Ask 10 Tokyoites what their favorite manga is and you’ll likely encounter 10 different answers. Like all creative art forms, manga is highly subjective and truly depends on a person’s specific preferences. Tsukuru magazine, however, has devised a method to objectively determine what the most successful manga is each year. It recently posted three charts that represent Kodansha, Shogakukan and Shueisha. The charts show the number of copies each tankobon had for their first print run, with the data taken between April 2023 and March 2024. 

Best selling manga volumes

The Most Successful Manga of the Year by Volume

To no one’s surprise, One Piece continued to lead the charge as the most popular and successful manga series. There were more than 3.2 million copies of the first print of Volume 108 of Eiichiro Oda’s pirate manga. The second and third places overall also belonged to manga behemoth Shueisha, with 1.75 million first print copies of Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 23 and 1.55 million copies of Spy x Family Volume 11. Kingdom, My Hero Academia and Chainsaw Man all achieved prints above 800,000 copies. It shows that the public’s appetite for battle and shonen manga is truly insatiable.

Frieren anime part 2

Conan, Frieren and Blue Lock Stay Locked In

Regarding Shogakukan’s manga, Detective Conan and Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End were pretty close, with 630,000 and 600,000 copies printed respectively. Considering Conan’s history goes all the way back to the early 1990s and Frieren’s only began in 2020, this feels like a hot new versus old rivalry in two very different genres. Under the Kodansha umbrella, alternative pick That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Volume 23 had over half a million copies printed, while the Bluelock franchise took second and fifth place. 

While a first print is not 100% reflective of the number of copies sold as it does not include additional reprints, it is a strong indication of public demand as the number of copies in a first print is based on a forecast of how many of the tankobon they predict they will sell. Also, these numbers only take into account local Japanese versions and do not include English localizations that may be co-published overseas. You can find out more about these rankings and other aspects of the manga and anime industry in the May issue of Tsukuru.

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