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2008 Readers Poll: Best Manga Magazine

About.com Readers' Choice for America's Best Manga Magazine


There aren't nearly as many manga magazines here in the U.S. as there are in Japan, but manga fans can choose from a variety of monthly manga anthologies, Japanese anime / pop culture magazines and "mooks." While fans of Shojo Beat, Shonen Jump, Yen Press and Otaku USA showed their support for their favorite monthly mags, in the end, Korean manhwa illustration anthology Apple was the dark horse that pulled ahead of the pack to win this category by a huge margin.

1. WINNER: Apple

Apple Volume 1
© Seoul Visual Works Inc.

Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Visit Udon Entertainment's Apple page
Compare prices for Apple Volume 1

What Robot is to Japanese artists and animators, Apple is for Korean creators: a lavish, full-color comics and illustration anthology that's kind of like Heavy Metal for anime-philes. Even if you normally don't care for manhwa, Apple offers some beautiful and evocative short stories that show off a different, rarely-seen side of manga's Korean cousin.

2. 2nd place: Otaku USA

Otaku USA Magazine, February 2008 issue, featuring Naruto
© Otaku USA

Publisher: Sovereign Media Group
Visit Sovereign Media's Otaku USA page
Read an interview with Otaku USA editor Patrick Macias
Read more about Otaku USA
Subscribe to Otaku USA

Created by some of the most knowledgeable (and hardcore) American anime, manga and gaming superfans around, Otaku USA features a mix of articles, reviews, interviews, news, Japanese pop culture articles about anime, manga, gaming, J-Pop music, cinema, TV shows and more. As an added bonus, subscribers also get access to full-length previews of the latest manga and anime releases, plus posters and other fun extras.

3. 3rd place: Yen Plus

Yen Plus August 2008 issue, featuring Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo, published by Yen Press
© Atsushi Ohkubo / SQUARE ENIX

Publisher: Yen Press
Visit Yen Press' Yen Plus page
Read more about Yen Plus Subscribe to Yen Plus

This double-sided, double-sized manga/manhwa monthly features a mix of Korean, Japanese and original English language comics that's meant to appeal to older teens and twenty-something fans, male and female alike. With fan favorites like Soul Eater, Hero Tales and Nabari no Ou mixed with new Korean manhwa and new stories created just for Yen Plus, the new anthology magazine has something for (almost) everyone.

4. 4th place: Shonen Jump

Shonen Jump January 2009
© Tite Kubo / Shonen Jump

Publisher: VIZ Media
Visit VIZ Media's Shonen Jump page
Read more about Shonen Jump
Subscribe to Shonen Jump

Shonen Jump is the American edition of one of the world's most popular manga magazines, and it features many series that are huge hits in the Japanese edition, including Naruto, Bleach, One Piece and Slam Dunk. Much like the Japanese edition, Shonen Jump is primarily geared toward young male readers, but it attracts both male and female readers who love the exciting, action-packed adventures that it serves up monthly.

5. 5th place: Shojo Beat

Shojo Beat December 2008 featuring Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino
© Matsuri Hino / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher: VIZ Media
Visit VIZ Media's Shojo Beat page
Read more about Shojo Beat
Subscribe to Shojo Beat

America's only magazine dedicated to shojo manga or comics for teen girls, Shojo Beat features a mix of popular shojo series like Sand Chronicles, Vampire Knight and Honey and Clover, plus articles about fashion, cooking, games, music and Japanese pop culture, geared for teen girls and teen girls-at-heart.

6. 6th place: Anime Insider

Anime Insider Issue 59
© Wizard Entertainment Group

Publisher: Wizard Entertainment Group
Visit Wizard's Anime Insider page
Subscribe to Anime Insider

Filled with anime and manga news, reviews, articles and interviews with just a touch of snark, Anime Insider covers a broad array of otaku-friendly topics. This slim but informative monthly is often brimming with news about the latest anime releases in both Japan and the U.S., video games, collectible figurines, J-Pop music and Japanese pop culture.

7. 7th place: Style School

Style School Volume 1 (Small S magazine)

Publisher: Dark Horse
Visit Dark Horse's Style School page
Compare prices for Style School Volume 1

Featuring a mix of drawing demos from the pros plus showcases of art done by up-and-coming semi-pro and amateur manga creators, Style School gives aspiring artists a look at what their heroes and peers are doing in Japan, all in English. Mostly illustrated in full-color, Style School is a mix between a magazine and an art instruction manual that doesn't just teach one way to draw; it inspires creativity.

8. 8th place: Robot

Robot Volume 5

Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Visit Udon Entertainment's Robot page
Compare prices for Robot Volume 5

Compared to American and European comics, the vast majority of Japanese comics stories are drawn in black and white. Robot is an artistically dazzling manga anthology that gives established and up-and-coming illustrators and animators a chance to draw short stories in full-color. Many of the artists included in this quarterly anthology take the opportunity to experiment with different techniques, both in their artwork and in their storytelling, which makes Robot a must-read for anyone into the art of manga.

9. 9th place: Faust

Faust Volume 1 by Del Rey Manga / Kodansha, published by Del Rey Manga
© Take / Del Rey Manga / Kodansha

Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Visit Del Rey Manga's Faust page
Read an interview with Faust editor Katsuhi Ota
Compare prices for Faust Volume 1

In the space where manga and literature meet and mingle, there is Faust, a one-of-a-kind light novel / manga anthology that caters to, and challenges the otaku generation. The English edition of Faust arrived in the Summer of 2008, and gave readers a taste of short stories and manga from notable talents including Nisioisin, CLAMP and Takeshi Obata.

10. 10th place: Gothic & Lolita Bible

Gothic and Lolita Bible February 2008 issue  published by TokyoPop
© Mitsukazu Mihara / TokyoPop

Publisher: TokyoPop
Read an interview with Gothic and Lolita Bible Editors Jenna Winterberg and Michelle Nguyen
Compare prices for Gothic & Lolita Bible Volume 1

The fashion must-read for the frills and lace set, Gothic and Lolita Bible arrived in America with all of its luxe photos, profiles of visual kei celebrities and neo-Victorian style with a touch of manga sass intact. TokyoPop brought the trend home by featuring photo spreads of American Lolitas and designers, so that every girl could imagine themselves wearing or creating these fantasy frocks.

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