Best Manga About Mafias
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 mafia focus. From mature, political worlds to action-packed shonen series, 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!
Sanctuary — Buronson
Sanctuary is a dark, political thriller manga about two companions named Akira and Chiaki. They want to create a new version of Japan with a better approach to politics. Akira vows to control the Yakuza while Chiaki wants to become the new prime minister. This manga’s known for having an enticing narrative and suspenseful atmosphere.
The storyline’s engaging and unpredictable. Chiaki and Akira’s journey won’t be simple as it’ll be brimming with espionage, assassination, and corruption. Buronson knows how to retain his audience’s attention by introducing clever twists that will surprise and delight readers. Chiaki and Akira receive excellent character development throughout this tale.
Sanctuary’s pacing is wonderful, so there’s no need to worry about getting lost in the details. The illustrations are fabulous and capture the story’s gritty mood well. In addition to having adrenaline-pumping action sequences sprinkled throughout this piece, Buronson delivers an engaging mafia-themed plot that will leave a wonderful impression on folks.
Katekyo Hitman Reborn — Akira Amano
Katekyo Hitman Reborn is a great Shonen Jump manga that didn’t receive a full anime adaptation. It has beautiful artwork, enjoyable characters, and an interesting plot. In it, we follow Tsuna, a weak boy who wants to make it in life. One afternoon, Tsuna meets Reborn who asks Tsuna to join the esteemed Vongolla Mafia Family. Tsuna accepts Reborn’s terms and must fight multiple rival gangs.
Akira Amano knows how to blend comedy and action effortlessly. The series is filled with hilarious moments that provide a nice balance to the serious mafia-based storyline. Additionally, the series has a wide range of characters that all have unique personalities and backstories. The various members of the family are talented in their own way, and their contributions add depth to the overall plot.
Although the manga’s finale comes off as a tad rushed, the ride up to this point is worth it. Give it a read if you’re looking for a funny, action-packed work of art to read.
Jormungand — Keitaro Takahashi
Jormungand is a great mafia manga that earned much praise for its unique take on the genre. The series follows a young arms dealer named Koko Hekmatyar and her team of skilled mercenaries, as they navigate the dangerous world of international arms dealing. Jormungand’s plot is deep and thought-provoking, delving into themes of power, morality, and the problems of violence.
Koko and her team are fleshed out, with unique personalities, motivations, and backstories. This leads to a level of depth, complexity, and realism that is on par with other intricate mafia stories. Additionally, Jormungand explores the different perspectives of its characters, offering a nuanced look at the social and political factors that shape their world.
Keitaro Takahashi’s illustrations are meticulous and lustrous. The series features a great range of weapons, tactics, and combat styles, making for thrilling and dynamic battles. With its strong cast, fun storyline, and amazing visuals, Jormungand’s a must-read for anyone that likes great mafia tales.
Banana Fish — Akimi Yoshida
Banana Fish is about a young gang leader named Ash, who suffered from a terrible upbringing. However, Ash doesn’t let his sour past ruin his confidence when he’s around his gang members. While investigating the Banana Fish incident, Ash learns that his godfather Dino sent a group of mercenaries after him.
With its multiple environments and handling of trauma, identity, and power, Banana Fish is a gripping manga worth reading. It features a wide range of complex and flawed characters that are both relatable and fascinating. Ash, in particular, is a well-rounded protagonist whose experiences of trauma and abuse make him a deeply sympathetic and compelling character.
The manga also explores themes of identity and sexuality in a thoughtful and nuanced way. The manga’s illustrations are distinctive, featuring bold lines and dynamic action scenes. The series also includes detailed depictions of real-world locations, making for a more immersive reading experience.
Bungo Stray Dogs — Kafka Asagiri
Bungo Stray Dogs delivers a great blend of mafia and supernatural genres that has won over fans with its great characterization and engaging storyline. The series follows a group of detectives with supernatural abilities who solve crimes in the shadow world of Yokohama’s underworld. This series is known for its sharp writing, exciting action scenes, and creative universe.
Bungo Stray Dogs has a great range of quirky characters, many of whom are based on well-known literary figures like Edgar Allen Poe. The characters are well-developed with intricate backstories, each with their unique abilities and personalities. Bungo Stray Dogs’ blend of supernatural powers and criminal underworld gives the series a unique feel.
The artwork is incredible, featuring detailed character designs and stunning visuals that capture the story’s tone. If you’re searching for a story with unforgettable characters and riveting action, check out Bungo Stray Dogs.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind — Hirohiko Araki
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is known for its multiple storylines featuring different members of the Joestar family bloodline. Golden Wind, the fifth part of this series, follows Giorno Giovanna, the son of the villainous Dio Brando and the latest member of the Joestar family, as he navigates and battles his way through the Passione mob organization in Italy.
This entry offers an engaging and complex story that delivers action, unique powers, and of course, the classic blend of violence with intricate schemes that has always been a hallmark of Mafia tales. This series executes its story through stand battles like most of its parts. Many battles are well-illustrated and will get anyone’s heart pumping as a result.
The manga possesses meaningful character arcs and developments, creating genuine drama within the story. The characters are unforgettable, both the heroes and villains alike and their motivations are thoroughly explored. For those looking for a swell time, read JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind.
Black Lagoon — Rei Hiroe
Black Lagoon is an incredible crime-based series following Rokurou, a salaryman who gets captured by a business negotiation scheme. After his employers refuse to bargain with his captures, Rokurou must live amongst them in the corruptive city of Roanapur. To make matters worse, he must work alongside a gunslinging co-worker named, Revy.
This series is known for its gritty realism, intense action, and in-depth character development. While it may not have a traditional mafia storyline, Black Lagoon shares the same themes of loyalty, betrayal, and violence often associated with these groups. For instance, this manga explores the dark aspects of organized crime and the harsh realities of the criminal underworld.
It does so through its depiction of ruthless gangs, corrupt politicians, and violent crimes. The manga doesn’t shy away from showing the brutality of its criminal lifestyle, making it a realistic and engaging read for fans. The characters are also complex and memorable from their protagonists to their antagonists. In addition to having fun action sequences, Black Lagoon is worth your time.
Sun-Ken Rock — Boichi
Sun-Ken Rock is a fun, action-packed mafia series. In it, we follow Ken as he tries to join the Tokyo criminal organization known as the Sun-Ken Rock gang. The manga covers themes of loyalty, betrayal, and honor, which are all staples for mafias. It stands out from other mafia stories with its dynamic charisma, unique setting, and explosive battle sequences.
Boichi’s art style and designs for the characters, backgrounds, and fight sequences are visually pleasing. The action scenes feature our cast utilizing a variety of weapons and fighting styles, all of which are executed in dynamic and powerful ways. The fight scenes are fast-paced and well-crafted, making them stunning and emotionally engaging.
Furthermore, the power balance between the characters requires the audience to dive deeper into the characters’ psyche, making fights even more effective. The character designs are distinct, each with their quirks, personalities, and motivations. Many cast members undergo nice development and must overcome numerous hurdles.
Gangsta — Kohske
Gangsta is a gritty mafia story with dark themes, complex characters, and well-written gangster-oriented content. Kohske takes a deep dive into the harsh realities of the underworld, exploring topics such as drugs, human trafficking, and other things. The author’s not afraid to showcase brutal mafia aspects, making it a very mature and realistic read.
It’s hard-hitting themes and mature content make it an intense and thrilling addition to more mafia tales. Gangsta’s characters are highly complex and layered, making them feel like real people with their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. The two protagonists, Worick and Nicolas, make for an interesting duo as both come from different walks of life.
The supporting cast is also equally compelling, with each character having a distinct personality and backstory that drives their actions. The relationships between the characters are a central focus of the story, making for a highly compelling and emotional journey. If you’re looking for an intricate narrative with a great cast, check out Gangsta.
Phantom: Requiem of the Phantom — Nitroplus
Phantom: Requiem of the Phantom is a gripping and mature mafia manga series that follows the story of a young man named Zwei, who is brainwashed and turned into a dangerous assassin for a clandestine criminal organization called Inferno. The series delivers a refreshing take on the mafia genre, delving into themes such as identity, betrayal, and survival.
This manga has strong character development. Zwei’s journey is intense as it explores the loss of self and the struggle to regain it. His journey makes for a compelling character arc that hooks readers from the very start. The other characters in the series are also engaging, with their unique personalities and motivations.
The story is full of intrigue, twists, and turns. Inferno feels shrouded in mystery, making every encounter with them suspenseful and entertaining. The series also showcases the corrupt reality of the criminal underworld, leading to violent and intense scenery. Give this a read if you like stories with depth, character, and interesting elements.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best manga through the years about mafias!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!