The manga criteria is a bit harder to judge, but just to clear the confusion, the nominees here are ONLY manga and not anime. Yes, that means don’t expect One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, etc – if it’s been made into an anime or will be in the upcoming season, it will not be on this list. Unless the anime takes a completely different direction than the anime, then it won’t be on here. Yes, I know there aren’t a lot of well-known ones but I told you guys that I read a lot of manga that I can’t wait until it becomes an anime… Fairy Tail was one of them but now, that can’t go on the list because it’s been made into the anime. Shall we dance?
10th place – No Bra
No don’t run away it’s not the same as Chu-Bra! Haha this you would only watch for the comedy and nothing else. Yes, they’re guys and one likes to crossdress hence the title No Bra. It’s not a bad choice, yet it’s not one of the best ones either, since it hasn’t been made into an anime. Personally, I found it comical… but only when I was in my good moods.
9th place – Genghis Khan
History of a great conquerer in the art of manga. That’s basically it – it’s a wonderful depiction of how Genghis did what he did, and the artwork is simply magnificent. Bravo sirs (as a note, this manga has two authors –> which tells you something about how epic it is).
8th place – World Embryo
Basically another doomsday scenario with the savior organization being FLAG. It’s a good intense manga with good decent action, artwork, and storyline. The character designs are modestly good and I wouldn’t be surprised if this manga would be given the green-light to run as an anime in early 2011 or maybe even in 2010.
7th place – Negima neo
Yes, from the creators of Negima we bring you another spinoff of the same characters but in a different storyline. For originality, this series would get a big-fat 1/10 but artwork and remixing-wise, it’s surprising good. However, it’s by a different author than Negima so don’t expect the same catchy phrases and styles of comic-writing that Ken Akamatsu does.
6th place – Shinjuku
Bold and powerful, the images are dark and perfect for the environment of this manga. I personally did not like the artwork, but I must give credit to the writer of it – it’s done brilliantly and the plot is somewhat unique and original as well. From here on up, the manga gets hardcore and if you don’t recognize these titles, I would recommend you read these. But then again, I actually liked Canaan, so who knows?
5th place – Cirque du Freak
Story-line seems a bit dry but the artwork is very different yet powerful enough to be effective towards the reader. I actually enjoyed this a lot because of its interesting turns and moments, and I don’t know why I was mesmerized by it. Hmm.
4th place – 20th Century Boys
The main character, Kenji, is a failed rock star, and the world he lives in is one of tyranny and oppression. True to Urasawa-sensei’s strengths, 20th Century Boys is full of surprising plot twists and complicated, yet satisfying relationships between the characters. It’s a time-spanning manga, and it jumps back and forth in time. With every chapter, you never know what’s going to happen next.
3rd place – Maximum Ride
Girls with wings are winners, and so is the artwork and plot in this. It’s oddly attractive with many different character designs and the plot is very thrilling as well in its sci-fi context. Personally, I enjoyed it, although I don’t understand why some others didn’t.
2nd place – Pluto
You love it, I love it. You didn’t read it? Well, go now.
And the grand winner of 2009 is:
kimi no iru machi (a town where you live)
From the creators of my favorite manga Suzuka, we get the love-comedy story of a boy, a childhood friend, and a beautiful girl. It’s a three-way relationship, yet the plot takes the most interesting of turns and events. I find myself dying each week, clicking for updates on the latest chapters. It’s been very consistent with the artwork, and although it’s not the highest of the best quality in terms of drawings, it’s still top-notch that everyone would enjoy.