Are you a fan of sci-fi manga? Do you love stories that take you to the farthest reaches of the universe, where anything is possible? If so, you’re in luck! In this article, I will introduce you to 10 of the best manga about space exploration that will blow your mind with their amazing art, thrilling plots, and fascinating characters. Let’s get started!
Manga about Space Exploration
Space Brothers (Uchuu Kyoudai) by Chuya Koyama:
This manga follows the adventures of two brothers who share a childhood dream of becoming astronauts. Mutta, the older brother, is a failed engineer who gets fired from his job and decides to apply for the Japanese space program. Hibito, the younger brother, is already a successful astronaut who is preparing for a mission to the moon. The manga depicts their struggles and achievements as they pursue their passion for space exploration.
Planetes by Makoto Yukimura:
This manga is set in the year 2075, when humanity has colonized the solar system and space debris has become a serious problem. The story focuses on a team of space garbage collectors who work for a private company called Technora. They have to deal with the dangers and challenges of their job, as well as their personal lives and relationships. The manga explores themes such as environmentalism, social inequality, terrorism, and the meaning of life.
Twin Spica by Kou Yaginuma:
This manga is a coming-of-age story about a group of students who enroll in a prestigious space academy in Japan. The protagonist is Asumi Kamogawa, a young girl who lost her father in a rocket accident when she was a child. She has a strong interest in astronomy and dreams of becoming an astronaut. The manga follows her and her friends as they undergo rigorous training and face various hardships and obstacles on their way to achieving their goals. The manga also incorporates elements of fantasy and mystery, such as Asumi’s imaginary friend Mr. Lion, who guides her through life.
Moonlight Mile by Yasuo Ohtagaki:
This manga is a realistic and gritty depiction of the race for space resources in the near future. The main characters are Goro Saruwatari and Jack Woodbridge, two mountaineers who vow to climb every peak on Earth and then go to space. They join different space agencies and compete with each other and other countries for the exploration and exploitation of the moon and beyond. The manga portrays the political, economic, and ethical issues involved in space development, as well as the personal dramas and conflicts of the characters.
Astra Lost in Space (Kanata no Astra) by Kenta Shinohara:
This manga is a sci-fi adventure and survival story about a group of high school students who get stranded in space during a school trip. They find an abandoned spaceship called Astra and use it to travel across different planets in search of a way back home. Along the way, they encounter various dangers and mysteries, such as alien creatures, ancient ruins, and hidden secrets about their own pasts. The manga combines humor, suspense, and emotion in a compelling narrative that keeps the readers hooked until the end.
Knights of Sidonia (Sidonia no Kishi) by Tsutomu Nihei:
This manga is a sci-fi epic that blends mecha action, horror, and romance in a dystopian setting. The story takes place in the distant future, when humanity has fled from Earth after being attacked by a mysterious alien race called the Gauna. The survivors live on massive spaceships called Sidonia that wander through space. The protagonist is Nagate Tanikaze, a young pilot who joins the defense force that fights against the Gauna using giant robots called Guardians. The manga depicts his battles and interactions with his fellow pilots, as well as the secrets and mysteries of Sidonia and its society.
Stellvia of the Universe (Uchuu no Stellvia):
This manga series by Takehiko Itō is set in the year 2356 AD, 189 years after a supernova shockwave devastated the Earth. Humanity has united to face the second shockwave that is coming soon, and has built colossal space stations called “foundations” to train young people for the Great Mission. The story follows Shima Katase, a cheerful and talented girl who enrolls in the foundation Stellvia to fulfill her dreams of seeing the galaxy and saving the world. Along the way, she makes new friends, faces challenges, and discovers her destiny. Stellvia of the Universe is a manga that combines mecha, romance, comedy, and drama in a captivating way. It also has an anime adaptation that aired in 2003.
Outlaw Star (Seihou Bukyou Outlaw Star):
This manga series by Takehiko Itō is also set in the “Toward Stars Era” universe, where spacecraft can travel faster than light. The story follows Gene Starwind, a reckless bounty hunter who inherits a mysterious spaceship called the Outlaw Star from a dying man. Together with his partner Jim Hawking and a motley crew of allies, he embarks on a quest to find the legendary Galactic Leyline, a treasure trove of secrets and power. Along the way, he encounters dangerous enemies, such as space pirates, Taoist mages, and catgirls. Outlaw Star is a manga that blends action, humor, and adventure in a space western style. It also has an anime adaptation that aired in 1998.
Space Pirate Captain Harlock (Uchuu Kaizoku Captain Harlock):
This manga series by Leiji Matsumoto is a classic of the space opera genre. The story follows Harlock, a charismatic and rebellious pirate who commands the spaceship Arcadia and fights against the corrupt and decadent Earth government. He is joined by his loyal crew of misfits and outcasts, who share his ideals of freedom and justice. Harlock is also pursued by his former friend Tadashi Daiba, who works for the Earth Defense Force and tries to capture him. Space Pirate Captain Harlock is a manga that explores themes such as loyalty, honor, courage, and friendship in a dark and dystopian future. It has inspired many anime adaptations and spin-offs over the years.
Space Battleship Yamato (Uchuu Senkan Yamato):
This manga series by Leiji Matsumoto is another masterpiece of the space opera genre. The story is set in the year 2199 AD, when Earth is under attack by an alien race called the Gamilas, who bombard the planet with radioactive asteroids. The only hope for humanity lies in a message from another alien race called the Iscandar, who offer a device that can restore Earth’s environment. To retrieve it, a group of brave soldiers and civilians board the Yamato, a rebuilt World War II battleship that can fly in space. They face many perils and enemies on their journey to Iscandar and back. Space Battleship Yamato is a manga that depicts an epic saga of survival, sacrifice, and heroism in a desperate war. It also has many anime adaptations and movies.