Ah, that's what I love about the beginning of a new year -- the opportunity to read everyone else's top 10 lists. You may not agree with all of these choices, but these lists always offer a fresh perspective on books you may have missed in the barrage of manga that came out in the past few years. Take a look at these lists and see if it doesn't turn you on to something new to read:
The Comics Journal: 50 Excellent Comics from 2007
This one has a mix of manga, mainstream and indie comics, but Dirk Deppey helpfully provides examples of artwork to suck you in to want to see more. Manga named in his list include several that are currently available, like Mushishi, Suppli, Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms, (three titles that were also in my list of Best New Manga of 2007), Yotsuba&!, Honey and Clover, Nana, The Drifting Classroom, The Times of Botchan, Tapenshu, and Dragon Head.
Deppey also chooses several that aren't yet licensed in the U.S. but from a look at the scanlated excerpts provided, all look like prime candidates for English editions. Titles named here include: Nijigahara Holograph and What a Wonderful World, both by Inio Asano, short stories by Shintaro Kago, and Pluto by Naoki Urasawa (creator of Monster).
Pop Culture Shock Manga Recon's Favorite Manga of 2007
The Pop Culture Shock manga reviewin' trio Erin, Ken and Kate chime in with their favorites for 2007, including MPD Psycho, Love*Com, To Terra, Genshiken and Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms.
Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Manga and Manhwa of 2007
Kai-Ming Cha gives props to a broad array of manga (and not quite manga) titles in her list. They include Tekkon Kinkreet, Palette of 12 Secret Colors, MW and Suppli.
Dallas Middaugh's Top 10 Manga of 2007
Dallas Middaugh, the Associate Publisher of Del Rey Manga chimes in with his top 10 of 2007, and while he readily admits it's heavy on the Del Rey titles (Hey, if he loved the enough to publish them, shouldn't that count for something?), it's a solid list of recommendations, which includes Genshiken, Parasyte, Emma, and Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix.
Paul Gravett's Best of 2007
Gravett, the author of Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics looks back on 2007 and singles out Naoki Urasawa's Monster and Minetaro Mochizuki's Dragon Head as worthy of your attention.
Jog's Top 10 Comics of 2007
Comics blogger Jog (a.k.a.Joe McCulloch) bemoans the M.I.A. status of Jiro Taniguchi's The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories (Fanfare / Ponent Mon) from the bookstore shelves, but still manages to plug a few other worthy manga titles in his list, including Mushishi (Yay Mushishi! Buy it now!), New Engineering by Yuichi Yokoyama, and Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms.
Dave’s Top Twenty Comics of 2007 at Comics-And-More
Dave Ferraro pulls together a diverse pack of picks, including a wide range of manga titles. Some of his choices? Gyo, Apollo's Song, Andromeda Stories, Nana, Yotsuba&!, Dragon Head, MW, and Emma.
New York Magazine's Top 5 Comics of 2007
Only five? Wow, that must've been tough to narrow it down to that. But Dan Kois gives props to two manga titles: Apollo's Song and Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms.
Precocious Curmudgeon's Top Comics and Manga of 2007
David Welsh tried and tried, but just couldn't limit himself to only 10 or 20 picks for 2007's best comics. So his top 26 list includes several manga choices, including, Azumanga Daioh! Omnibus Edition, Gin Tama, My Heavenly Hockey Club, Parasyte, Suppli, Welcome to the NHK and Venus in Love.
On top of that, if you needed additional prodding to read Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms, Welsh also rounds up universal critical acclaim for this memorable graphic novel.
There! Now you have no excuse to say "There's nothing good to read out there." Enjoy discovering these critically acclaimed manga series -- I know I will!
Image credit: © Fumiyo Kouno / Last Gasp / JAPress