Admittedly, we’re being a bit fast and loose with our definition of “Favorite Manga of 2022”. As mentioned in the favorite anime collaborative piece, we all love anime, but finding time to read manga series can be a bit more challenging when you also have to juggle families and careers. So, instead of only including manga that started or finished in 2022, we’re going with titles that had a new volume released in 2022 in our region that we happened to read before the end of the year. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some strong picks in the entries below, but to say that all of them are brand new is disingenuous, so please consider this your notification.
Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting (as chosen by L.B. Bryant)
English Publisher: Kaiten Books
I’m cheating a little with this entry because Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting technically launched on the Comic Ride Pixiv website in 2018. However, since I didn’t start reading it until this year when it appeared on the manga subscription service Azuki, I’m using my personal prerogative to include it as a choice.
Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting is another top-notch series about found family (you might notice a theme with my end-of-year choices). A tough yakuza has finally pushed his boss too far thanks to his wild and violent temper. In an effort to calm him down and teach him some responsibility, the boss puts the angry Tohru in charge of babysitting his daughter. What follows is a cold-as-ice tough learning that true strength comes from being willing to love someone more than yourself.
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon (as chosen by Justin)
English Publisher: Viz Media
This is a sequel to a beloved and epic manga and anime series. No one expected a sequel to Inuyasha, especially years after the fact, but it was a welcome surprise. It was nice to see beloved characters years after their own adventures concluded, and though it played a bit fast and loose with power scaling like Dragon Ball can, as in “These super power characters were always there, they were just busy doing other things”, it was still a solid series.
Elden Ring – Road to the Erdtree (as chosen by input(Void))
English Publisher: Yen Press
If you would have told me that Elden Ring was gonna get a manga within just a few months, I’d have believed you. If you told me it would be a non-stop comedy manga filled to the brim with jokes, I’d say you were crazy. And yet, here we are. Road to the Erdtree is a neat idea that brings The Lands Between to life in a way I never expected. The art is wonderful and putting a comedic spin on such a dreary world is surprisingly effective. It’s still ongoing and is currently free to read online. Any fan of the game should check it out.
Usagi Yojimbo/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Collection (as chosen by The Captain)
English Publisher: Dark Horse
It’s not strictly manga, and it wasn’t released in 2022, but you should read it. Period. Stan Sakai brings his samurai rabbit and those famous adolescent turtles to life in a thrilling collection of tales featuring time travel, ninjas, evil villains, more ninjas, ninja villains, and plenty of action.
I read this with my young kids — and it isn’t easy finding good fiction that we can all enjoy. There’s no blood, very little bad language I had to edit out while reading, and it isn’t too scary, yet it’s still intriguing and entertaining enough for old Turtles fans to enjoy. Ultimately, this is the perfect gateway for anyone to get into comics and manga: it’s the bridge into an amazingly wide world of illustrated stories.
Do you have a favorite manga from 2022? Tell us about it, in the comments below.