There may never be a better time than now to pick up that manga you’ve been holding out on because of school, work or whatever else. With quarantine still in place, it’s the ideal time to flip through the black and white pages and escape into a different reality. And, with more legal, digital ways to read manga than ever before, the options are nearly endless.
Manga is full of creative energy perfect for perking up during the quarantine doldrums so, here are just a few manga perfect for the occasion. These are some of the most action-packed, adventurous and fantastical manga around, each one of them taking its readers on a journey like no other – perfect for getting out while staying in.
For those looking for a dark and fantastical manga, this one’s cute art style might be a turn-off. But don’t be deceived by the charming, chibi-like characters. After the first few chapters of Made in Abyss, it becomes immediately clear this is not a child-friendly manga.
The manga starts off rather lighthearted in the beginning before showing hints of a blacker side as the plot progresses. The story revolves around the cryptic and unsettling world of the Abyss, a deep pit that holds many secrets, artifacts and strange creatures. Those who descend into the cruel and dangerous depths of the Abyss are known as Delvers, with the best of them called the White Whistles. Made in Abyss follows a young girl named Riko who dives deeper and deeper into the Abyss in search for her mother, a White Whistle named Lyza.
The world of One Piece may just be the largest in all of manga. It is absolutely brimming with fantastic characters, each more unique than the last in a world so vast that it dwarfs the actual story. Spanning many seas and islands, the manga takes its readers on an epic voyage with the Straw Hat pirates on their quest for the fabled treasure, One Piece.
The core story of One Piece is wonderfully crafted, detailing the shenanigans, heartbreaks and escapades of the Straw Hats. Once familiar with the enormous and rich world of the series, it quickly becomes apparent as to why it’s as long and popular as it is. The sheer length of this manga may scare away some people, but once acquainted with it, it is nearly impossible to put down.
Vinland Saga, unlike the previous entries, does not take place in a fantasy world. On the contrary, it takes place on Earth, during the Viking Age. But make no mistake, this is not a historical drama. Vinland Saga, created by Makoto Yukimura – also the author of the brilliant science fiction manga Planetes – takes readers on a journey of epic proportions. It starts with a boy named Thorfinn who abandons his home to seek out revenge for the death of his father, ultimately becoming the kind of man his father never wanted him to become.
Vinland Saga is a profound tale of a world of violence and cruelty and the people in it that forge their paths in spite of the odds. It tackles slavery, violence, God, pacifism and love. And best of all, it has vikings. Vinland Saga manages to strike a unique balance between sincere storytelling, philosophical character developments and insane action-heavy scenes.
Attack on Titan is known for its absolutely insane action scenes, the best of them involving people whipping around on wires to cut down giants. However, the true best part of Attack on Titan, is its spine-chilling premise. With almost all of humanity wiped out, the survivors find themselves trapped inside a long-stretching wall, built to protect them from the giant man-eating monsters outside called Titans. The series begins when, one day, a colossal Titan mysteriously appears and destroys the walls of Shiganshina, letting the Titans in.
Attack on Titan immediately creates intrigue within its world as soon as it begins, leaving many of its biggest secrets shrouded in mystery until later in the series. What happened to the other humans? Where did the Titans come from? What’s hidden in the basement of the main character’s father? These are some the questions that’ll plague readers’ minds while reading this masterpiece of a story. And the answers that lay ahead are truly some of the most satisfying and jaw-dropping in all of manga.
Berserk might never end, or maybe it will, no one really knows – not even the author. This is sad, especially considering how amazing this manga is. The beautiful, hyper-detailed art might make readers wonder how something like this isn’t even more popular than it already is. Kentaro Miura’s epic dark fantasy stars Guts, a mercenary hellbent on getting revenge on his former best friend, Griffith. And while it may look like it, this isn’t really a revenge plot.
Berserk has some of the most gut-wrenching – no pun intended – and poignant story moments to ever happen in manga, it’s hauntingly beautiful black-and-white panels being privy to some of the darkest and most horrifying aspects of humanity. While One Piece presents its fans with an epic fantasy, and Attack on Titan gives one dark in nature, Berserk does both, and it does it brilliantly.
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Here are some of the most adventurous and action-packed manga out there, perfect for some quarantine escapism.