Which of the thousands of titles came out on top?

It’s a question that has haunted social media and idle conversations for time immemorial: Which manga is best? 

Granted, that’s an extremely loaded question taking into account mass appeal, artistic sensibilities, compelling story arcs, and a slew of other criteria, but it shouldn’t stop us from settling it once and for all with a good old election.

That’s just what TV Asahi did in the Seriously, 150,000 citizens voted! Manga General Election ranking of manga titles on 3 January, 2021. The results were announced in a two part broadcast with the first half appearing on television and the second half on YouTube.

Asking 150,000 people simply which manga is best, the top five titles were found to be as follows:

#5. Dragon Ball

Probably the gateway manga for millions worldwide, fifth place might seem rather low for epic story of Goku and his various enemies-turn-friends over the years. It will certainly remain a legend regardless, with many infamous moments like Yamcha lying in a crater, or Vegeta discovering Goku’s power levels for the first time.

▼ Yeah, I know we’re talking about manga and not anime, but showing a video of manga would be rather boring

#4. Detective Conan

Certainly a classic among manga titles, and with giving a sci-fi tinge to classic mysteries, Detective Conan follows the exploits of a genius detective teen prodigy who gets reverted to a child by an unknown drug, but continues in his sleuthing ways. 

It’s certainly great, but I think the one thing holding it back is that despite having solved literally hundreds of cases, Conan still can’t seem to figure out his own. Not to mention that if this long series ran in real time, he would have grown back into his teenage self and then some.

#3. Slam Dunk

Unlike the rest of the top five the basketball themed series Slam Dunk probably hadn’t gotten quite as warm a reception outside of Japan, save a few countries like Taiwan. Nevertheless, it set the gold standard for sports manga and is easily more popular that the actual sport of basketball here.

#2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

With the explosive popularity this series has enjoyed this year, Demon Slayer only reaching number two is probably the biggest surprise of this election. The story of a young boy learning to fight demons in an effort to save his own demon-sister has smashed sales records in both theaters and book stores, but hasn’t quite taken the top spot in the hearts and minds of the people… yet.

#1. One Piece

Having just celebrated it’s 1,000th chapter, this sprawling adventure saga of super-powered pirates is beginning to make Lord of the Rings look like See Spot Run in terms of scope and length.

It seems fair that One Piece beat out Demon Slayer in that it has not only stood the test of time, it has thrived on the test of time.

The top one hundred manga titles were also announced along with the number of points they received, which appears to be a weighted value based on the total votes. Check it out to see how you’re favorite fared, but as we’ll discuss afterward, you might be disappointed.

Seriously, 150,000 citizens voted! Manga General Election Results:

  1. One Piece (33,600)
  2. Demon Slayer (29,100)
  3. Slam Dunk (26,700)
  4. Detective Conan (25,400)
  5. Dragon Ball (22,400)
  6. Attack on Titan (21,900)
  7. Naruto (19,800)
  8. Haikyu!! (18,700)
  9. Fullmetal Alchemist (18,500)
  10. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (17,100)
  11. Hunter X Hunter (16,200)
  12. Gintama (16,100)
  13. Kingdom (15,200)
  14. World Trigger (11,700)
  15. Doraemon (11,300)
  16. My Hero Academia (10,900)
  17. Yu Yu Hakusho (8,600)
  18. Black Jack (8,200)
  19. Jujutsu Kaisen (8,000)
  20. Natsume’s Book of Friends (7,400)
  21. Glass Mask (7,100)
  22. Fist of the North Star (7,000)
  23. Bleach (6,950)
  24. Touch (6,900)
  25. Phoenix (6,700)
  26. Banana Fish (5,800)
  27. The Rose of Versailles (5,600)
  28. Inuyasha (5,300)
  29. Ashita no Joe (5,100)
  30. Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai (4,950)
  31. Rurouni Kenshin (4,900)
  32. Maison Ikkoku (4,600)
  33. Zatch Bell! (4,400)
  34. The Poe Clan (4,100)
  35. KochiKame (4,080)
  36. Golgo 13 (4,060)
  37. Sazae-san (4,040)
  38. Star of the Giants (4,020)
  39. Astro Boy (4,000)
  40. Golden Kamuy (3,950)
  41. Tokyo Ghoul (3,900)
  42. Dokaben (3,850)
  43. The Quintessential Quintuplets (3,800)
  44. Aim for the Ace! (3,600)
  45. Dobutsu no Oisha-san (3,450)
  46. The Promised Neverland (3,400)
  47. Hajime no Ippo (3,100)
  48. Ushio and Tora (3,000)
  49. Master Keaton (2,900)
  50. Kaguya-Sama: Love is War (2,850)
  51. Assassination Classroom (2,800)
  52. Kuroko’s Basketball (2,750)
  53. Black Butler (2,700)
  54. The Prince of Tennis (2,650)
  55. Haikara-san: Here Comes Miss Modern (2,600)
  56. Candy Candy (2,300)
  57. City Hunter (2,290)
  58. Chainsaw Man (2,260)
  59. Nodame Cantabile (2,230)
  60. Parasyte (2,200)
  61. Urusei Yatsura (2,000)
  62. Card Captor Sakura (1,900)
  63. Kinniku Man (1,850)
  64. Bungo Stray Dogs (1,800)
  65. Fairy Tail (1,790)
  66. Tokimeki Tonight (1,760)
  67. Reborn! (1,730)
  68. Hoshin Engi (1,700)
  69. Cyborg 009 (1,550)
  70. Boys Over Flowers (1,500)
  71. Tetsujin 28-Go (1,300)
  72. H2 (1,250)
  73. Galaxy Express 999 (1,200)
  74. Devilman (1,160)
  75. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (1,130)
  76. Oishinbo (1,100)
  77. Abu-san (1,050)
  78. Space Battleship Yamato (1,000)
  79. Basara (990)
  80. Captain (980)
  81. Barbaric Legend (960)
  82. Hikaru no Go (950)
  83. Major (930)
  84. Fire Force (920)
  85. Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun (900)
  86. Karakuri Circus (890)
  87. Fruits Basket (860)
  88. Kaze no Daichi (830)
  89. Yukan Club (800)
  90. Aria (780)
  91. Berserk (760)
  92. Macaroni Spinach (740)
  93. Princess Knight (720)
  94. Rent-A-Girlfriend (700)
  95. D.Gray-Man (690)
  96. Sket Dance (660)
  97. Captain Tsubasa (630)
  98. Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai (600)
  99. March Comes in Like a Lion (580)
  100. Dr. Stone (560)

Based on online comments, the most glaring omissions from this list were hugely popular titles like Death Note, Akira, Baki the Grappler, and Gantz.  While they were all boundary-pushing and influential titles, perhaps that doesn’t always equate to being people’s favorites. 

It goes to show that the vast library of manga titles out there, the top 100 is still pretty rarefied air. Probably the story will be quite different if and when Asahi TV holds the 2022 Seriously, 150,000 citizens voted! Manga General Election. Fans of these overlooked titles and others can come out in full force and put them in their rightful place wherever that may be.

Source: YouTube/動画、はじめてみました【テレビ朝日公式】, Animate Times via Hachima Kiko
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