Best Action Manga of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Best Action Manga of All Time

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, our attention this time turns to those with incredible action. From exhilarating journeys to well-illustrated fights, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!

Kengan Ashura – Yabako Sandrovich

Kengan Ashura offers a simple plot backed up by jaw-dropping fights. Characters receive incredible development and Yabako Sandrovich knows how to make side characters as memorable as its protagonist. As you read through the story, you’ll understand why characters fight, giving you more reasons to cheer for them or hate them.

Daromeon, Kengan Ashura’s artist, captures Sandrovich’s characters’ expressions and attack patterns flawlessly. His artwork makes the battles feel like they’re actually taking place in real life due to his dynamic panels, unique character designs, and intricate details. Readers will find themselves getting lost in the imagery multiple times.

Each fight scene feels as diverse as the last due to characters displaying multiple fighting styles. The tension and excitement for each battle are portrayed excellently through the artwork. Some battle outcomes can feel slightly unpredictable, too. With its fast-paced action and enjoyable cast, Kengan Ashura is a fantastic manga that’s worth your time.

Berserk – Kentarou Miura

Berserk is a complex and emotional that has captivated readers for decades. It follows a wandering warrior named Guts who joins a noble leader named Griffith’s powerful syndicate. After battling at Griffith’s side for ages, Guts becomes the commander of his army and has earned the respect of many people. Despite living a decent life so far, his world will crumble soon.

Kentarou Miura was a talented artist. His illustrations were incredibly detailed. Miura’s handling of shading and line work helped him create a world where everything looked gritty and intense. Berserk’s storyline is equally dark, complex, and emotional. It offers elements of horror, fantasy, and political intrigue. The characters receive incredible development and endure realistic scenarios.

Guts is a deeply flawed character who undergoes a lot of hardship throughout the series. His journey will enchant many newcomers to the series. For those looking for a bloody and brutal manga to read with well-drawn action set pieces, give this a shot.

Fist of the North Star – Buronson

Baki The Grappler – Keisuke Itagaki

Baki The Grappler may offer a simplistic plot, but it’s an exhilarating action manga that is recognized for its intense fight scenes and the myriad of unique characters. Our story takes place in an underground fighting arena where martial artists come to showcase their different styles and potential. After undergoing severe training, our lead character, Baki wants to make an impact in this sport.

He’s lived a rough life with his strict father, so he wants to prove himself capable in a fighting setting. With revenge in his mind, Baki battles many fearsome men to become strong enough to fight his father, Yuujirou. Keisuke Itagaki includes many incredibly choreographed and realistic fights in Baki The Grappler.

Every detail from the characters’ movement, strategy, and technique is presented with great accuracy. allowing readers to immerse themselves in the intense action. Each character has a unique signature fighting style and personality. Baki comes off as a deeply flawed fighter but grows to become someone inspirational and determined.

Vagabond – Takehiko Inoue

Vagabond is an incredible action manga with enjoyable samurai and historical elements. In Vagabond, we examine the life of a wandering swordsman named Musashi. He’s being blamed for murdering someone despite assisting a nation in defeating an evil clan. Now on the run for a crime, he didn’t commit, Musashi will undergo many external and internal conflicts to prove his innocence.

This is one of Takehiko Inoue’s most popular works, and one many can’t see receive a proper anime adaptation. The sole reason is due to how the manga looks. The artwork is stunning and horrifyingly realistic. Inoue uses a combination of delicate linework and bold, dynamic panels to create a visually striking and immersive world. It captures this universe’s beauty and bleak aesthetic well.

The characters are multifaceted and well-written. Many readers will empathize with Musashi’s character and the deep personal growth he receives from beginning to end. The manga’s supporting cast also receives enough depth to make readers care about them, too. Give this manga a read if you crave a mature and realistic story about a wandering samurai.

Holyland – Kouji Mori

Holyland is a gloomy, mature boxing manga. Readers will follow Yuu, a boy who drops out of school because he feels he doesn’t fit in with anyone there. He takes to the streets and gets hooked on boxing. This results in Yuu training effortlessly. Once he masters the sport, Yuu takes to the streets to beat up many thugs, gangsters, and crude people who dare mess with him.

His consistent thrashings earn him the title of Thug Hunter as Yuu sets his sights on reaching the land of his wildest dreams. Holyland contains brutal fights that will leave readers speechless with its marvelous, bloody imagery. Characters express realistic emotions like anger and pain in this series. You’ll be wondering if you’re looking at stills of an anime with how detailed everything looks.

Furthermore, Holyland explores multiple forms of martial arts, not just boxing. Kickboxing, judo, and karate are a few fighting styles you can expect to see in this manga. As for Yuu, readers will enjoy seeing him mature and develop more compassion for those around him. Give this a read if you’re looking for something extreme and mature.

Teppu – Moare Ohta

Teppu is an interesting martial arts manga. It stands out due to the fantastical character development its protagonist Natsuo receives throughout the course of the story. On top of offering readers engaging fighting techniques and amazing artwork, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t check out this combat-sports manga sooner.

Natsuo is a skilled female who can proficiently tackle any sports she participates in. One day, Natsuo gets invited to join a mixed martial arts club by a girl named Yuzuko. Due to Yuzuko’s strange aura, Natsuo accepts her invitation. Little does she know that people from her past will return to challenge her and that she may have found a person stronger than herself.

As one can expect, Natsuo undergoes vast growth throughout Teppu. Readers will find her unlikable at first due to her sour attitude, but as the story advances, she’ll develop better traits that will make her feel relatable and appealing to many people. Teppu offers unique and diverse action sequences. It offers a mix of martial arts and grappling techniques and fights are tailored to each character’s strengths and weaknesses, making them feel suspenseful and indelible.

Shamo – Akio Tanaka & Izou Hashimoto

Shamo is a fabulous manga with a great following. The series is known for its intense fight choreography, impressive character development, and stylish artwork. The fight scenes are incredibly well-drawn. You’ll feel the raw intensity of each punch, kick, and block depicted in each of its bouts.

Our protagonist Ryo Narushima uses different techniques that feel grounded, making each of his fights feel authentic and deep. Furthermore, Ryo is a complex character with a troubled past, but his personality and motivations change throughout the story to make him feel more dynamic and engaging to follow. The supporting cast receives some time to shine, but Ryo receives the most attention.

Unfortunately, there comes a point in its narrative that many will grow decisive over it. If you can overlook the issues that stem within the latter half of Shamo’s narrative, you’re bound to find it enjoyable.

Hajime No Ippo – George Morikawa

Hajime No Ippo is about a kind-hearted boy’s quest to become a professional boxer. You don’t have to be a boxing enthusiast to enjoy what this story holds. The road to catching up to its current events can be a hassle. However, it’ll be worth your time. Our story follows Ippo, a bullied boy who likes to assist his mother with important matters.

One day, Ippo meets a phenomenal boxer named Takamura. Ippo gets inspired and trains effortlessly to impress Takamura. Eventually, Ippo gets Takamura’s attention, so Takamura invites Ippo to his gym and introduces Ippo to his friends and coach. This is where Ippo’s road to becoming a stronger person kicks off. This story has it all from incredible fights to hilarious comedy.

There are some moments where you’ll feel like the action exhibits a supernatural aura, though. Nonetheless, the manga maintains grounded combat with excellent boxing combat that will get your heart pumping. George Morikawa makes sure each fight looks grand with the detail he puts into the characters’ expressions, movements, and fierce punches.

All Rounder Meguru – Hiroki Endo

All Rounder Meguru is an enjoyable action manga that blends martial arts and MMA seamlessly. It follows two friends named Meguru and Takashi who reunite at a mixed martial arts contest. The two have different reasons for fighting but aim to become more formidable combatants. Many praises this work for its wonderful depiction of MMA.

Readers will notice how much thought and research Hiroki Endo put into creating this action-centric series. Some fans will enjoy every fight Endo offers in the work, while others will only find a select few enjoyable. The same can be said for its cast. However, everyone will appreciate Endo’s handling of diverse fighting styles, techniques, match setups, and weight classes.

Endo’s keen eye for detail helps the world feel immersive and entertaining. Although the characters don’t harbor the greatest traits, you’ll adore the tight chemistry they have. For those who love fighting manga, especially MMA, this is worth checking out.

So, there we have it, our picks for the best action-packed manga through the years!

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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