Takarajimashi’s This Manga is Awesome website (Kono Manga ga Sugoi! WEB) has tallied the votes to crown the best manga series of the year with their ranking lists that cover men’s and women’s categories. Though the ranking lists the year as 2023, this is due to Japan’s practice of counting a year ahead, and the issue itself will be coming out in 2023, these rankings apply to manga that made an impact in 2022. With that covered, let’s take a look at which manga series were given the title of best of the year.
The Top Ten Manga Series in the Men’s Category
1. The Summer Hikaru Died by Mokumokuren — 136pt
First published in August 2021, the story follows Yoshiki and his strong friendship with Hikaru. Things take a turn and their friendship becomes strained after Hikaru is body-snatched by aliens, but Yoshiki still wants to be friends.
2. Goodbye, Eri by Tatsuki Fujimoto — 134pt
A truly mind-bending manga that was originally released on the web in April 2022, and later in print in July 2022, the story follows Yuta Ito, and his growing fondness for making films, first of his dying mother, and then with his good friend Eri. Readers will be left questioning just what is real and what is simply part of Yuta’s films, as he deals with incredible loss.
3. Takopi’s Original Sin by Taizan 5 — 109pt
This manga was first published between December 2021 and March 2022, the titular Takopi travels from his home world Happy Planet to spread happiness on Earth. Unfortunately, he runs into Shizuka, who seems unable to smile at all. Determined to change her demeanor, he begins to uncover the source of her woes.
4. Akane-banashi by Yūki Suenaga and Takamasa Moue — 93pt
A light-hearted and fascinating manga that deals with traditional Japanese storytelling that was first published on February 14th, 2022. Akane strives to take up her father’s passion for rakugo and aims for the third and highest rank, shin’uchi, in the face of numerous obstacles and those in power declaring rakugo to be illegitimate.
5. Gekiko Kamen by Takayuki Yamaguchi — 79pt
Not to be confused with Kekko Kamen (go ahead, look it up, there’s no shame in it), this less risque manga began to be published on December 10th, 2021. It follows a tokusatsu group after their leader passes, and continues on the work of filming masked heroes taking on monsters, while also discussing the history of the genre.
6. Kore Kaite Shine by Minoru Toyoda — 72pt
A cute, manga-focused series that began publishing in December 2021, Ai Yasumi lives on a small island in Japan, and after an incident, discovers that she can ‘create’ manga, when she decides to enter that world to see what she can do.
7. Super no Ura de Yani Sū Futari by Jinushi — 67pt
A manga series that many might be able to relate to, and one that began to hit shelves on March 9th, 2022. Sasaki is an overworked salaryman, who finds comfort with a smoking buddy named Yamada.
8. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda — 64pt
This series needs no introduction, as it’s been continually lighting up the charts since it began appearing in print on July 22nd, 1997, and its most recent movie has been setting records (and inviting strange discussion). For those living under a rock, the story follows Luffy as he gathers a pirate crew to become the Pirate King, while fighting dangerous and powerful foes in a wondrous world.
9. You and I Are Polar Opposites by Kōcha Agasawa — 56pt
A tie for ninth place, this manga was originally published as a one-shot in January 2021 before being serialized starting in May 2022. Opposites seem to attract as the energetic follower Suzuki is drawn to the quiet and independent-minded Tani.
9. Midori no Uta: Shūshū Gunfū by Gao Yan — 56pt
A tie for ninth place, this manga ran from May 12th, 2021 to Apr 12th, 2022. The story follows Lü, who had moved to Taipei for her university studies. Once there, her loneliness was broken when she followed a song and met a boy who broadened her horizons.
The Top Ten Manga Series in the Women’s Category
1. Tenmaku no Jadūgal: A Witch’s Life in Mongol by Tomato Soup — 120pt
A historical manga that first hit the shelves on September 25th, 2021. It stars Fatima, a girl from Iran with great knowledge of science and medicine, who is taken prisoner by the Mongol Empire. With dreams of using her talents to help others, she meets Töregene, the sixth wife of the second Emperor Ögedei, and the two form a bond of sorts.
2. Gene Bride by Hitomi Takano — 86pt
An interesting manga series that is more than skin deep that began publishing on June 8th, 2021, Ichi Isahaya’s unsatisfied life is upturned when she meets an old classmate who brings up a school event called ‘Gene Bride’, wherein students are paired up based on genetic capability. Ichi doesn’t recall the event, however.
3. Serious Office Worker by Umeko Fuyuno — 81pt
A slice-of-life manga that first hit shelves on June 10th, 2021, the story follows the trials of Amiko Kikuchi, a single 30-year-old woman who works hard at her job, with zero interesting private life to keep her content.
4. Onna no Ko ga Iru Basho wa by Ebine Yamaji — 77pt
A series of one-shot stories featuring different girls in various countries, who all have to deal with a society that undermines and belittles women. This hard-hitting manga ran from December 10th, 2021 to May 12th, 2022.
5. Star Tripper by Sakana Sakatsuki — 72pt
Known in Japan as Star Travel Boy, this manga first hit the net in April 2022. Readers will experience a sad tale of a universe slowly falling asleep thanks to the poison of the ‘Tobias Tree’. Star Tripper Serial Number 303 of Planetarium Ghost Travel Inc. is tasked with exploring planets where everyone is sleeping to catalog his findings.
6. Umi ga Hashiru Endroll by John Tarachine — 58pt
A heart-warming manga series that first brought tears to eyes on October 6th, 2020. Umiko’s husband had recently passed away, and a spur of the moment choice took her to the theaters, a place she had not been to in decades. There she meets a young man who inspires her to take up the camera and begin filmmaking.
7. Busu Nante Iwanaide by Araka Toaru — 57pt
A manga that is skin-deep, at least on the surface, that first hit shelves sometime in May 2022. Tomoko was often called ugly in school, and later in life, she runs into Rika, one of her beautiful bullies. Seeing her old foe socially successful prompts Tomoko to plot revenge.
8. Taiyō Yori Mabushii Hoshi by Kazune Kawahara — 53pt
A light-hearted manga that was first released on June 11th, 2021, featuring a tall girl and her shorter, weakling friend. Sakuhide Iwata is taller and stronger than your average girl, and her childhood friend Mitsuki was something of a weakling. They reunite sometime after school, after Mitsuki grew up to be quite handsome. The two soon rekindle their old bond.
9. Tamon-kun Ima Docchi!? by Yuki Shiwasu — 51pt
Even idols have lives they would prefer to keep private, as readers discovered when this manga first came out on August 5th, 2021. Kinoshita Utage absolutely loves Fukuhara Tamon of the popular idol group F/ACE. While filling in for a sick co-worker at her part-time cleaning job, she finds herself at Tamon’s house and discovers that the real Tamon isn’t quite what he seems to be during live performances.
10. Watashitachi wa Mutsū Renai ga Shitai by Yukari Takinami — 48pt
A manga series that introverts might be able to relate to, which was first published on November 22nd, 2021. The story follows an unusual cast of characters, such as Minami, who is a shy girl who can only express herself through a social media account, and a handsome boy who got out of an abusive relationship.
Did any of your favorites make the list? Do you feel one or two got snubbed by This Manga is Awesome? Let us know in the comments below.