Home Age Ratings The One-Shot Collector’s Guide: Essential Manga Series with Standalone Stories

The One-Shot Collector’s Guide: Essential Manga Series with Standalone Stories

The One-Shot Collector’s Guide: Essential Manga Series with Standalone Stories

Many manga readers enjoy immersing themselves in long-running series, but more could be said for the concise yet still rewarding one-shot stories. One-shot manga series offer engaging storylines often with a surprising twist, condensing hours of entertainment into a few concise chapters. Here is a guide to the essential one-shot manga series for your collecting needs.

1. A Silent Voice

The long-running series A Silent Voice is widely known as one of the most emotionally complex and profound manga series of its time. Yet it started as a one-shot manga in Shueisha’s Monthly Shonen Jump in 2013, before later becoming a full-length series, and later an anime film adaptation. In A Silent Voice, readers follow the story of a deaf girl and her struggle to connect with her classmates and overcome the trauma of bullying. The powerful themes and harsh realism make this an essential one-shot manga.

2. Banana Fish

Considered one of the must-read classic shonen manga, Banana Fish continues to captivate readers with its expansive worldview and intriguing characters. Initially a one-shot manga by Akimi Yoshida, the series became a full-length series under Viz Media, and has since gained immense popularity all over the world. Follow the intense adventures of Ash Lynx and the gripping mystery behind the mysterious ‘Banana Fish’ with this essential one-shot manga.

3. Usogui

Usogui is an underground gambling manga with a tense atmosphere as contestants take part in high-stakes games. This was also initially a one-shot series, which continued to grow in popularity with every chapter. Known for its unpredictable plot twists, characters, and a unique art style of hatched textures, Usogui is an essential manga to have in any collection.

4. Monster

Monster is a psychological thriller manga written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa. It follows the story of Dr. Kenzō Tenma, a Japanese neurosurgeon, as he comes into contact with a mysterious boy with a disfigured face. Tackling complex concepts and themes, Monster is an essential one-shot manga for those looking for a deep and engaging read.

5. 20th Century Boys

Written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa, 20th Century Boys follows a group of childhood friends as they come together to unravel an apocalyptic conspiracy that’s been planned since their childhood. With its suspenseful writing and striking artwork, 20th Century Boys is an essential one-shot manga for readers looking for an expansive story.


One-shot manga offer a unique and captivating way to experience stories for readers, with its concise and emotionally driven tales. With this in mind, here is a guide to essential one-shot manga to add to your collection. From A Silent Voice to 20th Century Boys, there are plenty of series worth exploring with one-shot manga.

What is the difference between a manga series and a standalone story?

A manga series is an ongoing comic book series that features a regular and continuous set of stories, characters, and plot lines. A standalone story is typically a single issue comic book that doesn’t have a continuing story, and may even have multiple stand-alone stories in one issue.

What is the difference between a manga and an anime?

Manga is a style of Japanese comic book, while anime is a style of Japanese animated film or television show. Manga are traditionally black-and-white, while anime can be animated in full color. Manga tend to have a more complex, often multi-volume story line, while anime storylines tend to be more linear and straightforward. Manga usually have longer stories, often spanning multiple volumes, while anime episodes tend to follow a single story arc across multiple episodes.

What is the difference between a manga series and an anime series?

The main difference between a manga series and an anime series is that manga is a type of Japanese comic book format, while anime is its animated counterpart. Manga is usually read from top to bottom and from right to left, while anime is usually produced in the traditional way – from left to right. Additionally, anime is produced and often directed by a studio, while manga is typically written by one person or a small group. Manga often contains more detail and depth, while anime is more focused on action and visuals.

What is the difference between a manga and an anime?

Manga is the Japanese term for comics or graphic novels. Mangas are typically black-and-white stories that focus heavily on characterization, drama, and plot arcs. They are typically read from right to left.

Anime is the Japanese term for animation. Anime typically follows the same storytelling style and characterizations as manga, but typically have more color and visual effects that provide a more immersive experience. Anime is usually seen on TV or in theaters and often follows the plot lines from the manga they adapt.

What is the difference between a manga and a cartoon?

Manga is a form of comic and graphic novel that originated in Japan. Manga has a distinct art style and story format, usually featuring characters with exaggerated facial expressions and highly charged emotional scenes. Cartoons are often considered a form of animation, usually done by drawing images that are character-based and depicting humorous and exaggerated stories. Cartoons have a more lighthearted and comedic tone than manga, and they often feature anthropomorphic characters.

“What is the difference between an anime and a manga?”

Anime and manga are both forms of Japanese media. Anime is a term for animated films and television series, while manga is a term for comics and print cartoons. Anime generally reflects and adapts from the same source material used for the manga. However, manga can also be produced without an anime adaptation, and both can stand on their own without referencing each other.

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