Lists · Top 5

The Final 5 Top Manga Artists (so far)

5. Kensuke Nishida

The writer and artist of the manga series, I Am a Hero in Nagasaki, Kensuke Nishida is an up and coming mangaka. One of the three spinoff series of the I Am a Hero series by Kengo Hanazawa, I Am a Hero in Nagasaki follows a photographer Yamada. Suffering from a form of Anthropophobia, Yamada and his former classmate Nirei Aya try to live on Hashima Island, under threat by zombie and humans. Nishida is currently the artist on the Jagaaaaaan manga series.

4. Sakurai Gamon

Gamon is the illustrator and writer of the Ajin manga series. The original writer Tsuina Miura quit early in the manga’s creation and Gamon continued without him. Gamon an avid gamer loves to incorporate gaming references into his manga. Ajin is a seinen manga series that focuses on those resistant to death, Demi-Humans. Kai Nagai is killed during a traffic accident, he survives to reveal that he’s a demi-human. Kei must navigate a world that hates what he is.

3. Atsushi Okubo

Okubo is the author and artist of Soul Eater and Fire Force. He was an assistant for Rando Ayamine on the GetBackers series. He also created work for the Lord of Vermilion video game and character designs for Bravely Default. He won a contest at Square Enix’s magazine Gangan with his first series B.Ichi. He began Soul Eater in 2004, ending in 2013. In 2015 he began his current series, Fire Force.

2. Shinichi Sakamoto

One look at Sakamoto’s artwork you instantly know why he’s one of the best mangakas. The realism in his artwork is unreal. One of the manga series that illustrates his best work is Innocent and Innocent Rouge. The story is a dark seinen series focusing on a family of executioners in France during the French Revolution.

1. Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama is the one of, if not the greatest mangaka of all time. The creator of Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, and Dragon Ball Z manga series that collectively have sold over 300 million copies, Akira Toriyama is credited with popularizing Shonen. He’s also the inspiration for many of the manga artists I featured on these lists. Dragon Ball Super is his current series. His art style can be seen as simple and childlike. However, I think that’s what makes his art so impactful. Hirohiko Araki once said that Toriyama’s art style is best typified as “Realism and signification oppose each other like water and oil, but is possible to use both at the same time.”

Well, that’s all the mangaka artists that I considered among the best. I know that can’t possibly be ALL of them. Any suggestions of who can make a future top 5 mangaka list? Let me know.

5 More Top Mangaka Artists

Lists · Top 5

5 More Top Manga Artists

5. Hiro Mashima

Hiro is the creator of Rave Master (1999-2005), Fairy Tail (2006-2017) and Edens Zero (2018 – present), as well as several spin-offs. Fairy Tail, his most successful series has sold over 60 million copies. Like many mangakas, Hiro was inspired by Akira Toriyama. He also claims the videogame series Dragon Quest and Kinnikuman as inspirations.


4. Oh! great

Ito Ogure is known professionally as Oh! great. His most popular manga series are Tenjho Tenge and Air Gear. His artwork is most famous for his highly sexualized female characters and the large use of fanservice. He’s also designed characters for Tekken and Soulcalibur series.


3. Boichi

Boichi is the pen name of Mujik Park. A South Korean artist, he’s best known for his Dr. Stone manga series. He majored in physics as preparation for drawing science fiction. His first series was Sun-Ken Rock. His art style is easily recognizable. Particularly his detailed shadow use, his linework, and thick eyebrows.


2. Kohei Horikoshi

Horikoshi’s current series My Hero Academia is among the most popular series in production. A graduate of Nagoya University of Arts and a former assistant for Yasuki Tanaka (Hitomi no Catoblepas, Kagijin), he credits manga series Naruto, One Piece and Akira as inspiration.


1. Masashi Kishimoto

Naruto is hands down one of the greatest manga series of all time. Kishimoto’s art is part of this success. Currently, Naruto has sold over 250 million copies. Inspired as a child by the works of Akira Toriyama and Katsuhiro Otomo, Kishimoto is now ranked among them. He’s also mentioned that he was inspired by Yoshihiro Togashi (Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter X Hunter).

My Top 5 Manga Artists

Essay/Opinion

Why are shonen anime characters so stupid?

Important Note: I haven’t been blogging recently due to the fact that I got a job working for USPS. It’s a temporary holiday job that will end in late December. I work overnight from midnight to 8:30 AM, six days a week. As you can image, I don’t have much time left if I include sleeping. I just wanted you guys to know that in case you were wondering why I stopped blogging. I’ll be back in full force in January.

A common question among anime and manga fans for decades has been, why are anime characters so stupid? This question is specifically asked when referring to shonen manga. It should be noted that “shonen” isn’t technically a genre, as it refers to a targeted demographic. However, within anime culture many fans know what’s being referred to when you mention, shonen. Shonen’s main demographic is young teen males. Intended for boys between the ages of 12 and 18, shonen series highlight the themes that generally matter most to this demo. Primarily, fighting series focuses on action packed battle scenes with friendships between boys being emphasized. To make characters more appealing to the young male demographic they tend to begin as young boys.

It’s Akira Toriyama’s fault


But, I think the reason that shonen feature “stupid” protagonists is primarily due to the admiration and influence of Akira Toriyama. A Japanese manga artists and character designer, Toriyama, first achieve success with his Dr. Slump manga series. It won him the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1981 and went on to sell 35 million copies. As a character designer he has been successful for Dragon Quests, Chrono Trigger and Blue Dragon series. However, Akira Toriyama is best known for his follow up manga series Dragon Ball. Having sold over 250 million copies, Dragon Ball is the second best selling manga of all time. Considered to be a primary driving force in increasing manga sales from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s, Dragon Ball’s impact continues to be felt till this day. Akira Toriyama is credited with popularizing shonen manga beginning in the 80’s continuing to this day.

The invention of the Stock Shonen Hero trope


It is this influence that is responsible for the trend of “dumb” shonen characters. To be more specific, it is Dragon Ball’s main protagonist, Son Goku that is the template that shonen heroes are built upon. Considered to be the most influential manga characters of all time, he’s a saiyan that was sent to conquer Earth as a baby. After hitting his head as a child, he loses his aggression that comes naturally to the saiyan race. As a result, he is no longer able to conquer the world. As Goku ages, he makes friends, enemies, gets married and has children. He’s presented as being profoundly stupid, but innocent at heart. Always has mercy for his enemies and is capable of brilliance during combat. Goku, like all saiyans, takes pride in his strength. Goku has been credited with giving birth to the “Stock Shonen Hero” trope.


This trope describes a “big hearted, energetic kid,” that is not too bright. They have pride in their fighting strength. These heroes are willing to train hard to achieve even greater strength. However, their true power comes from the friendships they have gained and the sense of justice they possess. The “stock shonen hero” is always ready to help the weak, risk their lives for strangers and friends, while often showing mercy towards enemies. Every character that is inspired by Goku has many of these qualities as well. Akira Toriyama and his Dragon Ball series has been cited as inspiration for many manga artists. Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) and Tite Kubo (Bleach) have all claimed to have been influenced by Dragon Ball. Oda’s Monkey D. Luffy, Kishimoto’s Naruto and Kubo’s Ichigo, all share the parts of the tropes Goku made famous.


A genre that priorities the physical strength of a character over their intelligence, is obviously going result in dumb characters with epic battles. Making characters dumb is considered to be a great way to make them appealing to a larger audience. What they lack in book smarts, they make up in “street smarts.” Meaning these characters are able to think on the fly and can problem solve when needed. In shonen manga this “intelligence” is often shown during fights. While shonen anime existed before Akira Toriyama, it’s his Dragon Ball series that popularized the genre. Toriyama’s Goku was the inspiration for many future protagonist, making stupid heroes the norm.