No, I didn’t go all crazy weeaboo on you to rant about sugoi mangas [sic], but I do want to share a list that I’ve been referring to for new manga ideas.
While I often pick my manga using tried and true methods of author/publisher/typical cover-whoring, sometimes I’ll venture into Japanese blogs to see if there’s anything interesting about. It gets wall-of-texty to me, so I don’t do it often, but you can find some useful sources.
“Kono Manga ga Sugoi” uses a survey released by the publisher Takarajimasha and introduces the “most interesting” manga published in the past year. They survey a large sampling of people, including mangaka, journalists, university manga societies, booksellers, writers, illustrators, editors, critics, voice actors/actresses, novelists, musicians, comedians, athletes, idols, and more. The people rank their most interesting titles from a large list initially picked by Takarajimasha, who then totals the votes and publishes an annual book that serves as an introduction to awesome manga for 2011 (that published a tank in 2010).
The books include two ranked lists–one for male-oriented manga (includes both shounen/seinen) and female-oriented manga (shoujo/josei/ladies). Any titles that don’t fit neatly into those two categories are put in both on the ballot. It also includes interviews and illustrations from the winners and more.
Now what’s really interesting is that–hey, the lists show pretty good taste! It really does list some titles that have caught my eye–titles that often don’t show up on the top-seller lists. I included the first ~20 titles for both lists.
1. Her by Yamashita Tomoko
2. Don’t Cry, Girl by Yamashita Tomoko
3. Kuragehime by Higashimura Akiko
4. (tied) Chihayafuru by Suetsugu Yuki
4. (tied) Natsuyuki Rendezvous by Kawachi Haruka
6. Ohoku by Yoshinaga Fumi
7. Utsubora by Nakamura Asumiko
8. Kiyoku Yawaku by Ikuemi Ryou
9. Kimi ni Todoke by Shiina Karuho
10. Machi de Uwasa no Tengu no Ko by Iwamoto Nao
11. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun by Robiko
12. Strobe Edge by Sakisaka Io
13. Maihime Terepsikola by Yamagishi Ryouko
14. Glass no Kamen by Miuchi Suzue
15. Shitsuren Chocolatier by Mizushiro Setona
16. Umimachi Diary by Yoshida Akimi
17. Sekine-kun no Koi by Kawachi Haruka
18. (tied) Game Over by Mizutani Fuka
18. (tied) Doukyou Shichau zo! – Kinuta Murako
20. flat by Aogiri Natsu
21. 7SEEDS by Tamura Yumi
22. Usotsuki Lily by Komura Ayumi
1. Shingeki no Kyojin by Isayama Hajime
2. Thermae Romae by Yamazaki Mari
3. Sayonara mo Iwazu ni by Ueno Kentarou
4. One Piece by Oda Eiichiro
5. Hagane no Renkinjutsushi by Arakawa Hiromu
6. Otoyomegatari by Mori Kaoru
7. Drifters by Hirano Kouta
8. Bakuman by Ohba Tsugumi/Obata Takeshi
9. I Am a Hero by Hanazawa Kengo
10. Aku no Hana by Oshimi Shuuzou
11. Uchuu Kyoudai by Koyama Chuuya
12. Mushi to Uta by Ichikawa Haruko
13. (tied) Giant Killing by Tsunamoto Masaya/Tsujitomo
13. (tied) Tenpuu by Oota Moare
15. Kingdom by Hara Yasuhisa
16. Ao no Futsumashi by Katou Kazue
17. Yowamushi Pedal by Watanabe Wataru
18. Ore wa Nama Gundam by Hanyunyu Jun
19. Moriyamachuu Kyoushuusho by Shinzou Keigo
20. 3-gatsu no Lion by Umino Chica
21. A-bout! by Ichikawa Masa
22. (tied) Tokyo Kaido by Mochizuki Minetaro
22. (tied) Hoshi no Samidare by Mizukami Satoshi
The bolded ones are ones that I’m both currently reading and adore. Italics are ones that have caught my interest (either now or at some point) and I really need to check out. Due to the excellent mentions, this survey warrants further investigation by me!
Of course, I know more about the female manga. Yamashita Tomoko owned, stealing both top spots! I enjoyed Don’t Cry, Girl in particular–it deserves a high perch. And then there’s my beloved Natsuyuki Rendezvous at number 4–more, more, more people need to read this! I’d put it at #1 myself. /ducks It’s good to see Nakamura Asumiko up there too–Utsubora is stunning. Due to this list, I ended up checking out Usotsuki Lily and found a pleasant surprise–while not deep, it’s a cute, entertaining shoujo manga with fluffy teenage romance, punctuated by a lot of cross-dressing. I’m also surprised people aren’t getting bored of Kimi ni Todoke yet like I am…
On the guys side, Thermae Romae at #2, fyeah. Hilarious title about a Roman bath architect who time-slips to modern day to Japan and learns all about their baths (beware the bidet). There’s a lot of interesting titles, but I start to hit a harsh language barrier with seinen manga. I’m not sure how much I’ll get to explore those possibilities.
So, what do you think?