10 Books/Manga Like Zatch Bell
Zatch Bell is a beloved comedy, action, and fantasy manga of the same name. It takes place years after the Zatch became the Mamodo King in the original and has him and his human partner Kiyo combatting new foes. As always, it’s been written and drawn by the series creator Makoto Raiku. Although it’s been ages since the original series concluded, fans are pumped to see what lies ahead for Zatch, Kiyo, and the rest of their companions in its sequel Zatch Bell 2.
If you’re in the mood for more action, comedy, or fantasy books/manga that offers a similar vibe, fear not! We’ve gathered together 10 books/manga to check out when you’ve read Zatch Bell. Of course, if you feel we’ve missed any of your favorites, do comment below and let us know!
Pokémon Adventures – Hidenori Kusaka
Similarities – Action & Adventure
The Pokémon series has given fans much to look forward to regarding fabulous games, incredible characters, and rich worlds. When Detective Pikachu received a live-action film, fans loved it for providing people with a new and somewhat gritty take on Pokémon. This is something many fans wanted from the anime series, which leaned more toward children.
Fortunately, Hidenori Kusaka’s Pokémon Adventures manga delivers in the same regard as Detective Pikachu. It follows the adventures of Pokémon Trainer Red and his Pokémon as they plan to thwart Team Rocket’s evil schemes. Despite capturing the anime’s childlike innocence found, Pokémon Adventures contains gruesome depictions of Pokémon.
From Arbok being torn in half to Magmar’s being frozen to death, this world feels more raw and realistic. Like Zatch Bell, our characters engage in battles using elemental attacks. It also tackles themes like friendship, courage, and death. If the Pokémon anime disappointed you for being too child-friendly, Pokémon Adventures shouldn’t disappoint.
Hunter X Hunter – Yoshihiro Togashi
Similarities – Themes & Action
Hunter X Hunter is an action-packed shonen with a great focus on companionship and adventure. Although its artwork isn’t appealing right off the bat, Yoshihiro Togashi’s art style improves over time. Our story focuses on Gon Freecss. He leaves his home of Whale Island to become a professional hunter like his father, Ging Freecss.
By doing so, Gom hopes to understand why his father abandoned him as a child. Like Zatch and Kiyo, Gon will meet many colorful individuals during his quest. They all harbor different passions, abilities, and personalities. The battles can get intense and Gon will struggle to hold in his emotions many times.
Hunter X Hunter can be a tough read for people who enjoy simplistic narratives. Togashi often writes heavy dialogue that can make it difficult for readers to digest. Furthermore, Hunter X Hunter has a complex battle system. If you’re okay with reading the story at a snail’s pace, then give Hunter X Hunter a shot.
Naruto – Masashi Kishimoto
Similarities – Action & Themes
Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto is an incredible shonen battle manga with compelling characters and intense action elements. It follows the journey of a young ninja named Naruto. Despite his delinquent attitude and prankster nature, Naruto vows to become his village’s Hokage one day. To do so, Naruto must complete many missions and defeat shady individuals to prove his worth.
Like the Zatch Bell series, Naruto follows the protagonist’s whole lifespan from his childhood to his adulthood. You’ll adore seeing how much Naruto grows by the story’s conclusion. The fights are well-drawn and will get you excited about the series’s future developments. However, Naruto isn’t a perfect work despite having a large following.
Kishimoto makes some strange decisions toward Naruto’s climax that will make you ponder. Some characters don’t receive as much spotlight as they should and get tossed aside I’m favor of others. If you can overlook the manga’s questionable story choices, you’ll enjoy this one.
Cardcaptor Sakura – CLAMP
Similarities – Magical Adventure
Cardcaptor Sakura is a heartwarming shojo manga. It follows Sakura, a young girl who stumbles upon a mysterious book in her family’s basement. After making contact with the book, multiple cards start flowing out and scattering across Sakura’s town. Furthermore, a small creature named Keroberos reveals himself to Sakura.
He explains that Sakura must capture all the Clow Cards or the world will be in peril. After receiving a magic rod, Sakura vows to capture all the cards to prevent her world’s destruction. Although Cardcaptor Sakura has its dark moments, the manga feels more cheerful than Zatch Bell. Cardcaptor Sakura also features an enticing romantic subplot involving Sakura and a boy named Syaoran.
Cardcaptor Sakura contains some beautifully drawn action scenes like Zatch Bell, though. Even though the manga caters to a young female demographic, everyone will enjoy the whimsical adventures Sakura embarks on in this story.
One Piece – Eichiro Oda
Similarities – Action & Adventure
One Piece is the best-selling manga in history and many Shonen Jump fans’ favorite work from the magazine. It offers incredible world-building, remarkable characters, and fabulous drama. It follows the joyous adventures of a young pirate named Monkey D. Luffy.
Luffy’s goal is to become the Pirate King. To do so, Luffy must travel across the Grand Line to locate the current Pirate King, Gol D. Roger’s treasure, the One Piece. Luffy won’t be traveling alone. He’ll befriend many people on his trip who have different goals than his own. On the other hand, Luffy will meet numerous foes too.
The One Piece world isn’t fully grounded, though. Many characters have superpowers thanks to eating mysteriously powered Devil Fruits. For instance, the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit gave Luffy a body made of rubber. He can stretch, expand, and do all types of things with his body. For those looking for a great pirate-themed manga to read, check out One Piece.
Beelzebub – Ryuuhei Tamura
Similarities – Characters, Comedy, Action
Beelzebub is a funny action-comedy following the relationship between Oga and Baby Beel. Oga is forced to watch over Baby Beel as he happens to be the Demon King’s son. His mission won’t be an easy one as every demon wants to challenge Beel for his father’s throne. After being gifted strange powers, Oga must help Beel safeguard the throne from minuscule and massive threats.
Zatch Bell and Beelzebub both follow stories where humans team up with mystical children. Baby Beel and Zatch may differ in age but they harbor incredible electric powers and are sons of powerful kings. The duos will befriend and fight many individuals along the way. The comedy ranges from exaggerated facial expressions to jokes, gags, puns, and more. If you’re looking for an incredible action comedy with fun characters and epic fights, check Beelzebub out.
Ranking of Kings – Sosuke Tooka
Similarities – Adventure & Characters
Ranking of Kings is a cheerful fantasy manga that feels like it was ripped straight out of a child’s fairy tale. It tackles many of Zatch Bell’s core themes like friendship, sacrifice, and morality. It follows Prince Bojji, a high-class toddler who receives mass ridicule for his incompetence, absurdities, and weak build. Eventually, Bojji meets a shadow creature named Kage.
Therefore, Kage vows to help Bojji complete his mission of becoming the greatest king his world’s ever had. Based on the premise alone, many Zatch Bell fans have a lot to look forward to with Ranking of Kings. Zatch and Bojji are sons of important kings but don’t receive as much recognition as they deserve. They both have brotherly figures who are cunning and evil.
They travel with companions who think very little of them at first. Over time, these individuals will appreciate our child protagonist’s company and will develop an urge to help them succeed in their mission. Bojji and Zatch have similar goals of becoming kings and want to use their power to deliver peace. None have the desire to rule their worlds as tyrants. With some fun action and comedic beats sprinkled in for good measure, Ranking of Kings is a great work to check out after Zatch Bell.
Shaman King – Hiroyuki Takei
Similarities – Action, Adventure, Comedy
Shaman King and Zatch Bell are shonen manga that time has forgotten. Fortunately, both series received a revival of some kind in this decade. Zatch Bell received a sequel manga while Shaman King received a decent remake. Nonetheless, both manga utilizes themes like companionship and courage to offer readers an unforgettable experience.
In it, we follow Manta, an ordinary middle school student whose late for class. He takes a shortcut through a local cemetery and encounters a Shaman-in-training named Yo Asakura and his ghostly companions. He flees the scene but gets caught in a struggle with some gang members. Yo saves Manta and befriends him since he can see his spirits.
Alongside Yo’s 600-year-old samurai acquaintance Amidamaru, the two embark on a journey to accomplish Yo’s goal of becoming the next Shaman King. This is another story about a boy who wants to be a ruler. He’ll fight numerous foes who harbor a similar dream but go about it in different ways. Both mangas contain well-drawn characters, backgrounds, and fights. If Zatch Bell’s tournament-themed premise interests you, then you love the way it’s handled in Shaman King.
Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer – Satoshi Mizukami
Similarities – Action & Supernatural
After getting sent into a fantastical story by a talking lizard, the series’s protagonist Yuuhi becomes a Lizard Beast Knight. He must protect the protect Earth from a powerful mage named Animus who plans to eradicate it with his Biscuit Hammer. He gets saved by Princess Asahina who doesn’t want to abide by the story’s plot.
Instead of saving Earth from Animus, she wants to defeat Animus and destroy the planet herself. After battling golems with Princess Asahina, Yuuhi develops a strong connection with her. Therefore, the anime explores Yuuhi’s adventures in this fantasy world as he contemplates whether to save Earth or stick with Asahina’s plan.
Like Kiyo, Yuuhi shows zero attachment to Asahina at first. After countless fights and emotional discussions, he’ll grow more fond of her company, making it difficult for him to choose between his two options. The battles in both works harbor incredible supernatural elements but are handled differently. Zatch Bell feels more lighthearted and fun while Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer feels more serious and contains long-lasting consequences. If you adored Zatch Bell for its themes and action, you’ll cherish this manga similarly.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Hirohiko Araki
Similarities – Adventure & Action
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a sci-fi anime that fulfilled its purpose. Instead of focusing more on giant robots fighting monsters, it spends more time analyzing the psychological mindsets of its cast. The characters in this world undergo traumatic circumstances similar to those humans face in real life. In this world, we follow Shinji.
He’s a boy with a troubled background and has a terrible relationship with his father, Gendo. Gendo is the leader of a government faction who wants to help humanity defeat hideous angelic aliens. To do so, he forces Shinji to pilot Evangelion unit 01 since he’s the only one capable of using it. To save humanity, Shinji must set aside his differences with his father and pilot the acclaimed mecha.
Fans will find Shinji annoying at first. His character may or may not grow on you over time. However, the anime places him in enough instances for you to develop sympathy for him. The same bodes well for the show’s other cast members. If you’re looking for a complex mecha series with fun robot fights, check out Neon Genesis Evangelion.
So there we have it, our 10 books/manga to read after you’ve read Zatch Bell.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!