Manga are popular Japanese-style comic books and graphic novels. These are similar to Marvel and DC comics in America; however, manga has developed its unique culture. There are several kinds of stories that have been translated into various languages and their popularity has only grown with time.
Legend has it that the first Japanese manga originated in the 12-13th century, but it rapidly evolved only around the 1950s. First published in 1968, Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, which is known for many of the legendary manga, popularized manga even further. Here are for reference some of the best-selling manga you can read in English and other languages. These amazing works have been loved by both domestic and international readers.
First published in 1997, this manga series is still entertaining readers all around the world. Written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy whose body gained the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit. With a crew of pirates, Luffy searches the Grand Line for the world’s ultimate treasure known as “One Piece” in order to become the next King of the Pirates. One Piece manga has set the Guinness World Record for “the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author.” As of last year, the manga has over 470 million copies in 43 countries worldwide, making it the best-selling manga series of all time.
Bleach is a manga series by Tite Kubo. The plot follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki, a high school student with the ability to see ghosts. Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of dangerous spirits and it is his job to protect the innocent from evil spirits. The story focuses on the characters in the beginning, and as events unfold, the story delves deeper into the supernatural world. A compilation of volumes of the manga have sold over 50 million copies in Japan, and the series has been adapted into an animated television series as well.
Fullmetal Alchemist is a manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. It is set in a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the advanced natural techniques. Taking inspiration from the European Industrial Revolution for the steampunk world of Fullmetal Alchemist, the series tells the adventures of two alchemist brothers named Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are seeking the philosopher’s stone to restore their bodies after a failed attempt to bring their mother back to life using alchemy. It has sold over 70 million volumes worldwide, making it one of the best-selling manga series.
Naruto, written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, is undoubtedly one of the most popular manga series ever. Revolving around Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who seeks recognition from his peers and dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The story is told in two parts – the first set in Naruto’s pre-teen years, and the second in his teens. It is the fourth best-selling manga series in history, selling over 250 million copies across the world. The manga series won several accolades and was turned into an animated TV series.
Dragon Ball is a manga series by Akira Toriyama. It was inspired by the Chinese novel “Journey to the West” as well as Hong Kong martial arts films. The story revolves around the adventures of Son Goku, from childhood to adulthood, as he trains in martial arts and explores the world for the Dragon Balls, seven magical orbs which summon a wish-granting dragon when collected. It initially had a comic aspect but later became an action-packed fighting series, following Goku on his journey as he makes friends, battles villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls.