10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre

Except for One Piece and Hunter x Hunter, some of the top-rated shonen manga, including Bleach, Naruto, and others, have already concluded. Furthermore, with notable modern Shonen manga like Jujutsu Kaisen, My Hero Academia, Black Clover, etc. in the final stages, the future of the genre is in jeopardy. However, this also means that more Shonen manga now have the opportunity to ascend to the top. So, let’s look at a list of must-read manga that show a great deal of promise to save the next generation of Shonen.

Note: All of the manga that are included here are set to run for atleast another couple of years. Therefore, manga that are ending soon such as MHA, JJK, Black Clover, haven’t been included as they are ending their run.

10. Boruto: Two Blue Vortex (2023 – )

Boruto in Boruto Two Blue Vortex manga
Image Courtesy: Akane Banashi (Press Release)
  • MAL: 8.05
  • Authors: Masashi Kishimoto (Story), Mikio Ikemoto (Art)
  • Chapters: 10 – Ongoing
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

The initial run of Naruto’s sequel manga, Boruto, did not meet every fan’s expectations. To top it off, the anime became a burden to watch with tons of fillers (see Boruto filler list) because there was not enough source material to adapt. This led to mixed reactions among the fans when the Boruto series started airing. However, the tables turned completely after the post-time-skip manga called Boruto: Two Blue Vortex arrived.

Boruto: Two Blue Vortex is one of the hottest-selling manga right now as it has taken us back to the Shippuden days. Since the original author Masashi Kishimoto returned, Boruto has developed into a more mature character and the stakes have never been higher.

As a result, it is intriguing to see the story unfold, and the action sequences are simply outstanding. Fans of Naruto shouldn’t miss out on this one at all and also other fans should try this battle shonen manga.

9. Kagurabachi (2023 – )

10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre
Image Courtesy: Kagurabachi (X/@kagurabachi_x)
  • MAL: 7.83
  • Author: Takeru Hokazono
  • Chapters: 33 – Ongoing
  • Genre: Action, Fantasy

When Kagurabachi made its debut, it was heavily used as meme material. But as time progressed, this brand-new shonen manga began to grow on us and is currently one of the best ongoing manga right now. Renowned mangakas such as Kazue Kato (Blue Exorcist), Takehiko Inoue (Vagabond & Slamdunk), and many more have appreciated Takeru Hokazono’s drawing.

It is yet another action manga in the Shonen genre and has its unique qualities to stand out among others. It follows the life of Chihiro Rokuhira, a swordmaker’s son who yearns for vengeance in his heart. With interesting characters and crazy battles to look out for, Kagurabachi can become the next big thing in Shonen if Takeru nurtures it well.

8. Kaiju No. 8 (2020 – )

10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre
Image Courtesy: Kaiju No. 8 (X/@KaijuNo8_O)
  • MAL: 7.73
  • Author: Naoya Matsumoto
  • Chapters: 106 – Ongoing
  • Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

The Kaiju No. 8 anime’s first season kicked off recently and is at the center of everyone’s attention right now. Even before this, the manga series by Naoya Matsumoto had amassed a sizeable fanbase with its excellent art and amazing story weaved around kaiju. With other battle shonen ending very soon, Kaiju no 8 has all the qualities to be a worthy successor in this genre.

While I’m following the anime and waiting to switch to the manga soon, my Editor has constantly praised this series and has been recommending it to me for a long time. It sure has the potential to take the Shonen throne.

7. Sakamoto Days (2020 – )

10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre
Image Courtesy: Sakamoto Days by Yuuto Suzuki (X/@SAKAMOTO_STORE)
  • MAL: 8.11
  • Author: Yuuto Suzuki
  • Chapters: 166 – Ongoing
  • Genre: Action, Comedy

Sakamoto Days is clearly a John Wick-esque manga but at the same time, it is a brilliant mashup of action and comedy. Yuuto Suzuki’s art is on another level and his quirky characters & story make it a fascinating read. The comedy and action sequences here are absolutely fantastic.

Sakamoto Days is an action-comedy manga and has racked up a massive fanbase with its brilliance. This series is one of the most popular ongoing Shonen works and is expected to receive an anime adaptation by Netflix soon. I think the anime will further elevate its popularity to greater heights as the manga ticks all the boxes to become one of the best shonen products in the future.

6. Spy x Family (2019 – )

10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre
Image Courtesy: Fandom Wiki
  • MAL: 8.53
  • Author: Tatsuya Endou
  • Chapters:98
  • Genre: Action, Comedy

We have yet another action-comedy manga here which is none other than the modern phenomenon, Spy x Family. Before the Spy x Family anime’s arrival, the series had a fairly large fanbase. However, after the anime aired, with memes flowing everywhere, the popularity of the series skyrocketed and cemented its place as one of the best ongoing Shonen manga series.

In terms of the story, Spy x Family still has a long way to go so fans can continue to enjoy the slice of comedy and action mix. It is also a Mr & Mrs. Smith-esque series but what makes it totally unique is the presence of Anya Forger, the heart of this series.

It is extremely hilarious albeit has cliched scenes and its action sequences are equally entertaining as well. Spy x Family has already secured a place in the fans’ hearts and will only continue to grow further from here on.

5. Dandadan (2021 – )

10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre
Image Courtesy: Fandom Wiki
  • MAL: 8.31
  • Author: Yukinobu Tatsu
  • Chapters: 143 – Ongoing
  • Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural

Dandadan’s anime adaptation is set to release later this year. However, the series is regarded as one of the best uncharacteristic shonen manga and has already amassed millions of admirers. Thus, it is not your typical action-comedy and comes with a supernatural twist, which is extremely fun to read.

This series, which again my Editor has been insisting I read right away, boasts an incredible cast of characters, an oddball plot, and crazy battle scenes rendered in exquisite art by Yukinobu Tatsu. It’s still refreshing to read the manga after more than 100 chapters, and I assure you this series can be a game-changer in the shonen genre.

4. Chainsaw Man (2018 – )

10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre
Image Courtesy: Fandom Wiki
  • MAL: 8.72
  • Author: Tatsuki Fujimoto
  • Chapters: 165 – Ongoing
  • Genre: Action, Supernatural

When the Chainsaw Man anime debuted, it became an instant hit because of how distinctive its plot and characters were. In this manga, we see the protagonist Denji fight devils that haunt Japan and well he’s a devil hybrid himself.

Tatsuki Fujimoto had a breakthrough in his career with CSM. As one of the three dark shonen titles, CSM has topics that are quite mature and gloomy, hence, it should be emphasized that it is not for everyone.

It is a unique contemporary shonen animanga series featuring a wacky lead and supporting cast. Chainsaw Man has been highly unpredictable from the beginning and doesn’t feature the regular shonen tropes so you can never tell what will happen next in the story.

3. One Punch Man (2012 – )

10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre
Image Courtesy: Fandom Wiki
  • MAL: 8.74
  • Authors: Yusuke Murata (Art), ONE (Story)
  • Chapters: 200 – Ongoing
  • Genre: Action, Comedy

Technically, One Punch is not a manga that has started recently as it has been in serialization since 2012. However, according to the fandom, there is still so much story left to tell that it would take at least another decade for the manga to reach its conclusion. That’s why we have included ONE’s One Punch Man in our list.

Most long-running manga are disappearing slowly and it’s good to have at least one manga that can potentially carry on the legacy in the battle shonen genre. One Punch Man is already a sensation in the animanga community and fans are madly waiting for season 3 of One Punch Man, coming later this year.

OPM is the forerunner in the action-comedy genre with its godly art and amusing characters. Thus, there is no doubt that it can keep creating history over time.

2. Blue Lock (2018 – )

10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre
Image Courtesy: Fandom Wiki
  • MAL: 8.52
  • Authors: Muneyuki Kaneshiro (Story), Yuusuke Nomura (Art)
  • Chapters: 261Ongoing
  • Genre: Sports, Drama

The Blue Lock manga has been released in Weekly Shonen Jump since 2018. However, when the Blue Lock anime debuted alongside FIFA Worldcup 2022, it captivated football and anime fans alike, resulting in its massive success. After Haikyuu ended its run, Blue Lock managed to take the baton for the sports genre with its egotistical take on a team sport, storytelling, and enthralling characters.

As a result, Blue Lock went on to become the highest-selling manga of 2023 beating the likes of Jujutsu Kaisen, One Piece, etc. With Blue Lock season 2 coming soon and the manga at its peak, this animanga series will continue to top the charts for years to come. Not only just football fans but all Shonen fans will get hooked once they give this series a shot.

1. Sousou no Frieren (2020 – )

10 Next-Gen Manga That Can Save the Shonen Genre
Image Courtesy: Sousou no Frieren (X/@FRIEREN_PR)
  • MAL: 8.80
  • Authors: Kanehito Yamada (Story), Tsukasa Abe (Art)
  • Chapters: 127 – Ongoing
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Well, drum roll, please, the animanga series that has all the potential to sit on the shonen throne and rule for ages to come is Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End. When the first season of Frieren aired last year, it immediately topped the charts of MyAnimeList and ANN to become the highest-rated anime of all time.

Thanks to the anime adaptation sowing the seeds of popularity, more and more people are getting started with this anime and also reading the manga. Frieren distinguishes itself from other fantasy manga by emphasizing its non-linear storytelling and astonishing characters. This series also features some of the best action sequences I have seen in recent Shonen series.

With its popularity soaring high, the craze for Frieren will let her reign the future of Shonen without any doubts.

Although the future of Shonen is slightly bleak, I have to say that these manga have the potential to continue delivering the best stories out there. That said, if you think we’ve missed some promising manga in our list, let us know in the comments below.

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