The Best Supernatural Manga to Read in 2023

Mar 03, 2023
The top supernatural manga to read in 2023! Tales about ghosts, vampires, ghouls, devils, and other supernatural creatures.
The Best Supernatural Manga to Read in 2023

Supernatural manga allow us to enter new worlds, worlds where ghosts, ghouls, devils and demons, and monsters of all kinds reside. Many focus on topics like the occult or urban legends, and they oftentimes overlap with mystery and/or horror manga. They can be dark and terrifying, but they also can be heartwarming and funny as well.

There’s a lot to discover, especially with the almost limitless themes and topics available in the supernatural world. For these and other reasons, it’s one of my favorite manga genres to explore.

That being said, here are the best spooky comics in the English translation that you can read! The series in this list have all been published in English. If I’ve reviewed the series, I’ll make sure to list it down here as well, so you can learn more about it as well as the versions of the series that you may collect.

 

Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida

 

Where most supernatural stories are centered around monsters, like vampires, or the paranormal, Tokyo Ghoul takes a different approach by taking us into the world of the ghoul. Our protagonist Kaneki is torn between two worlds, human and ghoul. The series deals with his struggle to understand his place in each world, as well as his struggle to find a sense of belonging.

Apart from the fact that the game is situated in a horror-filled universe, what makes Tokyo Ghoul so unsettling is that it transforms an ordinary youngster into a ghoul. If you could picture yourself in his position, the terror of knowing you’ll never be human again — and that you must now survive on human flesh — would be enough to break anyone.

Tokyo Ghoul is dark, brutal, and violent, but it also depicts characters that wish for a peaceful world and strive to be better, thus it has a lighter side. Sui Ishida’s aesthetic and art style is one of the most distinctive you’ll ever see, in addition to having one of the best MC’s and plots in all supernatural manga.

 

Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto

 

Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto, the creator of Fire Punch, is one of the best new shonen manga to release in quite some time. It’s set in a world where devils, whose power is determined by fear, are hunted down by the Public Safety Devil Hunters. To give you an idea as to what you are in store for, there’s a gun devil, a bomb devil, a katana devil, an infinity devil, a darkness devil, and of course, the chainsaw devil, which now resides within our MC, Denji.

Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man is a manga that stands out from the crowd with its dark themes and complex characters. The interesting backstory that he created for the devils, coupled with their strength and the fact that they are mankind’s fears manifested into reality makes it such an appealing read. Devils are something we commonly see in manga, but I’ve never come across anything like the ones in Chainsaw Man before.

It’s the right blend of horror, action, drama, and even slice-of-life, and then there’s the tone, which quickly and abruptly switches from light and gloomy. Our characters are laughing and cracking jokes together one minute. The next thing they know, they’re being cut to bits by a powerful devil.

The situation the characters in Chainsaw Man have found themselves in is dire, but Tatsuki Fujimoto still allows them to experience happiness. And each character experiences that happiness in their own way. Some won’t be able to achieve it, until they get revenge, while others just want a comfy bed and some good food.

Its characters and tone are reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino films. It’s incredibly violent and humorous, but there’s also a lot of melancholy and depth to these stories, and they always involve a wonderful group dynamic. While the action and gruesome confrontations are a huge part of Chainsaw Man’s appeal, it also has a lot of passion and emotion packed into it that is sure to grip you.Dandadan by Yukinobu Tatsu.

 

Dandadan by Yukinobu Tatsu

 

Dandadan is a unique entry because it highlights the paranormal and supernatural as well as the extraterrestrial. In this one, the two mix together and create a world unlike any other, landing it on my top sci-fi manga list also. It’s a manga you may already have heard of because it was recommended by two of my favorite manga creators, Tatsuki Fujimoto, the creator of Chainsaw Man and Fire Punch, and Yuji Kaku, the creator of Hell’s Paradise and Ayashimon. Yukinobu Tatsu was an assistant to both of them.

The story follows Momo Ayase, who comes across a boy named Ken Takakura that’s being bullied. Because of her kind heart and her knack for jumping into situations without thinking, she ends up confronting the bullies and saving Ken. In return, he takes this opportunity to try and make a friend and attempts to connect with her by talking about one of his favorite topics: The occult. Ayase rejects his claims but says that she does believe in ghosts. Ken believes in aliens, but he doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Ayase and Ken set up a challenge to determine who is correct; Ayase will go to a fabled local alien hot spot, and Ken will go to a fabled local ghost hot spot. Both arrive at their destinations, and it turns out that both of them were right. Because of their discoveries, their lives are turned upside down. Now, they have to navigate the supernatural and sci-fi worlds they have stumbled into, all the while working to return their lives back to normal.

There’s something endearing about Dandadan, and that charm is undeniable. It’s quirky and wacky but in a lovable way.

Bakemonogatari by Oh! Great

 

Bakemonogatari’s manga adaptation, which features art by Oh! Great, the creator of Air Gear and Tenjo Tenge, is another I highly recommend. Its concept of monsters is more abstract, which I love, and it’s unlike any other supernatural manga I’ve read before.

Our narrative opens with Koyomi Araragi, a high school student, catching a girl named Hitagi Senjougahara after she trips. Yet, much to his surprise, she weighs nothing. She claims that an encounter with a so-called “crab” caused her to lose all of her weight. Strange occurrences like this one recur throughout the series, and we learn that monsters exist everywhere on this planet.

Bakemonogatari is hard to describe because it’s a little bit of everything. It has action, drama, horror, romance, supernatural elements, and mystery and humor too. The story is compelling and unique, but it's Oh! Great’s art, which is jaw-dropping, shines the most.

If you’re looking for a series that’s both eccentric and entertaining, with good character dynamics, gorgeous art, and an unusual story, Bakemonogatari is one you need to check out. Vertical has released 14 volumes of the series so far with English translations.

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun by AidaIro

 

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun by AidaIro is set in Kamome Academy, where rumors of the “Seven Mysteries” run wild. One such mystery is one of our main characters, Hanako-san, who resides in the third stall of the third-floor girls’ bathroom. When summoned, it's said he grants any wish. High schooler and occult fanatic Nene Yashiro heads up to the bathroom to make a wish, but the Hanako-san she meets is a lot different than she expected.

One of the things I love the most about Toilet-bound Hanako-kun, in addition to its characters and its premise, is its art. AidaIro’s panels and character designs are some of the most unique I’ve seen, and I really enjoy the style of the art in Toilet-bound Hanako-kun. So much so that AidaIro is one of my all-time favorite manga artists.

If you enjoy stories that are centered around the occult or urban legends, enjoy stories that are full of mystery, or enjoy manga where the main character’s a ghost, Toilet-bound Hanako-kun is a must-read. Not only is it one of the most endearing supernatural comics on this list, but the fact that it is character-centric helps you to identify with and relate to the characters.

 

Death Note by Takeshi Obata & Tsugumi Ohba

 

Death Note is a story about Light Yagami, who finds a notebook that allows him to kill someone — as long as he knows their face. He uses this power to rid the world of evil and creates a perfect world for himself. But this attracts the attention of law enforcement, who enlist L to capture him. This cat-and-mouse game between two incredibly intelligent minds is not short on action or suspense.

A Shinigami named Ryuk is constantly gazing over Light’s shoulder and lurking in the shadows. He contributes a lot to the tale, especially since you never know what he’s up to and is always wondering what his genuine motives are. The supernatural in this one comes from the power as well as the beings from which Light derives that power. While it’s still quite grounded in reality, and the story is largely recounted in the human world, we get glimpses into the extra-dimensional universe and learn more about the beings from whom he’s obtained this new and all-powerful notepad.

The most exciting thing about Death Note, though, is its take on moral dilemmas. With great power comes great responsibility, but when said power gets put in the hands of a high school student who thinks he’s a god, lines are bound to be crossed. It’s just a really interesting premise, and you’ll find yourself more and more captivated as the story unravels.

 

A lot of supernatural manga have been released over the years, but these are my favorite to release so far. I will continue to update this post with more series as I read them and as a new series release.

Looking for more series to get into? Check out all of the new manga that are releasing in 2023!

 

 

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