15 Manga With The Best Artwork, Ranked

List Rules

Vote up the manga with the most impressive artwork.

Have you ever listened to a non-manga fan tell you that they can't stand the art style because it's nothing but big eyes and weird proportions? Have you ever wanted to prove them wrong? The manga on this list are the perfect way to do just that - and if you don't have any naysayers in your life, they're a great way to appreciate the art form yourself.

What are the manga with the best art? Everyone has a different answer to that question, but a lot of people will mention Berserk, a gorgeously detailed dark fantasy manga. Others might bring up Goodnight Punpun, a painfully real take on growing up that uses its art to underscore its themes. Fans of old school manga might point to Akira, a cyberpunk masterpiece that also spawned an incredible movie. Which one is your favorite?

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  • 1
    87 VOTES
    Vagabond
    Photo: Vagabond / VIZ Media

    Created by the same person who made the legendary basketball manga Slam Dunk, Vagabond features amazing characterization and storytelling, not to mention brilliant art. The series depicts a fictionalized version of the life of Musashi Miyamoto, a famous swordsman from the 1500s.

    Unlike many manga, the characters aren't drawn in a stylized way. They have wrinkles, blemishes, and body hair. The action scenes have a fluidity to them that adds to the sense of realism. While it's sad that the series has yet to receive an anime adaptation, it's hard to imagine how any anime could do it justice. 

  • 2
    119 VOTES

    Berserk

    Berserk
    Photo: Berserk / Dark Horse Comics

    Berserk, which is by the late Kentaro Miura, is one of the most beloved and respected dark fantasy series in history. It follows Guts, a mercenary who once worked alongside his friends but was viciously betrayed by one of them, and now seeks to get revenge and protect the few survivors of the betrayal - especially Casca, the love of his life. This is easier said than done, since he's constantly being hounded by horrifying monsters that are attracted to the mark branded into his flesh. From detailed backgrounds to expressive faces and bone-chilling monsters, the manga does an amazing job of portraying Guts' dark world. 

    Sadly, the anime adaptations haven't really measured up. While the 90s version looks good, the art isn't exceptional. Meanwhile, the art and animation of the 2016 anime looks downright terrible.

  • 3
    78 VOTES

    One-Punch Man

    One-Punch Man
    Photo: One-Punch Man / VIZ Media

    One-Punch man started off as a web manga with extremely simplistic art, created by ONE. Ever since it was published as a multi-volume series with Yusuke Murata, the art quality has skyrocketed.

    The story, which is about a professional hero named Saitama who can defeat anyone with a single punch, is rendered with exquisite details. It's a whole lot more exciting to see Saitama wailing on a giant monster that's so detailed it almost looks real than it would be if it were sketchier or not as well done.

  • 4
    50 VOTES
    Vinland Saga
    Photo: Vinland Saga / Kodansha Comics

    If you're an anime-only Vinland Saga fan, you shouldn't sleep on the manga. This historical series starts off in Dane-controlled England during the 11th century, and combines historical explorer Thorfinn's attempt to get revenge for his father's demise with King Canute the Great's ascent to the throne.

    While not necessarily the most historically accurate series ever created, it's still a great series. Its bold, dramatic art - especially when it comes to battle scenes - does a great job of making up for a few historical inconsistencies.

  • 5
    39 VOTES

    Goodnight Punpun

    Goodnight Punpun
    Photo: Goodnight Punpun / VIZ Media

    Goodnight Punpun is a coming-of-age manga that follows a young boy into his adult life. Though the content starts off silly, it becomes increasingly dark over time.

    The main character and his family are depicted as cartoonish birds, while the background and the other characters are far more detailed. The backgrounds, in particular, are based directly off of photographs, giving them a hyper-realistic look that contrasts well with the protagonist. The end result is beautiful, but the manga isn't for the faint of heart - it's deeply, deeply sad.

  • 6
    32 VOTES

    A Bride's Story

    A Bride's Story
    Photo: A Bride's Story / Yen Press

    Kaoru Mori's A Bride's Story is a historical drama about a young woman from a nomadic tribe who is traveling the Silk Road in order to marry the much-younger boy she's betrothed to.

    The series' beautiful art depicts historically accurate clothing, furniture, tableware, linens, instruments, food, and other objects that create a realistic sense of place. You might not be able to travel back in time, but you can read this manga.