Tokyo Ghoul is a seinen manga by Sui Ishida, which has also been adapted into an anime, several manga spin-offs, and other works as well. The work can be classified into the genres of action, horror, and fantasy. For all of you who’ve enjoyed the series, in this article, we are going to give you a list of the 20 best manga like Tokyo Ghoul you absolutely need to read.
Original Run: December 3, 2018 – present
Number of Volumes: 11
The story takes place in a world where demons are born from human fears. Demons are often dangerous and malevolent, their power proportional to how strongly their corresponding fear is incited into the collective human consciousness. However, humans can sign contracts with them to use their powers.
People who specialize in hunting and employing demons are called demon hunters. Demons originate from Hell and exist in an endless life cycle between Earth and Hell: they are reborn on Earth when they are killed in Hell, and vice versa. In Hell live extremely powerful demons called Primal Fears, who have never been killed. The Devil of Hell seems to supervise the transit between the two worlds.
If you want to see some good guys fight some weird demonic monsters that coexist with humans in a seemingly normal world, Chainsaw Man is your best pick, as it is probably the title on our list that is most similar to Tokyo Ghoul.
Original Run: June 6, 2001 – October 4, 2014
Number of Volumes: 27
Claymore takes place in a fictional world co-inhabited by the human species and by a species of demons known as Yōma, which are natural predators of human beings (in the manga, they are also known as Specters). An innate ability of the Yōma is to take human form, which allows them to live hidden among humans.
The only beings capable of identifying these creatures and eliminating them are the female warriors known among humans as Claymores, who are beings created by a secret organization from humans. The name given to these warriors is due to the large sword they carry, known as a claymore. Although their appearance is very similar to humans, they have some peculiarities. The most outstanding physical feature is their silver eyes, which has also earned them the name “silver-eyed witches.”
And while CLAYMORE might not be as similar to Tokyo Ghoul on the surface (it’s set in the middle ages, and it tackles the idea of fighting demons from a different perspective), it still has more than enough similarities, especially in terms of style, for you to enjoy it.
Original Run: March 5, 2018 – present
Number of Volumes: 18
Yuji Itadori is an out-of-the-ordinary high school student who lives in Sendai with his grandfather. Despite his innate talent for sports, he refuses to join the sports team due to his aversion to athletics. Instead, he chooses to join the occult research club, where he can relax and leave school by 5 pm to visit his grandfather in the hospital.
While on his deathbed, his grandfather invites him to “always help others” and recommends that he “die surrounded by people.” After his grandfather’s death, he meets Megumi Fushiguro, a sorcerer who informs him of the existence of a high-level cursed talisman in the school Yuji attended. Meanwhile, his friends from the occult club, in possession of the talisman, open the seal placed on it and attract all the curses in the school on them.
Reaching the school but unable to defeat the curses due to her lack of magical powers, Yuji swallows the finger (the true form of the talisman) to protect Megumi and her friends, becoming the host of Ryomen Sukuna, a very powerful curse. Despite being possessed, Yuji is still able to maintain control of his body.
As a curse, Yuji should have been executed. Still, thanks to Gojo Satoru (the most powerful and responsible sorcerer of the first-year alumni at the Tokyo Institute of Occult Arts), the upper echelons of the world of witchcraft agree to postpone the execution until he has absorbed all 20 fragments of Sukuna’s soul (i.e., her 20 fingers), so as to definitively exorcise the curse.
Jujutsu Kaisen is a bit more on the shonen side when compared to Tokyo Ghoul. Still, it is very similar in style, and you also have a group of awesome protagonists fighting demons and monsters in a seemingly normal world.
Original Run: March 16, 1998 – present (on hiatus)
Number of Volumes: 36
Twelve years before the start of the story, Ging Freecss abandoned his son Gon in the hands of his aunt Mito on Whale Island. Gon, who always believed that his parents were dead, discovers, one day, thanks to his father’s apprentice, Kite, that he is still alive and has become one of the best hunters, elite individuals and accredited for tracking of secret treasures, exotic beasts, and even other individuals.
Motivated by this revelation, Gon decides to leave his home and take the Hunter Exam, a series of challenges that seek to test its participants’ skills, survival, and teamwork.
Hunter × Hunter is probably the most lighthearted title on this list, especially when compared to Tokyo Ghoul. Not that Hunter × Hunter is a kids’ manga, but it’s not as dark as gory as Tokyo Ghoul, although the general idea is similar enough for you to have fun reading it.
Original Run: November 30, 2000 – September 12, 2018
Number of Volumes: 23
The series is set in a fantasy world divided into three distinct realms: Hole, a dirty, degraded, polluted, and violent metropolis where humans live; the world of sorcerers, a rich, colorful, and magic-dominated kingdom connected to the human world through magically created doors; and hell, where the souls of dead sorcerers gather and demons live.
Although indistinguishable in appearance, humans, and sorcerers belong to two different species: the former developed naturally and the latter created by the primeval demon Chidaruma. Sorcerers have a unique circulatory system, which allows them to produce smoke from their fingers or mouth through which they perform their magical abilities. Each sorcerer possesses a specialized type of magic, which can be either common or highly sought after, such as healing, the ability to bring the dead back to life, or control time.
While the plot may vary, Doroherodo has enough visual gore and similarities in style to be compared to Tokyo Ghoul. It is a bit different plot-wise, but we think you’ll be able to enjoy it nevertheless.
Original Run: February 16, 2015 – present
Number of Volumes: 31
When humanity was about to fall to an ancient demon, a single wizard saved it and defeated it. Later that wizard became a legend and was named Wizard King. After that event, the Clover Kingdom enjoyed peace through generations of wise men and nine subordinate magical orders. Asta and Yuno are orphans who were raised together from birth after being abandoned at a church orphanage in Hage, located in the forgotten area of the Clover Kingdom at the same time.
In a world where everyone has Magical Power, whose ability to control it comes naturally: Asta is the only person born without magic, leading him to train physically as compensation. In contrast, Yuno was born a prodigy with immense magical power and the talent to control it. At the age of 15, Asta and Yuno have the ability to become magicians known as Magic Knights by receiving their respective grimoires, with which all magical power is channeled.
The sheer number of demons and spells in Black Clover was enough for us to compare it to Tokyo Ghoul. Okay, Black Clover is also a lot more shonen than Tokyo Ghoul, but it is unique enough for you to enjoy it.
Original Run: December 1, 2003 – May 15, 2006
Number of Volumes: 12
Light Yagami is a gifted high school student who judges the current world to be criminal, rotten, and corrupt. His life changes completely the day he accidentally picks up a mysterious notebook entitled “Death Note.” Its user manual states that “the person whose name is written in this notebook dies.”
However, at first skeptical, Light decides to test the notebook and discovers that its power is very real. He meets the former owner of the Death Note, a death god named Ryuk. This one declares to have voluntarily dropped his notebook in order to entertain himself. Light decides to use the Death Note to exterminate the criminals, with the aim of building a perfect world in which he will be the god.
He gradually learns to use the powers of the notebook and its rules: the user can only kill a person if he knows their face by writing their first and last name. He can also specify the cause and detailed circumstances, the default cause being a heart attack.
The many unexplained deaths of criminals around the world attract the attention of Interpol and the mysterious L, a particularly talented detective but whose identity no one knows. L decides to investigate the serial killer, nicknamed “Kira,” by the general public.
DEATH NOTE is a seinen classic, and any list that contains even a mild trace of seinen horror has to have it on there. It is very different in terms of plot, but it is visually similar and targets the same demographic, which is good enough for us.
Original Run: July 6, 2007 – December 17, 2007
Number of Volumes: 24
June 1983, Maebara Keiichi is a young student belonging to a middle-class family who, in search of rest, decides to move to the small and secluded village of Hinamizawa. Here, the forest air is strange and mysterious, but Keiichi manages to feel comfortable in that place that somehow looks so cozy.
He also makes some friends at his new school, and with them, he engages in after-school club activities, mostly playing strategy and card games. The days go by, and the town seems as normal and calm as ever until the arrival of “Watanagashi,” a local festival in which the god Oyashiro-sama is revered.
Higurashi When They Cry is more of a murder mystery than anything else, but it’s overly weird and it’s very bloody. You could certainly find some fun elements in this manga if you liked Tokyo Ghoul.
Original Run: June 6, 2002 – August 25, 2005
Number of Volumes: 12
The story is set in Kamakura, Japan. It revolves around the Diclonius, mutant beings very similar to humans but with two strange horns on their heads and endowed with very strong invisible limbs called “vectors.” Believed to be dangerous to the normal human race, Diclonius babies are killed at birth or locked up in research laboratories, subjected to terrible torture and extremely violent experiments.
However, one of them, Lucy, manages to escape to the sea, massacring anyone who comes in front of her. She is found on the beach by two boys in a complete state of amnesia and double personality caused by a shot in the head while escaping.
The young Diclonius finds herself with a completely different personality, and the two boys decide to call her by the only word she can pronounce, namely “Nyu.” Unable to leave her alone in those conditions, they take her home waiting to find out about her past. But the military does not give up and remains on her trail of her. Every time the girl hits her head, she goes back to being Lucy.
Elfen Lied is definitely more shocking and gory than Tokyo Ghoul, with Lucy being a much more authentic seinen protagonist than Kaneki. Still, the tone is somewhat similar, and if you’re a seinen fan, Elfen Lied will certainly be up your alley.
Original Run: December 22, 2007 – February 23, 2011
Number of Volumes: 57
In October 1986, members of the wealthy Ushiromiya family reunited on an island called Rokkenjima, the home of the family’s head, Kinzo. The family doctor has announced that the latter only has three months left to live, and his heirs, therefore, meet to negotiate the division of the inheritance as well as to designate who will take the head of the family.
In addition to members of the Ushiromiya family, several servants live on the island, as well as an appointed doctor, bringing the number of people present to eighteen people. However, shortly after the family’s arrival, a typhoon breaks out, preventing them from leaving the island. On the island, now cut off from the world, strange events occur, and people are killed inexplicably, leading those present to believe that the culprit may be the legendary witch Beatrice, who is said to haunt Rokkenjima.
Unlike Higurashi, Umineko is much more straightforward in its depiction of supernatural elements. There’s magic, and there’s demons, witches, blood… you name it. Also, there’s a cool murder mystery in there as well, so you’ll surely enjoy it.
Original Run: March 15, 2007 – November 2, 2013
Number of Volumes: 13
The manga tells the story of Punpun, a real boy represented as a 2D caricatured bird. He tells us about his unstable family situation, then addresses his first love, describing his entourage, while going through his early adolescence with his mind being more or less hyperactive over several years of his life.
Strange. Weird. Mesmerizing. This is the best way to describe Osayumi Punpun. It is on a different level than Tokyo Ghoul and has less action, but it’s still weirdly adorable, so we think you’ll enjoy it.
Original Run: April 3, 2010 – December 3, 2011
Number of Volumes: 4
In 1972, a 3rd-grade student in Yomiyama died in a fire. This studious and athletic person was admired by all his classmates. After her mysterious death, in full denial, the latter decided to act as if she was still among them, and this, until the end of high school. In 1998, a young boy named Kôichi Sakakibara was transferred to this same class.
There he encounters a mysterious atmosphere and frightened students. His curiosity is aroused by a strange and very beautiful teenager, wearing an eye patch and to whom no one speaks. Her name is Mei Misaki. As the months go by, students in the class and those around them die one after the other.
Another is something of a Tokyo Ghoul that would focus solely on Kaneki, without the other characters and a general, overarching plot. It is very similar in style, so we think you’ll enjoy it a lot.
Original Run: 1997 – 2003
Number of Volumes: 10
Killee is an investigator surveying the Megastructure, a titanic building, searching for a genetic terminal (and a carrier of healthy genes). He works indirectly on behalf of a certain government office, an instance of the resosphere. He meets Shibo, a scientist who offers to accompany him during his quest. Shibo and Killee have to face silicias (augmented humans) and countermeasures, strange creatures pursuing a very specific goal in a technological war where there is neither mercy nor prisoners.
Just like GANTZ (see below), BLAME! is focused more on the action side than anything else, so if you liked the battles of Tokyo Ghoul, you’d certainly enjoy this one as well.
Original Run: 2011 – 2012
Number of Volumes: 6
The series is set over 30 years after the events of the feature film Blood: The Last Vampire – in 2005. The plot introduces lines related to modern intrigues, in which various organizations are involved, including, for example, the US Army, which wants to control vampires in order to use them for their own purposes.
Saya Otonashi lives in a city in Okinawa with her adoptive father, George Miyaguscu, and two brothers, Kai and Rik. Saya does not remember the events of her past until she began living with a new foster family a year ago. For medical reasons, she needs blood transfusions from time to time.
BLOOD-C is a great story to read if you liked Tokyo Ghoul. It is a horror title, and it has a lot of action and great fights, and – ultimately – it is very similar to Ishida’s work, but with several twists that will make you love it even more.
Original Run: June 29, 2000 – June 20, 2013
Number of Volumes: 37
Kei Kurono is a relatively cynical and selfish high school student from Tokyo, a big consumer of erotic magazines. One day, while waiting for his subway, he meets a childhood friend, Masaru Katô, whom he had lost sight of and who happened to be at the station. He is then pushed against all odds to make a heroic gesture: to save a drunken tramp who has fallen on the tracks.
If you liked the parts of Tokyo Ghoul where the police fought the ghouls, GANTZ is certainly going to be great. The other parts? Not so much, but there are monsters and cool fights you can definitely enjoy.
Original Run: January 19, 1998 – August 30, 1999
Number of Volumes: 3
Kirie Goshima lives in the small town of Kurouzu, a bit isolated between the sea and the surrounding mountains. She’s a perfectly normal high school girl, but her boyfriend’s father begins to behave in a disturbing way: he is obsessed with observing spiral-shaped objects. This form is becoming more and more present in the small town, as if under the effect of a curse.
And while the title might hint at a Naruto connection, Uzumaki could hardly be further from Kishimoto’s work. This weirdly bizarre manga is something for true fans of Japanese body horror. While Tokyo Ghoul definitely has a more coherent overall idea, Uzuamaki‘s something you have to pick if you like horror.
Original Run: August 1989 – present
Number of Volumes: 41
Berserk tells the story of the meeting of Guts and Griffith, leader of the Falcon Troop, a band of mercenaries in the pay of the kingdom of Midland. From this meeting will be born an ambiguous friendship, but nevertheless efficient: the presence of Guts, a warrior with the disproportionate sword, will quickly prove essential to the ambition of the young Griffith, swashbuckler and outstanding tactician.
The anime is thus the account of the rise and fall of the Falcon Troop and of the relation between Guts and Griffith, particularly complex, between the relation of interest (Griffith uses the force of Guts), mutual respect ( both see each other as soldiers), and deep affection (each inexplicably needs the other’s presence).
Berserk is a story of its own, both in the manga universe and outside it. Like CLAYMORE, Berserk is set in a completely different world from that of Tokyo Ghoul, but the gore, the violence, and the depth guarantee that you’ll love it if you’re a true fan of Tokyo Ghoul.
Original Run: 1988 – 1995
Number of Volumes: 10
One night spheres the size of tennis balls containing snake-like creatures fall in unknown numbers all over the world. They are programmed to take the place of human brains. One of these attacks a young man, Shinichi, during his sleep, trying to enter through his ear but cannot reach him, the latter having kept his headphones on for the night.
Jolted awake as the parasite tries to enter through his nose, he tries to defend himself but ends up having his right hand punctured. The high school student then takes his headphones and wraps them around his arm, preventing the parasite from climbing to the brain.
Unable to leave his arm, the latter finally merges with his right hand. Meanwhile, other parasites, having managed to take over their host’s brain, begin to feed on human beings while the creature and Shinichi are forced to cohabit.
Parasyte is basically Tokyo Ghoul but without the shonen-style fights and with aliens. There are more than enough similarities between these two works that we absolutely had to put Parasyte on this list.
Original Run: August 2, 2006 – July 26, 2017
Number of Volumes: 63
The story mainly focuses on the missions carried out by one of the teams of the Fairy Tail guild, composed of Natsu Dragneel (fire dragon hunter), Lucy Heartfilia (constellationist), and Happy (an Exceed, a blue cat that can appear with wings, fly and talk), who Erza Scarlett will soon join (Knight Mage) and Gray Fullbuster (Ice Mage then later Ice Demon Hunter), two other members of the famous guild. They are joined during the adventure by Carla (an Exceed white cat, like Happy), Wendy (a celestial dragon slayer), and many others.
Okay, Fairy Tail might be us stretching it a bit, but this shonen manga is interesting enough to be given a chance, and it does involve magic, monsters, demons, and strange creatures. It probably won’t be your first choice, but we guarantee it’s loads of fun.
Original Run: May 1997 – September 30, 2008
Number of Volumes: 10
It centers around the Royal Order of Protestant Knights, who are an organization founded by Abraham Van Hellsing and run by his descendants. His mission is to protect the queen and the borders of the country from any supernatural threat. The organization is led by Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, the last living member of the family, who inherited her responsibility as director after her father’s death when she was 12 years old.
Under her command are Walter C. Dornez and Alucard, a powerful vampire who was captured by the family a hundred years ago. Later the ex-policewoman Seras Victoria also joins, who, after being bitten by Alucard, becomes her offspring and, by extension a Hellsing soldier.
HELLSING is, without a doubt, a great pick if you like Tokyo Ghoul. The manga offers a lot of serious and deep elements, it has monsters, and the horror is on par with what you can find in Tokyo Ghoul.