15 Best Action Mangas With Great Adventure

Best Action Mangas
Mangas are beloved around the world and have become Japan's version of comic books

Coming from Japan, mangas have become one of the most popular novels within the world.

Mangas are amazing and there's so many reasons to like them, from the artwork to the humor in it but none bigger than action and story they give us.

Here are the 15 best action mangas with great storylines.

15. Death Note

Light Yagami and Ryuk looking like badasses.

Death Note follows the life of disinterested yet intelligent student Light Yagami finding the Death Note and turning into a serial killer, using its mystic powers to kill whoever he seems unfit to live in his world. This creates a chase between Interpol and Light with only one of them coming out victorious.

The action’s a bit weak in this story due to it just being more about the story and less violence but when it comes, it comes. Just in the first chapter, Light writes down the name of a man harassing a girl and he gets run over by a truck. The true action in this story is the fight these people have to survive and stay one step ahead of each other.

The adventure of this story is a symbolic one rather than a physical journey. Light went from a bored yet intelligent student to the leader of the Kira Task Force and still killing those unfit to live in his world. The hoops he and Ryuk have to make in order to stay ahead and thrive is impressive and worth a spot on this list.

Death Note isn’t filled to the brim with action and a long scaling adventure but for what it is and the story it told, it didn’t need it. The action was used occasionally which makes it better when comes because it’s so good. The adventure is the journey the characters have and that’s more interesting than just a journey from point A to point B.

 

14. Yugioh

Atem and Slifer protecting Ancient Egypt.

I know people wouldn’t think Yu-gi-oh has either great action or a great adventure but I disagree. The story of Yugioh follows Yugi Muto going through his life while having an ancient spirit lurking within his Millennium Puzzle. This spirit is a pharaoh from ancient Egypt who used dark magic to create the monsters that people now use  for the game Duel Monsters. The spirit has lost his memory but is trying to do right by his new friends while also going home.

The fighting in this story mostly comes from the game Duel Monsters and the designs and attacks this game has which are quite impressive. Through the manga, these characters also get involved in the action as well and it always feels a bit more prominent when they’re involved since it feels like the stakes are risen.

The adventure in this story is great, going from friends trying to play a simple card game to Yugi entering a card tournament to save the soul of his grandfather. In the second major arc, Seto Kaiba threw a huge tournament to try and win all the Egyptian God cards and after that, the story took us to ancient Egypt.

The story is mostly about these characters lives and their story but the adventure in their story is incredible, especially Yugi. Going from the friendless loser in the first pages to who he is when he defeats the Pharaoh is incredible.

 

13. Pokemon Adventure

Red with his team of Bulbasaur, Pikachu and Poliwhirl heading on their adventure.

We all know Pokemon from the show and the games but there’s also an manga following the adventures of those characters in the games. Pokemon Adventure starts off in the  Kanto region and has followed us all the way to Alola, giving us the great characters and the adventures we’ve played in a manga.

For the most part, the fighting isn’t like Dragon Ball Z with two guys beating each other to a bloody pulp, the fights between these Pokemon have been fantastic. Giovanni vs. Red also encapsulates that plus the risk our characters have fighting in these battles with Giovanni using his Pokemon to try and kill Red.

The adventure is these stories are an adaption of the original games so you know we’re gonna get quite the journey. Kanto once again perfects this with having Sabrina, Koga and Lt. Surge all being apart of Team Rocket when in the main game, they were just gym leaders. Small changes like this help make the manga it’s own universe and that universe is amazing.

Whether it’s the unorthodox Pokemon that get a chance to shine in the manga, the quirky characters we meet or just the story we know told differently, Pokemon Adventures is great.

 

12. Inuyasha

Inuyasha and Kagome Higurashi on their adventure, ready to take lives.

Inuyasha follows the story of Kagome Higurashi as a girl from modern Japan whose transported from the well in her family’s shrine to the Sengoku Period of Japan. There she meets Inuyasha and the two work together to try and get her home and defeat the evil demon Naraku.

The fighting in the manga has mixture of swords and mystic powers to present the reader with a lot of interesting fights. Inuyasha himself gives us plenty of great action to enjoy, from his fight against Bankotsu to Sesshomaru, we get a lot of exciting fights.

While the action is great, the story and the adventure taken is what really makes the cut here. Going from modern day Japan to feudalism Japan is a massive leap to take, not to mention the existence of demons and monsters presents quite a different world for Kagome. Seeing the world through her eyes as she travels to collect the magical Shikon Jewel gives us an amazing adventure.

Inuyasha is a classic manga that brings the best of the genre out in it. From the goofy humor to the intense and dark story, Inuyasha has everything you’d want to enjoy within a manga.

 

11. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Jonathan Joestar drowning in all the swagger he's got on.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure follows the story of Joestar family, a family that’s destined to defeat the supernatural forces that live in their world. Each of these heroes posses powers that they use to defeat their foes with the manga following a member of the long running family, each taking the name JoJo.

Whenever you have supernatural powers and foes in a story, you know the action will be good. Aliens, creatures of the night, immortal beings are just a few supernatural foes in the story. Fights like Jotaro and Dio encapsulates this, with their martial arts combined with their powers make up for an intense showdown.

The adventure comes from the different times the story takes us. Whether it’s going to 1880’s England, Japan in 1999 or an alternate timeline, the story takes us all over the place and it’s one of the best parts of the manga.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a great manga and a lot of that comes from the action the story has. The beauty and simplicity of it really makes the story a lot of fun to read and enjoy.

 

10. Hunter x Hunter

Gon Freecss and his opponent.

Hunter x Hunter is the adventures of Gon Freecss, a young boy who strives to follow in the footsteps of his estranged father, who’s also a hunter. Hunters are basically professionals who specialize in hunting down rare objects, animals and lawless men.

The fights in this manga is intense as you can really feel the passion and energy these characters have when they fight. The aura and powers in it just blend perfectly with the world that the manga created. Fights between Gon and Hisoka, Meruem and Netero and more give you all the action you’d want in this story.

Through the eyes of Gon, we get a first class ticket to the world that Hunter x Hunter is in. With the importance of Hunters and the mystic world it’s in, it’s provides our character (and ourselves) a great adventure to discover it.

Hunter x Hunter is a great story with so much going on with it. From the emotions these characters go through to the incredible fight scenes, this manga is one of the all-time greats available.

 

9. Fullmetal Alchemist

Edward and Alphonse ready to go on their adventure.

Designed with the European Industrial Revolution in mind, Fullmetal Alchemist follows the story of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse, trying to restore their body after they used the advanced scientific techniques alchemy to try and bring their mother back.

With a mix of martial arts, technology and the use of alchemy, the fights in this series can get intense and engaging. Edward has numerous great fights throughout the story but his fight with Father has to take the cake just for everything that’s in it. The emotions that are on display, the mastery both men showed, it truly gave the fans everything they could’ve wanted.

Much like Hunter x Hunter and most of the other mangas on this list, the adventure these characters go through is an amazing appeal to the story. Wherever the two brothers go on their quest to find the Philosopher's Stone, you know it’ll be interesting to say the least.

Fullmetal Alchemist hits your emotions a lot but it’ll also provide you with a beautiful blend of story, action and adventure that anyone should read it.

 

8. Attack on Titan:

Survey Corps member attacking a Titan.

Attack on Titan is set in a world where humanity hides inside their cities with massive walls from the massive humanoid beast that roam the land and eat humans, which are called Titans. We follow the life of Eren Yeager, a teenager who serves vengeance on the creatures who killed his mother, serving the military and the Survey Corps to fight the beast.

The action in the story is great due to the size and strength of the villain compared to our protagonist. They use whatever they have to their advantage, whether it’s their speed and mind or the weapons they have to offer. The violent and bloodthirsty method of the Titans. We even see some of the humans fight amongst each other and those fights have always been interesting.

The adventure of this story isn’t of exploration or trying to find treasure, it’s one of discovering the world’s secrets. Eren survives being eaten by creating and controlling a Titan, he and his friends try to discover the truth behind the government, the Titans and themselves.

Attack on Titan is critically acclaimed and one of the most popular mangas today. The world it created is vast and interesting and if you’re into the end of the world vibe with action, a conspiracy plot and more, it’s a perfect fit for you.

 

7. Yu Yu Hakusho

Yusuke Urameshi struggling against his foes.

Yu Yu Hakusho follows the life of Yusuke Urameshi, a troubled teenager who lost his life attempting to save a child from a car. After multiple test and training, Yusuke was given his life back by the son of the ruler of the afterlife underworld. He’s been given the task of detective for the underworld and must investigate the crimes of demons and ghost in the human realm.

The action in this manga is amazing with a blend of martial arts and aura manipulation fusing to make it all work together. Yusuke’s fights with Yomi and Toguro emphasises this perfectly with their raw strength and powers just demanding you keep turning the pages and see how the fight ends.

The adventure of the story is following Yusuke around as he investigates the human world and the crime the demons and ghost commit. Whether it’s the Dark Tournament, the Demon Plane or the Underworld, there’s so many unique areas the manga takes us to.

Yu Yu Hakusho is a great manga to start if you’re looking to get into the genre. It’s not in the mainstream  like DBZ or My Hero Academia but the artwork, story and action is perfect to get yourself started into the world of mangas.

 

6. One Punch Man

Saitama doing what he does best.

After three years of gruesome training, Saitama has become One Punch Man, able to take out enemies with a single punch. He feels like a robot for a lot of the show and while there’s moments of him showing emotion, the story feels like a deconstruction of the superhero story. It’s a comedy but it’s got some great action.

You’d imagine for show about a hero who wins with one punch, there’s no real action but that’s where you’re wrong. The fights in the first arc were great and it’s the characters like Genos and Sonic who give you the fights you want to see. One Punch Man is there to finish the job but even then, his power is so impressive, it’s still gripping to watch it.

The adventure in this story has centered around Saitama and his “sidekick” Genos being heroes for hire. The people they meet and the opponents they fight are great and though the adventure isn’t as massive as One Piece or Dragon Ball Z, the characters and the action make up for it.

One Punch Man is a work of art not because of the character design or the over the top actions of these characters but how the manga can work with having basically the all powerful man in it and still having some tension in it. These characters give you a reason to care for them and by the end, you want to see them succeed.

 

5. Naruto

Our main characters ready to fight for their lives.

Naruto is the story of Naruto, a boy who has a powerful fox by the name Nine Tails living in his body. Naruto dreams of admiration and respect by his peers and to become the Hokage, leader of his village. This story follows him from his time as a pre-teen to a teenager and his quest which takes him to his limits.

Naruto’s action is top notch and you should expect quality when you read the manga and see a fight coming up. The difference in techniques and abilities allow these fights to thrive in this story and with everyone possessing different powers, it tough to really not be interested in what happens.

The adventure follows Naruto and his friends journey, physically and mentally through the world as they strive to be the best . Their journey takes them through some of their biggest traumatic moments in their life and the world they live in so interesting, it makes it worth spending so much of your time reading it.

Naruto is one of the most popular mangas of all time and it’s not hard to see why. The characters are great, the story might be a bit long but it’s worth the buildup and the action and adventure it brings us is fantastic.

 

4. Dragon Ball

Son Goku on the hunt for the Dragon Balls.

The first of a long story for Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball follows the story of Son Goku, a boy with a tale trying to find all seven Dragon Balls with Bulma and his other friends. This eventually turns into Goku defeating the likes of the Red Ribbon Army, Demon King Piccolo and others, leading to the story we know as Dragon Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z has the flashy energy blast and transformation, Dragon Ball is more down to Earth with its fighting, focused more on karate and martial arts than the energy blast. Now don’t get me wrong, they’re still using Kamehameha’s but it’s not as used as Goku’s fight with Frieza. The fighting feels more grounded, more in our line of reality, especially between Master Roshi and Goku for the championship round.

For the adventure, the story takes all other the world of Dragon Ball, with Goku traveling up to meet Kami, Mr. Popo and Korrin, Goku meeting Upa and Bora, and all the other adventures Goku has taken throughout his childhood. It all climaxes when he wins the Grand Martial Arts Tournament against Piccolo, finally giving him that win he so desperately wanted.

Dragon Ball doesn’t get the same love as the next generation did but without it, the story has no foundation to make those memories we had stand together.

 

3. My Hero Academia

Midoriya and Bakugo, Two rivals with the same goal.

One of the newer entries on this list, My Hero Academia follows the story of Izuku Midoriya, a boy with no powers but is given the powers of the One for All by All Might. Izuku is going through how to become a hero and growing up trying to control these powers and the story feels very Shonen-like but it’s one of the best mangas out there.

The action in this manga is top-notch with so many good moment, it’s hard to rank them. You feel the emotion of each punch, each moment a character uses their quirk to save someone. The fight between Izuku and Todoroki is fantastic in its vision and its choreographic work.

The adventure of this story isn’t really like One Piece where they’re traveling around the world but that’s ok because it allows us to see the adventure these characters go through in their journey to being heroes. Izuku takes the nickname Deku from his childhood bully and turn it into his superhero name, showing himself to not have confidence in himself but refuses to lay down and be defeated. It’s an adventure into the heart and souls of these characters more than anything.

My Hero is reaching the stars right now and the story we’re reading now is only going to get bigger and bigger.

 

2. One Piece

One of the many intense One Piece manga covers.

Even though it isn’t done, One Piece has become one of the most popular mangas in the world with 20 years of history under its name and 450 million copies sold worldwide. Following the tales of Monkey D. Luffy, we follow his gang of pirates trying to find One Piece, the treasure left by Gold Roger.

This story has some of the best fights in the entire genre, from Luffy vs. Crocodile to Zoro vs. Mr. 1, the fights are brutal and intense. We even saw Luffy and Usopp take a crack at each other, making for a brutal and personal fight that is still beloved by fans.

Right from the start, the cast of Luffy’s pirate crew are on adventures to reach the peak of who they are. Luffy wants to be king of the pirates, Zoro wants to be the best swordsman in the world, Nami wants to chart the entire sea and so on. This adventure takes them across the world and meet interesting and vicious people.

While the action is great and the places they go are magical, the adventure is what the story is all about and that adventure isn’t just to the Grand Line but also to who these people truly are.

 

1. Dragon Ball Z

The Z-Fighters.

It’s tough to look at any other option for this list besides DBZ to be number one. Dragon Ball Z kicks off with a time skip and right after that, the entire foundation of the Dragon Ball story changes. We go from a story that’s light hearted and fun to a fight for survival against genocidal space warlords who will stop at nothing to get what they want. The story gets dark and the stakes were never higher than they were here and it works.

Going from a story centered on Earth and the Red Ribbon Army to Saiyans and the legendary Super Saiyans was risky but the story never really lost anything for that decision. Dragon Ball was always odd so having our main character Goku be an alien from out of space shouldn’t have been to confusing.

The action in this show is the real bread and butter to the story as most people come to see the Z-fighters fight their opponent, whether it was Raditz, Vegeta, Frieza, Cell or Buu. The fights are amazing and truly changed the game in the manga world as fights like Vegeta vs Goku or Goku vs Frieza give us a new taste than we’ve received in Dragon Ball.

The story never really slows down after Raditz as the story takes the Z-fighters down a path of adventures in space and in their hearts. After Vegeta was beaten, the gang heads to Namek to get the Dragon Balls to resurrect their friends, only to find the most dangerous man in the universe, Frieza. We go from there to a time odyssey by Trunks and Cell, the arrival of the Supreme Kai and Buu.

As the story continues, the adventure and action just keep going up and it’s a testament to how good the manga is that this was one to break through the western audience and start the manga/anime trend we have today.

 

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