20 Best Historical Manga (Japanese, Chinese & European History)

“History manga” is a collection of spectacular works that depict the transition of a time period. A good historical manga depicts the people living in each era and the dramas unique to each region unfold in a colorful manner, making it an excellent read.

The beauty of historical manga is that they are easy to understand and entertaining. It’s not only for history nerds but also for those who have never been interested in history at all.

That is why we have selected 20 top-rated historical manga to introduce to you this time!

Even if you say “historical manga” in a nutshell, it can be a completely different worldview depending on the time period and country/region. Therefore, we will divide the manga by “region” and explain the story.

This time, we will be introducing ……

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best history manga!

10 Best Historical Manga about “European History”

Among historical manga, I feel that there are so many works that deal with Europe as a subject. Especially for those who have studied world history, some of the manga may be more enjoyable as they feature familiar names and cultures. So, here are 10 recommended historical manga that deals with European history as a theme!

Historie - European History Manga

10. Historie

A blockbuster depiction of ancient Greece that will draw everyone in!

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedJan 25, 2003 to ?
AuthorsIwaaki, Hitoshi (Story & Art)
  • Location: Kingdom of Macedonia
  • Date: 4th century BC
  • Theme: Eumenes, Philip II, Alexander the Great

This is a historical manga by Hitoshi Iwaki the author of “Parasite,” which has been serialized in the monthly magazine since 2003. The philosophical storyline and brutal depictions are the hallmarks of Iwaaki’s work. This work is a fiction, based on the true story of Eumenes which is said to have many unknown aspects and depicts the period of Philip II and Alexander the Great.

The protagonist is Eumenes, a slave of Scythian descent. A few years later, Eumenes decides to return to his hometown of Kardia for certain reasons. At the time, Kardia was under siege by the powerful Macedonian state, and it was difficult to enter.

However, he met Antigonos a one-eyed merchant who also wanted to go to Kardia and through his ingenuity he succeeded in reaching his goal. Eumenes, once a Scythian, grew up as the adopted son of a powerful man in Kardia and was later reduced to the status of a slave. His life changed drastically when he met Antigonos. The story depicts the checkered life of Eumenes, who overcame hardships to later become the secretary of Alexander the Great.

The story unfolds at a slow pace, but even those who are not used to historical stories will find themselves wanting to follow the story to its conclusion. However, due to the author’s health, the series is on Hiatus. Hopefully, we will see it through to the end!

🏆 Grand Prize, Manga Division, 14th Japan Media Arts Festival
🏆 16th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Award Manga Grand Prize

9. Vlad Drăculea

A man who defends a weak country in dire circumstances, fighting with everything he’s got!

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedMay 15, 2017 to ?
AuthorsOokubo, Akiyo (Story & Art)
  • Place: Wallachia Park (now in Southern Romania)
  • Period: 15th century
  • Theme: Vlad III

The story takes place in the 15th century in Wallachia, a small country sandwiched between the Ottoman Empire to the south and the Hungarian Empire to the west.

Due to the nature of its land, Wallachia’s control over the country was extremely unstable. In addition, the landowning aristocracy wields more power than the public. In order to protect such a weak country Vlad (Duke of Wallachia) decides to take action. After forming a defense pact with Hungary against the Ottomans, he was confronted with an unreasonable demand from the Ottomans.

The nobles were naturally resistant, but Vlad refused. Why did Vlad persist in his opinion even though he knew it would antagonize the nobles? The story depicts how the hero who was also called the king of cruelty risked everything to stand up for his country.

This is a fiction manga, based on the real-life tyrant Vlad Tsepesh (Vlad III), known as “Lord Skewer”. Contrary to such a vicious image, Vlad appears as a righteous and smart man. The highlight of the manga is the development of Vlad’s intelligent and resourceful preemptive moves to defend his homeland from neighboring countries and rival nobles.

The way he shows his anger is still reminiscent of Dracula. His changing facial expressions throughout the work are sure to captivate readers! It is an orthodox historical work with no outrageous settings and no crazy developments, but the detailed expressions of emotions and the reproduced historical background are simply fascinating!

Innocent - history manga about French Revolution

8. Innocent

A brutal story depicting the darkness of the French Revolution

Volumes9
Chapters99
StatusFinished
PublishedJan 31, 2013 to Apr 16, 2015
AuthorsSakamoto, Shinichi (Story & Art)
  • Place: France
  • Period: 18th century
  • Theme: French Revolution, House of Sanson

The main character, Charles Henri Sanson, is born in 18th-century France as the eldest son of the Sanson family (a family of executioners who has served His Majesty the King for generations).

The Sanson’s are called the “grim reapers” by the people, and they are abhorred by the king. Charles, who strongly wishes not to become an executioner, is half forced to take over the family business. The anger and sorrow of Charles, who lives with such an inescapable fate, are depicted in great detail.

When he had just become an executioner, Charles was forced to execute his only friend. The brutal and strange atmosphere of the real-life Sanson family and the bewitching paintings draw you in, and you naturally can’t stop reading!

Charles later became an executioner who beheaded more than 3,000 people, and the harsh circumstances that befell him along the way shaped his spirit as an executioner. There are many heartbreaking scenes, but one of the highlights of this history manga is the development of the character as a human being who gradually grows while struggling.

The minimal use of dialogue and sound effects not to mention the drawings, give the impression of cold-heartedness. It is mentally taxing, but I recommend this work for its unique charm!

🏆 2013 Comic Natalie Grand Prize
🏆 2014 Comic Natalie Award

Vinland Saga: Historical Manga

7. Vinland Saga

The Viking World of Human Drama

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedApr 13, 2005 to ?
AuthorsYukimura, Makoto (Story & Art)
  • Place: Northern Europe, Iceland
  • Period: End of 10th century to the end of 11th century
  • Theme: Vikings

The story takes place in 11th-century Northern Europe, a time when Vikings are trying to plunder various places. The main character is Thorfinn, a young man whose father was once killed by the Viking leader Askeladd. In order to take revenge on Askeladd, he begins his life as a Viking under his father’s enemy.

Thorfinn was ruthless and carried out wars and invasions with ease. But at some point, he doesn’t want to participate in war anymore. The manga depicts his growth and changes as he strives to reach the peaceful island of Vinland, which he once heard about.

The manga is an original work, based on real-life characters and reflects a time when there were plenty of Vikings and slaves in the world. Because the historical elements are depicted realistically, the work features a serious and grave perspective of the world, which is different from the lively image of pirates.

The charm of the work also lies in its unique characters. Each of them has a different background and personality, and it is especially interesting to see them show their individual strengths.

Author Yukimura’s drawings depict the masculine and savage appearance of the Viking warriors even in the midst of powerful battle scenes. Of course, the scenery of medieval Northern Europe is also unquestionably beautiful. The pictures alone are enough to keep you entertained, and I highly recommend it to any history buff!

🏆 13th Japan Media Arts Festival, Manga Division, Grand Prize
🏆 Winner of the 36th Kodansha Manga Award, General Category

Message to Adolf: Manga about Hitler's regime

6. Message to Adolf

The lives of different people are thrown into chaos by a piece of top-secret information!

Volumes4
Chapters36
StatusFinished
PublishedDec 22, 1982 to May 16, 1985
AuthorsTezuka, Osamu (Story & Art)
  • Place: Kobe and Berlin
  • Period: Early 1900s
  • Theme: Hitler’s regime

The story follows the lives of three men named Adolf, who are led by a rhapsodist named Sohei Toge. The setting is Germany in the midst of the Berlin Olympics. Sohei Toge and his younger brother Isao hoping to meet again for the first time in a long time.

However, before their reunion, Isao is murdered by someone. Toge learns that Isao had sent Adolf Hitler’s important secret to Japan before his murder, so Toge begins to pursue the truth of the incident.

Meanwhile, two Germans Adolf Kaufmann and Adolf Kamil live in Kobe, Japan. The persecution of Jews is spreading strongly, and their relationship is gradually falling apart. In the midst of this, Kamil obtains the information that Adolf Hitler is a Jew. The top-secret information they possess leads to a dramatic storyline.

Although it is a historical manga, the highlight of the story is the strong element of mystery. The radicalization of the persecution of Jews and the coincidences of the characters gradually reveal the truth of the events. The changing emotions and actions of the characters are a must-see!

Although Tezuka has a relatively strong image as a youth manga artist, this work is a historical, mystery, and fantasy manga that is interesting even for adults. This is a work I highly recommend!

🏆 Winner of the 10th Kodansha Manga Award, General Category

5. Ad Astra: Scipio to Hannibal

The greatest tactician of all time

Volumes13
Chapters81
StatusFinished
PublishedMar 19, 2011 to Jan 19, 2018
AuthorsKagano, Mihachi (Story & Art)

Place: Italian Peninsula
Date: End of the 3rd century B.C.
Theme: Scipio and Hannibal

The story begins at the end of the Second Punic War, the great war between Rome and Carthage. The defeated Carthaginian army was in confusion, with a large amount of reparations and revolt by mercenaries.

Carthage, which had been treated badly by Rome, was awakened one day by Hannibal (a child blessed by the god of thunder, Barre). The Carthaginian army regained its strength but later, Scipio was born on the Roman side. From this point on, the battle to the death between the genius Scipio and Hannibal unfolds.

The title “Ad Astra” is Latin for a hero who overcomes difficulties. Hannibal is a brave man as his name suggests but in fact he is as smart as Scipio. In battle, they are no longer monster vs genius, but genius vs genius. You cannot take your eyes off the battle as they unfold.

Kagano’s austere illustrations reflect the atmosphere of the time in a more realistic way. In addition to the characters and battle scenes, the precisely reproduced Roman landscapes are another attraction!

Although the overall story is based on historical facts, the characters include many original elements. Perhaps because of this, the story is not rigid and it’s easy to understand the national politics and human connections in ancient Rome. I recommend this work not only for history lovers but also for those who are not interested in it! Please give it a try!

4. Eureka

Volumes1
Chapters6
StatusFinished
Published2002
AuthorsIwaaki, Hitoshi (Story & Art)
  • Place: Italian Peninsula
  • Date: Late 3rd century BC
  • Theme: Archimedes, Punic Wars

Like “Ad Astra” this story is based on the Second Punic War, in which Rome and Carthage clash. The Roman army was outnumbered and suffered an unexpected defeat due to the skillful strategy of Hannibal, the Carthaginian commander.

In Syracuse, which is deeply affected by the war. Damippus, a Spartan who lives peacefully with his lover tries to seek relief from his predicament. They are sheltered by Archimedes, a genius scholar who is pro-Roman. However, a large Roman army is approaching Syracuse, where they live.

The story can be seen as a battle vs science, or a battle created by science. This fiction manga is based on historical facts. The history of Archimedes has many theories, but he is a rooted scholar who has defined many of the “Archimedes Principles” and “Archimedes Laws”. The many inventions in the story are astonishing and exciting.

3. Plinivs

A naturalist’s way of life that speaks of a thousand different things

Volumes4
Chapters36
StatusPublishing
PublishedDec 18, 2013 to ?
AuthorsTori, Miki (Story & Art), Yamazaki, Mari (Story & Art)
  • Place: Roman Empire
  • Period: 23-79 A.D.
  • Theme: Natural History, Pliny

The story begins with the explosion of the Weswius volcano. The protagonist, Pliny, commander-in-chief of a fleet and a naturalist with extraordinary curiosity. Pliny, completely unfazed by the eruption, displays his words as usual.

Eucles is so moved by Pliny’s erudite words that he naturally begins to record them. From then on, Eucles becomes Pliny’s oral writer and together they travel to observe and record all things under the heavens and earth. The drama that awaits the group begins here.

There is not much in the way of gag elements, but the book is funny and full of the eccentricities characteristic of scholars. Pliny’s laughter and anger can appear in unexpected places, making for some unpredictable moments!

Combined with the detailed, large-scale drawing, you’re sure to be drawn into the world of ancient Rome!

Message to Adolf: Manga about Hitler's regime

2. NeuN

What is the fate of 13 people who have Hitler’s genes?

Volumes6
Chapters49
StatusFinished
PublishedJan 16, 2017 to Feb 3, 2020
AuthorsTakahashi, Tsutomu (Story & Art)
  • Place: Germany
  • Period: 1900s
  • Theme: Nazi regime

The story takes place in Germany under the Nazi regime. One day, the Nazi SS forces a small village to submit a list of its inhabitants for protection. However, the real purpose of the SS was to eliminate all the inhabitants of the village.

In fact, 13 children with Hitler’s genes had been secretly created by the Nazis, but for some reason they were no longer needed and were ordered to be eliminated. These children were raised in various parts of Germany without knowing the fact of their birth.

One of them, Franz Neun was targeted by the SS but Theo Becker (also from the SS) saved his life. Reluctant to continue his original escort mission, Theo betrays the SS and begins his escape from the Nazis with Noin.

In this manga, 13 children of Hitler’s blood are created, but the actual Hitler had no children. Why were 13 children created? Are they all good individuals and allies? The mysterious development of each child’s abilities and other mysteries is very exciting.

You can enjoy the tense atmosphere of escaping from the threatening Nazis. Takahashi’s depiction of such a tense world makes you feel as if you are watching a movie. The grotesque depictions and serious drawing style vividly convey an atmosphere that gives the readers the impression of Nazism!

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Although it is fiction, the story draws you in so much that you feel as if it were real.

Issak : Europe history manga

1. Issak

Samurai with guns who went to Europe!

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedJan 25, 2017 to ?
AuthorsSong, Ji-Hyung (Art), Makari, Shinji (Story)
  • Place: Roman Empire
  • Period: 17th century
  • Theme: The Thirty Year’s War

The setting is Europe in the midst of a religious war (the Thirty Year’s War). In the Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire of the Palatinate, many civilians were fleeing from the conflict. While they are on the lookout for an attack from the enemy Spanish army, a Japanese man suddenly appears. It was a mercenary named Isaac.

The mercenaries, who originally numbered about 100 were overwhelmed by the enemy forces and fled. The lone survivor joins the Elector of the Palatinate to avenge the murder of his former teacher.

As soon as the Spanish attack began they were overwhelmingly outnumbered, but Isaac managed to kill a distant enemy general with a single blow from his flintlock rifle. The Spanish forces quickly retreat, but there is no sign of their enemy in their ranks. His solitary battle to fulfill his mission begins here.

The author’s depiction of the battlefield and small objects are all beautiful. In particular, the main character Isaac is a very good-looking man, with a calm and dignified appearance that vividly reflects the Japanese samurai character.

In addition, it is a fact that many Japanese samurai actually crossed the sea during this period, and some of them even reached Europe, just like this manga.

🏆 Winner of the 2nd Saito Takao Award

Top 5 Historical Manga about “Japanese History”

There are many works depicting Japanese history, and all of them are based on famous incidents and figures that you have heard of at least once. Because they are based on historical facts, they also make studying history fun. In this section, we introduce five recommended manga depicting such Japanese history as themes!

Asaki Yumemishi Genji Monogatari

5. Asaki Yumemishi: Genji Monogatari

Volumes13
Chapters
StatusFinished
Published1973 to ?
AuthorsYamato, Waki (Art), Shikibu, Murasaki (Story)
  • Place: Kyoto, Japan
  • Period: Mid-Heian period
  • Theme: The Tale of Genji

The main character is Hikaru Genji, the second prince of Emperor Kiritsubo. After the death of his mother Kiritsubo Sarai, Genji was reduced to a vassal, but his beauty and talent attracted many women. One day, Hikaru Genji meets Fujitsubo, the wife of his father (the emperor Kiritsubo) who has entered the imperial palace.

In his pursuit of the ideal woman, Genji falls in love with numerous women, but the details are always complicated. The love stories are full of diversity including jealousy, adultery, and political marriages.

Despite the fact that polygamy was allowed in those days, Genji’s charms were so sexy that he could change the destiny of any woman he met. Genji’s popularity is well known throughout history and his charisma as expressed in this manga is captivating. Read it and you too will be captivated by Genji!

Another appeal of this work is that it also describes in detail the court and its luxurious costumes, so you can enjoy the gorgeous and realistic view of the ancient Japanese culture. The story is also easy to read for beginners, so this work is recommended for those who are new to historical manga or who want to study “The Tale of Genji” in an easy-to-understand way!

Outen no Mon :

4. Outen no Mon

A very famous and unique duo

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedOct 21, 2013 to ?
AuthorsHaibara, Yaku (Story & Art)
  • Place: Kyoto, Japan
  • Period: Heian period
  • Theme: Fujiwara no Michizane, Uriwara no Narihira

The setting is the Heian period, a time of great progress in aristocratic culture. One day, a mysterious incident occurs in which a courtesan goes missing. In this era, when the existence of demons and hauntings were strongly believed in, Narihira received an order to find out the truth behind the incident.

There, he met Michizane, a man of great wisdom. His deductive reasoning led them to conclude that the incident (which had been rumored to have been the work of demons) was the work of human beings. After solving the case, Narihira who was impressed by Michizane’s intelligence teamed up with him to solve more bizarre cases. At the same time, however, the struggle for power intensified, and the two were also caught in the middle of it.

The balance between the dynamic Narihira and the overwhelmingly intelligent Michizane is an obvious detective/assistant duo. While most historical manga focuses on the theme of life and warfare, it is rare to find work with a suspense-based story.

This work offers a variety of perspectives, from the sharp deductive talent of Michizane to the historical part of the work, which illustrates the time period!

🏆 The 20th Japan Media Award, Manga Division, Rookie of the Year Award

Angolmois Genkou Kassenki - Japanese Historical Manga

3. Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki

Volumes10
Chapters40
StatusFinished
PublishedFeb 26, 2013 to Aug 25, 2018
AuthorsTakagi, Nanahiko (Story & Art)
  • Place: Tsushima
  • Period: Late Kamakura period
  • Theme: The Genko

The story begins with the prisoners being exiled by the Kamakura Shogunate. Kutsui Xunzaburo, a former Kamakura retainer who was taken prisoner, is sent with them to Tsushima Island. When they crossed the stormy sea and arrived at the island, they were met by Teruhi (the daughter of the island’s lord).

Teruhi welcomes them and extends her hospitality towards them, but Xunzaburo feels a sense of discomfort. In fact, the reason they were sent to Tsushima was to serve as soldiers for the approaching Mongolian army. With experience in actual battle, Xunzaburo accepted Teruhi’s request and led his small army to fight the Mongolian army.

With an overwhelming gap in strength, Xunzaburo and his men took on the challenge with strategies and unique tactics that took advantage of Tsushima’s geographical location. The highlight of this thrilling battle is that the war is always on the verge of defeat, and they always finds a way to break through.

This fiction manga is based on historical facts and is filled with many original elements, including the main character Xunzaburo. In the actual battle of Bun’ei, the Genko first conquered Tsushima but the Tsushima army led by Xunzaburo was not so easily defeated.

Vagabond - Japanese History manga

2. Vagabond

The life of Miyamoto Musashi, the greatest swordsman under heaven!

Volumes37
Chapters327
StatusOn Hiatus
PublishedSep 3, 1998 to May 21, 2015
AuthorsInoue, Takehiko (Story & Art), Yoshikawa, Eiji (Story)
  • Place: Kyoto, Japan
  • Period: Late Sengoku – Edo period
  • Theme: Musashi Miyamoto, Kojiro Sasaki

The main character is Miyamoto Musashi, a peerless swordsman who is said to have never lost a battle. The story begins at the end of the Warring States Period when Musashi and his childhood friend Matahachi were defeated at Sekigahara.

Musashi and Matahachi, who had survived the battlefield in a state of exhaustion were picked up by the widow. Her husband was killed by Tsujikaze (a wild samurai) and she was also targeted by Tsujikaze. Contrary to Matahachi, who hesitates to fight Musashi stands alone against Tsujikaze. Musashi defited Tsujikaze with a single sword strike.

Musashi is already the strongest swordsman in the world, but he is confronted by even more powerful swordsmen. In some tense chapters, Musashi struggles and grows stronger as he wanders between life and death situations. Musashi was originally a man who thought that all he needed was to be the last man standing, but as he fought more and more battles, his pursuit of “strength” gradually changed.

What also stands out is the artwork by Mr. Inoue, who has created many famous mangas. The battle scenes, which are especially well-drawn, are highly recommended for their realistic and dynamic feel.

🏆 Grand Prize, Manga Division, 4th Japan Media Arts Festival
🏆 Winner of the 24th Kodansha Manga Award, General Section
🏆 Winner of the 6th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Award Manga Grand Prize

Ōoku - The Inner Chambers

1. Oooku

Volumes19
Chapters79
StatusFinished
PublishedJun 28, 2004 to Dec 28, 2020
AuthorsTakagi, Nanahiko (Story & Art)
  • Place: Tokyo (Edo)
  • Period: Edo period
  • Theme: Inner Palace

The story takes place in the Edo period. A terrible and strange disease that only affects young men has spread, and the male population of Japan has plummeted to one-fourth that of women. All jobs that had been undertaken by men, such as merchants and farmers, were shifted to women. And the Shogun’s position was no exception.

While men were considered valuable, the highest luxury of the shoguns was the “Ooku” a castle where 3,000 beautiful men were gathered and women were forbidden. One day, Mizuno Yunoshin, the son of a poor Hatamoto (feudal lord), decides to serve in the Ooku (inner chambers) for the sake of his family’s finances.

Soon after arriving at the inner chambers Mizuno is favored by Fujinami, (the chief Oku supervisor) and promoted to the position of the courtesan. From this point on, various events and dramas that take place in the inner chambers unfold.

Although it is categorized as a girl’s manga, it is highly recommended for men as well because of the many social issues and historical elements. Once you start reading it, you will be hooked!

🏆 The 10th Japan Media Arts Festival, Manga Division, Excellence Award
🏆 13th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Award, Manga Grand Prize
🏆 56th Shogakukan Manga Award, Shoujo Genre

5 Recommended Historical Manga about “Chinese History”

When people think of China, the turbulent and war-torn era probably comes to mind for many people. The thrilling stories of battles and plots, as well as the grandiose developments depicting emperors and other figures who are striving to unify China, are very appealing. Here we introduce the five best historical manga based on the theme of Chinese history!

Kingdom - Chinese History Manga

5. Kingdom

An epic historical manga that will get your heart racing!

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedJan 26, 2006 to ?
AuthorsHara, Yasuhisa (Story & Art)
  • Place: China
  • Period: Late Spring and Autumn Warring States Period (3rd century B.C.)
  • Theme: Qin Shi Huang, Li Xin

The story is centered around King Qin Yosei who aims to unify China and his supporting general Li Xin. The story depicts how the famous First Emperor and his right-hand man survived the turbulent times. The story is based on historical facts, but some details are dramatically enhanced by Hara’s adaptations.

The main character Xin is a military commander who fights with all the feelings of his comrades on his shoulders and his strength increases with the number of subordinates he has.

In addition, the author Mr. Hara’s organization skills (which he developed during his days as a businessman) is featured throughout this manga and includes many inspiring quotes. While enjoying the story, you can naturally learn useful ideas for business.

🏆 Winner of the 17th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Award, Manga Grand Prize

Sangokushi

4. Sangokushi

Romance of the Three Kingdoms!

Volumes60
Chapters438
StatusFinished
Published1971 to 1986
AuthorsYokoyama, Mitsuteru (Story & Art)
  • Place: China
  • Period: Late Han Dynasty – Three Kingdoms Period (2nd – 3rd centuries)
  • Theme: Rise and fall of the Three Kingdoms (Wei, Shu, Wu)

The story is depicted from the Yellow Turban Rebellion, which triggered the decline of the Han Dynasty, to the fall of Shu, with Liu Bei as the protagonist in the first half and Zhuge Liang in the second half. The story dramatically depicts the rise and fall of the three kingdoms while featuring the exploits of these men and the people around them.

It is a magnificent work that beautifully depicts a turbulent era, and the story is very appealing with its robust storyline. Of course, since it is based on complex historical facts, it cannot be portrayed in a simple manner. No matter how much you love a character, he or she will die, and no matter how much you dislike a character, he or she will win.

But it is precisely because of these developments, the fundamental aspects of human nature come into view. The appeal of this storyline is that it allows us to feel the corruption, soothing, and beauty of human beings.

Another feature of this work is that it was serialized in a manga magazine for elementary school students, so it is very easy to understand. Even those who are not familiar with history can easily enjoy this work.

A historical manga hidden gem, definitely worth a read!

🏆 20th Japan Cartoonists Society Award, Excellence Prize

Bin- Sonshi Iden

3. Bin: Sonshi Iden

Sun Tzu’s fascinating and precise strategies are the highlight!

Volumes21
Chapters148
StatusFinished
PublishedOct 24, 2007 to Nov 16, 2016
AuthorsHoshino, Kouji (Story & Art)
  • Place: China
  • Date: 4th century B.C.
  • Theme: Sun Bin, a descendant of Sun Tzu

The protagonist of the story is Sun Bin, a soldier descended from Sun Tzu. His face is covered with a tattoo, which is considered a sign of a criminal and his knees show the marks of a sword in which bones are pulled out so he cannot walk. This is the story of his fight for world peace, proving the theory of Sun Tzu’s Art of War through practical victories.

Sun Bin is said to be a real descendant of Sun Tzu, but there is no hard evidence. The story is also basically based on historical facts, but some of the characters are from another era. To make the work more interesting, it is depicted with fiction.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is well known but because it is an old book it’s difficult for those of us living in the modern world to understand it. However, in this work, we can enjoy the visuals of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, so we can easily understand his Art of War. The battle descriptions are also interesting, and the way he shoots down his enemies with his precise military techniques is fascinating. You will definitely be surprised by his surprising war tactics!

Ryuuhou

2. Ryuuhou

The story of a peasant’s unprecedented path to becoming emperor!

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedJul 10, 2017 to ?
AuthorsTakahashi, Noboru (Story & Art)
  • Place: China
  • Period: 3rd century B.C.
  • Theme: The first emperor of the Former Han Dynasty

The story takes place in Qin a great country ruled by the Shi Huangdi, who unified China. The protagonist of the story is Liu Ji, a gangster who does labor in the Qin city of Xianyang.

He is a scoundrel who has an eye for women, stealing and does not take his work seriously. The story of how such a peasant Liu Ji became the first emperor of the former Han Dynasty. Liu Bang is comically depicted in the style of Noboru Takahashi.

The most striking feature of this work is that the characters drawn by Noboru Takahashi are very attractive. Although the story itself is based on historical facts, the author has created characters with distinctive personalities. The daring and mischievous Liu Ji’s unpredictability is both amusing and cool.

The story is also unique in its depiction of Qin Shi Huangdi the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, as it depicts the transition from the Qin Dynasty to the Former Han Dynasty.

Even if you are not interested in historical manga, you can laugh and enjoy this work.

Song of the Long March

1. Song of the Long March

A woman surviving in a time of war

Volumes
Chapters
StatusPublishing
PublishedFeb 2011 to ?
AuthorsXia, Da (Story & Art)
  • Place: China
  • Period: Early 7th century
  • Themes: Revenge drama

The story takes place during the period when the Tang Dynasty was unifying China and expanding its power. The main character is Li Chang Ge (the granddaughter of Emperor Li Yuan) the founder of the Tang Dynasty.

During the struggle for succession, her father Li Yuan was killed by her uncle Li Shimin in the Xuanwumen Incident, and she is the only survivor from his pursuers who want to kill her entire family. To avenge his death, Chang Ge dons the clothes of a boy and begins a thorny path.

Although Li Chang Ge continues onward with only revenge as her final goal, she gradually realizes the existence of what Taizong was trying to protect.

Romance is another attraction of this work, and Chang Ge is attracted to a nomadic general Ashina Jun, whom she meets during her travels. It will be interesting to see how the forbidden love between the daughter of a royal and a general of a different tribe will turn out.

It is a masterpiece that powerfully depicts a woman surviving in a time of war, but my only regret is that the serialization ended without completion. I hope the serialization will be resume soon…

🏆 Winner of the 12th Kinsei Award, Manga Grand Prize

Summary

What do you think of this recommended historical manga? There are many historical mangas that are based on historical figures and events that actually existed, with the author’s unique adaptations and imagination added to create a solid work of enjoyable art.

The good thing about such historical manga is that they are not only highly entertaining to read, but also allow you to learn more about history just by reading them. Find a historical manga based on your favorite country/region or period and enjoy! You might even find a historical figure you like!