Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2011 List

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.

Female-oriented manga:

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

Male-oriented Manga:

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?


7 responses to “Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2011 List

  1. Wow, a pretty good list! I’ve never heard of some of the titles, but judging by the oens I know….

    On the guys’ side, Otoyomegatari – I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but unfortunately I didn’t manage to get into it. Probably I’m not too fond of the style in general. One Piece – not a fan as well. It might be as funny as hell, but the artwork is a huge turn off.

    3-gatsu no Lion – I love the series. I’m fond of this mangaka’s previous work Honey & Clover, and 3-gatsu doesn’t disappoint, probably not as character packed as H&C but still.

    As for the girls’ side, yay! Yamashita Tomoko owns the list :3 Btw, you haven’t read Kuragehime? Or you didn’t like it? I’ve caught up with the volume releases and I totally love it. The plot is kinda… slow paced, but the way the story’s done doesn’t make you bored at all. I love the characters and I loved its animated version. Hinamori-san…. ❤

    Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – also good series, and a bit unusual for a shoujo. There are a few volumes out already, I'm still stuck with the end of the second volume since the book's not mine.

    Usotsuki Lily – Is it really good? I took a peek into it, and didn't quite like it. But is the plot good? If it is, I mgiht look into it.

    And Chihayafuru is definitely on my to-read list.
    Ikuemi Ryou does desrve a place in the list, she has her own somewhat unique style and I generally enjoy her stories.
    Flat – Don't even have to say anything, I'm a HUGE fan of the series.
    All in all, I love the list, but of course, mostly the girls' part^^

    • I’m also more into the girls side of the list 😀

      I’ve wanted to get into 3-gatsu no Lion, but I’ve had a hard time getting over how much Hagu in HnC creeped me out lol. One day..

      I’ve read only some Kuragehime. I really liked the anime, but from what I’ve seen of the manga so far, soooo sloooow. I’m curious at what point the manga starts new material not seen in the anime. The pace kinda bothers me, so I’m withholding judgment. I did that on a few series that I’m not sure I like yet, such as Shitsuren Chocolatier. That one could go either way for me, mostly due to a character I HATE that just.won’t.go.away. There’s such a thing as doing too good of a job when writing a despicable character..

      Usotsuki Lily isn’t really awesome. It’s more about the fact that I like the female lead. I usually dislike them in high-school shoujo romances, but she’s a pretty good character even though she doesn’t have remarkable qualities. She’s just a nice, cute, open person.

      Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is good and also odd? I’ll have to take a look sometime soon then :3

  2. I know a lot of people are turned off by the One Piece style, but I really think it’s one of the best shonen manga I’ve ever read. For me, I dunno, it hearkens back to mornings spent watching good ol’ 80’s cartoons like Mysterious Cities of Gold, and other childhood bygones that seemed to be a combination of both innocence and originality. After years of reading manga (16 total, I think) I actually really enjoy One Piece’s odd artwork. I’ve just gotten a bit burned out on the more traditional and popular styles due to *cough >_>* over-exposure, and find myself seeking out series with highly unusual, innovative styles. It’s an extremely solid series, it really delivers on story without being too repetitive– quite a feat given the size of it! andtheyarenotpayingmetosaythis!

    • Haha, One Piece does seem to be very polarizing. I guess for me it’s not the artwork as much as it is the “never-ending” story. I’ve been burned by long shounen series too many times that I’m wary (my poor manga heart is still broken over Hikaru no Go). If I wanted to start a huge series, I’d go for that one. It certainly has a lot of high opinions and popularity/sales behind it.

  3. Heya Ms S! We traded some comments on your last post, hope you remember me!

    I actually finally got my hands on the two volumes of Natsuyuki Rendezvous!!! I haven’t had a chance to read them yet but will definitely let you know when I do. 🙂 BTW, these are gorgeous tankoubon and th dust jackets are so nicely textured (LOL)!

    Also, I wanted to ask, if you find your inventory is burgeoning at the sides, where/how do you get rid of/donate some of the titles that you don’t want anymore? I live in LA so I was thinking of going to Book-off (never been before), but I’ve read that they give you $1/book at most. Like you, I keep my books in very good condition…Let me know if you have any ideas!

    • Hey again 🙂 Of course, I remember. :3 Yes, Natsuyuki Rendezvous! They really are gorgeous books, the type I just love to own. I put off buying the series for a few months because I was put off by the price, but I should have known it was just due to high quality material!

      I’ve looked into Shingeki no Kyojin myself. It does look promising, so thanks for giving it a vote of confidence. 😀

      Unfortunately, I have no good ideas for trimming manga fat. Book-Off is the most logical choice for people in the US, but yup, they don’t pay much for books. Manga is a terribly depreciating “investment.” :3 I’ve admittedly never gotten rid of a book. I (mostly) have the space and my mountains of books are my only outlet for clutter/hording I permit (and even then are meticulously categorized and shelved, haha). I’ve had serious worries about what to do incase of an untimely demise, but I’ve not come up with a good solution yet. I think my family are going to have to “deal!”

  4. Pingback: Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2011 - Lazy-Otaku.ru - DAT Otake

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