One Piece is voted as the Best Manga of All Time in Japan with over 33,600 votes, which hardly comes as a surprise knowing how beloved this series is around the world.
Manga is a medium that is consumed and enjoyed by people of every age and demographic in Japan. Since the 1950s, manga has become a central part of the Japanese media landscape. And it rose to an unprecedented level of success, especially in the 80s and 90s, also known as the Golden Age Era of Weekly Shonen Jump, where some prominent names like Slam Dunk, YuYu Hakusho, and Dragon Ball were all serialized in the popular manga magazine.
In 1995, the manga market in Japan was valued at ¥586.4 billion ($4.61 billion), with annual sales of 1.9 billion manga volumes and magazines in the country (which at that time was equivalent to 15 issues per person).
More than 25 years later, in 2020, with the never before seen success of seismic proportions with Demon Slayer, Japan’s manga market value hit a new record of ¥612.6 billion ($4.83 billion) due to the fast growth of digital manga sales as well as the increase in print sales.
Demon Slayer revamped the popularity of manga in Japan. And with the introduction of new heavy-hitters such as Jujutsu Kaisen and Tokyo Revengers, once again in 2021, the sales of print and electronic manga and manga magazines in Japan increased by 10.3%, to ¥675.9 billion ($5.33 billion), marking the second consecutive annual record high.
TV Asahi set out to find the Best Manga of All Time throughout the course of the past few decades according to Japanese people of various demographics and asked 150,000 Japanese citizens the question “What is the Best Manga Ever Published?” last year.
Today we are taking a look at the list of the Top 100 Best Manga of All Time according to the responses from the survey, which offers a great outlook into the choices and picks from various demographics and generations. It should be noted that one person could vote for multiple manga in this survey.
1. One Piece
The Best Manga of All Time: Cultural Sensations like One Piece & Slam Dunk at the Top.
Unsurprisingly, the manga that has come on top of the list with over 33,600 votes is the one that is also probably the Most Popular and one of the most beloved works of fiction to exist around the world, with over 490 million copies in circulation. Nobody needs an introduction to the Best-Selling Manga Series of All Time worldwide, One Piece- the story of the Straw Hat Pirates.
The manga by Eiichiro Oda, which started its serialization in 1997, has taken millions into an adventure of a lifetime with Luffy and the gang. So many of us have grown up with the series and continue to passionately stick with the manga and the adventures of the Straw Hats every week.
One Piece is a deep dive into a sea of emotions as Oda’s masterful writing has everything one can ask for in a Shonen manga, whether if its jaw-dropping twists and stellar character development or be it warm and gentle humour and gut-wrenching cries. One Piece takes you on an evergreen adventure brimming with pure wonder.
2. Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer was voted the second Best Manga of All Time in the survey with over 29,100 votes.
By now, many are aware of just how big of a cultural phenomenon the series has been in Japan, with over 150 million copies in circulation and averaging a massive 6.5 million copies per volume in print. The TV Anime has also been one of the biggest anime broadcasts of the century averaging over 10 million households in viewership per week with Live+7 days in DVR. And the movie Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train has grossed over $500 million at the box office as it is the highest-grossing Japanese Movie of All Time and even sold over 1.6 million copies in its home release. There hasn’t been a record that Demon Slayer has not broken over the last two years as the series, without even a shadow of a doubt, is an unparalleled cultural phenomenon of recent times in the country.
3. Slam Dunk
In the third spot is another manga that turned into a massive cultural phenomenon but rather in the 90s, Slam Dunk, with over 26,700 votes.
Takehiko Inoue’s Slam Dunk is based on the author’s real-life experience and desire to share his love and enjoyment of the sport. The manga did just that as it carved a place for Basketball in the country and inspired countless people through the series’s characters. There is just so much love when it comes to Slam Dunk, and Inoue is to be credited for pushing the popularity of Basketball to new levels within Japan.
In 2007, his publisher even inaugurated a scholarship that sends high school basketball players to study in America, and in 2010, Inoue received a commendation from the Japanese Basketball Association for his services to the sport. Needless to say, with the impact Slam Dunk has had, it will forever be one of the most iconic manga series ever.
4. Detective Conan
Meanwhile, Detective Conan is the 4th Best Manga of All Time, according to the survey.
Conan has been serializing for over two decades, just like One Piece. And although not quite as famous worldwide as One Piece, the series has a multigeneration fan following to date, with both the manga and anime continuing to be Shogakukan’s most successful assets ever. The anime franchise is also the third highest-grossing film franchise in Japan, grossing over $900 million at the Japanese Box Office.
Detective Conan has over 250 million copies in circulation around the world and is one of the longest-running manga series with 100 volumes out. The series got more than 25,400 votes in the survey.
5. Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball concludes the Top 5 of the list, taking the fifth spot with over 22,400 votes. Everybody is familiar with this series, which is also to thank for bringing anime and manga to the western forefront as it became a big part of the life of kids in the 90s and early 2000s who used to catch the broadcast of Dragon Ball Z on Cartoon Network.
Dragon Ball has been cited as inspiration across various different media and is widely referenced in global popular culture to date. The series continues to be celebrated by people around the world, in television and music, by celebrities and athletes, and even in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parades.
The manga series, which is also credited with setting trends for popular shonen manga and anime since the 1980s, has over 260 million copies in circulation globally, averaging 6.19 million copies per volume.
The Best Manga of All Time: Popular Shonen like Naruto, Attack on Titan, and Haikyuu remain as dominant as ever.
Attack on Titan was in the 6th spot garnering over a massive 21,900 votes. The masterful story by Hajime Isayama has been one of the defining stories of recent times for the medium in the mainstream media. The series depicts a haunting portrayal of racism, humanity, and the cycle of violence, which is intricately woven by Isayama’s genius storytelling, as each plot point and character nuance acts as a node knitting the story together. Attack on Titan is nothing less than a Masterpiece and, with over 100 million copies sold around the world, has had a massive cultural impact.
Talking about cultural impact, probably very few manga and anime have had a bigger influence in both the West and Japan than Naruto. The series is one of the best-selling manga series in North America and has appeared on USA Today and The New York Times bestseller lists quite frequently. Volume 28, released in March 2008, had one of the biggest debut weeks of any manga in years, becoming the top-selling manga volume and the second best-selling book in North America for the year. In 2011, Naruto helped Viz Media generate $200 million in annual licensed merchandise sales. And as of 2019, Viz Media had already sold more than 3 million Naruto anime home video units. The impact of this phenomenal series is undeniably of insane proportions, and with over 19,800 votes, the series takes the 7th place on the list. Naruto has over 250 million copies in circulation around the world and ran from September 1999 to November 2014 and was collected into 72 tankobon volumes.
Inspiring a new generation of fans with its zeal and passion, the manga series that has inspired thousands of people to get into Volleyball takes the 8th spot in the list with over 18,700 votes. Haikyuu!! is beloved around the world by people of various ages, but it is especially popular among teenagers and young adults. The series has over 55 million copies in circulation and is also deemed by many as the Best New-Gen Sports Manga. Probably Haikyuu Season 5 and the battle at the trash heap is just what we all desperately need right now.
Fullmetal Alchemist, the series by Hiromu Arakawa, is considered by many around the world as the Best Manga and Anime series of all time. The series is the 6th Highest-Rated Manga on MyAnimeList and the Highest-Rated Anime Ever on the aggregate review site. The people in Japan share similar sentiments as the manga takes the 9th spot with over 18,500 votes.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki takes the final spot in the Top 10. The beloved cult manga started its serialization in 1987 and was published in Weekly Shonen Jump till 2004. Since 2005, the manga has been published in Shueisha’s Monthly Seinen magazine, Ultra Jump.
JoJo is still going strong, and the eighth part of JoJo titled ‘JoJolion’, recently ended its serialization after a very successful ten-year-long run. The entirety of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has been collected into 131 volumes as the series has 120 million copies in circulation. JoJo is licensed in North America by Viz Media.
You can check out the full list of Top 100 Best Manga of All Time below.
Top 100 Best Manga of All Time in Japan, along with the number of votes they received:
- One Piece (33,600)
- Demon Slayer (29,100)
- Slam Dunk (26,700)
- Detective Conan (25,400)
- Dragon Ball (22,400)
- Attack on Titan (21,900)
- Naruto (19,800)
- Haikyu!! (18,700)
- Fullmetal Alchemist (18,500)
- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (17,100)
- Hunter X Hunter (16,200)
- Gintama (16,100)
- Kingdom (15,200)
- World Trigger (11,700)
- Doraemon (11,300)
- My Hero Academia (10,900)
- Yu Yu Hakusho (8,600)
- Black Jack (8,200)
- Jujutsu Kaisen (8,000)
- Natsume’s Book of Friends (7,400)
- Glass Mask (7,100)
- Fist of the North Star (7,000)
- Bleach (6,950)
- Touch (6,900)
- Phoenix (6,700)
- Banana Fish (5,800)
- The Rose of Versailles (5,600)
- Inuyasha (5,300)
- Ashita no Joe (5,100)
- Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai (4,950)
- Rurouni Kenshin (4,900)
- Maison Ikkoku (4,600)
- Zatch Bell! (4,400)
- The Poe Clan (4,100)
- KochiKame (4,080)
- Golgo 13 (4,060)
- Sazae-san (4,040)
- Star of the Giants (4,020)
- Astro Boy (4,000)
- Golden Kamuy (3,950)
- Tokyo Ghoul (3,900)
- Dokaben (3,850)
- The Quintessential Quintuplets (3,800)
- Aim for the Ace! (3,600)
- Dobutsu no Oisha-san (3,450)
- The Promised Neverland (3,400)
- Hajime no Ippo (3,100)
- Ushio and Tora (3,000)
- Master Keaton (2,900)
- Kaguya-Sama: Love is War (2,850)
- Assassination Classroom (2,800)
- Kuroko’s Basketball (2,750)
- Black Butler (2,700)
- The Prince of Tennis (2,650)
- Haikara-san: Here Comes Miss Modern (2,600)
- Candy Candy (2,300)
- City Hunter (2,290)
- Chainsaw Man (2,260)
- Nodame Cantabile (2,230)
- Parasyte (2,200)
- Urusei Yatsura (2,000)
- Card Captor Sakura (1,900)
- Kinniku Man (1,850)
- Bungo Stray Dogs (1,800)
- Fairy Tail (1,790)
- Tokimeki Tonight (1,760)
- Reborn! (1,730)
- Hoshin Engi (1,700)
- Cyborg 009 (1,550)
- Boys Over Flowers (1,500)
- Tetsujin 28-Go (1,300)
- H2 (1,250)
- Galaxy Express 999 (1,200)
- Devilman (1,160)
- Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (1,130)
- Oishinbo (1,100)
- Abu-san (1,050)
- Space Battleship Yamato (1,000)
- Basara (990)
- Captain (980)
- Barbaric Legend (960)
- Hikaru no Go (950)
- Major (930)
- Fire Force (920)
- Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun (900)
- Karakuri Circus (890)
- Fruits Basket (860)
- Kaze no Daichi (830)
- Yukan Club (800)
- Aria (780)
- Berserk (760)
- Macaroni Spinach (740)
- Princess Knight (720)
- Rent-A-Girlfriend (700)
- D.Gray-Man (690)
- Sket Dance (660)
- Captain Tsubasa (630)
- Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai (600)
- March Comes in Like a Lion (580)
- Dr. Stone (560).
Source: Animate Times.
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