Many novels explore the theme of inner demons, but what about when the inner demon is a literal monster? These novels feature main characters who have monsters living inside them, often as a result of a curse, experiment, or another supernatural occurrence. The monster can be a source of power or a source of destruction, and the main character must learn to control it to survive. Here are the top 25 novels where the MC has a monster inside them.
“Tokyo Ghoul” by Sui Ishida
In this novel, the main character Kaneki is turned into a half-ghoul after a disastrous date with a woman who turns out to be a ghoul. Kaneki must learn to navigate the ghoul society and control his newfound hunger for human flesh. This novel is notable for its exploration of the line between human and monster, and the struggles of living with a monstrous side.
“Parasyte” by Hitoshi Iwaaki
In this novel, the main character Shinichi is infected by a parasite that takes over his right hand. Shinichi must learn to coexist with the parasite, who he names Migi, to survive attacks from other parasites who are taking over human hosts. This novel is notable for its exploration of the nature of humanity and the balance between survival and morality.
“Berserk” by Kentaro Miura
In this novel, the main character Guts is branded with a curse that attracts demons to him. He must learn to control his inner rage and the power it gives him to survive battles with other demons and human enemies. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of revenge and the price of power.
“Naruto” by Masashi Kishimoto
In this novel, the main character Naruto has the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed inside him as a baby. He must learn to control the demon’s power and work with other ninjas to protect their village. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of friendship, loyalty, and sacrifice.
“Blue Exorcist” by Kazue Kato
In this novel, the main character Rin is revealed to be the son of Satan and has demon powers. He enrols in a school for exorcists to learn to control his powers and fight against his father’s minions. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of identity, family, and redemption.
“A Silent Voice” by Yoshitoki Oima
In this novel, the main character Shoya is haunted by the memories of bullying a deaf girl in elementary school. He must learn to confront his guilt and learn to live with his past mistakes. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of forgiveness, redemption, and the power of communication.
“Vampire Knight” by Matsuri Hino
In this novel, the main character Yuki is a vampire hunter who discovers that her adopted brother Zero has a vampire inside him. She must help him control his vampiric impulses while also dealing with her vampire heritage. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of forbidden love, loyalty, and the struggles of coexisting with different species.
“Tokyo Ravens” by Kouhei Azano
In this novel, the main character Harutora is revealed to have a reincarnated legendary onmyoji (magician) inside him. He must learn to control his powers and unravel the mysteries of his past life while also dealing with the battles between different magical factions. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of destiny, legacy, and the price of power.
“Death Note” by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
In this novel, the main character Light Yagami gains a powerful tool – a death note – that allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes in it. He becomes consumed by the power it gives him and sets out to rid the world of criminals, but is pursued by a genius detective named L. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of justice, power, and morality.
“Elfen Lied” by Lynn Okamoto
In this novel, the main character Lucy is a diclonius – a mutant species with telekinetic abilities and deadly vectors. She is captured and experimented on but escapes and seeks revenge on her captors while also developing a connection with a human boy named Kouta. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of humanity, identity, and the nature of evil.
“Killing Stalking” by Koogi
In this novel, the main character Yoonbum becomes obsessed with a man named Sangwoo, who he discovers is a serial killer. Yoonbum is trapped in a cycle of abuse and manipulation as he becomes complicit in Sangwoo’s crimes. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of trauma, obsession, and the blurred lines between victim and perpetrator.
“Devilman” by Go Nagai
In this novel, the main character Akira Fudo becomes possessed by a demon named Amon but retains his humanity and uses his newfound powers to fight against other demons. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of identity, morality, and the consequences of power.
“Terra Formars” by Yu Sasuga and Kenichi Tachibana
In this novel, humans attempt to terraform Mars by sending genetically modified insects to the planet. The insects evolve and become humanoid, and a team of humans with insect DNA are sent to Mars to fight them. The main character, Akari, has a cockroach DNA graft and must learn to control his instincts and fight for humanity. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of evolution, identity, and survival.
“Black Butler” by Yana Toboso
In this novel, the main character Ciel Phantomhive has made a pact with a demon named Sebastian to gain revenge on those who murdered his parents. Ciel must balance his duties as an aristocrat and head of a toy company with his duties as a demon’s master. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of loyalty, power, and the price of revenge.
“Akame ga Kill!” by Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro
In this novel, the main character Tatsumi joins a group of assassins to overthrow a corrupt government. He discovers that the group is also fighting against a powerful and dangerous enemy, and must learn to control his power to survive. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of justice, power, and the consequences of war.
“Seraph of the End” by Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto
In this novel, a virus wipes out most of humanity and vampires emerge as the new ruling class. The main character, Yuichiro, is taken in by a vampire who saves him from the virus but must hide his true identity as a member of the resistance. Yuichiro also has a demon inside him that he struggles to control. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of humanity, power, and the cost of survival.
“Claymore” by Norihiro Yagi
In this novel, a group of female warriors called Claymores battle against demons who threaten humanity. The main character, Clare, is a Claymore who has a demonic power that she must learn to control. This novel is notable for its exploration of the themes of identity, loyalty, and the price of power.
“Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan” by Hiroshi Shiibashi
In this novel, the main character Rikuo is a human-yokai hybrid who struggles with balancing his human and yokai identities. Rikuo is the heir to the Nura clan, a powerful group of yokai who rule over the night parade of 100 demons. Despite his half-human heritage, Rikuo is determined to become the next leader of the Nura clan. Throughout the novel, Rikuo must navigate the challenges of being both a human and a yokai. He must learn to control his yokai powers and abilities, while also keeping his human identity a secret from his human friends and family. Along the way, Rikuo meets and befriends several other yokai who are loyal to him and the Nura clan.
“That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” by Fuse
The story follows Satoru, an ordinary man who is killed and reincarnated as a slime in a fantasy world. As a slime, he gains new powers and abilities and sets out to explore his new world, making friends and enemies along the way.
“Overlord” by Kugane Maruyama
Momonga, a powerful wizard, is transported to a virtual reality game world that he has been playing for years after the game’s servers shut down. He decides to stay in the game world and rule over the NPCs as the undead ruler Ainz Ooal Gown, using his powers and intelligence to protect his new kingdom and uncover the mysteries of the game world.
“Re: Monster” by Kanekiru Kogitsune
The story follows a boy named Tomokui Kanata who is killed and reincarnated as a goblin in a fantasy world. As a goblin, he quickly discovers that his new life is much harsher and more brutal than his old one. He uses his intelligence and abilities to survive and eventually becomes a powerful goblin king.
“The Rising of the Shield Hero” by Aneko Yusagi
Naofumi Iwatani is summoned to a parallel world along with three other individuals to become the legendary heroes of that world. However, Naofumi is betrayed and falsely accused of a crime, leading him to become the Shield Hero and struggle to clear his name while protecting the world from destruction.
“Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest” by Ryo Shirakome
Hajime Nagumo is transported to a fantasy world along with his classmates, but they are all betrayed and left to die in a dangerous dungeon. Hajime becomes determined to survive and become stronger, eventually becoming a powerful adventurer and uncovering the secrets of the world.
The 25 novels listed above all feature main characters with monsters living inside them, but each novel explores this theme uniquely and compellingly. From exploring the balance between humans and monsters in “Tokyo Ghoul” to the blurred lines between victim and perpetrator in “Killing Stalking,” these novels offer a diverse range of perspectives on the struggles of living with a monstrous side. Whether the monster is a curse, a genetic experiment, or a demonic pact, these novels all explore the consequences of power and the price of control. They also explore themes such as identity, redemption, and the nature of evil.
If you’re looking for a new novel to read, consider picking up one of these 25 novels with main characters who have monsters inside them. They offer a unique and engaging perspective on the human condition and are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Whether you’re a fan of horror, fantasy, or action, there is sure to be a novel on this list that will capture your imagination.