10 minute read
If you are reading this article, chances are you already know the feeling I am about to describe. Finding a new manga series that captivated your attention from the minute you picked it up and long after you put it down finished only a couple hours later. Breezing through tens of hundreds of character introductions, deaths, plot twists, and ultimately entire chapters in seemingly minutes.
Maybe, you are craving a new series to read that will hold your attention for even longer, give you the same high of excitement, or just kill time until your favorite Mangaka releases the next weekly issue of whatever manga you were reading last.
Don’t worry– you are not alone in feeling that way! In fact, fans of the series listed below will definitely agree, with some having waited every week for over three decades for the next chapter in their beloved manga. These five popular manga are some of the longest series that are still ongoing today.
First serialized on March 3, 1998 in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump manga magazine and written by Yoshihiro Togashi, Hunter X Hunter has quickly established itself as a forerunner and eventual cult classic of the Adventure/Action Anime genre. Following our protagonist, Gon Freecs, and his troupe of companions, this manga delves into the world of Hunters searching for anything from gourmet delicacies to ancient ruins to a band of ruthless criminals.
Excelling in world-building, story-telling, and power-scaling, Hunter X Hunter has been met with repeated fan praise and success over the last 25 years with both a 1999 Anime adaptation and a 2011 remake. Currently, the manga is partway through its Succession Contest Arc, with the most recent chapter being Chapter 400 released on December 26, 2022.
Over the two decades, Togashi, an acclaimed Mangaka and creator of another fan-favorite YuYu Hakusho, often struggled with bouts of poor health from back and hip problems, understandably limiting his ability to maintain a consistent release schedule for Hunter X Hunter. These difficulties resulted in several lengthy hiatuses, which is one of the main reasons fans are still patiently waiting to find out the ending of their beloved characters.
As one of the longest and most popular manga serializations of all time, it should be no surprise for any Anime fan to see One Piece on our list. Created by Eiichiro Oda and first serialized on July 22, 1997, One Piece paved the way for the Shōnen genre and has been crowned as one of the Big Three, a term used to describe the three most popular running series during their golden age.
The Anime follows our lovable and goofy pirate protagonist, Luffy D. Monkey, as he sets off to meet his pirate idol and find the legendary treaure, One Piece, to ultimately earn the title of Pirate King. Along the journey, he gathers all kinds of oddballs for his crew, The Straw Hat Pirates, making for a comedic and exciting classic Anime.
Originally only supposed to last 5 years, One Piece quickly took off and cemented its place in history as both one of the longest-running and most popular manga of all time. On January 4, 2021, One Piece reached its thousandth chapter, far exceeding any original expectations as it is just finally nearing its final saga.
An instant cult classic, Berserk is an ultraviolent, thrilling dark fantasy manga, created by Kentaro Miura and first serialized on November 26, 1990. Not for the squeamish, faint-of-heart, or sensitive, Berserk is a depraved tale following a cursed lone swordsman named Guts as he decimates hordes of otherwordly demons in search of vengeance upon his best-friend-and-savior-turned-mortal-enemy, Griffith.
Similar to other series on this list, Berserk has been riddled with lengthy hiatuses due to the stressful and overwhelming work-life balance of a Mangaka. Tragically, it was announced on May 20, 2021 that Kentaro Miura passed away, leaving both the fate of Berserk and Guts and his crew to his long-time best friend and fellow Mangaka, Kouji Mori.
Using plans, thoughts, and memorandums left behind by Miura, Mori is currently overseeing the production of final chapters of Berserk following the original intentions of Miura as faithfully as possible. Today, the series has resumed a semi-regular publishing schedule and fans cannot wait to see the conclusion of this beloved tale by an even more beloved author.
First serialized on October 11, 1989, Hajime No Ippo is a boxing-themed manga series written and illustrated by George Morikawa. As one of the most earliest and most well-known Sports serializations, Hajime No Ippo paved the way for many other series in the same genre with its action-packed and comedic panels.
Our teenage protagonist, Ippo Makunouchi, is the target of relentless and abusive bullies, leading him to pursue an illustrious career as a boxer at Kamogawa Boxing Gym. A story of determination, love, and unstoppable fighting spirit, Hajime No Ippo is a fantastic manga where every character is full-fleshed out and appeals to the inner warrior witin every one of us.
In addition to its printed success, Hajime No Ippo has had not one, not two, but three Anime adaptations from 2000 to 2002, 2009, and 2013-2014, respectively. Today, it is over 1400 chapters strong of nonstop thrilling, hilarious, and sometimes even heart-wrenching action that even the most casual sports fan can enjoy.
Without further ado, the final entry on our list as well as the oldest is JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was first published on January 1, 1987 and is Shueisha's longest ongoing manga series in terms of volumes. Known for its unique and intense art style, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has amassed a loyal following of longtime fans with over 120 million copies in circulation.
The story is currently divided into 9 unique parts, each with their own characters, plotline, and conflicts. In every part, the series follows a protagonist with the iconic "JoJo" nickname of the Joestar family, as they embark on their own dramatic journey filled with rivalry, revenge, and adrenaline-pumping fight scenes.
Like the other series on this list, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has also enjoyed its own successful Anime adapations, spinning out popular memes from its iconic voice acting and character designs. As of February 17, 2023, Part 9 of the series, The JoJoLands, has begun serialization featuring protagonists, Jodio and Dragona Joestar, in an alternate universe as they set out on a quest for wealth beyond their wildest imagination.
With the release of the new manga chapters every day, it is nothing short of amazing that these series have continued for as long as they have. We hope you enjoyed reading about these series as much as we enjoyed writing about them! If you ever find yourself out of manga to read, feel free to give these options a shot. Chances are they will still be releasing new chapters!