunately) isn’t as psychotic or frightening as these other stories. Rather, it’s a refreshing take on the limbo we all experience after we graduate from college.
The main character Meiko Inoue works in a boring office following graduation. She despises her coworkers, as well as her boss, and feels bogged down by her boyfriend who lacks a “real” job.
Meiko makes the decision to quit her job, relying only on her aspiring-rockstar boyfriend’s income and her own savings. She soon realizes that finding her way in life isn’t as easy as she thought.
A live-action Solanin film was released in 2010, but an anime series could explore the emotional depth of Solanin even further.
Everyone loves a good historical manga. Vagabond is no Samurai Champloo—it depicts a fictionalized version of Miyamoto Musashi’s life. Also known as the “Sword Saint,” Musashi became one of Japan’s most renowned warriors.
Vagabond’s story takes place in 16th century Japan and follows a young boy by the name of Shinmen Takezou.
Everyone in the village fears Shinmen for his aggressive behavior and reckless actions. Shinmen ultimately gets shunned from the village and joins the Toyotomi army.
The army quickly gets defeated, and Shinmen promises to improve his behavior. However, he soon finds himself labeled as a criminal and changes his name to Miyamoto Musashi to avoid execution.
Vagabond is a classic, and the absence of an anime is seriously disappointing.
Goodies for Anime & Manga Fans
Keep in mind that anime adaptations aren’t always better.
In fact, you might be disappointed if the anime creators leave out certain scenes or give your favorite character a weird voice. Sometimes, it’s better just to leave a manga in print!
Japanese Anime & Manga Genres, Explained
We all know what fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and thriller mean. But anime and manga go beyond that, and there are all kinds of Japanese genre names that might perplex you.
Maybe you already understand what shonen and shoujo are all about. But what about isekai? What exactly does slice of life entail? What's the difference between ecchi and hentai? We've broken it down for you!
Understanding the Japanese genre names can be helpful when you want to find more anime to watch and manga to read. Download the printable PDF below and pin it on your wall so you always have a handy reference at hand: