The first decade of the 21st century is about to end... If you surf the net, you can see a lot of rankings about stuff done about "the best ....... of this decade", like the best movie, the best games, the best music etc... bla bla bla...
When I went back for a short one night stay at Kuantan, I saw this whole pile of comic books in the study room that my family have bought since I was small... It sure brings back memories of the little me buying and collecting all those comics... Some of those I read just for pure fun, but a lot of them have influenced my life in a certain aspect...
So, my top 20 for this decade is... my top 20 manga list from 2000 - 2009... from my primary schools years until now... here goes!!
Oh yeah... the ranking is purely based on my own PERSONAL JUDGEMENT... I guess about 3/4 or even 90% of the manga in here are those that many have never heard off... but it is still great!!
Genre: Shounen, Action, Adventure.
Yeah, I probably safe to say this is the most popular manga in Malaysia... almost everyone knows it... Its also one of the earliest manga I've read, from the start to the finish... and bought all the volumes~ Dragonball is all about action and fighting its influence is still significant to manga authors nowadays even though the series have ended years ago... especially on One Piece whom Oda-sensei himself admit that Dragon Ball elements highly influence One Piece
Extra note: Dragonball prided itself the most the highest selling shounen manga of all time in Japan for years... until this year where One Piece overtook it.. :)
Genre: Shounen, Action, Adventure
This story is about the adventure of a demon, half-demon and a human... well, quite typical manga actually. The art is pretty good. However, the storyline is really2 interesting~The character development is well done and certainly keep me wanting for more after each chapter... too bad the translation is very slow...
#18 Mr Fullswing - Suzuki Shinya
Genre: Shounen, Sports, Comedy
Ahhh... and here comes the craziest sports manga ever... its here on this list is not because of the art nor the storyline... but 100% based on its comedy value!! The jokes are very crazy that most of them arent even related to the storyline and came out of nowhere~ Even the first chapter got me laughing like crazy... pure comedy gold manga!! Oh, this manga is about school baseball~
Extra note: It is damn funny!!
Genre: Seinen, psychological, spice of life, tragedy
English translation: Prisoner 042
A story about a life sentence inmate being given a second chance to freedom. He will have to undergo a government experiment where a chip is implanted in his brain and be put under 24/7 surveillance. The chip will explode, killing him if he ever loses its temper. He then worked as a janitor in a highschool. Can he survive being in the highschool without ever losing his temper. A very touching story about the value of life in the prespective of a prisoner.
Genre: Seinen, horror, psychological, tragedy
Out of nowhere, an unknown breed of species invaded living host of this planet (humans, animals) creating a new being with superhuman powers and abilities to alter their body shape and also feed on other human. The protagonist however only have one of his hand invaded by this species, thus retaining his consciousness but having another being that can talk and attack others in his right hand. At first this story is just about fighting this invading parasites, but then a lot of philosophical questions being raised in this manga especially how humans treat the environment and the survivality of this new species making this one of the best seinen manga I've read. Probably the best storyline in terms of the genre of aliens invading earth and living with humans.
Extra note: this manga contains a very sadh scene... when **SPOILER WARNING HIGHLIGHT to view the SPOILER** te parasite invaded the main character's mother, thus the main character have to kill or be killed by his own mother, an epic touching scene...
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi.
Here it is, everyone fauvarite blue robot with his 22nd century gadgets~ I'm sure most of my generations have read this manga when they were small. The idea in this manga is very simple yet it left a huge impact in the manga industry. Doraemon has became an idol, a symbol known throughout the world that has popularized Japan. Looking back, this manga influenced me to be interested in the fields of science and environment as those were the main message. Doraemon has been expanded into other series such as:
Doraemon long stories, The Doraemons (Doraemon 7 sekawan), Dorabase (baseball manga).
Sadly, Fujiko F. Fujio died in 1996, leaving a blank hole of what is the conclusion of the doraemon series, did doraemon stay with nobita until he grew up? Did Nobita future changed? What will Nobita and his friend be in the future...??
However, I found one fan-made ending of the doraemon series which can be found on the internet... very well done... a great ending too~ the art is almost similiar to Fujio F. Fujiko's. In the end is the great opening song that we all love... ang ang ang... tatemo daisuki... doraemonnn~
Extra note: From wikipidea.. some of Doraemon's significance in the industry not just in Japan:
On 22 April 2002, on the special issue of Asian Hero in TIME Magazine, Doraemon was selected as one of the 22 Asian Heroes. Being the only cartoon character selected, Doraemon was described as "The Cuddliest Hero in Asia".
In 2005, the Japan Society of New York selected Doraemon as a culturally significant work of Japanese otaku pop-culture in its exhibit Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture, curated by renowned artist Takashi Murakami. In Murakami's analysis, he states that Doraemon's formulaic plotlines typified the "wish fulfilment" mentality of 1970s Japan, where the electronics revolution glamorized the idea that one could solve their problems with machines and gadgets rather than hard work or individual intelligence.
Despite having no official appearance in the United States, Doraemon influenced a number of shows on the US-based TV network, Nickelodeon. Doraemon is the predecessor-of-sorts to Butch Hartman's animated TV series, The Fairly OddParents (which airs on the above-mentioned channel), and has the same plot and style of humor. Both series have also met with high popularity worldwide.
In many ways, Doraemon was the first of its kind. It has been considered to be a prototype of the modern slapstick cartoon series for children such as the above-mentioned Fairly OddParents, SpongeBob SquarePants (another US-made show made by Nickelodeon), and Fujiko Fujio's own Kiteretsu Daihyakka.
Genre: Family, comedy
Another children manga back to back deserving to be on my list. This is also another children icon, with a cute + funny and not the least perverted image... haha. Shin Chan is on my list not just because of the comedy, but when I read it carefully, there's a lot of family value portrayed in the manga. Despite being a bit weird, the shinnosuke family (Nohara, Misae, Shin, Himawari and Shiro) is actually your normal typical everyday family. The father who works as a salarymen and a bit perverted, a housewive who controls the family and cares about her weight, Shin chan who is... shin chan... a cute little baby Himawari who causes mess around the house (that's what uncontrolled babies do..) and Shiro the dog who is the dog... It's just a story about a normal family with funny circumstances happening in normal life... but in a great and funny way.
Similiar with the author of doraemon, Yoshito Usui died this year in 2009... I'm so sad when I heard the news... Shin Chan's have ended... and also without a conclusion like Doraemon...
Extra note: My personal fauvarite chapter in shin chan is when Matsuzaka-sensei's boyfriend Dr. Tokuro died in Africa... it suddenly became a very touching manga but with Shin Chan still remained as Shin Chan... an epic chapter~
Genre: Seinen, Sci-Fi, psychological, tragedy
One of Naoki Urasawa masterpiece, a story about the future where robots live side by side with humans. Robots now have their own families and job. There's even an "International Robots Rights" where all robots must be treated equally like human and other stuff. This manga could be very boring to those who like fast-paced action manga, but for a more matured audience who is willing to read in details and loves sci-fi themes, this is the manga for you. A solid storyline combined with cool characters ~
Pluto is based on Osamu Tezuka's The World Strongest Robot Tetsuwan Atom a.k.a. Astro Boy
Extra note: Pluto received an Excellence Prize for manga at the 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival. The series also received the 2005 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Grand Prize, which Urasawa also won for his work on Monster.
Genre: Shounen, School life, Romance
English Translation: A Town Where You Live
The first jiwang manga in my list... ah, Seo Kouji's romance manga is just my type... personally, it is even better then love dramas on the televisyen.. the art, character development and storyline are great. The theme is quite typical, a city girl comes to a small village and live together with the main character, and the main character has a crush on this other girl at school. Your typical love triangle... but told in a great way and beautifully drawn by Seo Kouji.
Extra note: I just love the title... A Town Where you Lived.. Kimi no Iru Machi... :)
Genre: Shounen, School life, Sports, Romance
And yet a back to back title by Seo Kouji on the list. Very similiar to Kimi, in fact Kimi is told in the same world as Suzuka, but for different characters and different timeline. Many who read both of them prefer Kimi over Suzuka, but I prefer Suzuka better because... the like the ending (which many hates)... the ending... how the series end... is quite... Islamic in a way... huhu
Genre: Seinen, Action, psychological
Be prepared for the bloodiest manga eva'!!! Presenting Akumetsu, a zealous individuals with the moto "One man, One kill" out to kill all the corrupt politicians in Japan to make a better Japan. Some say it is a terrorrist act, but others sees him as a hero or martyr. This manga is very realistic in the effects of each murder to Japanese Political system.
Extra note: Originally, Akumetsu is not even on my list of my fauvarite manga... but it all change when I read the volumes leading to the ending.. and the ending is AWESOME!! If I have to give an award of the BEST ENDING in all the manga I've read... it's gotta be Akumetsu!! The ending is so intense it will leave you speechless and breathless... haha. You can't help but fall in love with this "killer" after reading the ending.
Genre - Manhua, Seinen, Historical, psychological, action
Ok, first of all this is not a manga... but a manhua (chinese manga)... but who cares?
Alright, who's a fan of Romance of the Three Kingdoms here? Me, me!! that's right... me!! I knew Liu Bei, Cao Cao and Sun Ce since I was small... haha. This story is about Romance of Three Kingdom, a period of war in China's history. The art is this manhua is superb, the coolness of the character during its cool scene is beyond any coolness possible.. understand? haha... the strategy and philosophy is also discussed in great details... my fauvarite one is... should a hero defends his honor even though it costs his life OR should a hero defend his life to have another chance even though it costs his honor? hmmm....
Extra info: Be prepared for a story with the largest amount of character to memorize their names and faces for you to understand the storyline... even I got lost somewhere along the way...
Genre: Seinen, Mecha, psychological, tragedy
English translation: Ours
Ok, this is the third time this manga's in on my blog... third time in a row...Bokurano tells a story about 15 10 years olds given the obligation to ride a giant robot to fight off other robot invading earth. If they fail, the earth is destroyed. But, if they win, the pilot of the robot will die. Therefore, either way the pilot will die. This is the first manga I've read that from the beggining it showed me that all 15 main characters will die eventually... Definitely a great manga about the value of life~
Extra note: Like Kimi no Iru Machi, I love the title, so simple yet inspiring.. Bokurano... Ours~
Genre: Shounen, School, Romance
From the creator of Death Note, comes Bakuman, a manga about manga... yes, its about the process of the two protagonists in becoming a mangaka (manga artist), a writer and an artist. Initially, I read it just because I myself love to draw manga, and wanted to know the process of becoming a mangaka... however, the plot is really2 interesting and the suspense is also real. A simple theme.. but told in a beautiful way.
Extra note: Reading Bakuman makes me want to draw manga again after I left for a year... yearghhh!! If I can draw a manga that can appear in JUMP magazine... it would be a dream come true.
Genre: Shounen, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi,
"Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's first law of equivalent exchange"
Two young boy, one lost his upper and lower limbs, another lost his whole body and only remained as a soul in a suit of armor after performing alchemy to revive their dead mother. They lost that, but gained nothing but sadness and regrets. And so, these two brother journey to find a way to get their bodies back. Along the way, they found of the ugly truth behind the truth. This shounen series have my respect because the momentum in the storyline have not fallen down even after a long run. The storyline just get better and better.
Extra note: In 2009 manga sells, FMA sells more then Naruto and Bleach per volume (but less then one piece), making it the second most sold manga per volume for a series after one piece (the 1st).
The manga won the Shogakukan Manga Awards in 2004
The anime won numerous awards... read for yourself in wikipidea. The recent anime, FMA:Brotherhood is the only anime I've seen so far that delivers the same kind of excitement as the manga, which many other "anime based on manga" have failed to do so.
Genre: Shounen, Sports, School
A story about a teacher reforming a group of delinquent in an infamous school in Japan known for its violent history.The reforms are done through the baseball club. The story is like a combination of GTO and Slam Dunk, with its own original art. The character development in this manga is amazing, you cant help but fall in love with the delinquent baseball team as they violently make their way into the baseball tournament initially by scaring their opponents, but later by their own efforts and skills.
Extra note: Rookies is made into live action drama... although the drama won 5 out of 9 awards in Japan Televisyen Awards in 2008... including Best Drama.. I disliked the drama!! The baseball team are like so JAMBU and have all this "handsome" and "cute" guy... what??@!?!! Its a delinquent team..!! Find a more violent and scary actors!!
Yup, this manga is ecchi, pervert... I agree, I agree... However, when I read through it again with a more matured mind... ceh... I find it... still perverted... but the storyline is actually very inspiring.
Onizuka is himself a delinquent becoming a teacher and is assigned to this worse and most dangerous class in the school. The story revolves around how Onizuka touches the life of each and every student in the class, while surviving the plot of people trying to take down the school, class and himself. The character development in this manga is certainly one of the best and personally I found this manga very inspiring~ as a student and as a (temporary) teacher~ It made me want to be GTR one day... Great Teacher Riman... haha
Extra note: I love the ending qoutes of this series... so meaningful and nostalgic..
Genre: Shounen, Sports, School, Comedy
Its the top three. Actually its not fair to put this top three in a ranking bcoz all of it deserve to be my number one... but I have to make a decision since this is a ranking to number one...
Coming at number 3, is Slam Dunk my #1 Sports manga... also a famous manga in Malaysia... I have the whole collection of Slam Dunk!! An epic baseketball manga. The only downside of this manga... is that it have to end... and that the ending wasn't really a completely happy ending... wanted to see their dreams come true!! The power of Slam Dunk is that because of the manga alone, I knew the rules of basketball, and become very interested in basketball and wanting to play basketball during and after the Slam Dunk craze!! It really inspired me!!
Extra note: Slam Dunk is the #4 highest selling manga of ALL TIME passing the 100 000 000 mark... with the highest sale per volume on the list, beating dragon ball and even one piece~
In 1995, it received the 40th Shogakukan Manga Award.
Genre: Seinen, Sci-Fi, psychological
Even though the 20th century has long gone... 20th century boys lived on!!! An epic story made in 8 years of Urasawa-sensei's life. Nicely arranged, wonderfully told and beautifully drawn. 20th century boys is the best sci-fi story I've read in my lifetime, even better then all those hollywood sci-fi blockbuster! The way the manga is arranged is one of a kind... it left you begging for more!! The hero in this story is so cool, despite having no superpowers... just his crappy song~ I have never felt so affected by a manga series like this, since I've read Slam Dunk and One Piece. Thank you Urasawa-sensei~
For people who never read Urasawa-sensei's work before (like me), reading 20th century boy will seem very very plain and pointless and childish at first..... but once you finally understand the situation... you're stuck in the world... its scary..
Extra note: In response to its epicness~ this story has been made into a movie trilogy, just like the Lord of the Ring trilogy, and is one of Japan's highest budget film.
This series has a sequel: 21st Century Boys, which is an excellent and epic sequel~
20th Century Boy, the title is taken from an old-school rock song by T-Rex entitled "20th Century Boys" . And the reason why this title is chosen is only fully understood (at least by me) in the final chapter of the 21st century boys... so long it took to understand the title
AND NOW THE NUMBER ONE MANGA OF THE DECADE for me.....
Before that here's the recap from number 20 to 2...
#20 - Dragon Ball
#19 - Sengoku Youko
#18 - Mr Fullswing
#17 - Shikeisyu 042
#16 - Parasyte
#15 - Doraemon
#14 - Crayon Shin Chan
#13 - Pluto
#12 - Kimi no iru Machi
#11 - Suzuka
#10 - Akumetsu
#9 - The Ravages of Time
#8 - Bokurano
#7 - Bakuman
#6 - Fullmetal Alchemist
#5 - Rookies
#4 - Great Teacher Onizuka
#3 - Slam Dunk
#2 - 20th Century Boys
you guessed it....
It's not on the list yet...
What? Naruto?? Huhh.........???? Bleach?? Haaaaa........??????
Genre: Shounen, Action, Adventure, Awesomeness!!
Deserving of its title, ONE piece... landed on number ONE on my list~ despite some haters that say one piece is just purely entertainment and all other nonsense... no one can help but acknowledge the momentum of one piece in this decade!! Not being the #1 manga in online manga website?? Who cares... look at the momentum in its original country... in Japan... 2009 has been a total ownage year by one piece!!
Initially, my first impression of One Piece is like... boringggggggggggg~ what's this "Budak Getah"??? The artwork is weird... But, one day... in hostel, my friend brought a volume of this "Budak Getah", feeling bored... I read it... the volume is about this rubber guy Luffy fighting a lightning guy.. Enel... The lightning doesnt work on Rubber... Enel is shocked... well... I give it credit for being funny...
The next month, he brought the next volume... and this is where I fell in love with one piece... the epicness of this volume... The story of Kalgara and Norland... the story was so ROMANCE that it touches my heart... the man's romance spirit within me lifted and so I realize the awesomeness of One Piece.
Having reading through 569 chapters so far... the great thing about One Piece is that the momentum of the story keeps getting better and better and the secrets of the world of one piece unveiled one by one. After one arc finish, you'll say...this is the best arc, none can beat this... but Oda-sensei keeps coming back with a much more interesting arc that leave you wanting for more... Having its momentum constantly rising is one aspect of One Piece that is much better then the other big titles in this generation: Naruto and Bleach. Despite having a simliarly great start like One Piece, Naruto and Bleach's storyline is now falling down the hill for me... which is why both of them is not on the list.
Naruto's current storyline is so damn annoying... Naruto is annoying becoming this emo character, Sai is like... is it He or She... and what the hell is wrong with him?? Sai is the most annoying manga character I ever encountered, and then Sakura suddenly entering the scene crying and confessing and all... like... what??? why are you crying?? that's too damn emotional... The only cool character left on Naruto is the side characters, because they are not emo.
Bleach... well... I dont think there's a storyline anymore.... just fight and fight... and wasting chapters on telling a background story on characters I dont even care about... but at least the artwork of Bleach is as impressive as ever.
Alright, back to One Piece... sorry Naruto and Bleach fans.. :) Lets just roll it up by presenting the statistic of One Piece ownage of the year 2009, becoming my #1 manga of this decade...
Extra note: In 2009, One Piece owned the manga selling list with 14,721,241 copies, beating the 2nd place Naruto (6,836,494 copies) with more than twice the amount. Its like impossible for any other manga to catch up with one piece momentum this year.
|1||One Piece||Eiichiro Oda||14,721,241||Shueisha|
|4||Fullmetal Alchemist||Hiromu Arakawa||5,810,522||Square Enix|
|6||Katekyo Hitman Reborn!||Akira Amano||3,694,323||Shueisha|
|7||Mei-chan no Shitsuji||Riko Miyagi||3,076,659||Shueisha|
|8||Fairy Tail||Hiro Mashima||2,886,942||Kodansha|
|9||20th Century Boys||Naoki Urasawa||2,655,379||Shogakukan|
|10||Saint Young Men (Saint O-nii-san)||Hikaru Nakamura||2,614,269||Kodansha|
The ranking by volumes were also owned by One Piece, with claimed to top 4 spot.
|1||One Piece #53||Eiichiro Oda||2,057,528||Shueisha|
|2||One Piece #54||Eiichiro Oda||1,963,696||Shueisha|
|3||One Piece #52||Eiichiro Oda||1,952,551||Shueisha|
|4||One Piece #55||Eiichiro Oda||1,810,410||Shueisha|
|5||NANA #21||Ai Yazawa||1,505,575||Shueisha|
|6||Fullmetal Alchemist #23||Hiromu Arakawa||1,277,733||Square Enix|
|7||Fullmetal Alchemist #21||Hiromu Arakawa||1,271,340||Square Enix|
|8||Fullmetal Alchemist #22||Hiromu Arakawa||1,238,354||Square Enix|
|9||Naruto #45||Masashi Kishimoto||1,222,356||Shueisha|
|10||Naruto #47||Masashi Kishimoto||1,186,478||Shueisha|
One Piece Movie 10: Strong World, broke the Japan's box office records, beating Harry Potter and Ponyo records... Harry Potter opened in 844 screens while One Piece only have 188 screens but it still owns!! Can you believe it?? Luffy beats Harry Potter?? haha.. take that you lame-wizard~
One Piece Film Strong World, the 10th One Piece anime film, opened with 1.038 billion yen (about US$11.7 million) this past weekend. By comparison, Ponyo took in 1.025 billion yen (US$11.55 million) during its opening weekend last year. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opened on 844 screens in Japan this past July with 990 million yen (US$11.2 million). One Piece Film Strong World opened on 188 screens throughout Japan. 103 of those screens had sold-out showings throughout the weekend. The film's per-screen average was 5.52 million yen (US$62,200) — the record for a nationwide release in Japan.
And to wrap it all off.... This year, ONE PIECE officially became the highest selling shounen manga of ALL TIME, surpassing dragon ball~!! Kanpaii!!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the pictures used in this post
And so the decade ends tonight, it sure took a long time to make this list.. but that's what happen when you're in my shoes... Nothing to do on the eve of new year~!!
And so you have it, based on unpopular demand, my top 20 manga of the decade!!