Naruto, written and drawn by Masashi Kishimoto, is one of the most popular manga series of all time and has sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide since it’s debut in 1999. The action-packed coming-of-age story of young Uzumaki Naruto, a ninja in training, has enthralled many types of readers. If you’re a fan but have already read (and re-read) all 72 volumes of Naruto, you might want to take a look at these other series chosen by our reviewers.

Black Clover

Written and drawn by Yuki Tabata
Number of volumes: 10 (as of February 2018)
ISBN:
9781421587189 (vol. 1)
Published: 2016 – Ongoing

Elevator pitch: Born into a world where Wizards keep the peace, Asta—an orphan from the boonies—vows he will rise above all others to lead as the Wizard King. Sadly, he lacks an ounce of magic in his body. While his rival and brother Yuno is naturally gifted and expected to rise through the ranks of the Magic Knights with ease, Asta receives an unexpected surprise when he discovers he wields a unique power which repels magic.

Why this next: Asta’s personality as well as his determination to become the Wizard King will remind readers of Naruto’s own quest to become Hokage. Though the relationship between Yuno and Asta is less antagonistic than Sasuke and Naruto, the differences between someone for whom things come easily and someone who applies hard work and elbow grease will have readers feeling at home immediately. (Contributed by Jessikah Chautin.)

Blue Exorcist

Written and drawn by Kazue Kato
Number of volumes: 18 (as of February 2018)
ISBN: 9781421540320 (vol. 1)
Published: 2011 – Ongoing

Elevator pitch: Rin Okumura was raised by a powerful exorcist, but one day learns that he’s really the son of Satan. He attends True Cross Academy to follow in his adoptive father’s footsteps, but he can’t keep his inheritance a secret for long.

Why this next: Just as Uzumaki Naruto gets his powers from the nine-tailed fox demon without his parents to guide him, Rin Okumura must keep his inherited demonic powers in check while using them to exorcise others. Another parallel: Naruto and his friends age up through school together and wind up battling a great evil at the end of their exams, while Rin and his friends age up through exorcist school and wind up battling Satan! (Contributed by Thomas Maluck.)

Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z

Written and drawn by: Akira Toriyama
Number of volumes: 14 (3-in-1 editions)
ISBN:
9781421555645 (vol. 1)
Published: 1984 – 1995

Elevator pitch: Goku is an alien from another planet! The child of an extinct warrior race, he makes friends with a young woman named Bulma and together they search the Earth-like planet for the Dragon Balls, seven mystical orbs that, when brought together, will grant one wish. Goku and Bulma make friends and enemies on the way, all of which are shocked by the young Goku’s powerful strength.

Why this next: Dragon Ball and its sequels are ranked as the best martial arts franchise from Japan. The battles are the main draw, as Goku becomes more and more powerful through the series and engages in prolonged fights against colorful villains that have a tendency to turn the battle zone into a smoldering crater. (Contributed by Allen Kesinger.)

Fairy Tail

Written and drawn by Hiro Mashima
Number of volumes: 63 (complete)
ISBN: 9781612622767 (vol. 1)
Published: 2012 – 2018

Elevator pitch: Lucy joins a magical guild called Fairy Tail, a club for wizards who win gold and glory completing jobs for others. The guild fails to live up to her expectations, however, as it is full of rude and temperamental types.

Why this next: Similar to the Naruto cast’s missions where they help people and battle ninjas gone wrong, the protagonists in Fairy Tail takes on missions where they help others and battle guilds gone wrong. Shonen fans will enjoy following this colorful cast of magic wielders whose hearts are in the right place. (Contributed by Thomas Maluck.)

My Hero Academia

Written and drawn by Kohei Horikoshi
Number of volumes: 11 (as of February 2018)
ISBN: 9781421582696 (vol. 1)
Published: 2015 – present

Elevator pitch: Izuki is determined to enroll in a special high school that trains super heroes. While most of the population in Izuki’s world develop a superpower called a Quirk early in life, Izuki is one of the few who are powerless. When Izuki’s friend turned bully becomes the target of a villain, he is granted a late in life power which sets him on the road to his desired path at last!

Why this next: Izuki never quits—just like Naruto. Katsuki, Izuki’s former friend is a Quirk prodigy who might be more arrogant than Sasuke, but their relationship will still resonate with fans. Of course Izuki’s classmates, who each have a unique power, should remind readers of the menagerie of characters in Naruto’s peerage. (Contributed by Jessikah Chautin.)

Soul Eater

Written and drawn by Atsushi Okubo
Number of volumes: 25 (complete)
ISBN: 9780759530010 (vol. 1)
Published: 2009 – 2015

Elevator pitch: Maka is a meister, a warrior with the ability to wield a dangerous weapon—a boy named Soul Eater who can take the form of a scythe. Along with their classmates at Death Weapon Meister Academy, Maka and Soul train together in order to defeat evil.

Why this next: Along with the familiar “children training to become warriors” theme from early volumes of Naruto, each team of meister and weapon are well balanced by the strengths of their personalities. This series features a large cast of unique characters and a great balance of comedy and action. (Contributed by Jessikah Chautin.)

Robin: Son of Batman

Written and drawn by Patrick Gleason
Number of volumes: 2 (complete)
ISBN:
Vol. 1: Year of Blood: 9781401261559
Vol. 2: Dawn of the Demons: 
9781401264819
Published: 2015 – 2016

Elevator pitch: Robin makes up for past crimes with the help of a dragon-bat named Goliath and an assassin-turned-friend. Touching moments of forgiveness and mercy serve as quiet contrast to bombastic action and ninja antics.

Why this next: Several characters in the Naruto series atone for past mistakes and tragedies. Damian Wayne (Robin) is no different in his quest to make up for the crimes he committed while being raised by the League of Assassins. (Contributed by Thomas Maluck.)

Twin Star Exorcists

Written and drawn by Yoshiaki Sukeno
Number of volumes: 11 (as of February 2018)
ISBN: 978-1421581743 (vol. 1)
Published: 2015 – present

Elevator pitch: As a child, Rokuro trained to be an exorcist, a warrior with the ability to banish Kegare (evil spirits) from our world but when a traumatic incident leaves his dorm mates slaughtered, Rokuro goes out of his way to leave the world of Exorcists behind. Unfortunately, Rokuro’s destiny is tied to Benio Adashino—a beautiful and talented exorcist from a neighboring town whom it is foretold he will marry. So naturally, they hate each other’s guts.

Why this next: The fight scenes are top notch and the character designs are appealing. Themes of family legacy, childhood tragedy, and supernatural abilities will keep Naruto’s fans happy and eager for the next volume. (Contributed by Jessikah Chautin.)

  • Kristen Lawson

    Past Reviewer

    Kristen Lawson is the Youth Services Department Manager at the Roselle Public Library in Roselle, IL. She has worked with children and teens in public libraries since graduating with her MLS from UIUC in 2006. Now she is working on making more space for kids’ graphic novels, in addition to other duties that fall under “making the library awesome.” Though very picky about movies and music, she has a wide range of reading interests and is constantly on a mission to read all the things.

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