Here's a round-up of this year's standout new manga releases, as selected by over 30 comics and manga critics across the web. The titles are listed in order of popularity -- the ones that got the most mentions are listed first. I'll be updating this as more lists go live, so check back to see how your favorite fares in the next few weeks!
Also, check out the 2009 Critics' Choice list to see 12 more critically-acclaimed titles worth reading.
- "...a deeply impressive — and immersive — piece of work that's full of complex emotional truths. And deep weirdness." - Glenn Weldon, National Public Radio
Also selected by: Entertainment Weekly, Graphic Novel Reporter, New York Times, New York Magazine, School Library Journal, Robot 6, Publishers' Weekly, Comic Book Resources, Mania.com, Manga Curmudgeon, All About Manga, Comics Reporter, Manga Bookshelf, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Manga Widget, Biblio Commons, Comics and More, Comics Worth Reading, Daily Crosshatch, Flashlight Worthy, Anime Diet, About.com
Author and Artist: Kanata Konami
Compare prices for Chi's Sweet Home Vol. 1
- "The story couldn't be simpler: a stray kitten finds a new home with a kind family. In Konami Konata's capable hands, however, Chi's Sweet Home isn't just cute animal antics; it's a warm and moving depiction of the relationship between Chi and the Yamadas." – Kate Dacey, School Library Journal
Also selected by: Publishers Weekly, Manga Curmudgeon, Manga Xanadu, Comics Reporter, Comics Worth Reading, Mania.com (Chris Beveridge, Chris K.) iFanboy.com, Manga Critic, Bookworm's Corner, Honolulu Star Advertiser, Manga Widget, Comic Attack, Anime Diet, Comics and More, Kuriousity, About.com.
Author and Artist: Kou Yaginuma
Compare prices for Twin Spica Vol. 1
- "Twin Spica combines the dreams of a young girl, the pride of a nation, and humanity’s quest for the stars into an unforgettable coming-of-age tale about a high school for astronauts. The style is atmospheric, leisurely, and occasionally heartbreaking."
– Casey Brienza, Graphic Novel Reporter
Also selected by: Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal,The Cybils,YALSA, Manga Critic, Mania.com, Manga Curmudgeon, Comics Worth Reading, Comic Book Resources (Brigid Alverson), Robot 6, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, All About Manga, Manga Bookshelf, Manga Widget, Comics and More, Bookworm's Corner, About.com.
Author and Artist: Yumi Unita
Publisher: Yen Press
Compare prices for Bunny Drop Vol. 1
- "With sparks of humor, sweet moments of sentimentality and glimpses of grief, Bunny Drop hits all the right notes."
– Lorena Nava Ruggero, Flashlight Worthy / I ♥ Manga
Also selected by: Publishers Weekly, Manga Critic, Manga Curmudgeon, Comics Worth Reading, All About Manga, Manga Bookshelf, Manga Widget, Bookworm's Corner, Manga Xanadu, Anime Diet, Kuriousity, About.com.
Authors and Artists: Various
Editors: Sean Michael Wilson and Mitsuhiro Asakawa
Publisher: Top Shelf
Compare prices for AX: Alternative Manga Vol. 1
- "This generous anthology of anti-cuteness spotlights the kind of manga that doesn't get much play on these shores, but clearly should." – Peter Gutierrez, Graphic Novel Reporter
Also selected by: Publishers' Weekly, National Public Radio, Graphic Novel Reporter (Casey Brienza, Peter Gutierrez), Manga Critic, Mania.com, Manga Curmudgeon, Comics Reporter, Manga Report, Manga Widget, About.com.
Author and Artist: Fumi Yoshinaga
Publisher: VIZ Signature / VIZ Media
Compare prices for All My Darling Daughters
- "A stunning exploration of women’s lives and relationships by Fumi Yoshinaga, my favorite manga-ka. I don’t think I’ve seen before in comics an exploration of how difficult it can be for mother and daughter to learn to relate as adults, each a person in her own right." – Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
Author and Artist: Osamu Tezuka
Compare prices for Ayako
- "While I have been dismissive of Tezuka’s work in the past, I am fully convinced by Ayako... a must-have for any Tezuka or intelligent comics fan." - Alex Hoffman, Manga Widget
Author and Artist: Mitsuru Adachi
Publisher: Shonen Sunday / VIZ Media
Compare prices for Cross Game Vol. 1
- "Cross Game has pretty much everything you could ask for from a coming-of-age novel: joy, sorry, confusion, comedy, great characters, and completely recognizable slices of life."
– David Welsh, Manga Curmudgeon
Author and Artist: CLAMP
Publisher: Dark Horse
Compare prices for Card Captor Sakura Vol. 1
- " With plenty of outfit changes, a tarot card-inspired magical quest, and puppy-love crushes popping up everywhere, Cardcaptor Sakura is a must read for any fan of shoujo fantasy."
– Anna, Manga Report
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Artist: Takeshi Obata
Publisher: Shonen Jump / VIZ Media
Compare prices for Bakuman Vol. 1
- "...a fascinating glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of the manga industry."
- Dave Ferraro, Comics and More