Some manga stand up to the test of time, and come back to delight new readers again and again. Whether they were rescued from licensing limbo or were editions of older titles once only seen in Japan, it was great to see these classic titles on the shelves in 2009. This year's poll featured the classic dark horse finish as Kia Asamiya's Silent Mobius surged ahead and beat both Clover by CLAMP and Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma.
See more of the best manga of 2009:
In the not-so-distant future, an all-female police force called the "Attacked Mystification Police Force" (AMP) is charged with protecting Tokyo from an invasion of extra-dimensional creatures called Lucifer Hawks. Fortunately for Earth, these policewomen have got supernatural powers, big guns and futuristic vehicles at their disposal to get the job done.
When ex-paramilitary agent Kazuhiko is called out of retirement, his mission seems simple: just escort a girl to an unknown destination. He soon discovers that Sue is more than pretty waif – she’s a ‘four-leaf clover’ with powerful psychic and psychokinetic abilities. Sue also has a connection with Kazuhiko’s deceased lover Ora, a gorgeous diva whose song provides a melancholy soundtrack to this sci-fi / cyberpunk / action-drama-romance.
Yotsuba is an ever-cheerful, always curious green-haired girl who's the new kid in town. Since she moved into the neighborhood with her father, every day is full of discoveries. She immediately befriends her neighbors, the Ayase family, but they can only wonder where this strange girl came from, especially since she seems to be unaware of (and utterly delighted by) things like air conditioning, swing sets and fireworks.
Largely told in four-panel (yonkoma) format, Azumanga Daioh! follows the fun and friendships of six girls as they go through four years of high school. Petite prodigy Chiyo, tall and reserved Sakaki, hyper-active Tomo, spacey Osaka, sporty Kagura and easily aggravated Koyomi, not to mention their odd but loveable teachers are all here to make each day just a little stranger and a whole lot funnier.
Author and Artist: Katsuhiro Otomo
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
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In a post-apocalyptic Tokyo, a gang of pill-popping biker punks live on the edge, looking for the next thrill. But they're playing with fire, as they learn that the destruction of Tokyo has its roots in a government experiment gone wrong and a mysterious boy named Akira.
Miaka opens a magical book and is whisked away into the fantasy world contained in the pages of The Universe of the Four Gods. As this modern teen finds herself in ancient China, she discovers that she's the priestess of the god Suzaku and she must find all seven of her celestial warrior protectors. To make matters even more complicated, her best friend Yui is also sucked into the book and becomes her Miaka's rival and enemy.
Kagome's a modern teen who finds herself transported back in time to feudal Japan where demons are as common as samurai. While there, she teams up with InuYasha, a half-demon/half-human on a quest to retrieve a magical jewel. But her mission won't be an easy one, with ghosts, demons and monsters galore out to claim the power of the Shinkon Jewel for themselves.
Swallowing the Earth as it tells the tale of Zephyrus, a bewitchingly beautiful woman who drives men mad with desire. As generations of men fall under her spell, Zephyrus leaves a trail of broken hearts, minds and bodies. That is, until she meets a man who is immune to her charms, a drunkard named Gohonmatsu Seki. Who is Zephyrus, what are her reasons behind her actions? Will she truly meet her match, or will her reign of seduction and destruction continue?
Nerdy technical college student Morisato Keiichi is brilliant with machines, but a dunce in romance. After dialing the "goddess hotline" by mistake, he ends up with Belldandy, a real live, magic-wielding goddess living in his home. Soon enough, his house is filled with goddesses, each more eccentric than the other.
Kotobuki is a former thief who can't quite find an honest job. Raimon is an ex-military commander who always pursued Kotobuki, but he quit the armed forces to be with Kotobuki romantically. But a peaceful life is not in the cards for this couple. There's a legend about a winged object called a Tsubasa that supposedly grants wishes to whoever possesses it. A lot of people are after the Tsubasa, and they want Kotobuki and Raimon's special skills to help them get it.