Shounen manga one-shots

Thanks to our increasingly fast-paced lifestyles, many find it difficult to finish long shounen manga series from start to end. This is especially since shounen manga tend to run for more than 100 chapters with no end in sight.

For avid readers who want to read shounen manga but don’t have enough time to do so, we’ve curated a list of 16 shounen manga one-shots that you can finish in one night.

1. A Bat in Blue Sky (2006)

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A cold and professional shinobi named Henpukumaru forms an unlikely and forbidden connection with her enemy’s son, Chiyozuru. Henpukumaru opens up to Chiyozuru and finds herself caring for the young chap. However, things become messy when Henpukumaru’s comrades raid Chiyozuru’s home in a bid to capture Chiyozuru’s father.  

A Bat in Blue Sky will keep you on edge and flipping through those 64 pages to see how Henpukumaru and Chiyozuru develop as characters, resolve the issues that arise from their opposing backgrounds, and put up a fight to take charge of their own lives.   

Artist: Hiromu Arakawa
Genre: Action, Shounen, Martial arts, Historical
Length: 64 pages

2. Tokidoki (2016)

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Tokidoki is a heart-wrenching love story that talks about life and death, helplessness, fulfilment, and hope.

How would you feel if you knew exactly how many more heartbeats you have left before you die? No one knows this better than Hatsu Takagi, a high school student diagnosed with a heart disease that shortens her lifespan. She is forced to wear a heart monitor and live a slow and meaningless life – the complete opposite of what she wants. 

That is until Hato Iijima, her schoolmate, abruptly barges into her life. Hato becomes Hatsu’s lifeline and the reason for her happiness. He will do whatever it takes to put a smile on her face, but life can be cruel sometimes.

Although it’s just a one-shot shounen manga, Tokidoki is a tear-jerker that will move you as you witness Hatsu and Hato try to fight fate.

Artist: Naoshi Komi
Genre: Drama, Shounen, Romance, School life
Length: 55 pages

3. Unlucky Boy Undead Girl (2015)

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All Tsukasa wants is to lead a simple and good life, but that’s far from easy because of his terrible luck. All Emiko wants is to be like any other normal school girl, but that’s impossible because she’s far from normal – she’s a zombie. When the two meet, you get a wonderful mix of hilarious scenarios, adorable moments, and a story that knows how to keep you hooked. 

Artist: Sou Tobita
Genre: Action, Drama, Shounen, Romance, Supernatural
Length: 50 pages

4. Ashe of Purgatory (2014)

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Ashe of Purgatory tells the tale of a kind-hearted witch named Ashe, and how her life intertwines together with Bell, a monk-cum-swordsman, in the small town of Brokken Brook. In a harsh world that does not accept witches of any kind, Ashe is forced to keep her real identity a secret. But her secret is soon exposed and she’s hunted by all witch-hating organisations.

Though they’ve been painted as evil, witches may not be as cruel as people make them out to be. Now, it’s up to Bell to save Ashe from a terrible fate and bring about a revolutionary change in their world. In this heartwarming story, stereotypes are broken and we learn not to judge a book by its cover.

Artist: Tatsuya Endou
Genre: Fantasy, Shounen, Action, Magic
Length: 51 pages

5. Kagijin (Pilot) (2009)

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Tsubame, who hails from the East Asian Desert, is a metal scrap collector who longs to roam the world without any burdens, just like a swallow. Childa, a runaway slave from the villainous and despicable Gabbia Empire, is found unconscious by Tsubame’s fellow scrap collectors during a scavenge. She is believed to be descended from a group of powerful beings called Kagijin

The keyhole symbol on Childa’s wrist might just be connected to the strange key that Tsubame holds. Their chance encounter is the beginning of a mighty adventure and an intense fight against the Gabbia Empire, which plans to conquer the world and destroy those who stand in their way.

Artist: Yasunori Tanaka
Genre: Supernatural, Shounen, Adventure, Action
Length: 55 pages

6. Rurouni Kenshin: Yahiko no Sakabatou (1999)

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The Rurouni Kenshin franchise has been resonating with the masses since its first manga, Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story, was released back in 1994. 

Rurouni Kenshin: Yahiko no Sakabatou is a one-shot spin-off that came out shortly after the 1994 shounen manga ended its run. It can be read as a standalone, but if you have time to spare, you can read the complete series before this one-shot to fully enjoy it.

The one-shot follows the story of Yahiko, who is tasked by Kaoru to protect a judo hall that has caught the attention of activists. See how Yahiko uses his mastery of the sakabatou (reverse-edged sword) and his wits to battle against the bad guys. 

Artist: Nobuhiro Watsuki
Genre: Historical, Shounen, Action
Length: 43 pages

7. Murahagane (2011)

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Kaijin are powerful superhumans genetically engineered by advanced technology. Some opinionated ones have been causing chaos and deaths in Tokyo. This includes a Kaijin serial killer who has taken the lives of many Japanese men in the name of justice and protection of girls.

Murahagane, a group of Kaijin officers, help to keep the city safe and reign in berserk Kaijin before they can cause further harm. To arrest the serial killer, Murahagane dispatches Ken Shibasaki and Reiji Momoyama, the organisation’s best tracker and fighter respectively.  

The two are polar opposites – Ken finds working a chore, while Reiji is an obsessed workaholic. However, they have to put aside their obvious differences to prevent the body count from rising. 

Artist: Manabu Yashiro
Genre: Action, Shounen, Police, Superpower
Length: 47 pages

8. Tasogare Schrodinger (2012)

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This is a story of friendship, the power of bonds, and faith. Beckman Jouji and Kuranosuke are childhood best friends who have been chosen by the crafty Miss Schrodinger to take on a test that will either make or break their friendship. 

Read to find out how Jouji and Kuranosuke overcome the trials set by Miss Schrodinger, and witness the power of a strong friendship that’s founded on trust –  in fact, one of them gains the power to fly when the other is around.

Artist: Jun Azuma
Genre: Action, Comedy, Shounen, Drama, Supernatural
Length: 57 pages

9. Count Over (2018)

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New York is in a state of frenzy after 206 dangerous and bloodthirsty convicts are somehow released by a mysterious man. The situation looks bleak as the police are severely overwhelmed by the criminals and the havoc they’ve been wreaking. Fortunately, a saviour appears in the form of a katana-wielding young lad with a mechanical arm. 

The young boy reveals himself to be Kanae Haruka, a samurai from Japan. He uses his fighting experience and mastery of the sword to cut down the criminals that stand in his way. Kanae might just be the solution the American police needs to defeat the 206 villains, and it seems like he knows who exactly set the captives free too.    

Artist: Masaoki Shindou
Genre: Action, Shounen
Length: 45 pages

10. Hero Killer (2016)

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Five years have passed since Shioso was betrayed by the Bioroid heroes – artificial humans made for combat to stop the increasing crime rates. Now, the young boy wishes to seek revenge on these heroes for the hurt that they have caused. 

Hero Killer is a story of forgiveness, understanding, and moving on from past trauma. The protagonist and the antagonist both have their own motivations for fighting. Although they don’t see eye-to-eye, it doesn’t mean that the solution should result in death and destruction for the other party.

Artist: Daiki Katou
Genre: Action, Shounen, Sci-Fi, Drama
Length: 34 pages

11. Adabana (2009)

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A young villager girl, Lilia, has her life turned upside down when her village is seized by merciless bandits. The bandits are led by Dallas, who claims to possess the Dark Flower, a legendary sword that gives its wielder immense power and a deadly thirst for blood. Lilia escapes to find help before it’s too late.

This leads to an encounter with an unnamed young man on his travels. After hearing about her plight, the mysterious man decides to take things into his own hands and defeat Dallas and his rogue men. This strange man later claims to be an immortal who is connected to the real Dark Flower.    

Adabana is a tale of how revenge is never sweet, and it teaches the readers to never let hatred and vengeance cloud their minds.  

Artist: Shirasaya
Genre: Action, Shounen, Fantasy, Adventure
Length: 42 pages

12. Sekishin (2012)

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The story is set in the Meiji Era, when Japan was split by 2 factions – the shogunate and the restoration government. Sagara Souzou and his Sekiho Army were initially on the side of the restoration government, believing that they could bring positive change to Japan. But they were soon betrayed. 

Heihachi, a young boy who was previously saved by Sagara, wishes to help make the revolution a success so that the citizens can lead peaceful lives. 

Sekishin is based on the true story of Sagara Sozou, whose real name is Kojima Shiro. He was the leader of a righteous political group back in the Meiji Period. This one-shot pays homage to Sagara and his seven other comrades, who died in 1868 as they paved the way for a better country. Sagara Sozou was also portrayed in Rurouni Kenshin.

Artist: NAOE
Genre: Action, Shounen, Historical
Length: 47 pages

13. Space Sparrow (2009)

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Ryuuta Tsubaki’s life is turned upside down when he gets into an accident with a shapeshifting alien who later turns into a sparrow. Ryuuta dies, gets revived, and gains superpowers all in one day – just because of this strange alien. 

Thanks to his new-found powers, Ryuuta finds it difficult to control his body and strength. It causes him to act weirdly in front of others, and on top of that, the sparrow-alien is always perched on his shoulder. Ryuuta becomes the talk of the town, which is something the shy loner desperately wanted to avoid. 

Ryuuta can become a hero of justice with his superpowers, but he vehemently refuses as he is unconfident and introverted. This is the story of a boy’s attempt to overcome his self-conscious nature and eventually do great things using his abilities.

Artist: Ichirou Takahashi
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Comedy
Length: 49 pages

14. Cremators (2015)

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Tsukushi Jippouin is a boy of small stature, and he bears a sharp tongue, fast reflexes, and a tragic past. He is also a Cremator, just like his elder sister. 

Cremators are a rare group of individuals who are capable of using fire to burn away the chousha – mummified evil beings that kill innocent people and wreak havoc in the cities.

 Tsukushi is on the hunt for the chousha that murdered his sister, so that he can rid the world of such evil. In the process, he befriends Aiko Tachibana, who also went through a rough time. 

Artist: Sanjou Riku & Hiroshi Shiibashi
Genre: Action, Shounen, Supernatural
Length: 54 pages

15. Satsuki’s Sky (2011)

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Satsuki’s Sky follows the story of Satsuki, a person who hunts the Maka – humanoid demons that will die in 8 days if they don’t feed on moonlight, carbonated water, and human hearts. Satsuki later encounters Blue Rose, a maka who wishes to become allies. This fateful encounter will change their lives forever. 

Satsuki and Blue Rose will get to know each other on a deeper level, understand a little more about one another’s backstories, and eventually become partners who share the same desire to continue living.

Artist: Sakura Roku
Genre: Romance, Shounen, Action
Length: 54 pages

16. Jeep and Wagon (2008)

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Jeep and Wagon follows the story of Jeep and Wagon Rubyhat, who are part of the great Rubyhat family that has served France for generations. 

Wagon is an eccentric and energetic man who is in love with automatons and what they are capable of. Jeep, his niece, is a straightforward and earnest young lady who wishes to continue the family heritage of serving her country.

The duo are later tasked by the government to help stop a crazy man from taking over Paris with his giant automaton.     

Artist: Kenji Tashiro
Genre: Comedy, Historical, Shounen, Action, Sci-Fi
Length: 42 pages

Shounen manga one-shots you can finish in one day

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of life get in the way of your manga-reading. Reading a long-running shounen manga may be tough when you’re constantly on the move, but these one-shots can be consumed in under 15 minutes – if you really focus – so give them a shot!

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Cover image adapted from: MangaFox, MangaDex, MangaDex

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