Best Manga of 2023

Best Manga Of 2023

We are wrapping up our look back on the year that was by revealing the Best Manga of 2023. We got access to even more manga with Viz Media increasing the number of simulpubs they are doing through both their Viz and Shonen Jump apps. We got the release of Kodansha’s K Manga. And Shueisha, Kodansha, and other manga publishers increasing the rate of volume release rate to catch up more with where many series are at in Japan. So with all that in mind find out what were the five series that made our Best Manga of 2023.


Go! Go! Loser Ranger! Chapter 1 Color Cover

Mangaka: Negi Haruba

Chapters Released: Go! Go! Loser Ranger! Chapter 15 to Go! Go! Loser Ranger! Chapter 62 (NOTE: Chapters released in English release up to Volume 7)

2023 was a great year for fans of the Super Sentai genre. We got great live action, animes, comic books, mangas, and the 30th anniversary celebration for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. A series that made a strong argument for being the best in 2023 was Negi Haruba’s Go! Go! Loser Ranger! the magic that Haruba has created with this series is clearly seen with how Kodansha within a 12 month period released the first seven volumes of the series. With how quickly they’ve released thus far translated versions of the volumes for Go! Go! Loser Ranger! will match its Japan release, or be one volume behind.

This cadence of release is not by mistake as Go! Go! Loser Ranger! does a fantastic job walking the line of being a parody and doing some serious things with its direction. Haruba takes the elements from Super Sentai to provide plenty of swerves for the genre. Even if you are only familiar with the genre through the Power Rangers franchise there are many things you will pick up on and appreciate the character and story choices.

Having an unnamed former what amounts to Putty Patrol member tired of helping the Dragon Keeper Rangers keep up their act as “protectors of Earth” 13 years after the big bad was already defeated is a cool hook. This turns a lot of things about what fans perceive about Power Ranger teams on their head. It creates a story where you are immediately on the series lead, originally simply named Foot Soldier D, side of the story. The way Foot Soldier D infiltrates where the Rangers train people is handled well. It’s a journey that builds greater excitement to see how the anime handles a lot of the cool moments in the manga when it debuts in 2024.

4) KAIJU NO. 8

Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 85.5 Cover Spread

Mangaka: Naoya Matsumoto

Chapters Released: Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 77 to Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 99

The third full year of Kaiju No. 8 was easily the best of the series thus far. Naoya Matsumoto took a lot of the ground work he did in the first two and a half years to take the series to the next level. That next level was thanks to Matsumoto placing more of a focus on the rest of the cast of Kaiju No. 8. As good of a lead character Kafka Hibino has been developed many of his fellow Defense Force teammates and members are as interesting, if not more so, as him.

What made this year work so well is that it was the payoff to all the development time placed for Mina Ashiro, Kikoru Shinomiya, Soshiro Hoshina, Gen Narumi and others was paying off. The entire year we saw the characters dealing with Kaiju No. 9 latest invasion. The Second Wave Arc delivered a lot of quality action and character development. Matsumoto really established himself as one of the best mangaka artist and writers in the industry right now.

The way the Second Wave Arc transitioned into the Last Wave Arc was fantastic. The final four chapters of the year really did a great job at making the Last Wave Arc the big endgame that Matsumoto has been building towards. The stakes are high with Leno Ichikawa stepping up big, setting the stage for Kafka to have a major battle with Kaiju No. 9 that will carry the series through 2024.


Akane-Banashi Chapter 49 Spread Cover

Mangaka Writer: Yuuki Suenaga

Mangaka Artist: Takamasa Moue

Chapters Released: Akane-Banashi Chapter 45 to Akane-Banashi Chapter 92

Akane-Banashi was the best new series of the previous year. The strong debuted carried into an even better second year for the series by Yuki Suenaga and Takamasa Moue. The most impressive thing that Suenaga and Moue do is scaling the challenges Akane Arakawa faces. It has helped the journey Akane is taking through the Rakugo world. There are levels to the art and we see that with how every step forward Akane makes we see a bigger, richer world of talented individuals.

Adding to Akane’s journey in the Rakugo world is how each character introduced and developed is additive to the series. As a reader your eyes are open with each performance to what else is possible with the art of being a Rakugoka. Each character has their own way of telling a story. The uniqueness of each characters storytelling ability enhances Akane’s own development as a Rakugoka.

And not enough can be said about Suenaga and Moue as a creative team in how they get over the storytelling in each performance. As a reader you feel the energy coming from the performance as if you are in the audience. Its really impressive to see how Suenaga and Moue handle the dialogue and art, respectively, to get everything over.


My Hero Academia Chapter 394 Spread Cover

Mangaka: Kohei Horikoshi

Chapters Released: My Hero Academia Chapter 377 to My Hero Academia Chapter 410

Kohei Horikoshi is certainly making sure he is going to be ending My Hero Academia with a bang. 2023 was a pure showcase of how Horikoshi has been planning to pay off all the major character arcs he has been working on since the series started. Every chapter has felt important with all the mini-arcs within The Final War Saga hitting it out of the park.

Most importantly it is all done in a way where its not all on Izuku Midoriya. While Deku is All Might’s successor the story of My Hero Academia hasn’t been simply his journey. Its been about Katsuki Bakugo, Ochaco Uraraka, Shoto Todoroki, and the others in Class 1-A. Horikoshi showed that with how everyone has played an important role in the four major fights we got in the year.

Centering the year around the individual fights with All For One, Tomura Shigaraki, Dabi, and Himiko Toga was great. While they were fought individually the fights against these four villains complimented the narrative of The Final War Saga as a whole. The fights were as deeply emotional as they were action packed.

To top it all off we got some great character work on the villains. Horikoshi was very careful about making sure to give more background on each villain without making them suddenly make a switch in the middle of the fight. Even when we got one of those moments it wasn’t until after the dust was settled. Adding these layers to villains while still keeping them as the main antagonist, especially with All For One, made the conclusions of several of the fights even more meaningful. It all sets up My Hero Academia to have a strong end with however many chapters Horikoshi has planned for.


Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Chapter 107 Color Page

Mangaka Writer: Kanehito Yamada

Mangaka Artist: Tsukasa Abe

Chapters Released: Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Chapter 107 Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Chapter 119

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is a series that I immediately became a fan of late in 2023 when the anime debut. After binge reading all the chapters of the series its easy to see why so many say its one of the best manga currently being published. And just taking the thirteen chapters published in 2023 Kanehito Yamada and Tsukasa Abe proved why their work on Frieren is the best.

It was definitely a cheat chode that Yamada and Abe inputted by having the entire year’s worth of chapters telling a story about the Hero’s Party. Through some time travel magic we were able to get a much better understanding of the relationship Frieren shared with her Hero’s Party teammates. Adding a new layer to the relationships was how Frieren personality making it hard for her to hide the time travel magic she was affected by. This highlighted how much Frieren has grown as a person since she started her present day journey. She isn’t the same person that went on the journey with her Hero’s Party members.

Through this story Yamada and Abe not only highlight Frieren’s growth but also give more insight into Hero Himmel, Warrior Eisen, and Priest Heiter. We already knew that a whole story happened that could’ve been a manga when this series began. Now we see what that series of the Hero’s Party journey could’ve really been.

Himmel, Eisen, and Heiter are exactly who they’ve been built to be from stories that have been shared about them. Through the relationship Frieren, Himmel, Eisen, and Heiter you understand how this Hero’s Party was able to defeat the Demon King together. The last few chapters of the year in particular hit hard when it comes to Frieren and Himmel. It all just drove home why Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End was the best manga series of the year.

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