Japanese manga has been read by more people throughout the world recently, and its book is being sparked by popular anime adaptations made from them. Many successful anime series and movies can’t exist without their original manga. Then, who are those high-quality manga made by?
Japanese comic books are created by a Mangaka (漫画家), who is also called a writer, an author or a manga artist. They write a story and make drawings while some writers share the two main tasks with illustrators.
In Japan, the mecca of manga, there are several legendary manga artists who has led the industry of the manga and has made its history. For instance, Osamu Tezuka, who is also called as “the God of Manga”, completed Astro Boy between 1952 and 1968; Fujiko F. Fujio formed a new character Doraemon, which is now known as one of the most famous and popular characters in Japan, in 1970. They have had a significant impact on lots of modern manga artists.
Today, I’d like to introduce 15 best manga artists including the great figures who brought the renowned manga into the world and the cutting-edge authors who are making the great ongoing manga series. This list also includes their masterpieces you should check first.
Let’s enjoy the greatest manga by manga artist!
15. Tatsuki Fujimoto (Chainsaw Man)
For those who have increased the sensitivity for the trendy manga, Tatsuki Fujimoto (藤本タツキ) is what they should check first. Tatsuki Fujimoto has raised much attention from across the globe since his renowned dark-fantasy manga Chainsaw Man (チェンソーマン) was serialized between 2018 and 2020. In addition to the explosive hit, he has released another popular series Fire Punch (ファイアパンチ) and some finest one-shot manga such as Look Back (ルックバック) and Goodbye, Eri (さよなら絵梨). It has been already announced that the following part of Chainsaw Man will start within 2022. His modern manga are translated into English and other languages and distributed overseas almost at the same time as the original Japanese edition.
<<Haven’t you read Chainsaw Man yet?>>
▽If you like Tatsuki Fujimoto, it’s recommended to read these manga, too!▽
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14. Koyoharu Gotouge (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba)
As the hottest manga artist around the world, Koyoharu Gotouge(吾峠呼世晴) has become the focus of attention from amateur and professional people since the greatest dark-fantasy manga Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (鬼滅の刃) began its serialization on Weekly Shonen Jump in 2016. The masterpiece finished its story in 2020, which has been adapted into an anime series since 2019. Inspired by JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Naruto and Bleach, Koyoharu Gotouge released some one-shot manga Kagarigari (過狩り狩り), Monju Shirō Kyōdai (文殊史郎兄弟), Rokkotsu-san (肋骨さん) and Haeniwa no Zigzag (蠅庭のジグザグ) before Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, which are in included in the author’sfirst collection Koyoharu Gotouge’s Short Stories.
<<Haven’t you read Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba yet?>>
<<Binge-read Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba with this cool Box Set!>>
▽If you like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, it’s recommended to read these similar manga, too!▽
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump from 2016, is now one of the most famous and popular ma[…]
13. Gosho Aoyama (Case Closed)
Everyone knows that the best mystery manga is Case Closed (名探偵コナン), which is also known as Detective Conan, in Japan. The long-established series is made by Gosho Aoyama (青山剛昌), born in Tottori Pefecture in 1963. After an action comedy manga series Yaiba was serialized for five years, Case Closed began its serialization on Weekly Shonen Sunday from 1994. The ongoing detective series reached the 100th volume in 2021. Its anime adaptation has aired since 1996.
<<Haven’t you read Case Closed yet?>>
12. Inio Asano (Goodnight Punpun)
Inio Asano (浅野いにお), born in Ishioka, Ibaraki in 1980, has released some eminent manga series since his first manga series What a Wonderful World! (素晴らしい世界) was serialized between 2002 and 2004. He has got much more popular since the coming-of-age manga Solanin (ソラニン) was published in 2005-2006, which was made into a live-action Japanese film in 2010. From 2007 to 2013, Goodnight Punpun (おやすみプンプン), the best coming-of-age manga written by Inio Asano, was serialized on Weekly Young Sunday and Weekly Big Comic Spirits later. His modern representative work Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction (デッドデッドデーモンズデデデデデストラクション), which consists of 12 volumes published in 2014-2022, has been announced to become Inio Asano’s first manga adapted into an anime series.
<<Haven’t you read Goodnight Punpun yet?>>
11. Kentaro Miura (Berserk)
The great manga series with the theme of sword and sorcery Berserk (ベルセルク) is written by Kentaro Miura (三浦建太郎), who was born in Chiba Prefecture in 1966. Many fans lamented the death of the irreplaceable manga artist at the age of 54 due to aortic dissection in May, 2021. His masterpiece Berserk started on Monthly Animal House in 1989 and the serialization taken over by Young Animal from 1992 stays on hiatus. As an illustrator, he also joined the production of King of Wolves (王狼) and Oro Den (王狼伝) during 1989 and 1990. The one-volume manga are based on the story written by Buronson, who is famous for the legendary martial arts adventure Fist of the North Star (1983-1988).
<<Haven’t you read Berserk yet?>>
As the renowned manga and anime series with the theme of sword and sorcery, Berserk (ベルセルク) has been loved by both domes[…]
10. Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Hiromu Arakawa (荒川弘), born in Hokkaido in 1973, is one of the most popular female manga artists in Japan, releasing some finest manga series such as Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師), Silver Spoon (銀の匙 Silver Spoon) and The Heroic Legend of Arslan (アルスラーン戦記). Her most notable work Fullmetal Alchemist, serialized on Monthly Shonen Gangan between 2001 and 2010, was followed by the next manga series published on Weekly Shonen Sunday from 2011 to 2019. The slice-of-life comedy is based on her experience in an agricultural school in Hokkaido. The historical fantasy novel written by Yoshiki Tanaka has been adapted into the manga series by Hiromu Arakawa since 2013.
<<Haven’t you read Fullmetal Alchemist yet?>>
<<Check out The Complete Art of Fullmetal Alchemist!>>
9. Rumiko Takahashi (Inuyasha/Ranma ½)
Modern romantic-comedy manga and anime have been very influenced by the works of Rumiko Takahashi (高橋留美子), who was born in Niigata, in 1957. She debuted with the one-shot story Those Selfish Aliens (勝手なやつら) in 1978, which her first major manga series Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら) is based on. The other representative rom-com manga Ranma ½ (らんま1/2) was serialized on Weekly Shonen Sunday between 1987 and 1996, followed by the famous adventure Inuyasha (犬夜叉) serialized on the same magazine from 1996 to 2008.
<<Haven’t you read Inuyasha yet?>>
8. Hajime Isayama (Attack on Titan)
Hajime Isayama (諫山創) is one of the younger leaders of modern manga artists, born in Oita in 1986. He started the serialization of his first manga series Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) on a monthly manga magazine Bessatsu Shonen Magazine in 2009, which has become a global hit since its debut. Its anime adaptation has been welcomed by a large number of anime lovers. Finally, the manga series Attack on Titan finished with the 139th episode in April, 2021. Let’s see if he will take a step in a new direction in the future.
<<Haven’t you read Attack on Titan yet?>>
<<Binge-read Attack on Titan with this cool Box Set!>>
7. Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto)
Who do you think the greatest ninja-themed Naruto is written by? Masashi Kishimoto (岸本斉史), born in Okayama in 1974, made his debut with the first one-shot Karakuri on Weekly Shonen Jump. Naruto started on the same manga magazine in the following year and was concluded in 2014, which reached 700 episodes and 72 volumes at the end. The manga series has achieved over 250 million copies all over the world. In addition to the original manga, its anime adaptation consisting of 720 chapters has been loved by both Japanese and foreign people. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, the sequel to Naruto focusing on Naruto’s son, has been written by him with the other writer Ukyo Kodachi and an illustrator Mikio Ikemoto since 2016.
<<Haven’t you read Naruto yet?>>
<<Binge-read Naruto with this cool Box Set!>>
<<Check out Naruto Illustration Book!>>
6. Hirohiko Araki (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Hirohiko Araki (荒木飛呂彦) is a well-known Japanese manga artist, born in Sendai in 1960. He debuted with the first one-shot manga Poker Under Arms (武装ポーカー) under the different name Toshiyuki Araki in 1980. Hirohiko Araki’s famous manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険) has been serialized since 1986, featuring various protagonists and settings for over three decades. The first series Phantom Blood began on Weekly Shonen Jump in 1986, and the latest part JoJolion was completed on Ultra Jump in 2021. He has announced that Jojolands, a new part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, will launch in the near future. The manga series has been also adapted into a high-quality anime series by David Production since 2012.
<<Haven’t you read JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure yet?>>
<<Just try Rohan at the Louvre, too!>>
5. Yoshihiro Togashi
Whoever can ignore the outstanding uncompleted manga series Hunter x Hunter? Yoshihiro Togashi (富樫義博) is the manga artist of the action adventure, born in Yamagata in 1966. It is known that he sometimes puts the series on hiatus for personal reasons, which has been on a break since the 390th and last episode was released in November, 2018. However, lots of fans always look forward to its restart. In addition to Hunter x Hunter published since 1998, his previous series YuYu Hakusho (幽☆遊☆白書) was serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump between 1990 and 1994, enjoying high popularity. His sci-fi manga series Level E (レベル E), serialized from 1995 to 1997, was adapted into an anime series in 2011 as well as the two major works.
<<Haven’t you read Hunter x Hunter yet?>>
<<Just try YuYu Hakusho, too!>>
4. Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk/Vagabond)
Takehiko Inoue (井上雄彦), born in Kagoshima in 1967, is the prominent Japanese manga artist creating three greatest works: Slam Dunk, Vagabond (バガボンド) and Real (リアル). His first successful manga series Slam Dunk, which has the theme of basketball, was serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump between 1990 and 1996. The epic and historical manga series Vagabond, started on Morning in 1998, has been on hiatus since February, 2015. The wheelchair basketball-themed Real has been published on Weekly Young Jump since 1999. Many fans expect the two unfinished manga series will conclude the story.
<<Haven’t you read Vagabond yet?>>
<<Check out Inoue Takehiko Illustrations!>>
3. Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira)
As one of the most famous and popular manga artists, Katsuhiro Otomo (大友克洋), born in Miyagi in 1954, has been earned much praise from all across the world for a long time. Following a short manga Domu: A Child’s Dream (童夢) released in 1980-1981, he began his masterpiece Akira on Weekly Young Magazine in 1982. The greatest cyberpunk manga series was completed with the 6th volume in 1990.
He is also famous as an anime director and directed Akira’s anime movie adaptation in 1988 by himself. There are other highly-rated anime movies directed by Katsuhiro Otomo: Memories (1995), Steamboy (2004) and so on.
<<Haven’t you read Akira yet?>>
<<Just try Domu, too!>>
<<Binge-read Akira with this cool Box Set!>>
2. Eiichiro Oda (One Piece)
The live-legend manga series One Piece reached the 1000th episode in January and the 100th volume in September and its anime adaptation surpassed the 1000th chapter in November, 2021 due to sustained efforts by Eiichiro Oda (尾田栄一郎), born in Kumamoto in 1975. He completed his first one-shot manga Wanted!, awarded in 1992.
After some short stories released on Shueisha’s magazines between 1993 and 1996 including Monsters and Romance Dawn, he started his first manga series One Piece on Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. Countless modern manga and anime fans have become passionate about giving thorough thought to what happens to Luffy’s adventure next since then. He made a dreamy crossover work titled Cross Epoch with Akira Toriyama in 2006, which features both One Piece and Dragon Ball.
<<Haven’t you read One Piece yet?>>
<<Just try One Piece Illustration Collection Art Books!>>
<<Binge-read One Piece with this cool Box Set!>>
1. Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball)
It’s an indisputable fact that Akira Toriyama (鳥山明) is the best manga artist of all time for the majority of manga fans in both Japan and foreign countries. His masterpiece Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール) is also looked on as one of the best manga series ever around the world. Born in Nagoya, Aichi in 1955, he has created unsurpassed manga series and various character designs for a long time, having had a significant degree of influence on many creators and their works.
In 1978, he made his debut with the one-shot manga Wonder Island (ワンダー・アイランド), which is included in his short story collection Akira Toriyama’s Manga Theater (鳥山明○作劇場). Before the famous action adventure series, his first manga series Dr. Slump (Dr.スランプ), categorized as science fiction and comedy, was serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump from 1980 to 1984. Dragon Ball, serialized on the same magazine between 1984 and 1995, led the golden age of Weekly Shonen Jump.
Akira Toriyama has also produced Dragon Ball Super (ドラゴンボール超), the following title of Dragon Ball, as a writer since 2015. Some recent anime movies of Dragon Ball have gained the participation and cooperation of the original author. He is also very famous for character designs of the popular role-playing video game series Dragon Quest (ドラゴンクエスト).
<<It’s also recommended to check out Dragon Ball: A Visual History, Toriyama Akira Special Illustrations and Dragon Quest Illustrations: 30th Anniversary Edition!>>
The greatest manga artists above should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Learn history of Japanese manga artists and their masterpieces!
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