ga and anime are both popular forms of entertainment in Japan, and over the years, many manga series have been adapted into anime. But sometimes, a manga series is so popular that it continues to be published even after the anime adaptation ends. Here are six popular manga series that continued as manga after their anime counterparts ended.
Ichigo Kurosaki is a teenager with the ability to see spirits. He becomes a Soul Reaper (Soul Catcher) and defends humanity from evil spirits. It was produced by Studio Pierrot and directed by Noriyuki Abe. Bleach manga is still being published after the anime ended, but it has been on an extended hiatus since 2014. Ichigo Kurosaki is a high school student who can see ghosts, a talent he inherited from his mother. His life is drastically changed by the sudden appearance of a Soul Reaper—one who governs the flow of souls between the human world and the afterlife—named Rukia Kuchiki, who arrives in search of a Hollow, a malevolent lost soul. You can watch the anime here or read the manga for the same.
2. Fruits Basket: Still in the Middle of the Series
This shōjo manga series was written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. It was adapted into a 26-episode anime series produced by Studio Deen, which aired on TV in Tokyo from July 5, 2001, to December 27, 2001. The protagonist of Fruits Basket, Tohru Honda, is a 17-year-old orphan girl who learns that thirteen members of the Sohma family are possessed after meeting Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure Sohma, spirits of the Chinese zodiac animals. These spirits turn their hosts into opposites when they are weak or under stress. The series focuses on Tohru’s interactions with the Sohma family and how she forces them to confront their issues. It also focuses on her relationship with Yuki, Kyo, Shigure, Hatsuharu, Momiji, Ritsu, Kisa, Hiro, Kagura, and Akito. The series is licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media.
3. Soul Eater:
Having killed the demon king, fulfilling his promise to protect his master, Death the Kid sets out on a new goal—to create weapons that will surpass his father’s creations. His first task is to defeat some of the most powerful monsters on earth to absorb their souls and use them to forge new weapons. Soul Eater follows three students of Shibusen named Kid, Black Star, and Tsubaki as they fight against powerful monsters called kishin. To help them is a living weapon named Excalibur. In the anime adaptation of Soul Eater, Shibusen falls under attack from Arachnophobia, a secret organization of witches who use their magic to resurrect ancient demons and control them. Death the Kid’s older sister, Marie, calls on him for help. Despite being too young to take part in the battle himself, Kid can control his weapons and fight against Arachnophobia with his father’s team of Grim Reapers.
4. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc
The first part of the manga adaptation of the anime. Guts is introduced as a lone swordsman who is part of the Band of Hawk group, which Griffith formed to fight in an endless war. After Griffith deals with demon forces to defeat their enemies, he receives power beyond his control and becomes disfigured. Guts is the only member of the Band of Hawk who refuses to serve Griffith, and after Griffith’s actions lead to his fiancée being scarred, Guts leaves the Band of Hawks to pursue revenge. The anime series caught up to the manga and ended before things had concluded. However, Kentarou Miura has continued the story as a manga series called Berserk: The Golden Age Arc under Berserk Ōgon Jidai-Hen I – Haō no Tamago (Berserk Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the High King). It follows Guts as he embarks on a quest to take down the reborn Band of the Hawk.
5. Bunny Drop:
Daikichi is a 30-year-old bachelor working in a dull office. His life suddenly changes when he finds Rin ― a little girl abandoned on the street by her father, who says she can never be loved and should never have been born. Daikichi decides to take care of Rin despite the protests of everyone around him and brings her into the home he shares with his grandfather. The “Bunny” in Bunny Drop is Daikichi’s cousin, Rin. She’s a lively little girl who finds her real family inadequate and jumps at the chance to live with her adopted grandfather. There were supposed to be six volumes of the manga series planned, but it went on for nine. The anime series is just as popular as the manga series.
6. Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal
Rurouni Kenshin is a manga series published from 1994 to 1999 and has been adapted into anime series, feature films, OVAs, and even a stage musical. The story follows Himura Kenshin, a former assassin who now wanders the countryside of Japan, offering protection for those in need as atonement for the murders he committed in the past. However, Kenshin’s history isn’t so easily forgotten, and many people are after him for his former life as the Hitokiri Battōsai. The manga series was published from 1994 to 1999, which is quite a long run for any manga series. After Rurouni Kenshin ended, the author published a series of one-shots called Rurouni Kenshin Side Story: The Ex-Con Ashitaro, which are about other characters in the Rurouni Kenshin universe. Most recently, Watsuki started an epilogue to the original story in 2013.
There are many anime series that found their conclusion in the manga since the production of the anime is faster than making a manga’s story. You can either watch the anime or read the manga to make sure you find your satisfactory ending to the series. Happy reading!