In the diverse landscape of manga and anime, no genre of story is as consistently popular as ‘shonen.’ The genre is named for its focus on the young male demographic and so tends to focus on big action stories like Dragon Ball and One Piece. However, it also has a host of non-battle-oriented works.


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While the current ruler of the shonen world is Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump, there are several publications releasing promising new shonen manga on a regular basis. These are just a small selection of some of the great new series audiences have been introduced to recently.

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8 Blue Lock: Episode Nagi

Popular manga series can often receive a spin-off series or two. These often help fill out a series’ worldbuilding like with My Hero Academia: Vigilantes or give more focus to a supporting character. Blue Lock: Episode Nagi goes for the latter.

While it is a spin-off of Blue Lock, Episode Nagi stands on its own by focusing on Seishirou Nagi, the series’ aloof football prodigy. Especially his relationship with Reo Mikage, his main connection in the original Blue Lock series. This is easily a must-read for any Blue Lock fans or onlookers with an interest in the series.

7 Earthchild

Superheroes often steal the limelight in stories, and it’s easy to see why. Occasionally though, someone decided to put the focus on the average people around the heroes. Reisuke is one such character, living a perfectly average life before falling in love with a superhero.

The series mostly follows him attempting to raise his superpowered baby without the help of his now-deceased wife. It’s a manga that can be hard to pin down or predict sometimes but is bursting with so much unflinching positivity and hope that it’s hard to stop reading just to see if Reisuke can make it through another day.

6 Ruri Dragon

Most people who woke up with dragon horns growing out of their heads would be in for a dramatic and high-stakes adventure. For Ruri Aoki, however, it registers as just a mild change to her status quo.

Ruri Dragon is a newcomer to weekly Shonen Jump, with significantly lower energy to the rest of the magazine. It’s a breezy slice-of-life comedy with a wonderfully soft art style that likes to stop and smell the freshly burnt roses. Using Ruri’s newfound draconic abilities, the story sets her off on a heartwarming path to self-discovery.

5 Aliens Area

Another newcomer to weekly Shonen Jump, Aliens Area, draws comparisons to Parasyte in both its premise and worldbuilding, with many unique twists. The two series share an alien presence and a protagonist with an alien arm, but things diverge quite heavily from there.

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The series sees Tatsumi Tatsunami pulled into the Men in Black-esque ‘section 5’, whose job it is to maintain the balance with all the alien species living secretly on earth. While the series is still in its early stages, it shows promise with its fun and dynamic sci-fi action.

4 Gokurakugai

After a promising one-shot back in 2020, Gokurakugai began official serialization in 2022 in Jump Square magazine. The series has received a few changes from its previous form but has not lost an ounce of what made it great.

The story follows Tao and her ward Alma, a lovable pair who make their living in the seedy underground of a bustling red-light district. When they’re not collecting bribes to hide scandalous pictures, they’re putting an end to evil monsters roaming the city and helping any innocents with problems that need solving.

3 Gachiakuta

Working as an assistant to a mangaka is a time-tested way for up-and-coming artists to break into the space. One such artist is Kei Urana, who, after working as an assistant to Atsushi Ohkubo on Fire Force, is now heading her first official series.

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Gachiakuta is quintessentially gritty, from its wild art style to the dim, depressing world it presents. Protagonist Rudo lives in a floating, segregated society, salvaging trash to stay alive. When he’s accused of murder, he’s cast into the abyss beneath the city, where he finds more than just garbage and bodies waiting for him.

2 Akane-Banashi

For the uninitiated, rakugo is a Japanese performance art that tasks performers to tell compelling, comedic stories using only their body and words. Akane is a young girl who grew up watching her dad polish his rakugo performances until he was expelled from a prestigious rakugo school without explanation.

Now she’s on a mission to become the greatest rakugo around and prove that her father’s work was truly worthwhile and magical. Akane-banashi takes on the difficult job of translating a visual and auditory artform into manga form and does a great job of it.

1 Sayonara Eri (Goodby Eri)

Following the ending to part 1 of his breakout hit Chainsaw Man, Tatsuki Fujimoto released an in-depth one-shot manga known as Goodby Eri.

The one-shot uses the same rough, subtly manic art style that helped Chainsaw Man stand out but applies it to a much more grounded story. The protagonist Yuuta is asked by his dying mother to film her, so he can better remember her when she’s gone.

The film he ends up making draws the attention of Eri, with whom he goes on a beautiful filmmaking journey that consistently tugs at the heartstrings.

MORE:Best Manga Like Chainsaw Man (That Do Not Have An Anime)



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