Best mystery manga with no anime adaptations

Manga is a huge part of Japanese culture and a huge part of the stories. Manga tells all kinds of stories, and mystery stories are definitely a big part of the medium. Famous mystery series like Detective Conan are huge franchises with an incredibly long lifespan.


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Whenever a manga gets big enough, adaptations are usually brought up, with anime adaptations being the most common (and most popular) option. However, there are a lot of manga that don’t get anime adaptations, be it for some reason. Here are some great mystery mangas that don’t happen to have anime adaptations.

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8/8 Summer Hikaru died

In a small rural village, Yoshiki and Hikaru are the best of friends. They have been inseparable since childhood and despite their differences, their friendship is steadfast. But one day, after being replaced by something unearthly, Hikaru transforms and Yoshiki is forced to accept that the person he once called a friend is no more.

Summer Hikaru died is a relatively new series that only started serialization last year. The series blends mystery and tragedy with cosmic horror, forcing Yoshiki to contend with the gruesome and world-shaping events that threaten his village.

7/8 The top of the gods

The top of the gods manga cover

In 1993, Makoto Fukamachi discovers George Mallory’s camera in an antique shop. Fukamachi, a mountaineer who went missing on Mount Everest, believes the camera may contain the truth about George Mallory’s disappearance. This question will bring him face to face with the mountain George Mallory once climbed.

The top of the gods is a manga based on a 1998 novel and lays its intriguing mystery in real historical events. While the mystery of George Mallory’s fate is secondary to the adventure of climbing the iconic Mount Everest, it is still an essential part of the story.

6/8 The Cain Saga/Godchild

The album cover of the Cain Saga

The mysterious Earl Cain C. Hargreaves wanders London, solving the various murders he comes across. His past is dark and full of sinful secrets, as evil forces perform gruesome experiments in the darkness to bring back the dead.

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The Cain saga is an old 1990s mystery series set in historic Victorian London. It is followed by the sequel godchildwhich continues to follow Cain Hargreaves as he confronts the dark forces working in London’s shadow.

5/8 Billy Bat

Billy Bat manga cover

In 1949, Japanese-American cartoonist Kevin Yamagata discovers that his popular cartoon character Billy Bat was accidentally inspired by an image he saw while serving in Japan. He decides to go to Japan to get permission to use the character from the original creator, but finds himself embroiled in a series of crimes and investigations that all seem to lead back to the iconic character.

Billy Bat is one of the works of Naoki Urasawa, a manga master who mainly writes mystery stories. The story combines conspiratorial intrigue with the incredible character drama that Urasawa is known for.

4/8 Don’t say mystery

Do Not Say Mystery manga cover featuring totono kuno

Totono Kuno is just an average student whose morning routine is interrupted by the police, who inform him that he is a prime suspect in the murder of one of his classmates. Totono’s situation takes a turn for the worse when more evidence emerges that puts him on the spot, but his surprisingly strong deductive reasoning skills may be able to pull him out of the situation.

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Don’t say mystery is another relatively recent manga series, which came out in 2017. The character of Totono Kuno is a big part of the series’ appeal, with his ability to dismantle a person by observing their actions and deducing their background.

3/8 homunculus

Homunculus manga cover

Susumu Nakoshi is a homeless man who lives in his car, desperate to separate himself from the other homeless people. A young medical student offers him money to drill a hole in his head, and Nakoshi eventually agrees. The procedure initially produces no results, but soon Nakoshi begins to see ‘homunculi’, distortions present in everyone he sees.

homunculus is a mystery series that delves into the occult and the supernatural. It’s much darker than most manga, with some parts creeping into psychological horror, but the subject matter it delves into is certainly fascinating.

2/8 Pluto

Pluto cover featuring the main character

In a world where robots have almost reached a state close to humanity, one of the world’s greatest robots has been killed. Gesicht, a robot detective who is himself regarded as one of the world’s greatest robots, is put on the case and discovers a deadly conspiracy that questions the relationship between robots and humans.

Pluto is another manga written by Naoki Urasawa, and it is based on a storyline created by the legendary godfather of manga Osamu Tezuka for his historical series Astro Boy. Urasawa’s unique storytelling touch turns this story into a mystery full of intrigue and tragedy.

1/8 Boys of the 20th century

Friend of 20th Century Boys

Kenji Endo is a middle-aged man who once dreamed of becoming a musician, but now works in his family’s shop while taking care of his niece Kanna. After learning about a friend’s death, Kenji learns about the mysterious existence known as “Friend”, a cult leader who is growing in influence. To his surprise, Friend’s symbols and actions remind him of the games he and his friends used to play as children.

Boys of the 20th century is another of Naoki Urasawa’s many mystery works, and possibly his most epic. The story delves into science fiction and the occult, while the mystery of Friend’s identity creates intrigue.

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