This year’s Manga Taisho nominees have just been announced, which means it’s time to bookmark a few up-and-coming manga titles to add to your 2024 reading list. 

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What is Manga Taisho?

Since its inception in 2008, Manga Taisho has been a Japanese graphic novel award that recognizes achievement in manga. The award aims to shed light on relatively unestablished manga by providing a platform to promote these new pieces of work to readers. As a result, the criteria to be nominated includes manga series published in the previous calendar year and titles that have eight volumes or fewer.

The Manga Taisho Executive Committee that selects the manga is a volunteer group made up of 100 self-proclaimed “manga lovers,” many of whom are bookstore workers that manage the in-store manga sections. While the Manga Taisho award does not offer a cash prize, winning titles end up becoming heavily promoted in bookstores across Japan, leading to some very significant sales boosts for the manga involved.

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The current lineup of 2024’s Manga Taisho nominees (in no particular order)

The Best New Manga You Should Read in 2024

The full list of the 17th Manga Taisho Award nominees are below:

  1. Kanda Gokura-cho Shokunin-banashi by Akihito Sakaue
  2. Kimi to Uchu o Aruku Tame ni by Inuhiko Doronoda
  3. You and I Are Polar Opposites by Kocha Agasawa
  4. Tamaki and Amane by Fumi Yoshinaga
  5. The Days of Diamond by Hirai Ohashi
  6. A Witch’s Life in Mongol by Tomato Soup
  7. Hirayasumi by Keigo Shinzo
  8. Let’s Go to the Family Restaurant by Yama Wayama
  9. Dear Shimazaki in the Peaceful Land by Gouten Hamada and Takeshi Sesimo
  10. Daemons of the Shadow Realm by Hiromu Arakawa

Fans of high school romance should give You and I Are Polar Opposites a try. Written and illustrated by Kocha Agasawa, the plot involves two high school students: the energetic Miyu Suzuki and the quiet Yusuke Tani. The series follows the developing relationship between the two as well as issues surrounding their circle of friends.

For something more action-based, Daemons of the Shadow Realm is recommended. It’s a story about twins born with the ability to rule over powerful entities called Daemons. The author is none other than Hiromu Arakawa, the manga artist best known for the global hit, Fullmetal Alchemist.

If you’re into something completely unique, A Witch’s Life in Mongol by Tomato Soup could be your fix. The series focuses on Fatima, a captive of the Mongol Empire, and her journey through life, firstly as a prisoner and then as a servant of the Imperial Palace. 

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Past Award Winners and Nominees

It might sound niche, but both hardcore manga fans and casual readers would be sure to recognize some of the past winners and nominees. Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui has received the most nominations thus far, with four, dating back to its first one in 2016. The manga is currently enjoying increased popularity thanks to its Netflix anime adaptation. Two-time nominee Blue Period was voted first in 2019 and won in the subsequent year of 2020. The hugely popular Spy × Family has also been nominated twice but interestingly enough has never won the top prize. Other noticeable winners in the past include Beastars in 2018 and Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End in 2021.

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