Perfect Length for Manga = “30 Volumes”


With so much recent controversy over manga endings (Bleach is in its “final chapter,” Negima ends in 3 chapters, and generic Jump love comedy Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa just received one of “those” endings), manga fans have been debating the perfect length for a manga – with many coming to the conclusion that “about 30” volumes is about right.


The various forms of protracted torture offered by such long-running titles as Bleach, Naruto and Berserk seem to have persuaded many that even the most epic of manga need to have properly paced endings:

“Anyone would lose interest with some of these longer titles…”

“25 volumes is a bit much.”

“12 volumes is good.”

“The beautiful ideal is 28-32 volumes!”

“If you’re unlucky and start reading one of those shonen titles midway you’ll be an adult by the time it finishes.”

“16 is a good time to leave off.”

“Slam Dunk is a good example of a 30 volume series.”

“Slam Dunk could have gone on a bit more.”

“If you start in your first year of elementary school you really want it to end about the time of your final exams in high school.”

“Where was One Piece even at when it hit 30…”

“Like anyone can be bothered to collect them all when they have 50+ volumes.”

“Recent manga tend to have huge panels, I really think that makes a difference.”

“Certainly, North Star and Seiya were better off not going over 30.”

“Any boy who started reading KochiKame is middle-aged now…”

“The biggest issue probably is readers of 30+ manga ending up as adults during its run.”

“20 or perhaps 10 is about right!”

“It was amazing how Full Metal Alchemist had the perfect length with no superfluous parts.”

“I read it all in 5 hours straight at a friend’s place.”

“Monthly series really get tedious at about volume 15. If you can save them up and read them all in one sitting, 30 volumes is great though.”

“Gash in 33, that was good.”

“Completion in 4 volumes is the best.”

“If it ends in the early twenties, you can at least hope to finish it in one sitting. I want to see an elegant ending but it does feel sad when they are over.”

“The college volumes of K-ON! and Lucky Star are just totally superfluous.”

“If only he could have finished Berserk at 28…”

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    Avatar of Lannando
    Comment by Lannando
    08:29 04/02/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I think 20 to 25 would be fine

    but i preffer 12-15

    too bad here the mangas stoped coming

    Comment by overfiend
    12:39 04/02/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    YOU DAMNED LOLICO.....oh, wait. you're talking about mangas, right? never mind.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:22 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    oh man you made me laugh xD

    but yeah 12-16 seems also good to me (and i'm talking mangas volumes in case it's not clear :P)

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:29 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    imo 25 are too old
    12-16 are the best

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23
    13:16 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I see wat you did dar X3

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:10 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    O rly? ^^

    Avatar of southernob
    Comment by southernob
    14:35 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    yes, I also prefer to 12-15 at most. And many mangas around 10 are good as well .

    Avatar of BlaqCat
    Comment by BlaqCat
    01:15 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Depending on the series, I'd edge more toward 25. There are rare occasions when I aprove of going past that (because I think that's when you start to think it's rehashing plot devices or just becoming flat out shitty writing)

    Avatar of Erin Bushay
    Comment by Erin Bushay
    11:45 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    My favorite range is 10 to 15 volumes. Black Cat was 20 but did a good job of not making it feel streched out. Zombie Loan ended perfectly with 13.

    Even though I'd say it was definitely too long, I'm such a fan of Negima that I would never stop reading. I'm very glad that it does have an end though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:34 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Black Cat and FMA were at the PERFECT length :P

    But One Piece... even right now at 650-ish chapters OP still doesn't feel finished and we are still wanting more and more adventure XD

    Avatar of yaku
    Comment by yaku
    09:30 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    One of my favourite manga is Parasyte, and that one is 10 volumes long. I think more than 30 is pushing it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:24 04/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    i think as long as the mangaka fucking feels, so long as they aren't dragging the corpse of the story along, like bleach did after the SS arc, naruto after... i forget where it was exaclty where i gave up on that one on a weekly basis... probably a bit after the time skip.

    one piece i try to read in arc amounts, because its painful to read it by chapter, than want more but there is no more.

    Avatar of yaku
    Comment by yaku
    11:28 04/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I agree, as long as the story and character growth are properly developed, then yeah it can be hella long.

    I also read One Piece in Arc chunks, lot less heavy.

    Avatar of yaku
    Comment by yaku
    13:14 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    That's true for many titles that I dropped because they just keep on doing the same things, the same jokes, and never going anywhere (ex: Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge). It's a shame because they could be very solid titles if they didn't stretch like that.

    If you think about it, it's the same reason many drop American comics, they just keep rehashing the same thing over and over.

    Avatar of Rokudaime
    Comment by Rokudaime
    07:26 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Satonaka, Chen-04, you guys are idiots. The story became crap when Shippuuden started? Sasuke is the only character that makes sense? Jesus, those are some of the dumbest things I've ever heard. And Chen, if you dropped it that early, you shouldn't even comment on the characters or story of the show in the first place. I too wish that Sasuke will be killed though, but I really don't think that's going to happen...unfortunately...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:07 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    haven't read naruto anywhere near recently

    saske wanted his brother dead
    brother turned out to be a good guy
    save his little brother
    than the cloud guy took him in told him the truth now he wants hidden leaf dead??? what the fuck is that about?

    naruto on the other hand, wants his friend back and is trying, funny enough, naruto, at least as far as i read is the more like able of the characters (at least till saske turned into a "hes stronger than me" whiny cunt)


    some manga are for story, like full metal alchamest, some manga are for the journey, and not the end (most manga and anime fall here) and some are just because they can (4koma and plotless ones here) i rather like perfect girl evolution, yea it goes nowhere and nowhere fast, but its a fun ride, at least for me it is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:10 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The problem is, that many mangas seem to go on and on and on and on without actually going anywhere. And many of them could've had a good ending a long time ago.
    It starts to especially feel rather bad when the mangaka kind of turns the goal into an mechanical rabbit that keeps running away from the story faster then it can catch up to it.

    Avatar of Sean
    Comment by Sean
    12:34 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Negima has been entertaining enough on a fairly consistent basis imo, and it's what, 37-38 volumes now?

    So long as the mangaka can keep me engaged, I don't really care how long, or short it is.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04

    "If it doesn't end with Sasuke's death then the story sucks."

    If it doesn't end with Narutos death then the story sucks. Oh well~
    Seriously, though. Sasuke was the only character that made remotely sense. But then I dropped it after, like, I dunno... probably long before the time skip.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka

    Naruto began failing during SHipuuden's early arcs. really the direction could've gone much better than the shit fest it's turned into now. But alas, we're forced to deal with what's out now. I dropped it after Pain invades Konoha because it just seems like the mangaka is dragging ass with the story. I'll go back to it when it hits the very final chapter, and pick up the last 5 books to kinda make sense of the ending.

    If it doesn't end with Sasuke's death then the story sucks.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:43 04/02/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    GOOD RIDDANCE to Bleach and Negima!!!

    They stopped being good LONG time ago,and they both should've ended by now.

    Now if we could get rid of Naruto and OP and let other GOOD manga flourish things could get better.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:24 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Implying One Piece is bad, go shoot yourself and save the oxygen that's been wasted on you be used on GOOD people.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:38 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    GOOD isn't the right term its more like let some other new flourishing manga to have a chance at the market.

    When you are competing against the big three I do sympathize with potential epic manga but are overshadowed by them

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:09 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Get rid of One Piece? Sorry, but millions disagree! One Piece is the only long running manga that still doesn´t get boring and I impatiently wait for the next chapter for almost 10 years now!

    Avatar of Rokudaime
    Comment by Rokudaime
    07:31 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Please don't drag Negima into the the same category dude. It has been great from the beginning, and only got much better once it hit the Magical World arc, so saying that it stopped being good a long time ago doesn't make sense, as that would imply it was better in the beginning than later, which is just the opposite of the truth.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:00 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    sorry but OP is the only long running series still worth reading and the quality is consistent too. Not even 2nd [or is it 3rd] longest running manga Hajime no Ippo has been nearly as consistent.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:35 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, just like how FMA and Black Cat had perfect pacing and consistency. Only that OP has gone on for like 15 years now :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:09 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    one piece is good

    Comment by Anonymous

    Agreed, especially about naruto, I can't believe I used to read that crap...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:24 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah where is manga with cool inteligent fights?
    Now its only about who has bigger dick and bigger jutsu .

    Avatar of Default Player
    Comment by Default Player
    13:07 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.1)

    What are you talking about? Naruto is getting good, darnit!

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:34 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed, Great War arc of Naruto is good

    Comment by Anonymous

    Great War arc is definitely awesome, though it should be a sign that Naruto would be ending soon. Great War arc -> conclusion with sasuke (either with him being killed/redeemed). If it continues on after that.. then no thank you.

    Avatar of NOPE Chuck Testa
    Comment by NOPE Chuck Testa
    14:00 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)


    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    21:42 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Maybe I pick it up after Sasuke kills Naruto.
    Yes, won't ever happen.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:42 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    i don't care how many volumes are as long as they give a quality storylne,one example is done by Adachi Mitsuru.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:42 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I think it depends on the type of the story. It should end when it needs to end. Some are more suitable as a short story (less than 5 volume, or even a single one shot). Others need more time and space to fully develop and explore the world and characters, and so should be longer. For example, personally I don't feel Ippo is too long or dragging it at close to 1000 chapters (except for the main character's romantic relationship)

    Avatar of Yuki
    Comment by Yuki
    09:54 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I agree. As long as the manga remains good, I see no problems with length. A good 12 volume manga beats a average 30 volume manga.Vice Versa

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    13:02 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Inuyasha dragged on for the longest time too.

    Its sad when the mangaka goes senile and fucks up their own life's work when they can't sort out a decent closure with supporting epilogue.

    Its something else entirely when a manga ends incomplete because the mangaka get sick and dies or just dies from some accident.

    But to milk a story out till it gets sucky is sad.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:37 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope no one dies though...

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:52 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The primary indicator of too many volumes is problem-of-the-day like chapters. You often see this starting early on in a series, and it indicates that the author thought up a nice setting with a small story, and then it became a big hit with obvious demand for more volumes. It's happened to the best, even to Rumiko Takahashi (repeatedly).
    The primary indicators of too little volumes are a) a lack of closure at the end and b) rushed story. The latter I've seen mostly in manga by inexperienced authors. There's this awesome plot and they seem eager to show the ending, or maybe they fear they won't get syndication for another volume, and they e.g. skip panels and scenes which may not have been necessary to them (since they know how everything will turn out) but the omission of which leaves the reader seriously confused.
    I've read good single-volume manga; I've read good shelf fillers too. The thing that matters is telling your story at the right pace.

    Avatar of Bayonette
    Comment by Bayonette
    13:03 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, this includes Detective Conan... Since when will be a time when Gosho Aoyama would tie up loose ends and conclude his series? I mean, Conan is stuck being a kid and solves murder cases instead of finding the cure and stop an evil organization.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    21:46 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah... by now you'd expect him to be an adult without the cure. I mean... about 20 years _did_ pass already. Now everyone in the series got a mobile phone and stuff, but it cleary started way back in the 90s.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    01:39 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't want reality. I want Mouri Ran to die and Conan to elope whit Ai. Also I want to see them grow up... and not just in one ova-side-story-dream

    Comment by Anonymous

    Who cares, its a fictional world. If you want reality go look somewhere outside :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:54 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Looking at how often mangakas take breaks nowadays, I think it's more a time problem than a volumes problem. Fairy Tail has never gone on hiatus and it's almost at 30 tomes in less than 5 years...
    I think probably the readers maximum attention span/patience for the story to progress is about ten years. Berserk isn't even in vol 40 over twice the time.
    It's simply that, if you can't get new ideas for your current manga to progress just end it and start with a new idea.
    Altough, as Bakuman taught us, wether a series will end in 1 volume or end 50 years later is just up to the rankings in the magazines they are published, it does not have to do with the author wishes or ability anymore, just with the popularity built over years.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:57 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The perfect length is the time it takes for the mangaka to tell a good and complete story.

    So, it varies depending on the manga. Like everything, there is no right answer. But people on the internet want to pretend there is so they'll have something to bitch about.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:30 05/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I do think any manga if its awesome wont be lame , like if you dont feel it being dragged on then I think its ok how long. But it would be nice when things finish, but I can see one piece going on for another 300 chapters and I dont mind that at least because its so awesome at the moment.

    Berserk is truly awesome but man I do wish that the guy would be better at releasing the chapters its been ages since the last one, I WANT TO SEE IF GUTS KILLS A FREAKING SEA GOD DAMNIT

    Avatar of Demi-Rebel 72
    Comment by Demi-Rebel 72
    10:31 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That reminds me, I need to get me a bookshelf so I can start putting up my D. Gray-Man Manga Volumes.

    Avatar of Default Player
    Comment by Default Player
    21:54 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If I'm going to read it online, I really don't care how long it is as long as it's enjoyable and not feel like the story is dragging itself, otherwise, if I'm going to buy it, I'd rather have it at 12 or 24 at most.

    On another note: It's like mx0 all over again for Harisugawa. The author is really unlucky to get two of it's series slashed like that. But then again, you could only extend about a boy in a girl's mirror for so long and not feel draggy. I actually think it's better that it ended at about 27-28 chapters? Too bad most of the characters except the main 3 was really under developed, but oh well.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:46 04/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    mx0 getting the ax is something ill never understand.

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