Robot 6

Best manga of the year: Let the arguments begin!

The Strange Tale of Panorama Island

Molly McIsaac starts off this year’s round of Best Manga of the Year lists with a set of choices that points up not only the variety of different stories that occur manga but also what a good year this was:

  • Bakuman
  • The Strange Tale of Panorama Island
  • Chi’s Sweet Home
  • Arisa
  • My Girlfriend’s a Geek
  • Ristorante Paradiso
  • Deadman Wonderland

That’s a strong lineup with a lot of variety: An all-ages manga about a cute cat (Chi’s Sweet Home), an action-adventure tale with some dark twists (Deadman Wonderland), a sophisticated family drama (Ristorante Paradiso), a strangely stylish horror story (The Strange Tale of Panorama Island), and a couple of titles that break the mold a bit. It’s also an effective rejoinder to those who claim “the manga bubble has burst”—there’s plenty of manga coming out, and a lot of it is good. I felt this list left out some strong contenders—the alt-manga anthology AX has made some of the graphic-novel lists, and Kate Dacey lists three more manga she thinks are deserving of best-of-the-year honors, A Drunken Dream, All My Darling Daughters, and Twin Spica.

Just for fun, take a look at Deb Aoki’s predictions for the hottest manga of 2010. It’s actually a good roundup of the books that did well this year, aside from the CMX titles that were never published. (Sigh.)

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