Manga is a famous storytelling medium and a massive part of Japanese culture that attracted many readers worldwide. Manga storytelling can be divided into multiple genres, such as Mystery, Action, Romance, and many others.
The mystery genre outshines every other genre in particular. Mystery manga holds the power to captivate the reader through suspenseful turns, unexpected plot twists, and philosophical narrative, enough to keep the reader on the edge of their seat.
Here are the Top 10 must-read manga for Mystery genre fans!
10. Moriarty The Patriot
The name ‘Moriarty’ is familiar to the fans of Sir Arthur Conan Dyle’s famous detective series, Sherlock Holmes.
Moriarty The Patriot is a Japanese take on Sir Arthur Conan Dyle’s script; while keeping the main context intact. It focuses on Moriarty, the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes.
The story takes place in the Victorian England period. It primarily focuses on Moriarty’s character development and how he uses his multifaceted talents to take down the corrupt system of England. The manga has a compelling storyline, solid narratives, and complex characters that every mystery manga should have.
William James Moriarty is the middle brother of the Moriarty family and a crime consultant, initially raised in an orphanage. In addition to the compelling storyline and character development, the series also addresses many thought-provoking themes, making it stand out in the Mystery genre.
9. My Dearest Self With Malice Aforethought
My Dearest Self With Malice Aforethought, also known as the dark horse of the mystery genre, is a manga written by Hajime Inroyu and drawn by Shouta Itou.
The manga follows the story of a 20-year-old boy named Eiji Urashima, who dreams of getting a girlfriend in his college life. Eiji Urashima’s life changes in a moment. He wakes up and sees a girl named Kyouka Yukimura sleeping with him, who claims to be his girlfriend.
Without asking a thing, Eiji woke up his ‘now’ girlfriend Kyouka and went on a walk with her. Things get a little more interesting when Eiji asks Kyouka isn’t it the 24th today? Kyouka replies, ‘No, Eiji, it’s the 27th.’ Eiji, totally confused and having no recollection of the last three days, starts worrying.
As Eiji tries to discover the mystery behind the time-skip for him, instead, he accidentally steps into the mud he can never escape, and the story unravels within the blink of an eye.
The story combines mystery with thriller to give an unforgettable experience, which can only make the reader curious and keep them on the edge of their seat.
8. Land of The Lustrous
Land of The Lustrous, commonly known as ‘Houseki no Kuni,’ is a seinen manga written and drawn by Haruko Ichikawa and widely famous for it’s art-style and characters.
Land of The Lustrous is a story about gem-like humans called “Gems” who continuously fight for their freedom against ethereal beings called Lunarians, who tend to capture the Gems and use them for their own ‘purpose.’
The manga follows a gem named Phosphospyllite and how he grows as a character. The main focus of the manga is the character development while focusing on the mystery points of the origin of the gems and Lunarians and their nature.
Beastars is an anthropomorphism manga that dwells in the animal world as if they are humans—written and Drawn by Paru Itagaki, the daughter of the infamous Baki’s author Keisuke Itagaki.
The story follows a grey wolf named Legoshi, a student of the prestigious Cherryton Academy. Legoshi stays reserved in front of other animals and has a quiet personality.
He lives an everyday student life at the academy’s dorm with other predatory animals, including his Labrador friend, Jack. Legoshi is a member of the Drama Club of his Academy, working as a supporter for the actors of his club.
The story takes a tremendous turn when an Alpaca is murdered and brutally devoured, which creates an extensive boundary line between carnivorous and herbivorous animals, as the main suspect in the murder of the Alpaca is Legoshi.
6. The Girl From The Other Side, Siúil, a Rún
The manga follows a girl named Shiva and a mysterious creature who calls himself the Teacher. The story takes place in a world divided between humans and cursed monsters. The series dwells on prejudice, isolation, and a bond between monsters.
It is a dark-fantasy mystery series that has gained critical acclaim for its exceptional art style and was praised for its deep themes and atmospheric setting.
5. Detective Conan (Case Closed)
Detective Conan, also known as Case Closed, is one of the longest-running mystery series in the history of manga. It has proved timeless entertainment since it was first published in 1994.
The manga follows the story of a high school prodigy detective, Shinichi Kudo. Shinichi Kudo was poisoned by a criminal organization, which turned him into a child.
As he becomes a child with a detective’s mind, he gives himself a new name, Conan Edogawa. The whole plot revolves around Shinichi finding a way to regain his old body while solving mysterious atrocious murders. Case Closed is known for its overarching storyline.
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Pluto is an arc taken from the famous manga “Astro Boy” and reimagined by the father of mysterious manga, Naoki Urasawa. The manga takes out the main narrative from Astro Boy and gives it a mature tone and setting.
Pluto follows the story of a future society where humans and robots coexist. In this society, a series of prominent robots, including the strongest Mont Blanc, are being destroyed systematically, with no reason at all.
Geischt, a detective, is put on the case to discover the reason behind this massacre, which turns out to be a deeper conspiracy and ethical dilemmas.
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Dorohedoro is a dark fantasy manga written and drawn by Q Hayashida, famous for its unique and distinctive art style.
The manga is set in a dystopian world known as ‘The Hole,’ a chaotic world where humans and sorcerers co-exist. The story follows an amnesiac protagonist named Caiman, who is transformed into a reptile by a sorcerer.
Caiman meets a Gyoza chef named Nikaidou, and with her, he departs on the journey to find the sorcerer to undo his transformation and regain his lost memories. The manga dwells on the corruption of power, morality, and past traumas.
2. 20th Century Boys
20th Century Boys is a classic-cult manga written and drawn by Naoki Urasawa, famous for its peculiar storytelling and setting.
The whole narrative revolves around friends who created a symbol for their friendship, called “Friend.” Fast forwarding the story to the 20th century, the friends find themselves tied to a grand conspiracy of mass destruction orchestrated by a mysterious person who calls himself “Friend.”
The manga follows Kenji Endou and his friends as they unravel the mystery behind the identity and actions of the masked individual called “Friend.” Famous for its triple-layered plot and Urasawa’s skillful writing, the manga dwells masterfully on the themes of friendship, suspense, psychological rigidity, and social commentary.
The series has won many accolades and is known as Urasawa’s second most celebrated work. The manga has also been adapted into live-action films and an animated trilogy.
Monster is one mystery manga series whose popularity never vanishes, even after it ended long ago.
The story follows a Japanese surgeon named Dr. Kenzo Tenma, who works at a hospital in West Germany. Faced with a moral dilemma, Dr. Tenma decides to save the life of a little boy named Johan instead of a mayor who is scheduled to undergo surgery.
Due to political bias, Tenma was thrown out of the hospital, and his surgeon title was taken, with multiple arrest warrants without any evidence. The story picks up the pace when Tenma hears about Johan committing a series of murders, as all of the responsibility is on Tenma.
Full of guilt, Tenma embarks on a journey to stop Johan from his reign of terror and truly understand the mysteries of his past. As the story progresses, Tenma encounters many characters having connections with Johan, brainwashed by him.
Known for its Intricate plot and psychological depths, Monster has gained critical acclaim from all over the world and is considered one of the best pieces of fiction in existence.
Other than these mystery mangas, there are other excellent mystery manga waiting to be discovered. Let us know in the comment what you think about this list and if there is a hidden gem in your view that should be added to this list.