10. Captain Tsubasa (80 million+)
Author: Yoichi Takahashi
Serialized: 1981 – present
Captain Tsubasa is a manga series by Yoichi Takahashi. The series focuses on association football. The series features “characterized by dynamic and exciting football moves, often stylish and implausible.” The manga follows Tsubasa Oozora and his friends while they face rival teams.
The series begins when Oozora’s just 11 years old. He loves football and dreams of winning the FIFA World Cup for Japan. He’s known as “Soccer no Moshigo” or “heaven sent child of football.” Tsubasa is a football prodigy, possessing speed, stamina, dribbling skills, and shotpower. Together with his friends on the Nankatsu team, Tsubasa win a number of championships including the U-17 World Championships.
9. Kingdom (83 million+)
Author: Yasuhisa Hara
Serialized: 2006 – present
Kingdom is a manga series by Yasuhisa Hara. The series tells a fictionized account of the Warring States period, a period that ended in 221 BC when Ying Zheng, king of Qin, conquered and unified China. The main protagonists is “war orphan” Xin, who fights along with his comrades. During the was he becomes the greatest general and unifies China. The series was adapted into a 3 season anime series in 2012.
Many characters are based on real figures. Xin along with fellow orphan Piao are servants in a poor village. They dream of becoming “Great Generals of the Heavens”. Piao is taken one day by a minister and returns a few months later mortally wounded. Piao resembled the current King of Qin, Ying Zheng. He was harmed during a power struggle for the throne. Xin aids the king in fighting off his brother Cheng Jiao and unifying China.
8. Baki the Grappier (85 million+)
Publisher: Akita Shoten
Author: Keisuke Itagaki
Serialized: 1991- present
Keisuke Itagaki’s Baki the Grappler, is a martial arts manga that follows Baki Hanma. The teenager trains and fights against a variety of different fighters. The series spawned three sequel series, Baki, Baki Hanma, and Baki-Dou.
In the story Baki is raised by his mother, Emi Akezawa. She uses her wealth to help fund his training as he tries to reach the fighting ability of his father, Yujiro Hanma. Baki eventually fights his father, and loses. He continues to train, facing a number of powerful fighters.
7. Hajime no Ippo (96 million+)
Author: George Morikawa
Serialized: 1989 – present
Hajime no Ippo is a manga series created by George Morikawa. Ippo Makunouchi is a high school student with no friends. Lonely, Ippo becomes a target of bullies. One day Ippo is seriously beaten by these bullies and is rescued by a middleweight boxer, Mamoru Takamura. When Ippo is giving a chance to punch a sandbag, he shows a talent for boxing.
Takamura isn’t sure that he’s ready. So the boxer, challenges him to “catch 10 falling leaves from a tree simultaneously after a week of training.” After training night and day, Ippo masters the technique. Takamura is impressed and agrees to train him.
6. The Kindaichi Case Files (100 million+)
Author: Yozaburo Kanari
Serialized: 1992 – present
The mystery manga series, The Kindaichi Case Files, follows Hajime Kindaichi a high school student who solves crimes. The grandchild of a famous private detective, Kindaichi looks to solve various whodunnit’s. The series of features gruesome murders and locked room mysteries.
The killers in the series aren’t presented as “psychopathic.” They’re all given “deep rooted” reasons for their crimes, particularly emotional trauma and the “thoughtlessness of others.” When revealed, the criminal usually attempts suicide.
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5. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (100 million+)
Author: Hirohiko Araki
Serialized: 1987 – present
Hirohiko Araki’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, is one of the most popular manga series of all time. In the Jojo universe, some people are capable of transforming inner spiritual power into a Stand. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is split into parts with independent stories from members of the Joestar family. Mainline descendants “possess a star-shaped birthmark above their left shoulder blade and a name that can be abbreviated to the titular “JoJo”.”
The first six parts focuses on the rivalry between Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando. The last two parts focus on an “alternate universe,” where the Joestar family tree is changed. Part 9 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure will began in September 2021.
4. Crayon Shin-Chan (148 million+)
Author: Yoshito Usui
Serialized: 1990 – present
Crayon Shin-chan is a slice of life comedy that follows five year old Shinnosuke “Shin” Nohara and his family. The creator Yoshito Usui died in 2009, so the series being continued by members of Usui’s team. The series became a animated television show in 1992 and has since produced over 1000 episodes and 26 movies. In 2019, a spin-off series, Super Shiro was produced by Science SARU.
Shin is an inappropriate child, who behaves poorly. The jokes in this series are often difficult for non Japanese audiences to understand. Some themes are repeated in the series are more universal. Shin is often rude to adults in his orbit, asking tough-looking me “How many times did you go to the police?”.
3. Detective Conan (230 million+)
Author: Gosho Aoyama
Serialized: 1994 – present
The second detective series on this list, Detective Conan follows the high school detective Shinichi Kudo. A mysterious organization transforms him into a child. The manga was adapted into an anime in 1996. The series has been praised by critics and is sold in over 25 countries. Kudo adopts the name Conan Edogawa. He lives with his childhood friend Rachel Moore and her father Richard, a private detective.
He joins Richard on cases and when he solves them he puts Richard to sleep with a gadget. Kudo then imitates Richard’s voice to reveal the result of the case. While enrolled in an elementary school, Kudo joins a Junior Detective Club. Kudo and his classmates try to uncover the secrets of the Black Organization.
2. Golgo 13 (300 million+)
Author: Takao Saito
Serialized: 1968 – present
Takao Saito passed away this year at the age of 84.
Golgo 13 follows a professional assassin. The series is the oldest manga in production and has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the “highest number of volumes for a single manga series.” The series has been adapted into 2 live action films, 6 video games, an a anime film. Golgo 13 is the top selling Seinen manga series ever.
Golgo 13 is a assassin whos identity is obscure. Golgo 13 who goes by a number of aliases, make use of a modified M16 when on the job. He lacks emotion and is will to kill anyone that might expose him. He’s willing to accept any job from anyone who can afford his fee. Golgo 13 has created many powerful enemies including the FBI, CIA, and US military.
1. One Piece (490 million+)
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Serialized: 1997- present
One Piece is considered by many to be the greatest manga series ever created. Written and drawn by Eiichiro Oda, the series follows Monkey D. Luffy, a pirate that dreams of becoming the pirate king. After eating the Gum Gum Devil Fruit, Luffy becomes a rubberman. Over the course of the series, Luffy gains crewmates under the banner of the Strawhat Pirates.
Together they explore the Grand Line seeking the treasure know as the “One Piece.” The series has received praise for it’s art style, humor, characters, and story. In 2015, One Piece set the record for the “the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author.” It was the best selling manga for eleven years and has sold 1 million copies of each of it’s 100 volumes.
—. “List of Best-Selling Manga.” Wikipedia, 4 Oct. 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_manga#Between_20_million_and_29_million_copies.
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