Photo:

17 Manga That Should Get Their Own Anime Adaptations

List Rules
Vote up the manga you most want to see adapted into anime.

The world of anime is miniscule compared to the expansive manga universe. While there are some amazing manga adaptations, due to the sheer volume of manga, there are many that are left unexplored onscreen.

Sometimes, it's understandable that a fantastic series has gone under the radar – Keiko Tobe's With The Light features excellent storytelling, art, and character development, but follows a mother trying to raise an autistic child in a society that doesn't always understand her family's needs. Not only is it focused on a niche topic, it also lacks a conclusion thanks to the author's untimely death. However, there are some wildly popular complete series, like Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue, that seem like they should have been made into an anime ages ago. 

Sometimes manga adaptations don't work as anime, but these manga feel ripe for the jump from the page to the screen. Every season, new manga adaptations appear on the anime scene, so it's entirely possible the shows on this list – and other amazing manga out there lacking an anime version – will get a second life in anime form someday.

Photo:

  • 1
    669 votes

    Take Future Diary, make it an isekai, and add a protagonist who is actually competent, and you get Toshiaki Iwashiro's Psyren. Ageha Yoshina, a high school student, helps anyone with anything for money, so when he receives a mysterious phone call asking if he wants to go to a place called Psyren – which may be connected to his missing classmate Sakurako – he accepts the offer. There, he must compete using newly awakened psychic powers if he ever wants to return home. This exciting story could easily be adapted into an equally enjoyable anime. 

  • 2
    611 votes

     

    Takehiko Inoue's Vagabond is a prize-winning manga that's sold millions of copies worldwide, so the fact it hasn't been adapted since its conclusion in 2015 is baffling. It's a fictionalized version of the life of Musashi Miyamoto, a famous swordsman from the 1500s. With beautiful art and nuanced characterization, this manga transports its readers to another world. With 37 volumes, it might be difficult to animate the whole thing, but an arc or two is well overdue.

  • 3
    391 votes

    There aren't any standout examples of anime that deal with a realistic zombie outbreak. Sure, Highschool of the Dead and School-Live! are scary, but they don't make viewers consider how they would survive an undead apocalypse. Kengo Hanazawa's I Am A Hero is different. It takes a man already struggling to hold his life together and pits him against a horde of zombies – which he stands little chance of defeating.

    The outbreak plays out in a realistic manner: people cling to the comforts of society and make the outbreak worse by staying close, and then rioting ensues. The zombies are terrifying because they still look human, just with bottomless pits where their eyes should be. An anime adaptation could revolutionize the zombie genre. 

  • It feels criminal that only a handful of Naoki Urasawa's works have been adapted into anime. One of his overlooked pieces is 20th Century Boys, which follows convenience store manager Kenji Endo as he tries to unravel the mysteries of a dangerous cult only he and his childhood friends can stop. Though different from Urasawa's hit series Monster, it has the potential to be every bit the hit that Monster was if it were animated. 

  • 5
    282 votes
    Yotsuba&!
    Photo: Yen Press

    Yotsuba&! is by the same manga artist who created Azumanga DaiohKiyohiko Azuma. Rather than focusing on high school students, Yotsuba&! follows a little girl and her father as she discovers all the new and wonderful things about her world. It's similar to Sweetness & Lightning, a manga and anime about a child discovering the joy of cooking along with her father, but with a little less pathos and a wider scope than food. 

    Unfortunately, there are no plans for an anime adaptation, as Azuma doesn't believe the themes or style would translate effectively into animation. 

  • 6
    214 votes

    Takehiko Inoue is best known for Slam Dunk, one of the best sports manga. While Slam Dunk capitalizes on – and even establishes – some solid sports anime tropes, his manga Real takes a different approach. It also deals with basketball, but it focuses more on characters who have to work with various disabilities and psychological issues in order to participate in the sport they love. It's a more realistic and grounded approach to basketball, focusing less on flashy and impressive moves and more on character development.

    While the tone is different, anime studio MAPPA blended sports with inner life quite successfully with Yuri!!! on ICE, so maybe they're the right people to handle Real.