10 Best Manga From The 90s’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 Best Manga From The 90s’

Although many people cherish watching anime, they often forget that most anime serve as adaptations of the original source material. While there are some instances where the anime is better than the manga, those instances are few and far between.

With the amount of manga released on a daily basis, it could be hard to cut through all those books to find the “Best of” for any chosen topic.

Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable manga through the years. For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best manga, we’d like to highlight the 10 best manga from the 90s’. From thrilling Hunter X Hunter to the comical Great Teacher Onizuka, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below!

Hunter X Hunter – Yoshihiro Togashi

Despite the series’s being notorious for going on hiatus every so often, Yoshihiro Togashi’s Hunter X Hunter is a well-written work. It contains a well-crafted plot, coupled with delightful characters and invigorating action. The story revolves around Gon, a boy who leaves his home on Whale Island to become a professional hunter like his father, Ging. 

Gon hopes by becoming a hunter, he’ll get one step closer to meeting Ging. Hunter X Hunter is a bit more complex than most Shonen series. While it features your usual tournament arcs and attack naming convention, many cite its power system as one aspect that helps it stand out from the others.

Nen is a complex and important aspect of the Hunter X Hunter universe. The way Togashi describes it in Hunter X Hunter and the way characters utilize it in fights is extraordinary. You’ll be bewildered by the amount of thought that went into creating it.

Coupled with the wonderful development the main and supporting cast receive in this work, you’ll love the world Togashi created here. 

Vagabond – Takehiko Inoue

Vagabond is a fascinating samurai tale that draws inspiration from the historical figure Miyamoto Musashi. It follows a swordsman who seeks enlightenment and is known for having breathtaking artwork and for deeply exploring the human condition. Inoue’s beautiful illustrations bring every scene to life, whether it’s through intricate swordplay or the manga’s beautiful landscapes. 

Moreover, he uses visual storytelling techniques, like panel layouts and composition, to immerse readers in Vagabond’s feudal Japan setting. This not only shows Inoue’s technical prowess but it enhances the emotional depth felt throughout Vagabond’s storytelling.

In addition to having characters undergo vast challenges that’ll help them fend off their insecurities and external issues, Vagabond is a captivating and realistic tale that everyone should read. 

Yokohama Shopping Log – Hitoshi Ashinano

Mushishi – Yuki Urushibara 

From one slice-of-life series to another, we’d like to acknowledge Yuki Urushibara’s Mushishi. This tale delivers a unique blend of supernatural elements, atmospheric storytelling, and a deep exploration of the connection between humans and mysterious creatures. Mushishi follows Ginko, a person who travels to multiple locales, solving problems caused by the creatures. 

Urushibara expertly creates a sense of wonder and mystery by having Ginko interact with these various creatures. The manga’s episodic nature allows for a wide range of series and settings, each with its own unique atmosphere and emotional resonance.

Coupled with Urushibara’s delicate artwork and implementation of unique folklore, Mushishi is a thought-provoking gem that’s likely to impress audiences. 

Great Teacher Onizuka – Tohru Fujisawa

Great Teacher Onizuka is a hilarious comedy about school life. The series follows the misadventures of Eikichi, a former gang leader turned teacher, as he tackles the challenges of being an educator at a troubled high school. Through its unique blend of humor, drama, and social commentary, Great Teacher Onizuka has garnered a dedicated following and continues to be celebrated by fans. 

Tohru Fujisawa’s masterful comedic timing and ability to create outlandish situations make this manga an entertaining read from beginning to end. Eikichi’s unconventional teaching methods and larger-than-life personality will bring readers a sense of joy while reading this story. While he can be raunchy at times, Eikichi instills wisdom in his students occasionally, allowing readers to foster a connection with him.

If you love school-themed comedies with occasional life messages, you’ll adore this one. 

Monster – Naoki Urasawa

Monster is a captivating crime manga written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa. This tale contains fabulously written characters, a gripping plot, and enough twists and turns to keep you hooked. The story follows a skilled surgeon named Dr. Kenzou Tenma. After choosing to save a boy named Johan’s life over his town’s mayor, Kenzou gets shunned by his colleagues. 

To make matters worse, Johan grows up to become a serial killer. Kenzou gets caught up in one of his murders, enticing him to find Johan and bring him to justice. In Monster, Urasawa expertly weaves a complex web of interconnected characters and events, creating a well-crafted narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. 

Moreover, everyone in this story receives incredible depth, regardless if they’re a protagonist, antagonist, or a supporting character. This allows Monster’s world to feel lively and complex.

If you love crime thrillers with excellent tension and characters, give this a read. 

One Piece – Eiichiro Oda

One Piece is a juggernaut in the manga industry and continues to deliver new chapters that delight fans. This story contains solid world-building, fascinating characters, and delightful fights that carry emotional baggage. In it, we follow a boy named Monkey D. Luffy. He embarks on a quest to become the Pirate King and recruits several people along the way who’ll steer him toward his goal. 

Each member of Luffy’s crew carries depth to them. Whether it’s the cuddly Tony Tony Chopper or the intelligent Nico Robin, you’ll appreciate Eiichiro Oda when he delves into their backgrounds and reveals the tragedies and triumphs they’ve endured.

Moreover, One Piece’s world continues to expand as of late. Oda’s known for putting tiny hints toward future arc developments in past chapters. This gives readers more reasons to revisit past arcs for speculatory purposes.

On top of having a massive following of fans and a decent live-action adaptation on Netflix, things are looking up for this 90s gem. 

Fruits Basket – Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket is a wonderful 90s series with endearing characters and heartfelt storytelling. This manga examines the life of an orphan named Tohru, who finds herself living with the mysterious Sohma family. After learning about their supernatural capabilities, Tohru will do everything in her power to shower them with love. In return, the Sohma household will reciprocate similar acts of kindness. 

Tohru is an excellent and relatable female protagonist. Not only will she navigate through the struggles that plague her life but she’ll set time aside to provide the Sohma family with enough support to get through their issues. The Sohma family members have interesting personalities and goals too. Readers will appreciate Natsuki Takaya giving each member a substantial role to play in Fruits Basket.

With themes of friendship and family, Fruits Basket is a heartwarming 90s tale everyone should check out. 

Sailor Moon – Naoko Takeuchi

Sailor Moon is an iconic magical girl series. It may not be the first one to grace planet Earth, but it managed to hit home with many readers. It follows Usagi, a clumsy girl who meets a supernatural feline named Luna. Luna gives Usagi specific items that allow her to transform into Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, it’s up to Usagi to gather the other sailor scouts to defend Earth against an evil threat. 

Usagi is a wonderful female lead with enough compelling flaws and lovable traits that help her stand out. As she learns to overcome her internal and external hurdles as a human and as Sailor Moon, readers will develop a core connection with her. The same can be said for the other sailor scouts Usagi meets along the way. 

Moreover, Sailor Moon features some compelling action bits. Usagi and her friends battle many villains throughout this story. Each villain is more menacing and conniving than the previous.

In addition to exploring uplifting themes like friendship and love, Sailor Moon is a classic 90s manga that deserves a mention here. 

H2 – Mitsuru Adachi

H2 is a standout manga from the 90s that showcases Mitsuru Adachi’s masterful storytelling abilities and knack for creating authentic characters. The manga centers around the intertwined lives of two childhood friends named Hiro and Hikari. Despite taking different life paths, their goals align within the realm of baseball. 

One of H2’s strengths lies in its depiction of its cast and their relationships. Adachi has a talent for creating genuine and believable characters, each with their own distinct motives and struggles. Hiro and Hikari’s complicated relationship forms the core of H2. They’ll navigate through issues regarding love, friendship, and personal growth. 

Baseball plays a central role in the tale’s plot. Adachi’s deep knowledge of the sport shines through each panel. Baseball fanatics will appreciate his accurate portrayal of it.

If you’re looking for a fun baseball manga with great storytelling and wonderful characters, check this out. 

So, there we have it, our picks for the 10 best manga from the 90s. 

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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