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Critics' Choice: 2010's Best Manga, As Picked By Comics Critics

By December 29, 2010

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A Drunken Dream and Other StoriesIt's the final week of 2010, and new "Best of 2010" lists are coming out every day. But with so many new manga titles making their debut this year, which ones were considered to be the best of the best?

Using my semi-unscientific methods, I kept tabs on as many "Best Graphic Novels," "Best Comics," and "Best Manga" lists that were posted by various comics critics and bloggers over the past month, and tallied up the results. While there are still more "Best of 2010" lists due to hit the web in the next week or so, here's what the Critics' Choice: Best Manga of 2010 Top 10 looks like so far, based on picks from over 30 online magazines, blogs and comics news websites.

As I was tallying up the "votes," the clear leaders emerged early on. The top 4 has pretty much been AX: Alternative Manga (from Top Shelf), A Drunken Dream and Other Stories (from Fantagraphics), Twin Spica and Chi's Sweet Home (from Vertical) for weeks. But on any given day, it was either A Drunken Dream or Chi's Sweet Home in the number 1 spot. Which one will end up at the top of the heap by this time next week? I don't know, but I know it'll be close!

Chi's Sweet HomeI'll be updating this list as more "Best of 2010" lists appear, so you may see some titles come and go, move up or down the top 10 between now and next week.

Thanks a bunch to the bloggers / websites who posted "Best of 2010" or "Graphic Novel Gift Picks" lists so far:

iFanboy.com, Publishers' Weekly, Graphic Novel Reporter, New York Times, Flashlight Worthy, Manga Critic, New York Magazine, School Library Journal, Mania.com, Texas Library Association, American Library Association Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), Manga Curmudgeon, Comic Attack, All About Manga, Anime Diet, Bookworm's Corner, Comics Reporter, Manga Bookshelf, Manga Report, Manga Widget, Manga Xanadu, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Okazu, Biblio Commons, Comics and More, Forbidden Planet UK, Comics Worth Reading, The Daily Crosshatch, and Comic Book Resources.

UPDATE: Added picks from National Public Radio, Entertainment Weekly, Panel Patter, The Cybils, Kuriousity, Manic About Manga, Publishers Weekly (Critics Poll), Publishers Weekly (Best Manga), Robot 6, and YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens.

While not all of them are quoted in the top 10, I did tally their votes for well over 122 new and notable manga series. That's a lot of great manga worth picking up!

So if you're a comics or manga critic/blogger and you've recently posted your Best of 2010 picks and aren't included here, drop me a line, or tweet me your URL via Twitter and I'll add you to this Critics' Picks list!

In the meantime, you can see what I chose as my faves for 2010 in my Best New Manga of 2010 and Best Continuing Manga Series of 2010 lists, and take a look ahead at the 25 Most Anticipated Manga of 2011.

So what do you think? Do you agree with what the critics have picked as the top 10 most interesting manga of 2010? Or do you have a fave that isn't mentioned here? Add your comments and recommendations below!

Image credits: Moto Hagio, Konami Kanata


December 31, 2010 at 10:39 am
(1) Kris says:

I was actually a little surprised that Story of Saiunkoku didn’t make the top 10 list, when most of the bloggers I keep up with mentioned it (including myself). I think it deserves an honorable mention. ^_^

January 4, 2011 at 10:05 am
(2) Peroxid says:

Chi’s Sweet home as best manga of the year? seems a bit overrated in my opinion. It’s a great comedy manga, but I honestly don’t think it deserves a place in the top 3. But the again, 2010 was a weak year, with exception of Drunken Dreams, which is for me best one by far. I hope 2011 will be a better year.

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