Best Manga About Ninjas | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Best Manga About Ninjas

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 can 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 ninja focus. From motivational shonen to gloomy experiences, 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!

Naruto — Masashi Kishimoto

Naruto is a fun ninja manga with a worldwide following. It follows Naruto, a young ninja who dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. As Naruto trains to become a powerful ninja, he and his teammates encounter more ninjas from different villages, uncover sinister plots that threaten their world, and learn of their society’s darkest truths.

Naruto’s expansive mythology and imaginative ninja abilities create an enthralling setting that keeps readers engaged until the end. This manga explores deep themes surrounding identity, community, and the cycle of hatred. The characters in the manga are forced to confront difficult choices as they navigate through a world filled with ninja politics and warfare.

The manga includes a good chunk of adrenaline-pumping action and stunning artwork. The fight scenes are dynamic and intense, with ninjas using a variety of jutsu and techniques to overcome their opponents. This is a thrilling and emotionally resonant ninja manga that’s a must-read for anyone trying to get into Japanese comics.

Basilisk — Futaro Yamada & Masaki Segawa

Basilisk delivers a tragic love story filled with complex characters and alluring action. It’s set in feudal Japan and offers a tale about two rival ninja clans deemed the Iga and the Koga. Both engage in a war to determine the next Shogun. At the same time, it focuses on the relationship between Gennosuke and Oboro. This pair hopes to forge peace between their clans while uplifting their duties.

This manga explores the characters’ devotion to their clans and the tragic consequences of their actions to create an emotional story. This manga delivers some imaginative and violent ninja abilities that add a fascinating layer to this tale. It includes themes surrounding honor, loyalty, and duty. This manga has some stunning artwork and great visual storytelling.

Masaki Segawa’s detailed artwork helps Basilisk’s world feel immersive and grand. Each panel is packed with intricate linework and stunning visuals. Overall, Basilisk is a gripping and emotionally resonant ninja manga that’s worth your time.

Azumi — Yuu Koyama

This manga follows Azumi, a girl raised by a master samurai who helps her become a skilled warrior. She’s forced to join a small group of warriors on a dangerous mission to assassinate samurai traitors. The ensuing battles alongside the story’s multiple twists and turns make for a thrilling read. The manga highlights its characters’ motivations and inner conflicts to create a deep and engaging tale.

The manga examines themes surrounding justice, loyalty, and sacrifice. As Azumi and her companions navigate the dangerous world of Japan, they confront difficult ethical questions and make hard choices that have far-reaching consequences. Azumi’s not the brightest female in this manga, but it’s her aloof persona that will keep readers invested in her character and the world around her.

Yuu Koyama’s artistic approach is somewhat old-fashioned, but it gets the job done in selling you on the tale’s world. The visceral action sequences are dynamic, brutal, and detailed enough to get your heart pumping as you read. With its fun protagonist, immersive environments, and entertaining fights, you’re bound to enjoy this work.

Kamui-Den — Sanpei Shirato

Kamui-Den is an extremely old but fascinating ninja-themed manga. It’s set during the Edo period in Japan and follows Kamui Shiro, a young ninja on a mission for revenge against his former ninja clan. This manga offers an unconventional narrative structure, complex cast, and realistic portrayal of feudal Japan. How it depicts its ninja and samurai world is deeply immersive.

It contains detailed descriptions of weapons, tactics, and political intrigue that make for a thrilling read. Kamui’s journey is one of self-discovery, as he questions his own motivations and loyalties in the face of conflicting ideals. Despite being a work from the mid-60s, Kamui-Den has stunning artwork. Sanpei Shirosato’s linework is precise and detailed, with fine attention to historical accuracy.

The battles are rendered with particular care, with an emphasis on strategic planning and realistic depictions of injuries and wounds. Shirosato’s use of light and shadow techniques adds a cinematic quality to the story, immersing readers in the action. For those looking for an old-school take on ninjas, samurai, and Japan, Kamui-Den is worth checking out.

Shinobi no Kuni — Wada Ryou

Shinobi no Kuni is a phenomenal ninja manga that explores the dark and gritty world of ninjas during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. The manga is based on a novel written by Wada Ryou and features rival ninja clans competing for power and territory while commoners suffer. This manga contains mature storytelling, complex characters, and realistic depictions of historical events.

It tackles betrayal, revenge, and political intrigue, but one of its biggest strengths lies in its exploration of moral ambiguity among the ninja. It portrays ninjas as ruthless assassins and spies. Mumon, our protagonist, is a skilled shinobi who cares more about his own interests than loyalty to his clan or government. His relationships with others add more depth to the story.

The manga’s portrayal of ninjas as flawed and conflicted people adds more realism to the tale and helps it stand out from other works. The artwork is equally impressive and offers some historical accuracies that’ll please history enthusiasts. For those looking for a complex and fun tale about ninjas, Shinobi no Kuni should entertain you.

Tail of the Moon — Rinko Ueda

Tail of the Moon is an excellent ninja-themed manga about a girl who dreams of becoming a ninja, and her journey to become one. The series is set in the Edo period of Japan and follows Usagi as she trains under the guidance of the legendary ninja Hanzo Hattori. The manga is known for its charming character design, humorous moments, and thrilling action sequences.

This manga has a fun and engaging narrative. The series combines elements of romance, comedy, and action to create a unique and entertaining tale. The characters are likable, with Usagi being a relatable protagonist who struggles with her own insecurities and doubts. The camaraderie between the different cast members adds to the series’s charm and makes it a fun read.

Tail of the Moon offers an impressive depiction of the ninja world. The manga feels well-researched as it delivers an authentic portrayal of the life and times of a ninja. The different ninja techniques and weapons are all depicted realistically, making the action scenes realistic and remarkable.

Shinobi Life — Shouko Konami

Are you after a ninja manga with a time-travel element? Shinobi Life has you covered. It’s about Beni, a modern-day high school student who gets transported back to the Edo period of Japan and meets Kagetora, a talented ninja. With its unique time-travel components, engaging characters, and thrilling narrative, this story offers something for everyone.

One of its finest elements is its romance. The relationship between Beni and Kagetora serves as the manga’s driving force as their love story evolves over time. The series is brimming with romantic tension, amusing moments, and heartfelt confessions. The romance isn’t sidelined, so fans should expect it to play a significant role in the overarching narrative.

Shouko Konami’s depiction of the ninja world is also enticing. It captures the essence of the Edo period of Japan through the use of our cast’s ninja techniques, weapons, and clothing. The artwork is incredibly beautiful with detailed illustrations that capture the beauty of the Japanese landscape.

Nabari No Ou — Yuhki Kamatani

Nabari no Ou examines the mundane life of Miharu. He learns he’s carrying a sacred ninja art, the “Shinra Banshou.” With this power dormant inside him, he discovers he’ll likely become Nabari’s king. Accompanied by his sensei and others, Miharu must channel his secretive powers if he hopes to survive. While the manga’s a slow burner at first, it develops a steadier pace over time.

If you stick with it long enough, you’ll enjoy the manga’s multiple twists and turns. The story is well-developed, with multiple plot threads that weave together to create a cohesive and impactful narrative. The characters are well-written, with each one having its own unique storylines and motivations that add depth to Nabari no Ou’s plot.

The fight scenes can feel intense at times. Characters demonstrate a variety of ninja techniques and use many weapons that showcase their skills. The battles are not just physical, but also involve tactics and strategy, adding a layer of complexity to the fights. In addition to having exceptional artwork, Nabari no Ou shouldn’t disappoint.

Path of the Assassin — Kazou Koike & Goseki Kojima

Path of the Assassin is an enjoyable ninja manga that tells the story of Hattori Hanzou, a famous ninja who played a pivotal role in the historical events of Japan’s Sengoku period. The series is known for its fine storyline, realistic depiction of the time period, and decent artwork. It’s a manga that offers a unique combination of history and action that will captivate most readers.

The manga offers historical accuracy and explores the political landscape of feudal Japan during the Sengoku period, detailing the shifting allegiances and intense rivalries between warlords vying for control of the country. This manga’s a great way for people to learn about the customs and culture of the time period. The manga has great characterization.

However, many may not adore how it depicts females. Some females undergo harsh treatment and submit to their assailants without hesitation. Furthermore, the story’s pacing can be a bit slow and unenjoyable. If you can withstand Path of the Assassin’s numerous flaws, you’ll wind up enjoying what this old-fashioned tale delivers.

Flame of Recca — Nobuyuki Anzai

Flame of Recca is a hidden martial arts gem. It centers around Recca, a troublemaker who likes fighting people and everything involving ninjas. His life takes a dramatic turn when he meets Yanagi. This kickstarts an endless chain of events for Recca. These events will aid Recca in discovering his ninja ancestry and fire-like abilities.

Recca embodies many traits from well-known Shonen characters. He acts like a delinquent but is incredibly skillful. The manga’s fights are well-drawn and can get intense. This manga touches upon common shonen themes like devotion, friendship, and perseverance. Recca’s growth feels natural as he’ll develop better techniques as he fights new adversaries. If you’re looking for a fun ninja series that will bring you back to the days of classic Shonen manga, check out Flame of Recca.

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

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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