You may be wondering, what is manga? Well, manga is the genre of Japanese comic books and graphic novels that have been captivating audiences across the globe since the 12th century. Manga is known to entertain readers in a variety of different genres, including horror, romance, fantasy, and science fiction. Today’s most popular manga series have sold millions of copies worldwide. They have been revamped into animated television series and movies that bring the magic of the comic onto the big screen. Here are some of the most popular manga series of 2020 thus far; the ones topping the charts all the way from Japan to the United States.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotouge
Since his birth, Tanjiro Kamado lived a mundane, peaceful life. He sold charcoal for a living and his mountain home was always full of the smiles and laugher of his mother and younger siblings. One fateful night, however, that all changed. While Tanjiro sold charcoal at the base of his mountain home, his family was slaughtered by a demon. His sister, Nezuko, was the only survivor but was no longer human. The demon that murdered Tanjiro’s family turned Nezuko into one of his disciples – a beast that lusts off human flesh and blood. After that night, Tanjiro vowed to avenge his family’s name and find a way to turn his sister back into a human before she takes her first innocent life.
Since its debut, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has become one of manga’s best-selling series. It is captivating and you will fly through the 21 volumes in the blink of an eye. If you are worried about not liking the characters, don’t! Trust me, you will be laughing out loud at Tanjiro’s friends, Zenitsu and Inosuke’s antics, and aw-ing at how cute Nezuko is. Even if you are not a comic book junky, pick up Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba! You will not be disappointed.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War by Aka Akasaka
At Shuchiin Academy, a war has been declared between Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, the student council president and vice-president. Why, you may ask? Well, because they are in love. The two of them just refuse to admit it to each other. They believe the first one to admit they love the other will lose the ultimate war, and the two academically inclined students do not want to give their student council counterpart the satisfaction of winning.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War is an intense romance story between two stubborn individuals that will literally try to sabotage the other’s chances at winning with their cunning wit and allusive charm. If you are in the mood for a twist on a different kind of romantic tale, Kaguya-sama: Love is War is for you. You will find yourself choosing sides and hoping either Miyuki or Kaguya lose the war.
The Promised Neverland by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu
Emma, Ray, and Norman live a pleasant life at Grace Field House, which is an orphanage enclosed from the outside world. They are fed the most delicious food, always given the cleanest clothes, and they are allowed to play games with the other 37 orphans that occupy the estate. All their lives, Emma, Ray, and Norman have dreamed about the day they would get adopted and see the outside world. But when they discover the ghoulish secret that is Grace Field House, Emma, Ray, and Norman find out that they might be eaten alive before they ever get to experience the world, the one they have been wistfully awaiting.
The Promised Neverland is a dystopian, horror manga series that has not disappointed audiences since its release in 2017. The plot is dark, the reality these children live in is horrific, and the whole story will leave you clinging to the edge of your seat. If you like scary stories about the things that go bump in the night, then The Promised Neverland is definitely for you. Just be prepared to cringe and close your eyes as these children plot their stealthy escape from Grace Field House and their grim fate.
Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate
Ever since Shoyo Hinata saw “The Little Giant” compete at the national volleyball finals on TV, he has wanted to be him. “The Little Giant,” stood at only 5’6 during his tenure at Karasuno High School. Still, despite his small stature, he made a considerable name for himself and inspired short volleyball players like Hinata to be the ace of their volleyball team.
Haikyu!! follows Hinata as he joins the Karasuno High School Volleyball team years after “The Little Giant” graduates. There, at Karasuno, Hinata makes a ton of friends and learns how to become Karasuno’s future ace and work with their arrogant, short-tempered setter who only cares about winning.
Since its debut, Haikyu!! has become one of the most popular sports manga in the world. It has captured the attention of volleyball players, sports enthusiasts, and even people who traditionally knew nothing about volleyball before picking up the series. Nonetheless, as a former high school volleyball player, I can honestly say that this series portrays volleyball accurately, including the trials one must overcome on the court to become the best.
One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
With over 450 million copies sold, One Piece reigns as the most popular manga series in the world. Since 1997, One Piece has released a total of 979 chapters in 96 volumes, and despite the series being over 20 years old, it is still one of the most popular manga series of 2020.
This intriguing story follows Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate crew in search of the ultimate treasure called One Piece. Luffy believes if he finds One Piece, he will become the King of Pirates and rule supreme over the pirate nation. On their journey to find One Piece, Luffy and his crew encounter other pirates, bounty hunters, secret agents, and acquire different ships to set sail aboard. Most of all, Luffy makes a ton of friends and foes that either aid or try to crush his ultimate dream of becoming the King of Pirates. One Piece is a goofy tale about swashbuckling dreamers that will have you wanting to join Luffy’s crew and plunder the seven seas in search of One Piece.
Kingdom by Yasuhisa Hara
Set in ancient China, Kingdom follows a war-orphan named Xin. All their lives, Xin and his best friend Piao dreamed of becoming the next great war generals. Their twin dream quickly dies when Piao perishes after serving as a body double for Ying Zheng, the rightful King of Qin. Fueled by anger and determination, Xin decides to make sure Piao did not die in vain and aids Ying Zheng in overthrowing his younger half-brother and reclaiming the Qin throne.
Kingdom is a poignant story that will send your emotions on a roller coaster. It’s violent, gory, political, and full of rich history. It depicts the cruel nature of the period and how many people had to fight to survive and achieve their ultimate desires.
The Quintessential Quintuplets by Negi Haruba
The Nakano family’s quintuplets. They are rich, beautiful girls that might have different personalities, but they all share the same dissent similarity – they are not book smart. They could care less about studying and passing their exams. They would rather do anything but flip through one of their textbooks and work towards getting a passing grade.
Meet Futaro Uesugi, the loser brainiac of Asahiyama high school. He does not have any friends, can barely pay for his school lunch every day because of the debt racked up by his father, and the only thing he has going for him is that he gets hundreds on all of his exams. When Futaro gets a job tutoring the quintuplets, he thinks it will be an easy way to make money to help out his family. He is wrong. The quintuplets do not want anything to do with him or studying. To top it off, they think he is a huge loser.
The Quintessential Quintuplets is a lighthearted story that will make you giggle and smile. It is a romance story that will keep you guessing to the very end because it is fated that Futaro will marry one of the Quintuplets. The question is, which one?
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime by Fuse, Taiki Kawakami, and Miz Vah
Satoru Mikami was a simple thirty-seven-year-old man who had never had a girlfriend and was stuck in a deadbeat job. Satoru hoped that his life would eventually get better, but it never did. He died before anything extraordinary could happen to him – stabbed to death in the streets of Tokyo by an assailant. Satoru hoped in his next life he would be able to have a girlfriend and live a fulfilling life, but when he gets reincarnated as a blind slime monster in a world full of dragons, ogres, and demon lords, well, let us just say he was a little disappointed.
Despite its silly title and the peculiar main character, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has sold over 4.5 million volumes. It is beloved by audiences across the world, and it is a story that will leave you begging for more and loving slime.
My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi
Have you ever wanted to be a superhero? Well, Izuku Midoriya does. All his life, Izuku has yearned to be a superhero, just like his idol All Might. He wants to save the world from villainy and do it with a smile on his face. The only problem is, Izuku does not have a superpower. He is quirkless in a world where 80% of the population possesses an uncanny ability called a quirk. Despite the odds stacked against him, Izuku does not want to give up on his dream of winding up as a hero. When Izuku finally gets a chance to meet his idol, All Might, he discovers that there is a chance for him to become the hero he has always dreamed of being.
Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia follows Izuku Midoriya’s journey to UA high school, the most prestigious superhero school in Japan. It is a coming-of-age story about friendship, rivals, and following your dreams. My Hero Academia is my favorite manga series of all time, and every time I read it, I get this huge smile on my face. I can’t help it, I just do! It is such a heartwarming, action-packed story that will get you jumping up and down and rooting for the characters. If you are a superhero buff, check out My Hero Academia. The powers these teenagers have are unreal!
Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama
Attack on Titan takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is on the brink of destruction. Giant, un-intelligent, humanoid beasts roam the earth eating everything in sight, including men, women, and children. The surviving members of humanity have been forced behind three massive ringed walls that keep the giant beasts, nicknamed Titans, out. For the past century, humanity has been safe behind these walls. But when an intelligent Titan breaks through the outer wall and Titans crawl through the gaping hole in the border, all hope seems lost. Humanity must rely on the Scout Regiment, a branch of the military assigned to fighting the Titans, to kill these giant beasts or humanity will be lost for good.
Attack on Titan is a gripping story encompassing three orphans, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin, who lost their guardians to the Titans after the fall of the wall. The story follows their journey as they join the Scout Regiment and fight the Titans that took everything they loved. Attack on Titan is a tale of heartbreak and love —a story about children not for any child to read.