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.
Oku is a mangaka who created Gantz (2000 – 2013) and Inuyashiki (2014 – 2017). His manga is often featured explicit violence, gore, and sexual content. In 1988 he won the Youth Manga Awards. He’s also designed a character (Shura) for the Soulcalibur 4 fighting game.
4. Akihito Tsukushi
Tsukushi is the creator of the manga and anime series, Made in Abyss. The series follows an orphan named Riko, as she and her friend Reg explore the Abyss searching for her mother. Made in Abyss is known for its childlike characters that contrast with it’s more serious tone and narrative.
3. Hiromi Arakawa
Hiromi Arakawa is the writer and manga artist for the critical acclaimed Fullmetal Alchemist series. Set in a universe where alchemy is used for science and war, Fullmetal Alchemist centers on the brothers Edward and Alphonse. They aim to find the philosopher’s stone to restore their bodies that were destroyed after failing to resurrect their mother. Fullmetal Alchemist has sold over 70 million copies and has spawned two anime series.
2. Junji Ito
Ito is a horror mangaka, known for his series The Enigma of Amigara Fault, Tomie, Uzumaki, and Gyo. In 2019 he received the Eisner Award for his manga adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Ito has cited Hideshi Hino, Yasutaka Tsutsui, and H.P. Lovecraft as major influences. Many of his series feature body horror, societal breakdowns, and deep-sea organisms.
1. Yusuke Murata
Murata is best known for illustrating the series Eyeshield 21 and One Punch Man. Murata is a fan of Kinu Nishimura, the concept artist for capcom. He also claims Akira Toriyama as another influence. His art has been praised by many with June Shimonishi stating that “every inch [is] filled with details and no gag left unseen.” Deb Aoki stated that “his art not just there to look pretty – it’s there to tell a story.” Murata has also created several Spider-Man covers.
Kamome is best known in the states for her work on DC and Marvel. As a comic book cover artists, she has done covers for Star Wars, Birds of Prey and Batgirl. Witch Hat Atelier is the manga series that she is best known for. If you notice anything about her artwork it will be her line work.
4. Katsuhiro Otomo
Akira is one of the greatest anime/manga series ever created. It makes sense that the artist, Katsuhiro Otomo would be one of the best manga-ka. Otomo became the fourth manga artist inducted into the American Eisner Award Hall of Fame and was the first manga artist to receive the Grand Prix de la Ville d’Angoulême. He was also responsible for the anime adaptation that emulates his art style.
3. Takehiko Inoue
Inoue’s Slam Dunk series is one of the best selling manga series of all time. Slam Dunk has been adapted into an anime and sold over 120 million copies. The series focuses on the basketball team from Shohoku High School. Inoue current series Vagabond portrays a fictional account of swordsmen Musashi Miyamoto. It has sold over 80 million copies so far.
2. Hirohiko Araki
Araki’s first manga series was Cool Shock B.T., but he’s best known for his current series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. First published in 1987, Jojo has sold over 100 million copies. Known for its references to Western rock music, fashion, and Italy. Jojo is currently divided into eight parts. Each one follows new protagonists that bear the name “JoJo.” Araki’s art style is unique, easily recognizable to anyone familiar with it.
1. Kentaro Miura
Like many of the other manga-ka on this list, Kentaro’s series, Berserk, is one of the most influential manga series. Berserk is a dark fantasy series set in medieval Europe. Centering on the character Guts, a lone mercenary. As of January 2016, Berserk has sold over 40 million copies. Berserk features detailed artwork of giant grotesque demons.