Best Horror Manga of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Best Horror 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 a strong focus on horror. From nightmarish imagery to deep themes, 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!

Uzumaki – Junji Ito

Uzumaki is a short and effective horror manga series. It features bone-chilling imagery, interesting characters, and mind-numbing concepts. While visiting her boyfriend Shuuichi’s home in Kurouzu-cho, Kirie notices something off about his father. He’s developed a strange fascination with snail shells and reports it to Shuuichi.

Shuuichi is well aware of his father’s weird habits and wants Kirie to leave with him elsewhere. Unfortunately, a weird chain of events occurs, resulting in many people becoming more paranoid and grotesque as a result. Uzumaki offers horror fanatics a unique and bizarre concept to untangle. The spiral phenomena are diverse.

It can range from spiral-shaped markings on snails to the human body twisting itself into a spiral. Junji Ito’s incredible art style plays an integral part in giving readers an authentic horror experience. It’ll make people feel uneasy and disturbed by the scenarios that occur in the work. Those looking for a story that will haunt them throughout the night should look no further than Uzumaki.

Homunculus – Hideo Yamamoto

Homunculus is a great horror manga that explores the dark sides of human nature and the human psyche. It tackles themes like identity, mental illness, and social pressure. In Homonuculus, we examine the life of a middle-aged man named Nakoshi. He encounters a young man who asks him to partake in a preparation experiment.

After his car gets towed away, he agrees to participate in the experiment if he can receive 700,000 yen in return. After the experiment, Nakoshi develops powers to spot everyone’s homunculus and we examine his struggle to cope with this ability. This manga specializes in psychological horror and will leave readers intrigued by Nakoshi’s interactions and ways of interpreting the world.

Nakoshi is a complex character who suffers from severe identity issues. Hideo Yamamoto uses these aspects to push his story forward and it leads to the series’s best moments. Those looking for a horror series with abstract elements should give Homunculus a shot.

Alice In Borderland – Haro Aso

Franken Fran – Katsuhisa Kigitsu

Franken Fran is a Victorian-esque horror manga following a deranged scientist named Fran creating grotesque human horrors while her father Dr. Naomitsu Madaraki is away. It’s a strange and unsettling concept. It takes the classic idea of Frankenstein’s monster and creates a work with unnerving twists. Each chapter will leave you speechless and grossed out with its approach to body horror.

The art style sets it apart from other horror manga. Katsuhisa Kigitsu implements stellar shading and color techniques to make Fran’s creations horrifying and bizarre. Franken Fran also explores taboo and uncomfortable subjects like death and body modification while critiquing society and its obsession with perfectionism and physical beauty.

Fran also receives phenomenal character development from beginning to end. The side characters receive equal treatment. For those looking for an under-the-radar horror gem with deep themes and fun characters, check out Franken Fran.

I Am A Hero – Kengo Hanazawa

I Am A Hero is a mature zombie-apocalypse-themed horror manga. It follows a 35-year-old named Hideo Suzuki who struggles to survive in a world overrun with zombies and other fierce beasts. This series receives mass praise for its unique take on the zombie genre, psychological depth, and excellent cast of well-developed individuals.

The manga offers immersive world-building, and Kengo Hanazawa creates a dystopian version of Japan with detailed and realistic environments that evoke a dreadful and claustrophobic aura. Not only will this work scare readers, but it will make them empathize with its characters’ struggles in a post-apocalyptic environment. Zombies also serve as a catalyst for exploring Hideo’s inner fragility.

It focuses more on our cast’s fear and paranoia than the zombies themselves. As a result, the story becomes more suspenseful and engaging as the readers follow along with Hideo’s survival-themed quest. For those who adore horror manga, I Am A Hero is a must-read for its fantastic storytelling and depth.

Mieruko-chan – Tomoki Izumi

Mieruko-chan is an interesting supernatural horror comedy. The series follows Miko, a girl who can see paranormal entities but chooses not to act indifferent toward them to protect herself and her buddy from harm. Mieruko-chan specializes in creating atmospheric horror for readers to engulf themselves in.

Tomoki Izumi inserts a wide range of monsters and supernatural entities into the story. They’re all depicted in chilling ways invoking terror in the reader’s and Miko’s eyes. The manga includes some real-world horror elements for readers to spot during their readthrough of Mieruko-chan. From creaking floorboards to dark hallways, Izumi preys on readers’ everyday anxieties and fears.

The series also ponders over the impact Miko’s powers have on her psyche. You’ll feel attached to Miko during her daily outings as she struggles to cope with seeing monsters in every direction. The manga’s cute depiction of females clashes with its horrid monster illustrations well, creating something that distinct, memorable, and unnerving. Give this a read if you haven’t yet.

Me and the Devil Blues: The Unreal Life of Robert Johnson – Akira Hiramoto

Me and the Devil Blues: The Unreal Life of Robert Johnson is set in the deep south of the United States, where Robert Johnson was said to sell his soul to the devil to become an iconic bluesman. This manga doesn’t offer a full narrative of the man’s true life as some details can appear a little far-fetched but expected Akira Hiramoto not to hold anything back with this one.

This story offers an unsettling and dark atmosphere. It combines elements of horror, suspense, and mystery to create an eerie and disturbing setting that will shake you to your core. Many of its scenes are intense, and Hiramoto paces the story just right to avoid things feeling rushed. The manga’s handling of the devil isn’t as straightforward as you’d imagine.

It explores how much one can lose by accepting its deal. The characters are well-written and developed, and their motivations and actions feel realistic. Racism is a prominent issue addressed in this work, however, Hiramoto handles it in a way that’s genuine and honest. With great tension, violence, and handling of mature subjects, Me and the Devil Blues is a must-read for all horror fanatics.

Blame! – Tsutomu Nihei

Blame! is set in a universe where monsters roam the land killing everyone in sight. Although many humans are afraid to challenge the beasts, our protagonist, Killy won’t back down from this fight. He harbors incredible powers and strength and uses those to vanquish every horrid creature that enters his eyesight. He’s determined to locate someone with a specific gene to save the world.

As he traverses these treacherous terrains, he’ll slay more monsters and befriend kind people. Many people will be put off by this story’s visual-storytelling approach as it contains little to no dialogue. You’ll be forced to piece together Killy’s adventure by examining his and everyone else’s reactions to things throughout the story. There is a lot of fun to be had with this approach.

It allows readers to conjure up their own understanding of the events. It’ll remind folks of classic anime works like Angel’s Egg or Cat Soup. Nonetheless, the artwork fits the tone and atmosphere Nihei aims for with this work. You’ll see characters wandering through vast pathways with minuscule noises echoing in the distance.

The Drifting Classroom – Kazuo Umezz

The Drifting Classroom is a short but effective horror tale. It features a group of students getting teleported to a strange, barren landscape. With no one to guide them, these children must tap into their dormant survival instincts to live. They’ll run into multiple issues with food and beverages along the way. Some will even get into arguments over tiny matters.

Kazuko Umezz maintains solid tension throughout his story. Things only escalate further, resulting in many characters calling it quits or being overwhelmed with hopelessness. Umezz adores implementing more ways to make his cast suffer if it means keeping readers invested in his work. Furthermore, Umezz’s artwork is stunning and fitting.

Readers can expect its cast to exhibit strong facial reactions to things as they locate some way to escape their entrapment. With its dark atmosphere, setting, and plot, you can expect to be shaken up by this masterfully horrific narrative.

Blood On The Tracks – Shuuzou Oshimi

Blood on the Tracks is a well-thought-out psychological manga with engaging characters and sensitive portrayals of mental health issues. Its themes will hit close to home for certain readers. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves horror manga and wants one that’s not supernatural or overly grotesque. The story places us in the shoes of Seiichi, a boy who appears to have a great life.

However, life is far from it, thanks to his obsessive mother. She’ll influence him in all the wrong ways and serves as a spitting image of what a mother shouldn’t be. Seiichi will attempt to loosen the grip his mother has on him, but many of his efforts will be thwarted by her. This manga’s known for making people feel unsettled with its horrifying facial expressions, shadows, and chilling scenarios.

Shuuzou Oshimi has delivered works of equal footing before like Aku No Hana, but Blood on the Tracks feels more nightmarish since it centers around a mother and her son. Oshimi gradually builds up her story’s tension and the horror surrounding Seiichi and his family’s interactions. Give this a read if you want something that feels grounded and horrific.

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

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

Feel Free To Check Out More TV Show Recommendations Here!

Leave a comment