25 Best Manga Without An Anime Adaptation – Hidden Gems for Manga Lovers

Hey there, fellow manga enthusiasts! If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent countless hours engrossed in the captivating worlds of manga and anime. There’s something truly magical about the way these illustrated tales transport us to distant lands, introduce us to fascinating characters, and make us ponder life’s deepest mysteries. But have you ever wondered about those incredible manga series that somehow slipped through the cracks, escaping the flashy realm of anime adaptations? Well, you’re in for a treat! In this comprehensive article, we’re taking you on an epic journey through 25 of the most astonishing manga that, for some inexplicable reason, haven’t made it to the small screen yet. Get ready to discover hidden gems that’ll leave you craving more.

25. Ijousha No Ai Manga

Created by the talented Daisuke Chida, “Ijousha no Ai” delves into the chilling tale of perhaps the most relentless yandere character to date. Midou Saki’s obsession with Kazumi Ichinose reaches disturbing heights, with a body count of 27 women who had even the slightest connection to him. As the story unfolds, Kazumi discovers the horrifying truth and attempts to put an end to Midou’s murderous spree, only to tragically fall victim to her twisted affection as well.

Navigating the thematic depths of “Ijousha No Ai” proves to be a challenge for most anime studios due to its profoundly unsettling subject matter. The series pushes boundaries and is deemed too controversial for the majority of production companies. However, it’s worth noting that the manga’s dark and gripping narrative holds significant potential for an anime adaptation. Should this adaptation come to fruition, it has the potential to stand as one of the most enthralling and psychologically intense horror series ever created.

24. Lone Wolf & Cub Manga

Ittou Ogami’s life has been shattered into pieces. A nefarious conspiracy robs him of his livelihood, while ruthless rivals cruelly eliminate his entire family, leaving only his precious son, Daigoro, by his side. In a desperate bid for survival, Ittou descends into the grim realm of contract assassination. Fueled by an insatiable thirst for revenge against those who slaughtered his kin, each lethal mission only serves to amplify his fearsome reputation, spreading his name far and wide across the land.

Within the world of samurai manga, there exists an artistry that takes one’s breath away, characters whose depth resonates with readers, and storylines so intricately woven that they leave an indelible mark. Crafted by the late, yet legendary duo of Koike Kazuo and Goseki Kojima, “Lone Wolf & Cub” masterfully encapsulates these elements. It is a wonder to many devoted fans why this masterpiece has not yet been brought to life as an anime, considering its undeniable potential to enrapture audiences.

23. Ao No Miburo Manga

Nestled in the historical backdrop of Kyoto in the tumultuous year of 1864, “Ao no Miburo” introduces us to a young, well-meaning lad named Nio. While Nio is renowned for his kindness, there burns within him a fervent desire to rectify the injustices that plague society. His fateful encounter with the Miburo ronin, Toshizou Hijikata and Souji Okita, unveils an opportunity for Nio to prove his mettle as a warrior.

“Ao no Miburo” is a manga series currently in active serialization. It made its debut in October 2021 and has thus far unfurled across seven volumes. Even though the story is far from its conclusion, fervent fans of the series ardently believe that there exists ample narrative material to embark upon the creation of an inaugural anime season. With its captivating premise and engaging characters, this series holds immense potential to etch its name among the finest shonen productions ever crafted.

22. Goodbye, Eri Manga

At his mother’s behest, Yuuta embarks on the poignant journey of capturing the final moments of her life on film. He meticulously assembles these heart-wrenching clips into a cinematic creation, intending to share his deeply personal perspective with his classmates. However, the callous portrayal within the movie sets off a harsh wave of criticism from his peers. As Yuuta grapples with despair, a glimmer of hope appears in the form of Eri, one of the most fervent admirers of his work.

Crafted by the talented Tatsuki Fujimoto, “Goodbye, Eri” has an undeniable ability to tug at the heartstrings of its readers right from the very first page. Interestingly, this emotionally charged manga comes from the creative mind behind the widely acclaimed “Chainsaw Man.” Given the immense success of the “Chainsaw Man” anime adaptation, it seems only fitting that “Goodbye, Eri” should also be granted an opportunity to shine in the spotlight.

21. The Old Knight in Frontier Bard Loen Manga

“The Old Knight in Frontier Bard Loen,” or “Henkyou no Roukishi Bard Loen,” introduces us to the enigmatic Bard Loen, renowned as the People’s Knight, as he navigates life in the wake of his retirement. Having no familial ties, Bard Loen opts to sever all connections to his former existence, including his wealth and possessions, embarking on a quest to find a place to meet his end. Yet, fate has a more intricate path laid out for him than a simple farewell.

This series, “Bard Loen,” presents a unique amalgamation of fantasy and slice-of-life elements. It delves deep into Bard Loen’s life, meticulously chronicling his most intimate moments, from the art of cooking to confronting various forms of malevolence. With the right touch of animation, this series possesses the potential to blossom into a captivating and profoundly inspirational narrative, delivering a visually stunning and emotionally resonant experience.

20. Hyakki Yakoushou

Much like his grandfather before him, Ritsu possesses a remarkable sixth sense that tunes him into the uncanny occurrences transpiring in his surroundings. Aided by his steadfast demon guardian, Blue Storm, the young lad embarks on a mission to untangle a myriad of enigmatic cases that unfold around him. “Hyakki Yakoushou” serves as a collection of supernatural tales, with Ritsu acting as the common thread weaving through its intricate narratives.

In a realm where many anime productions lean on well-worn clichés, “Hyakki Yakoushou” stands apart as a distinctive fusion of Josei and the supernatural genre. The result is a manga of exquisite beauty intertwined with beguiling mystery. Regrettably, this unique blend has yet to attain the widespread recognition it truly deserves. Here’s hoping that this hidden gem is soon discovered and elevated from the shadows of obscurity.

19. Umarekawattemo Mata, Watashi To Kekkon Shitekuremasu Ka

“Umarekawattemo Mata, Watashi to Kekkon shitekuremasu ka,” also known as “Will you marry me again if you are reborn?” is a touching manga crafted by the talented Milk Morinaga. This narrative embarks on a profound journey through the realms of love. When Ibuki’s health confines him to his bed, he and his devoted wife, Kaoru, engage in a poignant voyage through the significant milestones that have shaped their shared existence, one era at a time.

For those seeking solace in the pages of a heartwarming slice-of-life manga, “Umarekawattemo Mata” stands as the perfect choice, offering a blend of comfort and emotional depth. As readers immerse themselves in its pages, they’ll find themselves awash with a nostalgia that transcends the boundaries of time. While there hasn’t been any word of an anime adaptation thus far, one can only imagine the tears that would be shed by viewers should it ever come to fruition, leaving hearts profoundly moved by the journey’s end.

18. Three Days Of Happiness

When 20-year-old Kusunoki sells off the last of his possessions to feed himself, a shop owner tells him about a store that purchases time and lifespan from people based on happiness and contribution to society. Kusunoki, desperate for money, has his remaining life appraised and finds that it’s only worth 10,000 yen per year, or around $100. He sells off 30 years of his life, leaving him with three months to live.

Three Days of Happiness, or I Sold My Life for 10,000 Yen Per Year, follows Kusunoki during the final days of his life and results in a beautiful story about finding what truly matters in life. It’s a shorter manga with only 18 chapters, so any adaptation would likely be a movie. Given the success of well-received anime films like Your Name and A Silent Voice, an adaptation of Three Days of Happiness seems likely.

17. Maka-Maka

“Maka-Maka,” a creation by Torajirō Kishi, centers its narrative on the burgeoning romance between Nene and Jun, two individuals with stark differences who find themselves drawn to each other in a heartbeat. The series, marked by its conspicuous absence of melodrama, instead traces the evolution of their friendship into a casual yet intimate sexual relationship.

In a genre brimming with yuri series clamoring for attention, “Maka-Maka” distinguishes itself by its authenticity. Nene and Jun’s relationship is depicted as a multifaceted and mature connection, steering clear of the flat, fan-service-driven romances that populate the genre. This manga boldly explores explicit themes with a finesse that eschews vulgarity, making it a prime candidate for adaptation into an adult romance anime that could captivate a discerning audience.

16. Golden Days

In the captivating world of “Golden Days,” we find Soma Mitsuya, a high-schooler who has been sheltered and overprotected. But when an inexplicable twist of fate hurls him back in time to his grandfather’s teenage years during the Taisho era, an extraordinary bond begins to form. Soma forges a unique connection with Jin Kasuga, his grandfather’s closest friend. As the pages unfold, “Golden Days” chronicles the blossoming of their profound friendship, one that intertwines with hints of romance, all while delving into the intricate tapestry of Soma’s family history.

Within the realm of BL (Boys’ Love) manga, there exist numerous exceptional tales, but it’s often the transition to anime that catapults these stories into the realm of classics. “Golden Days” is poised as the perfect candidate for such an evolution. Its narrative is a tapestry of beauty, interwoven with moments steeped in nostalgia and enriched by its thoughtful exploration of the complexities of human nature. In the hands of animation, it has the potential to transcend into a beloved classic, leaving a lasting impression on audiences.

15. Witch Watch

Meet Nico Wakatsuki, a teenage witch fresh from completing her magical training. Her next adventure unfolds as she relocates to the home of her childhood friend and secret crush, Morihito Otogi, an ogre with a human-like appearance. Together, they embark on a journey brimming with encounters with various supernatural entities, all while navigating the twists and turns of their budding romantic relationship. Their bond as a witch and her familiar evolves in tandem with their personal connection.

Conceived by the talented Kenta Shinohara, “Witch Watch” has skyrocketed to success, courtesy of its knack for subverting conventional expectations. Within its pages, this manga seamlessly blends elements of romantic comedy with the rich tapestry of fantasy, replete with an array of captivating supernatural creatures. The characters are nothing short of uproarious, yet they deftly avoid falling into the realm of cliché. This unique blend of humor, fantasy, and romance offers a refreshing narrative experience that has fans clamoring for an anime adaptation, eagerly anticipating the day when “Witch Watch” graces their screens.

14. Umineko When They Cry Episode 8: Twilight of the Golden Witch

Even within the expansive world of anime adaptations, there are still uncharted territories, even within beloved franchises like “When They Cry.” One of its manga installments, “Episode 8: Twilight of the Golden Witch,” awaits its moment in the spotlight on the big screen. Remarkably, this 42-chapter manga concluded its run in 2015 and has managed to maintain its unique allure without being overshadowed by more mainstream titles.

“Twilight of the Golden Witch” places Ange at the heart of its narrative, immersing her in the events of the 1986 conference alongside her family, all while she embarks on a quest to unravel the town’s most enigmatic mysteries. As this manga is aptly billed as the “final chapter” within the expansive “When They Cry” series, the prospect of adapting it into a 12- or 24-episode anime series seems not only logical but also an eagerly awaited event that fans of the series yearn for, anticipating a fitting conclusion to the epic tale.

13. Yotsuba To!

Dive into the world of “Yotsuba to!” and immerse yourself in the delightful slice-of-life comedy that chronicles the everyday escapades of the spirited Yotsuba. As she forges new friendships and discovers fresh perspectives on life’s simple joys, this manga has been a continuous presence since its debut in 2003, with its most recent chapters gracing readers in late 2019.

Rather than adhering to a traditional overarching plot, “Yotsuba to!” opts for an episodic approach, allowing readers to savor each distinct adventure in Yotsuba’s life. By spotlighting the beauty of finding joy in life’s little moments, the manga has garnered a dedicated following. With its episodic nature, it holds immense potential for a captivating slice-of-life anime adaptation. In the realm of main characters in anime, Yotsuba could easily ascend to fan-favorite status, winning hearts with her endearing charm.

12. Dengeki Daisy

In the wake of her brother’s tragic passing, Teru Kurebayashi discovers solace and companionship in the form of an enigmatic online presence known as Daisy. Yet, the veils of mystery shroud Daisy’s true identity, revealing that Teru’s confidant is none other than Tasuku Kurosaki, a high school janitor and skilled computer hacker with a connection to her late brother. Despite their rocky start, a profound friendship takes root and flourishes between them.

“Dengeki Daisy” shines brilliantly within the realm of slice-of-life shojo manga. At its core, the series unveils the intricate dynamics of the relationship between Teru and Tasuku, charting the course of their bond through both its ups and downs. Ultimately, it blossoms into one of the most heartwarming romances and friendships to grace the pages of manga. The series’ classic art style, infused with warmth and charm, holds the promise of translating seamlessly into a captivating anime adaptation that would surely capture the hearts of viewers.

11. I Am A Hero

Enter the world of Hideo Suzuki, a lowly assistant mangaka plagued by a profound sense of inadequacy and a life that reeks of unfulfillment. Trapped in the belief that mediocrity is his destiny, his world is irrevocably altered when a nightmarish, zombie-like pandemic engulfs his city. Forced to arm himself and confront the horrors of survival, Hideo’s journey unfolds, as he grapples not only with the relentless undead but also the moral quandaries surrounding life and death.

“I Am A Hero,” a creation of the brilliant Kengo Hanazawa, stands as a pinnacle of manga artistry, a tale that is conspicuous by its absence from the realm of anime adaptations. This series boasts breathtaking action sequences and delves deep into the labyrinthine recesses of human nature, raising profound questions about our very essence. Its narrative prowess has even spawned a cascade of spin-offs, each setting the stage in different Japanese locales. The absence of an anime adaptation seems a grave oversight, for once it graces the screens, “I Am A Hero” has the potential to burgeon into one of the most colossal anime franchises ever conceived.

10. Real

In the realm of manga, Takehiko Inoue stands as a true luminary, celebrated for his unparalleled contributions to the medium. While he’s acclaimed for his magnum opus, “Slam Dunk,” another gem in his portfolio is the equally remarkable “Real.” In a manner akin to “Slam Dunk,” “Real” revolves around the world of basketball, with an unwavering focus on the journeys of three young men who grapple with formidable obstacles in their pursuit of becoming basketball legends.

Beneath the surface, “Real” transcends the mere realm of sport. It unfurls as a tale of indomitable spirit and unwavering resolve, exploring the labyrinthine landscape of physical and mental challenges. Doubt and disability may loom large, but they are powerless against the tenacity of these characters and their dreams. The narrative’s power lies in its ability to inspire, its characters resonating deeply with readers. Given the stature of Takehiko Inoue and the story’s potential for success, an anime adaptation would not only be fitting but also likely to scale great heights, firmly solidifying its place among the best.

9. Fire Punch

Tatsuki Fujimoto’s “Fire Punch” delves into the harrowing journey of its protagonist, Agni, a young man cursed with regenerative abilities. His existence takes a devastating turn when he becomes the victim of a powerful woman named Doma, who bestows upon him the torment of eternal flames. This unholy fusion of fire affliction and regenerative blessing condemns Agni to an unending cycle of agony, wherein death remains elusive. Fuelled by a relentless desire for vengeance against Doma, who wrought this torment upon him and his village, Agni embarks on a perilous quest for retribution.

At its core, “Fire Punch” unfolds as an epic narrative, boasting superhuman powers, a searingly dramatic revenge plot, and a resolute and inspiring central character in Agni. It possesses all the quintessential elements of a successful shonen anime. Yet, despite the fervent anticipation of manga enthusiasts, the adaptation of “Fire Punch” into an anime remains an unfulfilled dream, leaving fans yearning for the day when this compelling story graces the screen.

8. 20th Century Boys

Naoki Urasawa, the mastermind behind the beloved and critically acclaimed “Monster,” unveils another gem, the somewhat lesser-known “20th Century Boys.” In the wake of the demise of an old friend, Kenji Endo, a humble convenience store manager, embarks on a treacherous journey to probe the enigmatic cult led by an enigmatic figure known only as “Friend.” United with childhood comrades, Kenji finds himself at the epicenter of a sinister conspiracy, and together, they must unravel the intricate web of mysteries that binds them to this nefarious organization.

While “20th Century Boys” may not have attained the same mainstream prominence as its sibling “Monster,” this sci-fi mystery manga has carved its niche and fostered a dedicated following. Drawing inspiration from the resounding success of the “Monster” anime adaptation, it’s not a leap of faith to envision the profound potential of “20th Century Boys” as an anime. With the author’s involvement, the anime adaptation could conceivably achieve monumental success, standing as a testament to Urasawa’s narrative prowess.

7. Today’s Cerberus

The central figure in “Today’s Cerberus” is Chiaki Mikado, a 15-year-old high school student whose life took a peculiar turn when he was bitten by Cerberus during his childhood. This encounter irrevocably binds his fate to the enigmatic creature, which later reemerges in a rather unconventional form. Instead of adhering to the traditional three-headed dog archetype, Cerberus undergoes a transformation, manifesting as Kuro, Shirogane, and Rose, three distinct girls each possessing unique and contrasting personalities.

The narrative of “Today’s Cerberus” unfolds as a tapestry of misadventures, chronicling Chiaki’s encounters with these three girls and the intricate dynamics that develop among them. In this hybrid narrative that straddles the realms of fantasy and harem, romance and humor intermingle, creating a delightful and entertaining concoction. With the characters and their dynamic ready to burst onto the screen, fans eagerly anticipate the day when “Today’s Cerberus” receives the anime adaptation they yearn for.

6. Goodnight Punpun

“Goodnight Punpun” unfolds as a poignant coming-of-age narrative, delving deep into the tumultuous journey of a young boy transitioning into the complexities of adulthood. Yet, it is far from a tale for the faint of heart, venturing into the darkest and most profoundly emotional corners of storytelling, exploring mature and sensitive themes that may not resonate with everyone. Despite its unsettling content, the manga’s unique and original art style weaves a gut-wrenching yet undeniably beautiful tapestry of narrative.

The notion of adapting “Goodnight Punpun” into an anime is met with controversy. Some fervent fans eagerly yearn for it, while others hold a steadfast belief that the story’s purity can only be preserved through the pages of the manga. They argue that an anime adaptation could never surpass the source material. Regardless of this divide, the fact remains that, for better or for worse, “Goodnight Punpun” stands bereft of an anime adaptation, despite its standing as one of the most highly acclaimed stories in recent years.

5. Chi No Wadachi

Under the title “Blood on the Tracks,” or “Chi no Wadachi,” lies a formidable horror opus, spanning 15 volumes. At its heart, this series unfurls a tale of harrowing proportions, anchored in the toxic and unsettling relationship between two central characters: Seiichi Osabe, a seemingly unassuming middle school boy, and his obsessively protective mother, Seiko Osabe. The narrative takes a spine-chilling turn when Seiko deliberately places Seiichi’s cousin into a coma, an act witnessed solely by her own son. What ensues is a descent into an inescapable nightmare for the young boy.

Within the realm of horror aficionados, “Chi no Wadachi” has garnered fervent acclaim for its profoundly disturbing narrative, which finds a pitch-perfect counterpart in the evocative artistry of Shuzo Oshimi. To elevate the horror even further, an anime adaptation, bearing the same stylistic essence, could prove spine-tingling. In doing so, it has the potential to offer a gripping narrative experience that could rival the works of the esteemed Junji Ito, standing as a testament to the chilling power of its storytelling.

4. Vagabond

Within the pages of Takehiko Inoue’s masterpiece, “Vagabond,” unfolds the epic odyssey of Miyamoto Musashi, a figure who evolves from a wanted criminal into a legendary swordsman of unparalleled repute. The manga-based content creators’ unanimous recommendation of “Vagabond” owes itself to Inoue’s genius in storytelling and his ability to craft art that is both timeless and astonishingly true to life.

In the annals of manga history, “Vagabond” stands as an undisputed titan, etching its name among the greatest of all time. This manga has earned a constellation of accolades, including the prestigious Kodansha Manga Award in 2000 and the esteemed Osamu Tezuka Cultural Award in 2002. While some of its long-standing contemporaries like “Vinland Saga” and “Kingdom” have basked in the glory of anime adaptations, the lamentable reality remains that there are currently no immediate plans to bestow “Vagabond” with its own anime rendition.

3. Spirit Circle

Meet Fuuta Okeya, a seemingly ordinary 14-year-old who possesses the extraordinary ability to perceive the spectral realm. His life proceeds uneventfully until a new student, Kouko Ishigami, graces their high school with her presence. In his earnest quest to befriend Kouko, Fuuta stumbles upon a profound revelation—their destinies are entwined not just in this life but across the boundaries of existence, fated to be archenemies.

Within the pages of “Spirit Circle,” a tapestry of enchanting characters embarks on supernatural escapades, forging bonds that inspire and partaking in epic clashes that electrify the soul. It encapsulates everything that fuels the passion of anime enthusiasts. Despite its undeniable allure, the anime studios have inexplicably overlooked it. The potential awaiting its transition into anime is nothing short of extraordinary, with the power to ascend among the ranks of the finest anime productions.

2. Choujin X

In the heart of a district ravaged by the Choujin—a formidable race of supernatural beings, each endowed with unique and formidable abilities—dwell two teenagers with strikingly contrasting personalities. Azuma Higashi exudes boundless energy, while Tokio Kurohara is marked by an innate shyness. Their shared aspiration? To ascend to the ranks of the Choujin, thus securing their survival in a perilous world.

“Choujin X” bears all the hallmarks of a potential blockbuster in the seinen genre, boasting a dynamic duo of relatable characters, a richly woven tapestry of lore, and an abundance of pulse-pounding action. With seven volumes under its belt and the promise of more to come, fervent fans can only hold out hope for the day when this gripping narrative finds its way to the screens in the form of an anime series, poised to carve its name among the pantheon of the most popular seinen tales ever.

1. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run

Part 7 of Hirohiko Araki’s iconic epic, “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure,” aptly named “Steel Ball Run,” transports fans to the expansive vistas of the American West. Against this backdrop, a grand spectacle unfurls—the “Steel Ball Run,” a perilous cross-country race that lures thousands of challengers with the promise of a staggering $50,000,000 prize. Amid this frenzied competition, a pivotal encounter takes place: Johnny Joestar, a paraplegic contestant, crosses paths with Gyro Zeppeli, a fellow racer who harbors a cryptic secret, one that could hold the key to Johnny’s quest to reclaim the use of his legs.

Intrigued and determined, Johnny embarks on this epic journey as a participant in the Steel Ball Run, shadowing the enigmatic Zeppeli to unearth the truths that lie concealed within his mysterious past. Regarded by a substantial faction of the fandom as the pinnacle of the JoJo’s saga, “Steel Ball Run” has yet to bask in the radiance of a screen adaptation. While the JoJo’s series already boasts an exceptional anime adaptation, enthusiasts must patiently await the moment when “Steel Ball Run” finally takes its rightful place on the screen, ready to enthrall audiences with its unique blend of adventure and intrigue.


And there you have it, fellow manga enthusiasts, a curated list of 25 extraordinary manga titles that have yet to grace our screens as anime adaptations. These manga are a testament to the boundless creativity and storytelling prowess of their creators, offering a diverse range of genres, themes, and emotions.

As we eagerly await the day when these hidden gems receive the anime treatment they deserve, let’s continue to celebrate the world of manga and the rich tapestry of stories it has to offer. Whether you’re a fan of historical epics, psychological thrillers, heartwarming slice-of-life tales, or fantastical adventures, there’s something for everyone within the pages of these manga.

So, why not pick up a volume, immerse yourself in a new world, and experience the magic of manga firsthand? Who knows, you might just discover your next favorite series among these 25 unmissable titles. Happy reading!

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