Otaku USA Magazine
These Spinoff Manga Keep Your Favorite Stories Running

Need more from your favorite anime and manga series? Dig into these spinoff manga.

Ever wanted more from your favorite anime and manga? (The answer is yes, obviously — we just like to lead with a question.) Even the longest-running series leave us wanting more if they’re especially good. Whether it’s variants on the story, explorations of favorite characters, or “What If?” scenarios. And the good news is, a lot of anime and manga have spinoff manga that explore just that!

Here’s a trio of titles that build on the world of some of today’s biggest series. And there are plenty more where that came from!


Cells at Work! CODE BLACK

Cells at Work! Code Black

Edutainment manga Cells at Work! takes us inside a generally healthy body, introducing us to the many cells who keep it that way. And if they work hard, how hard must cells work in a body that isn’t well cared for? That’s the concept behind Cells at Work! CODE BLACK, which is a lot like the original except the working environment is a lot rougher.

CODE BLACK focuses on a rookie Red Blood Cell who’s feeling the pressure in a body ravaged by smoking and drinking, ulcers, STDs, and stress. Fortunately, he has a fellow Red Blood Cell and a cool older-sister White Blood Cell helping him. Together, they and their fellow cells fight back the negative impact of the many elements breaking down their host’s body inside and out. And there’s an anime adaptation, if you want to go all in!


Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan

Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan

There’s a whole wide world of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure out there (technically two, if you’re counting alternate universes). But there could always be more, right? Enter Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, a spinoff manga revolving around the Diamond Is Unbreakable antagonist. But now, instead of Stand users, Rohan is confronting other supernatural occurrences.

Each installment is a stand-alone story, including “Millionaire Village” (about an etiquette-obsessed community) and “The Run” (about a deadly treadmill contest). You can check out anime and live-action adaptations of some of the stories, if you’re still hungry after reading the manga.


Sengoku Gridman

Sengoku Gridman

SSSS.GRIDMAN took the anime world by storm, and has begun introducing anime fans to the world of tokusatsu in the process. The Trigger series actually has several spinoff manga, following specific characters in our universe and alternate ones. But the one that catches our eye is Sengoku Gridman: a historical take on the the hit show.

Eboshi and younger sister Tamaki find themselves in the middle of their own Gridman-esque adventure. But this time the mighty warrior emerges during the Warring States period, when one small region has begun using mechanical technology to create robot soldiers. The 11-chapter manga wrapped earlier this year, so you can read it in its entirety!

The story never ends — or at least ends a bit later — with manga spinoffs. And nowadays, every new show is likely to have at least one. Which are your favorites?

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.