15 Best Long Running Manga Series Worth ReadingThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
In the cutthroat world of manga, survival (a.k.a not getting axed) is a sign of winning.
Long series often equate to good story, popularity, or both.
That said, reading a long running manga series is equally rewarding. For one, the quality is already guaranteed to a certain extent, and there’s already an established fandom you can just hop into.
Well I’ve done the work here and listed down some great manga with at least 500 chapters.
15. Giant Killing
Although Giant Killing has surpassed the 500-chapter mark, its popularity isn’t as big as the known shonen series.
This is partially due to seinen’s smaller target demographic.
Nonetheless, Tatsumi and East Tokyo United’s adventure does not fall short in terms of story or emotion.
From being forced to retire from an injury, Tatsumi’s career in soccer changes from player to coach.
He uses a peculiar means to bring out the best out of his players, while also inspiring readers.
InuYasha was a popular isekai even before isekai become cool.
Actually, some people may not even be aware of that. Anyway, I won’t be discussing its isekai-ness.
InuYasha has won many awards, and its mangaka maker is also the creator of Ranma ½.
Unlike other shonen manga, InuYasha has more complexity and depth in terms of plot, which admittedly can make it a bit overwhelming for newer readers.
I do understand that it’s not a manga for everybody. At times, the story may seem placid, and it also gives off a sense of repetition.
But it’s a classic for a reason.
Like InuYasha, Gintama has swept up a lot of awards. But that isn’t what it’s famous for.
Gintama prides itself for its humor and crossovers, although most of its comedy constitutes phallic jokes. But hey, if that floats your boat, so be it.
But Gintama is more than just woody jokes. Its level of exaggeration and peculiar wit are also key factors to making its audience laugh.
There are also rare occasions when the characters’ backgrounds are explored. During which, the series switches tones and becomes far more serious.
12. Super Doctor K
As you might have guessed based on the title, this is a medical manga about a doctor with great skills.
K comes from a family of legendary doctors. As the current bearer of the name K, he wanders the world treating the sick and expanding his medical knowledge.
Of course, he also meets medical adversaries who only care about themselves. They use immoral medical schemes to get rid of K, which makes the series more interesting.
This manga doesn’t start off like other manga. Right from the beginning, K is already overpowered. He already possesses amazing medical skill and knowledge.
The medical aspect is also commendable here. In fact, reading it seems like studying medicine, but in a fun way.
11. Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail has had a good 11-year run.
It has successfully earned itself a place in the shonen hall of fame.
Like most shonen manga, Fairy Tail focuses on the power of friendship and guts.
However, Fairy Tail has banked so much on nakama power that a lot of villains have fallen victim from it, which is also the reason why it’s placed here on this list.
Putting aside the nakama power, Fairy Tail has a lot of interesting powers and action scenes. Even the power ups aren’t just endless derivations of one technique.
10. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken)
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, or simply JoJo, is a series of manga.
Unlike most series on this list, JoJo is divided into different parts.
JoJo’s popularity outside Japan is partially due to its memeable content.
There are literally thousands of memes from JoJo alone. Plus, the “It Was Me, Dio” meme has already built a legendary following of its own.
Anyway, JoJo obviously isn’t just a typical manga. The art is great, but reading it is like watching a telenovela.
And weirdly enough, it’s a telenovela that’s hard to stop reading through.
9. Hajime no Ippo
Hajime no Ippo is one of the longest running manga series ever.
I find Hajime no Ippo very interesting because of its relatability. It starts off with Ippo when he’s still nobody.
Although he might have good muscles from fishing, his boxing is literally non-existent.
But through perseverance and continuous training, he continues to develop and get stronger.
As a cherry on top, this series has a great sense of comedy.
Kingdom is another manga that’s still going strong through time. But in Kingdom’s defense, there’s thousands of years’ worth of history.
We already have tons of history books. So why not add another one (although fictitious) into the mix?
As the premise suggests, Kingdom has a lot of epic war scenes.
However, these fights aren’t anything like that of Fairy Tail or InuYasha. These fights are realistic and always leave pools of blood in its wake.
7. Grappler Baki
Like JoJo, Grappler Baki also consists of a series of manga with slightly different titles. All of which, of course, contain Baki on the title.
Baki’s fighting style isn’t as realistic as Hajime no Ippo. But it has more epic fight scenes.
It features a lot of martial arts, from the ancients up to the present, and does a good job educating its readers about street fighting.
And it doesn’t end there. The series even touches up on borderline absurdity on the later series, featuring resurrection and cloning.
Considered as another hall of famer, Bleach has a reserved special place along with the legends.
From being forcibly dragged into the world of shinigami, bankai, and hollows, Ichigo has come a long way and has become a lot of beings.
Bleach probably has a lot of upgrades and level ups. In every arc, Ichigo somehow attains a new form to defeat the arc’s last boss.
Fortunately, Tite Kubo has amazing art skills. So all the forms look badass.
Try giving it a go, and perhaps you’ll finally find the answer to the million-dollar question: why is it titled Bleach?
5. Detective Conan
Conan is one of my childhood idols.
Then I got older, and he’s still one of my idols.
I mean, he manages to be young again, still be favored by people, and have some spy-level gadgets. What’s there not to be jealous about?
Putting the shallow talk aside, Detective Conan’s crime solving story is top notch.
After more than a thousand chapters, you’ll expect some sort of decline. But lo and behold, this series retains its touch.
Just to be clear, I mean all the Naruto series for this entry.
That includes Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, and even Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.
Alongside Bleach, Naruto is one of the legendary manga with an established fanbase.
Naruto’s rasengan and shadow clone technique has defeated a lot of villains, most of which have fallen after an epic battle.
Although Boruto’s quality is up for debate, the first two manga are on par with its massive reputation.
3. Dragon Ball
Like Naruto and Baki, Dragon Ball is another series with a lot of derivations.
Dragon Ball is considered to be a trailblazer for shonen manga.
Although there are undeniably a lot of other esteemed manga during its generation, Dragon Ball’s contribution to spreading the world of manga (and the anime industry) outside of Japan is undeniable.
However, Dragon Ball isn’t perfect.
Its storyline is repetitive and the character development is rather shallow.
But if you’re a fan of anything related to this series, you’ll enjoy the manga.
Usogui may be a seinen manga, but I’m confident it will appeal to the shonen demographic as well.
It’s all about gambling, so a bit of discretion may be required.
The titular character seeks the thrill of gambling. That means he often bets his own life in his matches, which brings up its second highlight.
Usogui’s action scenes are top notch. It has a powerful organization with elite members that ensures all bets are paid after the match.
When I say elite, I mean “killing groups of people barehanded” elite.
1. One Piece
One Piece has already passed its 1000th chapter. And it’s still going strong.
The Strawhat Pirates have come a long way, literally and figuratively.
They’ve literally conquered various seas and have beaten countless asses.
But what truly makes One Piece great is that despite its length, it doesn’t just rinse and repeat.
Right from the beginning there have been countless questions that we’ve answered along the way. Yet the more the story progresses, the more questions we have.
And funny enough, the more updates there are, the greater that questioning thirst becomes.