The Best One-Shot Manga of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

The Best One-Shot 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 manga one-shots. From Naruto’s Masashi Kishimoto to Uzumaki’s Junji Ito, many mangaka have delivered fun one-and-done tales that’ll 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!

Mario – Masashi Kishimoto

Masashi Kishimoto is known for taking the world by storm with Naruto, but only a few know of his mafia work, Mario. Not to be confused with Nintedo’s red-hatted plumber, Mario happens to be a half-Japanese and Italian-born hitman from the United States. After meeting a woman named Saori, he must work with her on a secret mission. 

This manga shows Kishimoto’s ability to switch between two different genres. While he never pursued Mario outside of this one-shot, the world he creates within it is as interesting as Naruto’s. From the way Mario carries himself in the manga to the thrilling crime-themed antics he gets roped into, you’ll wish Kishimoto had decided to work on this tale more.

If you love hitman tales and adore what Kishimoto delivered with Naruto, give this a try. 

Leaves of the Deep Blue Tree – Sumomo Yumeka

Leaves of the Deep Blue Tree is a wonderful romance one-shot with thrilling drama segments. It focuses on the forbidden romance between a tree spirit and a girl and tackles what it’s like to fall in love for the first time. Despite being a one-shot, the manga offers decent characterization and features our duo in enough wholesome scenes to get fans on board with their pairing. 

Sumomo Yumeka captures their characters’ emotions beautifully throughout each panel, elevating the tension between them. The scenery is just as gorgeous as the romance between our lovebirds and adds more serenity to the story.

If you’re looking for a quick and romantic tale to read during your free time, this one’s worth checking out. 

The Hero’s Party On Their Way Back Home – Ryouji Hirano

Tokidoki – Naoshi Komi

Naoshi Komi’s Tokidoki is a fantastic romance and drama one-shot that’s best read with a box of tissues nearby. This manga follows the relationship between Hato and Hatsu. Hatsu suffers from Kokuhaku disease and doesn’t have much time left. Out of the kindness of his heart, Hato promises to help Hatsu enjoy her life to the fullest before it’s too late. 

This is akin to riding a short roller coaster at an amusement park. It starts slow but escalates down a saddening route as you delve deeper into it. You’ll feel all types of emotions while reading through this work from happiness to depression. Naoshi Komi characterizes Hato and Hatsu enough to get viewers to genuinely care for their well-being and relationship.

In addition to having fitting artwork that complemented the one-shot’s emotional segments exceptionally, Tokidoki’s worth your time. 

Naruto: The Whorl within the Spiral – Masashi Kishimoto

A while ago, there was a competition online to see which character deserved a one-shot written and illustrated by series creator, Masashi Kishimoto. Out of all the characters in the series, fans chose Minato as the victor. This one-shot delves into Minato’s past life more so than the original manga, showcasing how he developed his iconic jutsu and became a profound Hidden Leaf Village Shinobi. 

For starters, fans appreciated what Kishimoto delivered with this one-shot. In it, we get to see Minato spend more time with Jiraiya, a fan-favorite teacher from the series. Moreover, Minato’s soon-to-be wife, Kushina, receives more spotlight in this work, which is essential given how little screen time she received in the mainline series. The dialogue between the two is just as wholesome as you’d expect and may get some fans emotional.

With brilliant artwork and a splendid overview of one of Naruto’s best characters, Naruto: The Whorl within the Spiral is a must-read!

Goodbye, Eri – Tatsuki Fujimoto

For those who loved Chainsaw Man, you may want to check out Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Goodbye, Eri. This one-shot follows Yuuta, who shows his classic a bombastic portrayal of his mother’s demise through film. After being ridiculed by his classmates, he attempts to take his own life. A girl named Eri stops him and the two set out on a mission to make a film, crazier than the one Yuuta previously made. 

Goodbye, Eri expresses Fujimoto’s love for film and gives him a way to tell his audience why it’s important to move forward from loss and regret. It contains some humor for good measure and excellent development for Yuta, Eri, and other cast members. The ending may confuse readers, so you may want to read this one a few times to get what Fujimoto is conveying. Nonetheless, it’s a wild and intriguing one-shot from a mangaka who’s managed to win the hearts of millions worldwide. 

The Gokuraku District’s Third Avenue Incident – Yuuto Sano

A one-shot of action and supernatural phenomena is what you can expect with Yuuto Sano’s The Gokuraku District’s Third Avenue Incident. In it, we follow the duo of Tao and Alma, two troubleshooters who love solving problems for food, money, and peace of mind. By and large, this is a simplistic tale that follows the daily lives of Tao and Alma as they embark on crazy endeavors. 

They’ll beat up thugs, make some money, and interact with people they’ve grown to appreciate. Although we don’t get a glimpse at all the adventures these two have embarked on over the years, Sano does a decent job at getting folks updated on Tao and Alma’s expertise in the field.

For those who are looking for a straightforward supernatural action tale to read, this is worth checking out. 

The Enigma of Amigara Fault – Junji Ito

The Enigma of Amigara Fault is an incredible horror one-shot from one of Japan’s finest authors, Junji Ito. With its chilling atmosphere and thought-provoking exploration of the human psyche, you’ll be enamored by the incredible storytelling found in this one-shot.

For instance, Ito’s eerie artwork perfectly captures this narrative’s unsettling nature. From the oppressive landscapes to the grotesque character designs, you’ll always feel a sense of dread while observing this one-shot’s many panels. Its atmospheric tension builds gradually, allowing readers to experience a gripping and spine-chilling journey as the characters are drawn closer to the Amigara Fault’s mystery.

In addition to presenting audiences with existential questions concerning identity, purpose, and the lengths people will go to secure those aspects, this is a tale many horror fanatics should read at least once. 

One-Armed Amy – Shun Akagi

One-Armed Amy is a short and enjoyable one-shot that’s worth your time. It follows a living doll named Amy and explores her life with her father. Interestingly, it’s told from a first-person POV, giving viewers a glimpse at the world from Amy’s eyes. Amy receives wonderful development throughout the tale, but some may be disappointed with the side characters’ lack of focus. 

Nonetheless, this tale gives Amy some fun activities to participate in that are wholesome at their core. From her interactions with wildlife to the conversations with her father, you’ll adore the amount of material Shun Akagi crams in this short tale. The artwork is impeccable and cute. Many will adore Amy’s expressions and reactions to things, as it captures the joys of being young well.

If you’re looking for something that’s short, sweet, and somewhat dramatic, check this out. 

A Silent Voice – Yoshitoki Ooima

For those who need something that will hit their hearts hard, Yoshitoki Ooima’s A Silent Voice will do the trick. This one-shot explores themes of redemption, empathy, and forgiveness. It gives readers a solid stance on bullying and how much of an impact it can have on the person receiving the torture and the one who dishes it out. 

The story follows Shoya as he wrestles with guilt over bullying his classmate Shouko for being deaf. Ooima delves into the complex emotions experienced from both sides, highlighting our cast’s struggles and growth throughout the narrative.

With its evocative imagery, important handling of social issues, and excellent character development, A Silent Voice delivers an emotionally charged tale that you should read!

So, there we have it, our picks for the best one-shot manga 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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