As someone who loves both games and manga, it’s always fun to imagine the different ways they could blend. Here are five manga series that would work very well as video games. Some fitting manga have been omitted from the list because they already have a good game, but in any case, all of these are wonderful stories that could use a game to help add a dimension to the story.
5. ½ Prince
Half Prince technically isn’t a manga, but the Chinese equivalent, manhua. Both of the terms mean ‘comic’ in their respective languages, and the stories are presented in the same way, so I went ahead and included it in this list. You follow a girl named Feng Lan, who was blamed by her brother for using her gender to get ahead in gaming, so plays as a male character in a new MMO. Said MMO has many different aspects that would make it a refreshing game: a very detailed guild, class, and cities system, complex NPCs, tournaments, and huge areas to explore. Making a virtual reality game might be a little out of our technological bounds, but this kind of multiplayer would be a welcome addition to the typical guild and party setup.
4. Defense Devil
Defense Devil follows a demon ‘prince’ named Kucabara as he tries to save the souls of people trapped between Heaven and Hell. Gathering the different pieces of evidence and presenting them definitely gives an Ace Attorney vibe, but combined with battling other demons, it would make the game variable enough to appeal to a wide audience.
3. Jing: King of Bandits
Jing is a little special compared to the rest of the listings on this article: it already has a game. However, the game is so old and the battle system so convoluted that it really could use a better game. The intricate backgrounds that feature in the manga would make great stages for platforming or even just exploring. The rich character design and varied story arcs would make it easy to fit one into a game. This series has a bad game and an even worse anime—even if the series is completed, a new game would give it some of the appreciation it deserves.
2. Air Gear
Air Gear is one of those odd manga that doesn’t fit well in its genres. It’s about a sport, but instead of focusing on teams and competitions, you follow a gang that competes to expand and protect their territory. This could easily translate into a free-running game like Assassin’s Creed or Mirror’s Edge, and the multitude of different gangs and goals would make the game intricate without divulging very far from the manga’s plot. It would be even better if you could customize your character and their Air Gear, but that might be too much to ask for.
1. The World God Only Knows
Keima Katsuragi hates women and prefers the world of dating sims. Becoming a well-known ‘girl conquerer’ attracted the attention of some demons from New Hell who needed a human that could exorcise the demons feeding off of heartbroken girls. Hilarity ensues. This is a case where the story ends up much, much better than the clichéd summary. Since the comedy centers around all the little quirks of dating sims, it would translate perfectly into a dating sim game. Being able to see all the different routes that Keima was too smart or too uninformed to take would give the story some neat bonuses, and the amount of comedy that breaks the fourth wall would be refreshing compared to all the dating sims that take themselves too seriously.