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Best Manhwa Like Shonen Manga

Highlights

  • Shonen manga, such as One Piece and Naruto, are extremely popular and loved for their charismatic protagonists and thrilling fight scenes.
  • Manhwa, a Korean web-based format, is gaining recognition in recent years with titles like Solo Leveling being compared to the best in the shonen category.
  • Manhwa like Eleceed, Unholy Blood, and God of High School offer unique and captivating stories with elements of action, supernatural, and adventure.


Shonen is by far the most popular manga category, featuring charismatic protagonists, thrilling stories, and spectacular fight scenes. When it comes to manga, big titles such as One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach are well known for being some of the best shonen has to offer. Their stories captured the hearts of many readers who pushed them to their current popularity.

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In recent years, manhwa has begun to take off similarly as readers are realizing the potential of this format. The most recognizable manhwa to shonen fans may be Solo Leveling, touted as one of the best in the category. However, many other great titles can be compared to manga’s Big Three.


1 Eleceed

MyAnimeList Score: 8.41

Kayden and Seo Jiwoo in Eleceed

  • Author: Jae-Ho Son
  • Illustrator: Hye-Jin Kim
  • Published: 2018 to Present
  • Genre/Themes: Action, Super Power

In the world of Eleceed, there is a small population of people with superhuman powers called Awakeners living among everyone else. This manhwa follows Seo Jiwoo as he’s thrust into the world of awakeners, meeting others like him, making friends, and learning to fight. All this is taught to him by a fat tabby cat.

Eleceed is a fun story that isn’t afraid to mix child-like humor with some mature themes. Though there are some dark moments, the story doesn’t lose its overall brightness, keeping a lighthearted tone and atmosphere. It’s very similar to the first few arcs of My Hero Academia.

2 Unholy Blood

MyAnimeList Score: 7.92

Hayan Park from Unholy Blood

  • Author: Lina Im
  • Illustrator: Lina Im
  • Chapters: 92
  • Published: 2020 to 2021
  • Genre/Themes: Action, Romance, Supernatural, Vampire

Because shonen is mainly marketed toward a male audience, female protagonists are rare to see in manga. The great thing about manhwa being a web-based format is the sheer diversity of stories available. Unholy Blood is about Park Hayan, a college student trying to take back what she lost from vampires hiding in society.

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This story is emotional, action-packed, and full of twists. Each character has a rich history to delve into and a complicated motive for their actions, which makes their development so much more satisfying.

3 God Of High School

MyAnimeList Score: 7.67

The God of High School

  • Author: Yong-Je Park
  • Illustrator: Yong-Je Park
  • Chapters: 569
  • Published: 2011 to 2022
  • Genre/Themes: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Supernatural, Martial Arts

Tournament arcs are some of the most beloved in manga and anime. God of High School features a tournament right off the bat, inviting the best fighters in Korea’s high schools to duke it out. What are they fighting for? The chance to have their biggest wish fulfilled.

Of course, that is just the beginning of what the anime covers, but there is so much more to see in the manhwa. God of High School is known as one of the best manhwa in the shonen category for its art style and fantastic fight sequences.

4 Tower Of God

MyAnimeList Score: 8.38

Bam from Tower of God

  • Author: SIU
  • Illustrator: SIU
  • Published: 2010 to Present
  • Genre/Themes: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

As another manwha with an anime adaptation, Tower of God is pretty well known, but the anime only scratched the surface. The story follows a boy named Bam as he climbs the Tower to find his friend Rachel. However, this adventure becomes much more complex than it was meant to be.

Fans of Dragon Ball and One Piece may find this manhwa fascinating since it contains plenty of lore and world-building to dive into. With a huge cast of characters and a vast setting with infinite possibilities, Tower of God is a staple of shonen.

5 SSS-Class Suicide Hunter

MyAnimeList Score: 8.04

SSS-Class Suicide Hunter

  • Author: Sinnoa
  • Illustrator: Bill K
  • Published: 2020 to Present
  • Genre/Themes: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Time Travel

There are plenty of tower-climbing and dungeon-raiding manhwa out there, but SSS-Class Suicide Hunter stands out among the rest because the main character is much more personable and relatable. Kim Gong-ja earns his strength over time, and his prolonged weakness is what keeps him from becoming a typical overpowered protagonist.

Each arc in the story is also incredibly different. Using the infinite possibilities of the setting, each season is able to have a unique atmosphere and theme, keeping the story entertaining and fresh.

6 Omniscient Reader’s Point Of View

MyAnimeList Score: 8.44

kim dokja

  • Author: sing N song
  • Illustrator: Sleepy-C
  • Published: 2020 to Present
  • Genre/Themes: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

The protagonist, Kim Dokja, is a normal office worker whose only hobby is reading web novels, specifically one called “Three Ways to Survive the Apocalypse.” It’s a novel he’s read for ten years, and on the day it ended, the apocalypse it was written about came true.

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This is a familiar plot seen in other manga and manhwa, but Omniscient Reader is known to be one of the most well-written and illustrated out of all of them. The action is engaging, and the plot has many unique story beats that keep the reader immersed in the world it presents.

7 Weak Hero

MyAnimeList Score: 7.96

Ben Gerard and Alex from Weak Hero standing together at night

  • Author: Seopass
  • Illustrator: RAZEN
  • Chapters: 267
  • Published: 2018 to 2023
  • Genre/Themes: Action, Drama, School

High school settings are the bread and butter of shonen manga, and it’s no different in manhwa. Weak Hero follows Gray Yeon as he deals with the constant bullying happening around his school. However, standing up for himself gets him involved with something much bigger than anyone would have thought.

The story does a great job of building anticipation in each arc, leading the reader through some fantastic moments. There are no superpowers or special abilities, but the fights are intense and exciting to watch anyway.

8 The Greatest Estate Developer

MyAnimeList Score: 8.40

Lloyd Frontera and Javier from The Greatest Estate Developer

  • Author: Back-kyung Moon
  • Illustrator: Hyunsoo Kim
  • Published: 2021 to Present
  • Genre/Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Isekai, Reincarnation

Comedy is just as much a part of shonen as action, and that’s why it’s such a fun category. In this manhwa, Kim Suho is a college student in the Civil Engineering department and one day wakes up as Lloyd Frontera, a drunkard noble who constantly harasses the people around him.

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These humor-filled stories are perfect for readers searching for funny reads in the manhwa medium.

As usual in these types of stories, he uses his knowledge of the book to avert his death. What makes this manhwa particularly fun are the art style and characters. The illustrations lend themselves to being overly dramatized, which helps make comedic moments land even harder.

9 Solo Leveling

MyAnimeList Score: 8.67

Sung Jin-Woo from Solo Leveling

  • Author: Chugong
  • Illustrator: Sung-rak Jang & Disciples
  • Chapters: 201
  • Published: 2018 to 2023
  • Genre/Themes: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Solo Leveling is perhaps the most well-known manhwa title in the action genre, so of course, it’s a go-to title in the shonen category. The story follows Sung Jin-Woo who is known as the weakest hunter. After a major incident, he finds he’s able to grow stronger.

Filled with great fights and a main character that’s fun to follow, Solo Leveling is a classic power fantasy that hits all the right spots when it comes to action stories. The story it tells is simple but entertaining, fueled further by fantastic illustrations.

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Antonio Josse

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