10 manga to read for fans of Dandadan

Dandadan is one of the biggest manga on Shonen Jump+. (Image via Yukinobu Tatsu)
Dandadan is one of the biggest manga on Shonen Jump+. (Image via Yukinobu Tatsu)

Dandadan is a manga published in Shonen Jump+, written and illustrated by Yukinobu Tatsu. An action-packed supernatural thriller with a hint of romantic comedy, it sees the adventures of high school students Momo Ayase, an ardent ghost believer and alien denier, and Ken “Okarun” Takakura, an ardent alien believer and ghost denier.

Both students discover, however, that aliens and ghosts are real and are dragged into a supernatural world of psychokinetic powers and demonic transformations. Several allies join them, like Momo’s oddly youthful grandmother, a bizarre yokai known as Turbo-Granny, and a mantis-shrimp-like alien, among many more colorful and strange characters.

Fans love the main cast of characters and their fascinating dynamics, alongside the clash of supernatural and paranormal elements within the story. Here are ten manga that any fan of Dandadan should check out.


Jujutsu Kaisen, and nine other mangas worth checking out for any Dandadan fan

1) Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku

Protagonist Gabimaru, among other protagonists of the series. (Image via Studio MAPPA)
Protagonist Gabimaru, among other protagonists of the series. (Image via Studio MAPPA)

First up on the list is Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku. Written and illustrated by Yuji Kaku and set in Edo-era Japan. Focusing on the unkillable ninja Gabimaru the Hollow, the story shows his undying dedication to his wife. Gabimaru cannot be killed and survives his execution after he attempts to retire to a peaceful life.

With a new assignment, he and several other convicts with samurai escorts are sent to a violently supernatural island to find the Elixir of Life. Things aren’t too simple, though, as the island is incredibly brutal and ruled by horrible monsters, forcing the scattered remains to band together if they have any hope of surviving.

This series excels at its characters - with the unique dynamics explored between them, the way they evolve, and how each resolves to survive the challenge presented by the island to return home with their heads held high. These dynamics are quite like those present in Dandadan, which makes it a must-read for those invested in it.


2) My Hero Academia

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In Kohei Hirohoshi’s hit manga, Izuku ‘Deku’ Midoriya is a ‘quirkless’ individual in a world where almost everyone has a superpower. But after a chance encounter with No. 1 Pro-Hero All Might, he has a chance to become one of the biggest superheroes of all time. Facing rivals and villains conspiring against the very power he wields, Deku finds the resolve to keep fighting against and for a world that had never expected anything of him before.

With a bombastic supporting cast and unique character subversions that first-time readers and seasoned shonen fans alike may not see coming, it's little surprise that My Hero Academia has the mass appeal to be enjoyable to people all over the world, fans of Dandadan included.


3) Sakamoto Days

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By Yuto Suzuki, Sakamoto Days is a manga about the life of retired hitman Taro Sakamoto, taking care of his small convenience store and keeping his family safe from the violent world of assassins he can’t leave behind. Assisting him is his young employee Shin, a former hitman and telepath. Slowly, the initial concept evolves, bringing the protagonists deeper into the world of assassins, forging new alliances, and discovering new enemies.

Focused on flashy yet clear action, with an emphasis on wacky characters and how they bump heads. Sakamoto Days explores an intricate world just under the surface of our own, with supernatural powers on top of it. Fans of Dandadan's bizarre world would likely appreciate it.


4) Jujutsu Kaisen

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The shonen smash hit by Gege Akutami, Jujutsu Kaisen, explores the adventures of cursed Yuji Itadori, who becomes possessed by an evil curse of Sukuna after consuming one of his rotten fingers. Forced to become a sorcerer, one of those dedicated to the expulsion of curses, he and his friends must evade the deadly machinations of those who wish to usher in a new era of curses, along with Sukuna’s evil plotting around Yuji’s friends.

As another story set in a high school, with students who end up delving into the world of the supernatural - The comparisons to Dandadan are inevitable. While the focus is not so much on characters as it is focused on its power system, anyone who loves the high school backdrop of Dandadan should check out Jujutsu Kaisen.


5) One Punch Man

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One Punch Man is a comedy-action superhero manga by ONE. It tells the story of Saitama, the eponymous One Punch Man, known for his ability to end any fight with just one punch. Increasingly bored by the lack of challenge he faces, Saitama goes on a journey to join up with other superheroes and find the challenge he seeks.

While the action is flashy and big, One Punch Man does not take itself seriously. Filled with silly monster designs and never quite taking itself too seriously, One Punch Man still has a heart in its core. The story explores how characters interact with the world around them, just as Dandadan does.


6) Dai Dark

Some of Q Hayashida's work on Dai Dark (Image via Q Hayashida)
Some of Q Hayashida's work on Dai Dark (Image via Q Hayashida)

Dai Dark is a unique manga by Q Hayashida that focuses not on humans, but rather aliens, specifically ‘dark alien’ teenager Zaha Sanko. Hunted by desperate killers enticed by someone who claims they can grant wishes in exchange for Sanko’s bones, Sanko is travels the galaxy to find the man doing this before it takes his life.

Alongside other alien allies, such as his shapeshifting guardian Avakian and someone claiming to be the God of Death, Dai Dark presents a strange alien setting for macabre yet lighthearted adventures to occur that many fans of Dandadan will enjoy.


7) Phantom Seer

Phantom Seer's protagonist Iori. (Image via Kento Matsuura)
Phantom Seer's protagonist Iori. (Image via Kento Matsuura)

Phantom Seer is a short and fast-paced manga by Togo Goto where an unmotivated and lazy shaman, Iori Katangi, is given the chance to strike back at an old foe. He, alongside allies like Riku and his sister, sets out to take out the phantom Senjudoji.

While its setting may not immediately seem unique, it is bolstered by art through Kento Matsuura. Though short, Phantom Seer is worth a read for any fan hungry for supernatural worlds and strange creatures, which most Dandadan fans will undoubtedly eat up.


8) Mieruko-Chan

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Mieruko-Chan is a manga by Tomoki Izumi. It is about Miko Yotsuya, a high school girl who can see ghosts and other paranormal entities. She desperately attempts to ignore their existence while keeping her friend Hana safe from these ghosts, who are attracted to her by her rampant eating and 'life energy.'

Horror-based yet invoking the vibes of a slice-of-life manga, Mieruko-Chan offers an especially unique look into a world where the protagonist is actively trying to avoid the call to adventure. This element is seldom seen in the world of manga that Dandadan fans can certainly appreciate it.


9) Chainsaw Man

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Tatsuki Fujimoto’s frantic manga Chainsaw Man portrays a dangerous and vicious world where monsters made up of humanity’s fears, called devils, threaten everyday life. A young man, Denji, deeply indebted to the Yakuza, finds solace in his friend Pochita, a small passive devil. But when the Yakuza betrays Denji, he and Pochita fuse to become the powerful and unstoppable Chainsaw Man.

Found and employed by the mysterious Makima to become a devil hunter, Denji dives into a world filled with violence, death, and deceit. All the while, Denji is struggling through being an emotionally stunted and isolated teenage boy.

Notable is that Dandadan’s writer and illustrator Yukinobu Tatsu originally worked as an assistant to Fujimoto before moving on to his own manga, which immediately makes it of interest to any fan of Tatsu’s work.


10) Dorohedoro

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Another series by Q Hayashida, Dorohedoro, focuses on the lizard-headed Kaiman, cursed by a sorcerer, giving him his lizard head and amnesia. With an immunity to magic, he can shrug off the spells sorcerers toss at him, letting him interrogate every magic user he comes across in his search for the one that cursed him.

Supported by his friend Nikaido and a bevy of other supporting characters, Dorohedoro is another unique and complete story by Hayashida, where spellcasters rule the underground world of ‘the Hole.’ Readers of Dandadan will find a similar dynamic of Momo and Okarun in Kaiman and Nikaido - along with a story of action, danger, and oddities.


Be sure to keep up with all anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.

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Edited by Ivanna Lalsangzuali
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