sothis's avatar


  • Seattle
  • Joined May 22, 2002
  • ? / F

Best and worst Survival manga and webtoons

I love the survival genre - here's all of the manga I've read that fit the bill along with opinions and if you should read it or not. Note that this list doesn't include death games, instead Anime-Planet's definition of 'survival' (foraging for food, battling the elements, etc).
1 Battle Royale

Battle Royale

2 Bio Meat

Bio Meat

3 Cage of Eden

Cage of Eden

A lot of people really like Cage of Eden. It's another in the King of Thorn / Hakaijuu / 7 Seeds type camp, but it's also really ecchi. I despise ecchi, so I had a hard time getting into this one. 

4 Creature!


Doesn't focus as strongly on survival elements such as reduced food and water supply, but bigtime focus on monsters eating everyone in sight mercilessly. Hilariously, over the top gory as well. Middle of the road as far as this list goes.

5 Distant Sky

Distant Sky

6 Dragon Head

Dragon Head

Dragon Head has one of the best survival stories in the first few volumes - train gets buried, and only a few people have to figure out how to stay alive, buried in the rubble. A massive does of psychological horror, a scary thriller, etc. Nothing fantastical. 

I liked it a lot less when things change a few volumes in - still survival, but not nearly as interesting (imo), with an open ending that didn't leave me feeling satisfied. Still, high up on the list because of the first few vols.

7 Drifting Net Café

Drifting Net Café

Avoid this unless you are a big fan of horrible gang rape.



Up there with AOT and classic Manga Box format of very short action-packed chapters. Instead of titans eating people, it's giant plants. Highly entertaining, lots of the social aspects of apocalypse tales as well (power dynamics, food struggles, etc)

9 Gringo 2061

Gringo 2061

Gringo 2061 is in the Green Worldz or 7 Seeds camp - people suddenly in the middle of a weird and alien landscape with monsters and stuff. It's still pretty low on the list because 1) it got suddenly cancelled, so it ends in the middle of the story at only 7 chapters; 2) the artwork is horrendous; 3) necrophilia mentions, plus a type of monster that (of course!) goes straight to biting off someone's penis and ripping out their intestines because that totally makes sense. 

Only read this one if desperate.

10 Hive


Hive starts out on a small scale with only a handful of characters trying to survive the giant insect apocalypse, but becomes closer to something walking dead later on, where you see how groups of people, militia, etc handle the downfall of society in combo with the monsters. Not my favorite as the art isn't the best and there's gross body horror that I struggle with XD. Still solid though.

11 Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni

Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni

Surprisingly good. Starts out like a cross between The Mist and Drifting Classroom, turns into something different ~5 chapters in but still compelling and a page turner.

12 Jisatsutou


Another survival story marred by a great deal of rape. Difficult to read if you're a woman or generally adverse to sexual violence. I had to drop this one fairly quickly, as well.

Exceptionally ugly character designs as well. 

13 Kanojo wo Mamoru 51 no Houhou

Kanojo wo Mamoru 51 no Houhou

51 Ways to Save Her, like Metro Survive, is one of the best realistic disaster manga out there. It's a tough read, as it strongly explores the darker side of what happens when people get desperate (rape, crime, rioting and mob mentality, etc). It's done in an almost educational way due to explanations, but is still a chilling read. Has great payoff in the end, and overall is a great manga. 

14 King of Thorn

King of Thorn

King of Thorn is another solid survival manga. It's in the 7 Seeds/Green Worldz/Gringo camp - people wake up from cold sleep and have to deal with surviving in an unfamiliar world against monsters and the elements. Gets weaker by the end, but the initial few volumes are solid. Think Blue Gender in manga form (at least at first)

15 Metro Survive

Metro Survive

Metro Survive is a realistic survival manga - a rare occurance in the genre. An earthquake happens, many people are trapped underground in the subway, and the survivors must try to escape. Food and water shortages, hostile survivors, and continuing aftershocks are all challenges the protagonists must face.

It has great pacing, artwork, and story. 

16 Nani mo Nai Kedo Sora wa Aoi

Nani mo Nai Kedo Sora wa Aoi

A very interesting setup (all iron being depleted), a somewhat slow burn for society heading to its downfall, no monsters or gruesome situations, just dealing with how humanity handles an apocalypse. Has promise from the little I've read.

17 Subway Line 1

Subway Line 1

This webtoon is 'fine' - decent artwork (except the strangely cartoony faces), nothing terribly amazing or horrible about it. Middle of the road. Survival elements are light and typically about other humans trying to take others' supplies.

18 Survival Log

Survival Log

While the survival elements are only at the first ~third or so, the setup is still enough to warrant being on this list. A really solid webtoon, plenty of dino deaths right away, and a page turner that keeps you wanting to read. One of my top choices. Truly awful MC though.

19 The Drifting Classroom

The Drifting Classroom

Drifting Classroom holds a special place in my heart as it's one of the first manga I read. Kazuo Umezu's style feels dated and crude which is a definite minus, but this is one of the more disturbing takes on survival as it involves children. The few adults that get spirited away either die fast or are assholes so they don't really help out. Disease and other awful situations take place. Not my favorite reveal or ending, but definitely a classic for me in this genre. Strongly similar to the Gone novel series.


You must be logged in to leave comments. or

NimirRa Oct 30, 2017

I read BioMeat because it was survival but I loved it because it did some things I have yet to see in any other survival manga. There are some seriously feel-good moments when the friends are reunited and/or come through for each other. The faith they have in each other is so refreshing after that constant anxiety you get from other survival stories of not being sure if you can trust other people. Sure that paranoia has a place, but that's at the start and BioMeat moved past that into what felt like brand new territory for me. It was almost RPG-esque in the way that they 'level up' in their skills and friendship in relation to the threat that also does it's own leveling up later on. For those reasons it is also re-readable which is rare for me in this genre.