Top 10 Underrated Superhero Manga You Should Read. Have you ever heard of lesser-known superheroes? It can be hard to know where to start when looking through all of these books, so we’ve compiled a list of some under-the-radar heroes that you might want to give a try.
Superhero manga has been a staple in the world of anime and manga for decades, with popular series like One Punch Man, My Hero Academia, and Naruto dominating the genre. However, there are also a number of lesser-known superhero manga that are equally deserving of attention and appreciation. These underrated series often have unique and compelling storylines, complex characters, and stunning artwork that rival their more popular counterparts.
Despite their quality, this underrated superhero manga often flies under the radar, overshadowed by more popular series. Many of these series are hidden gems waiting to be discovered by fans of the genre, offering fresh perspectives and exciting twists on the superhero formula.
In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the best-underrated superhero manga that you should definitely add to your reading list. From supernatural heroes battling monsters to ordinary people rising up to fight for justice, these series offer a diverse range of characters and stories that are sure to capture your imagination. So sit back, grab your reading glasses, and get ready to discover some of the best-hidden gems in the world of superhero manga.
What is manga?
Manga is a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels that often feature distinctive art styles and storytelling techniques. The term “manga” refers to both the comics themselves and the broader cultural phenomenon that has grown up around them.
Manga is known for its wide variety of genres, including action, romance, comedy, science fiction, and more. Many manga series are published in serialized form, with chapters released on a regular schedule in magazines or online. These chapters are later compiled into volumes that are sold in bookstores and online.
Manga has a long and rich history in Japan, and it has become a major cultural export, with many popular series being translated and published in other countries. Manga has also influenced the art styles and storytelling techniques used in other forms of media, such as anime, video games, and movies.
Today, manga has a dedicated following of fans around the world, who enjoy reading, collecting, and discussing their favorite series. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer to the world of manga, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in this vibrant and diverse medium.
Akumetsu is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshiaki Tabata and illustrated by Yuki Yogo. The series was published in Weekly Shōnen Champion from 2002 to 2006 and was collected into 18 tankōbon volumes.
The story follows the character of Shou, a high school student who transforms into the vigilante Akumetsu, wearing a demonic mask, to punish corrupt politicians and businessmen. The character’s name, Akumetsu, is a play on words in Japanese, combining the words for “demon” (Akuma) and “elimination” (Tetsu).
Despite its popularity in Japan, Akumetsu remains relatively unknown in the West, making it an underrated superhero manga. The series is known for its political themes and its exploration of the idea of whether or not violence can be justified to achieve justice. The artwork is also noteworthy, featuring detailed character designs and action scenes.
Zebraman is a superhero manga series that was created by the Japanese manga artist and writer, Katsuhiro Otomo. It was originally published in the manga magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday from 1978 to 1979, and later compiled into a single volume.
The story of Zebraman centers around a mild-mannered schoolteacher named Shinichi Ichikawa who, in his spare time, dons a zebra-print suit and fights crime as the superhero Zebraman. Although his powers are limited to his strength, agility, and the gadgets he creates, Zebraman becomes a beloved hero to the people of his city.
Despite its unique premise and quirky sense of humor, Zebraman is considered an underrated superhero manga series. It was overshadowed by other more popular manga series of its time, such as Dragon Ball and Fist of the North Star, and did not achieve the same level of commercial success.
However, Zebraman has gained a cult following over the years, and its influence can be seen in other superhero works such as the film of the same name directed by Takashi Miike. The manga has also been reprinted several times, and a sequel titled “Zebra Queen” was published in 1989.
3. Rooster Fighter
“Rooster Fighter” is a manga series created by Akio Chiba. It was first published in Japan in 1991 and ran for a total of 4 volumes. The story follows a young boy named Kouichi, who gains the power to transform into a rooster-like superhero and fights against evil forces threatening the world.
Despite its interesting premise and unique hero design, “Rooster Fighter” has been considered an underrated manga series. It never gained the same level of popularity as some of the other superhero manga series such as “Dragon Ball” or “One Piece”. However, the series has garnered a small but dedicated fanbase who appreciate its humor, action, and heartwarming moments.
Overall, “Rooster Fighter” offers a fun and entertaining take on the superhero genre, and is worth checking out for fans of manga and superhero stories looking for something unique and different.
4. Deadpool: Samurai
“Deadpool: Samurai” is a manga series that was published by Marvel Comics in collaboration with Shonen Jump. It features the popular Marvel character, Deadpool, in a unique setting that blends the samurai genre with superhero action.
In this series, Deadpool is transported to feudal Japan and finds himself caught up in a conflict between rival samurai clans. Along the way, he encounters familiar Marvel characters reimagined as samurai, including Wolverine and the Hulk.
Despite being an interesting and creative take on the character, “Deadpool: Samurai” is relatively unknown compared to other Deadpool stories. It only ran for two issues and has not been reprinted since its initial publication in 2018.
5. The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World
“The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kinoko Inoue. The series follows a young man named Kakeru who is a big fan of the Red Ranger, a character from a popular superhero TV show. One day, while on his way home from buying Red Ranger merchandise, Kakeru is transported to another world where he discovers that he has been given the powers of the Red Ranger.
Despite being an underrated superhero manga, “The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World” has gained a small but dedicated following since its release. The series is known for its unique take on the isekai genre, which typically involves a protagonist being transported to a fantasy world and its blend of superhero and fantasy elements.
The manga has been published in Japan by Kadokawa since 2019 and has also been licensed for an English release by Yen Press. While there has been no official announcement about an anime adaptation, fans of the series continue to hope for one.
“Birdmen” is a Japanese superhero manga series written and illustrated by Yellow Tanabe. The series was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from November 2013 to October 2018 and was collected into a total of 20 tankōbon volumes.
The story follows the life of a high school student named Eishi Karasuma, who becomes involved in a conflict between the “birdmen”, individuals with bird-like wings and powers, and a mysterious organization that seeks to control and exploit them. Eishi discovers that he has a unique ability that allows him to communicate with the birdmen and becomes embroiled in their struggles.
Despite being critically acclaimed for its unique and well-developed characters, engaging storyline, and stunning artwork, “Birdmen” is often considered an underrated gem of the superhero manga genre. The series explores themes such as identity, belonging, and the consequences of power, and has been praised for its nuanced portrayal of characters and their relationships.
“Birdmen” is a must-read for fans of the superhero genre, particularly those interested in exploring new and thought-provoking perspectives on the classic superhero narrative.
Zetman is a superhero manga series written and illustrated by Masakazu Katsura. The series was first published in Weekly Young Jump magazine in 2002 and was later collected into 20 tankobon volumes.
The story follows Jin Kanzaki, a young man who possesses superhuman abilities and is part of a secret organization that fights against the “Players,” genetically modified beings who use their powers for personal gain. Along with a fellow organization member, Kouga Amagi, Jin must navigate the complex world of superheroes and villains while also dealing with his own personal demons.
Despite its unique and compelling storyline, Zetman is often considered an underrated superhero manga. The series has been praised for its mature themes, complex characters, and stunning artwork, yet it hasn’t gained the same level of popularity as other manga series in the same genre.
One possible reason for Zetman’s underrated status is that it was overshadowed by other popular manga series that were being published around the same time, such as Naruto and Bleach. Additionally, the series has been on hiatus for several years, which may have led to a decline in its fanbase.
8. 1000 Yen Hero
“1000 Yen Hero” is a comedic superhero manga series written and illustrated by Koudai Kakimoto. The series follows the story of Saitama, a young man who aspires to be a hero but lacks the necessary funds to become one. He decides to create his own superhero costume and equipment with only 1000 yen and sets out to fight crime and protect his city.
Despite its comedic tone, “1000 Yen Hero” has received positive reviews for its unique take on the superhero genre and its relatable protagonist. The series explores themes such as self-doubt, determination, and the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity.
“1000 Yen Hero” is often considered to be an underrated superhero manga due to its relatively unknown status in the Western world. However, it has gained a cult following in Japan and has been praised for its creative premise and humorous storytelling. If you’re a fan of superhero stories with a comedic twist, “1000 Yen Hero” is definitely worth checking out!
“Ratman” is a manga series written and illustrated by Sekihiko Inui. It was serialized in Shueisha’s monthly magazine, Shonen Ace, from 2007 to 2013. The series was not widely popular, but it has gained a cult following among manga readers.
The story follows the protagonist, Shuto Katsuragi, a high school student who dreams of becoming a superhero. He gets his chance when he is accidentally involved in a battle between two superheroes, and gains a superpower of his own. He becomes “Ratman,” a superhero who fights to protect the city from evil forces.
The series explores themes such as the price of fame, the ethics of vigilantism, and the dangers of pursuing power. It has been praised for its unique take on the superhero genre, its well-written characters, and its engaging storyline.
Despite its quality, “Ratman” has not received as much attention as other popular manga series. However, it remains a hidden gem for those who appreciate a good superhero story with a twist.
10. Kaiju No. 8.
“Kaiju No. 8” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoya Matsumoto. The manga was first published on July 3, 2020, in Shonen Jump+, a digital manga magazine. The story follows the protagonist Kafka Hibino, a man who dreams of becoming a monster hunter but is stuck working as a cleaner for the monster extermination force.
However, after a freak accident, Kafka gains the power to transform into a giant monster, making him both a valuable asset and a potential threat to humanity. As he grapples with his new abilities and the world around him, Kafka must also confront his past and the secrets that led him to where he is now.
Despite only being a year old, “Kaiju No. 8” has gained a following among manga readers for its unique take on the superhero genre and its well-developed characters. The manga has been praised for its excellent art, pacing, and storytelling, as well as its ability to balance humor, action, and drama.
While the series has not yet been adapted into an anime or received much attention outside of Japan, it has been consistently ranked among the top ten most-read manga on the Shonen Jump+ platform. Overall, “Kaiju No. 8” is definitely worth checking out for fans of superhero stories, monster movies, or just great manga in general.
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In conclusion, there are several underrated superhero mangas that is definitely worth checking out. These series have a lot to offer in terms of exciting action, compelling storylines, and unique characters.
One of the best examples of an underrated superhero manga is “Zetman” by Masakazu Katsura. This series follows two young men who possess extraordinary powers but must confront their own inner demons in order to use them for good. With its complex characters and intense action scenes, “Zetman” is a must-read for fans of superhero stories.
What is some underrated superhero manga?
There are many great superhero mangas out there that don’t get as much attention as they deserve. Here are a few to consider:
Where can I find this manga?
Many of these manga can be found at your local comic book store, or you can purchase them online from sites like Amazon or Right Stuff Anime. Some may also be available to read online through legal streaming services like Crunchyroll or Viz Media.
How is manga different from Western comics?
Manga is often serialized in magazines and read from right to left, which is the opposite of how Western comics are read. Manga also tends to have a wider variety of genres and themes than Western comics and often features complex character development and emotional storytelling.
Can manga be adapted into other forms of media?
Yes, manga has been adapted into anime, live-action films and TV shows, and video games. Much popular anime series are based on manga, and there have also been successful Hollywood adaptations of manga properties, such as “Ghost in the Shell” and “Death Note.”