Best Manga About Crime | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Best Manga About Crime 

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 a strong focus on crime. From mind-numbing plot twists to cinematic-level action, 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!

Ryuko – Eldo Yoshimizu

Ryuko is an excellent manga that delves into the gritty world of crime. The story follows Ryuko, as she navigates a dangerous underworld filled with deception and violence. This manga is known for successfully weaving a complex web of crime, corruption, and betrayal, drawing readers into a dark underworld. 

As Ryuko gets entangled in the mysteries of her past and uncovers the truth behind the crimes she investigates, the plot unfolds with surprising twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats. Moreover, this tale features impressive illustrations that complement the tale’s gritty atmosphere.

In addition to having a compelling cast of well-developed characters, Ryuko stands out as an excellent and enthralling crime story. 

Banana Fish – Akimi Yoshida

Banana Fish is an exceptional manga that skillfully explores the crime world and its consequences. The story follows Ash, a gang leader who gets caught in a web of corruption and violence. This tale is known for tackling incredible themes surrounding crime, power, and manipulation. It excels at demonstrating how its world can dramatically impact an individual’s life. 

Banana Fish gives its cast phenomenal character development. Ash is a charismatic, flawed protagonist who struggles to come to terms with his past and his connections to crime syndicates. Through Ash and the diverse array of supporting characters, the manga delves into the psyches, motivations, and flaws of individuals caught up in criminal activities. 

Coupled with some delightful illustrations and heartfelt storytelling segments, Banana Fish provides readers with a compelling explanation of crime and its impact on individuals who surrender themselves to it. 

Black Lagoon – Rei Hiroe

Black Lagoon’s pulse-pounding action sequences will keep readers on the edge of their seats. It delivers phenomenal gun sights, high-speed chases, and entertaining confrontations. These events showcase Hiroe’s wonderful talent for storytelling and artwork and contain precise details, creating an experience no one wants to miss. 

On top of harboring a tale with morally ambiguous characters like Revy and Rock, Black Lagoon will impress anyone looking for a crime manga filled with grit and thrills. 

Monster – Naoki Urasawa

Twittering Birds Never Fly – Kou Yoneda

Kou Yoneda’s Twittering Birds Never Fly is a fabulous manga that features crime, power dynamics, and forbidden love as core themes for its narrative. The story’s set in a mysterious world and follows Yashiro. He’s a yakuza boss who hires a hitman named Chikara. With its intense narrative and exploration of taboo subjects, this manga gives readers a deep analysis of crime and human desires. 

The manga delves into the intricacies of the yakuza underworld, shining lighting on the power dynamics, betrayals, and secrets that saturate this world. Yoneda skillfully inserts enough suspense, mystery, and dramatic bits in their story to keep readers engaged with their content.

Coupled with phenomenal character growth and atmosphere, Twittering Birds Never Fly is worth reading. 

Death Note – Tsugumi Ooba

Death Note is an iconic Shonen Jump series that captivated audiences with its sensational cast, suspenseful narrative, and dark universe featuring crime and death. The story centers around Light, a boy who wants to rid the world of crime. He’ll find a mysterious book called Death Note and use it to murder many evildoers under the alias, Kira. 

Unfortunately for Light, his actions attract a skillful young detective named L Lawliet. What ensues between the two are cat-and-mouse-themed antics that will leave readers craving for more. With its well-written cast and unique handling of supernatural aspects, Death Note is a masterfully crafted tale that’ll leave you speechless. 

The World Is Mine – Hideki Arai

The World Is Mine is a captivating tale that’d lend itself well to a feature film. It contains unpredictable outcomes, insanely violent scenarios, and enough criminal activity to keep readers excited. Our tale centers around a brutally tense man named Mon. He’s someone who likes to stick to his beliefs but adores being around his timid companion Toshi. 

They both share a knack for destruction and go on a killing spree across Japan. However, when their paths cross a beast named Hugumadon, they’ll have to work together to prevent this monstrosity from wreaking havoc across Tokyo.

What will gravitate folks toward this story more than its bombastic action is its fleshed-out and flawed characters. Whether it’s Mon’s insane strength or Toshi’s awkward fascination with explosives, you’re guaranteed to adore the level of craftsmanship that went into writing these characters.

Coupled with its excellent stance on politics, religion, and morality, you’ll likely enjoy this crime-centric narrative.

Kimi no Knife – Yua Kotegawa

A psychologically-driven work with fun mystery and supernatural components is what you can expect while reading Yua Kotegawa’s Kimi ni Knife. In it, we follow Shiki, a substitute teacher with a need for wealth. He meets a woman who offers him an assassin gig that’ll pay him 5 million yen per kill. After meeting his first target and learning about her powers, Shiki realizes he’s in way over his head. 

This story is known for placing Shiki in morally gray scenarios. While his reasons for earning wealth are respectable, he’ll find himself getting overwhelmed with guilt and regret after each mission. The series’s creator, Yua Kotegawa, exceptionally shows how much of a burden it can be to kill someone for monetary gain. Moreover, Shiki’s actions will affect people close to his targets, causing more harm to his psyche than good.

Although this tale isn’t a masterpiece, it deserves a spot on this list. 

Bungo Stray Dogs – Kafka Asagiri

Have you ever questioned what a tale about super-powered literacy authors would look like? If so, then Bungo Stray Dogs might be the tale for you. This manga follows Atsushi, an orphan who meets a spiritual tiger who gets him removed from the orphanage. They stumble upon Osamu, a detective who is investigating weird phenomena created by Atsushi’s tiger ally. 

After resolving the conflict, Osamu has Atsushi join him in other supernatural-related matters. This story’s cast is well-written and memorable. Atsushi is a wonderful lead who experiences splendid growth over time. Many will adore his passion for assisting people, despite Atsushi being a person who’ll need the most help. 

Moreover, Bungou Stray Dogs contains impressive illustrations that are expressive and a visual treat for the eyes. From the characters’ outfits to the richly detailed structures, you’ll appreciate the series’s artist’s level of artistry.

If you love mystery manga with appealing imagery, great fights, and engaging storytelling, this one’s worth investing time into. 

Sanctuary – Buronson

Dark, political, and thrilling, Buronson’s Sanctuary is a fascinating tale about crime. In it, we follow two partners named Akira and Chiaki. They’re on a mission to create a new version of Japan with a better scope of politics. Akira vows to control the Yakuza while Chiaki wants to become Japan’s new prime minister and we’ll examine our duo’s journey toward their respective goalposts. 

This manga is known for having an exhilarating storyline. It’s filled with many engaging scenarios ranging from mind-numbing assassination attempts to corrupt governmental examinations. Buronson knows how to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, and even includes some shocking and well-written plot twists to further entice readers to continue reading. 

Coupled with the story’s excellent pacing, gritty illustrations, and phenomenal character development, Sanctuary is a crime-centric tale that’ll leave you bewildered by its high-level craftsmanship. 

So, there we have it, our picks for the best manga about crime 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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