Best Manga About Animals | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Best Manga About Animals

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 that center around animals. From those that tackle mature topics to ones with an episodic structure, 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!

Beastars — Paru Itagaki

Beastars is a great psychological drama by Paru Itagaki. It takes place in a universe brimming with anthropomorphic animals and follows the relationship between a wolf named Legoshi and a bunny named Haru. The tension between this world’s carnivores and herbivores is heavily explored, adding a layer of depth to the story that isn’t found in most animal titles.

Through its exploration of morality, bias, and discrimination, Beastars showcases how even in non-human societies, the struggles faced are still very much human. Legoshi struggles to hold back his carnivorous instincts whenever he’s around Haru and this conflicts with his infatuation with the hare. Like Legoshi, the other cast members feel authentic and are well-written.

Readers will become emotionally invested in their arcs. Overall, this tale excels at storytelling, crafting a unique and captivating world, characters, and narrative that keeps readers hooked.

Monotone Blue — Nagabe

Monotone Blue revolves around the friendship between a feline named Hachi and a lizard named Aoi. While the bond between these two creatures is wholesome, Nagabe’s not afraid to touch upon dreadful imagery. Some scenes depict assault in the cruelest form, which may not be appealing to most audiences. This manga also touches upon bullying and the effects it has on people.

Many readers who’ve endured either scenario will relate to the characters who unfortunately go through this unfitting form of punishment. Despite being 11 chapters long, Nagabe fleshes Aoi and Hachi enough to warrant fans’ attention and care for the characters. You’ll adore seeing them bond as they go about their everyday lives.

Nagabe’s realistic art style is mesmerizing. You’ll find his characters’ different proportions and designs great since they’ll help you distinguish characters from each other. If you’re searching for a manga with a great high school setting and cast, check out Monotone Blue.

Doraemon — Fujo F. Fujiko

SGT. Frog — Mine Yoshizaki

Sgt. Frog is another popular animal manga like Doraemon that’s great for a younger audience. It offers a unique blend of science fiction, comedy, and satire. The manga follows the adventures of a platoon of alien frogs who’ve failed in their mission to conquer Earth and must now adapt to life on the planet. The characters are wacky and endearing. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses.

The comedy is clever and blasphemous, poking fun at both Japanese and Western pop culture whenever it can. Mine Yoshizaki knows how to tackle serious topics through a comedic lens. Some topics include politics, war, and societal expectations. However, Yoshizaki handles these situations in a way that even a toddler reading his work will understand and find entertaining. While many people may find its humor bizarre and unfunny, there’s a good chance you’ll wind up being a part of the group that does find it amusing.

Cat Soup — Nekojiru

Cat Soup is a surreal and mind-numbing experience. It’s one of those tales that’ll make readers ponder what they just read. It follows the quest of a young cat named Nyatta who embarks on a bizarre and dreamlike journey to retrieve his sister’s soul from Death himself. The manga is known for its unconventional narrative structure, which blends fantasy, horror, and comedy to create a fun experience.

The artwork is equally unconventional, featuring bold and abstract imagery that pushes the boundaries of traditional manga art. This manga explores themes like life, death, and spirituality. Nekojiru isn’t afraid to tackle these deep concepts and presents them in a way that is both thought-provoking and visually stunning.

The characters themselves are stripped down to their most basic traits, making them allegorical representations of larger ideas and themes. The resulting effect is a manga that’s both surreal and profound, leaving a lasting impression on readers long after they put down the book. Cat Soup is a must-read for those looking for a profound manga.

The Emperor and I — Mato

The Emperor and I is an episodic, quirky tale about a high school student finding an emperor penguin in her refrigerator. We examine the comical life between the two. This story delves into themes regarding family, friendship, and caregiving. Its ridiculous and cutesy nature will delight anyone and please anyone looking for something simple to digest.

On that note, readers shouldn’t take this tale seriously. It replicates traditional slice-of-life tropes and lacks grand moments. The Emperor and I have pleasant artwork that captures the adorable bond between our protagonist and her penguin companion. The manga concludes with a cliffhanger that’ll leave fans satisfied with what they read. If you’re looking for a short and sweet series to read in the afternoon, check this out.

Beast Complex — Paru Itagaki

For those who enjoyed Paru Itagaki’s Beastars, you’ll enjoy Beast Complex. This story delves into multiple short stories in a universe that’s not too different from Beastars. Essentially, Beast Complex focuses on the lives of multiple anthropomorphic creatures who reside in environments not too different from our own.

It does an exceptional job of highlighting the exquisiteness of its environment and exploring how each species engages with one another on a personal level. Furthermore, many characters must overcome multiple obstacles that characters like Legoshi and Haru endure in Beastars. One of the tales even centers around a herbivore and carnivore relationship.

This tale examines the morality and ethics of its cast’s actions. This story’s targeted to an older audience than Beastars since it contains more mind-numbing ideas and darker themes. This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys animal-themed tales with depth, intrigue, and suspense.

Pandemonium: Wizard Village — Sho Shibamoto

Pandemonium: Wizard Village is a short and fascinating manga series many animal lovers should check out. Our tale centers around a cat named Zipher, who embarks on a mission to locate the wizard village. A being named Domika saves him, and Zipher continues his quest to get his wish granted. Sho Shibamoto presents multiple mysteries throughout this short tale and addresses most of them.

The story has great pacing and covers its tracks before moving on to different topics. Every character from Domika to Zipher feels fleshed out and multi-dimensional. Many will enjoy learning about Zipher’s troubled and seeing him interact with Domika and other variants in this universe. The story can feel tragic and is on par with other works that dabble into that territory.

While it isn’t a perfect work, Pandemonium: Wizard Village is a fantastical tale fans shouldn’t skip. It’s short, effective, and unforgettable. In addition to having fabulous artwork that will immerse you in its surroundings, this story will become many folks’ favorite short stories to read.

Silver Fang: The Shooting Star Gin — Yoshihiro Takahashi

Silver Fang: The Shooting Star Gin follows an Akita Inu who must overcome multiple challenges to help his pack defeat a demonic bear named Akakabuto. This manga is widely considered to be one of the best animal manga ever created, with its gripping narrative, relatable characters, and remarkable artwork. Gin will encounter numerous canines during this terrifying endeavor.

Each canine has a unique personality and skills. The relationships that develop between the dogs are heartwarming and realistic, giving the story a strong emotional core that’ll resonate with any reader. The action scenes are incredibly drawn and are depicted in cinematic and dynamic ways. The manga’s human designs and naming conventions could’ve been better, though.

Nevertheless, this manga knows how to handle tragedy and make it feel significant. While many may not like to see animals in pain, Yoshihiro Takahashi handles each canine’s death with class and importance. If you’re looking for an animal manga with a satisfying story, cast, and battles, check out Silver Fang: The Shooting Star Gin.

The Adventures of Hamtaro — Ritsuko Kawai

The Adventures of Hamtaro is a beloved animal manga that follows the journeys of a group of hamsters as they explore their world and go on exciting quests. The manga’s known for its adorable character designs, fun storylines, and charming humor. It’s a great story to read for all ages and one that’s best remembered for its adorable cast of hamsters.

These hamsters each have distinct personalities that make them memorable and likable. The manga focuses on their everyday experiences, such as playing with their friends, hiding from their owners, and exploring their environment. The art style is cute and colorful, making the hamsters even more charming to readers.

This story emphasizes friendship and teamwork. The hamsters will work together to solve problems and achieve their goals, teaching readers important lessons about the value of cooperation and loyalty. The stories feel whimsical and lighthearted, making the reader feel happy and entertained. If you’re looking for a cutesy adventure series about small critters, this one’s worth your time.

So, there we have it, our picks for the best manga through the years about animals!

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

You can check out more of our book reviews here!

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