YEAR IN REVIEW: Top Manga of 2021

Reading Time: 5 minutes

best manga 2021 But Why Tho (4)

It’s been a great year for manga. While the pandemic has fueled manga sales to record heights with a lot of us waiting for our back-ordered volume, we’ve seen the releases of new series both through digital releases and the phsyical ones as well. While this list is shonen heavy, we’ve been covering the best manga of 2021 across demographics and you can find shojo, josei, and bl across the site. That said, we polled our writers to see which titles were their best manga of 2021 and after ranking their respective choices we’ve pulled together these top 10 choices.

10. My Hero Academia

Top manga 2021 (1)

Publisher: VIZ Media
Mangaka: Kohei Horikoshi
Volumes: 29

“What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?”

Buy here. 

9. Jujutsu Kaisen

jujutsu kaisen 11 - But Why Tho

Publisher: VIZ Media
Mangaka: Gege Akutami
Volumes: 13

“In a world where cursed spirits feed on unsuspecting humans, fragments of the legendary and feared demon Ryomen Sukuna were lost and scattered about. Should any demon consume Sukuna’s body parts, the power they gain could destroy the world as we know it. Fortunately, there exists a mysterious school of Jujutsu Sorcerers who exist to protect the precarious existence of the living from the supernatural!”

Buy here. 

8. Blue Lock

Blue Lock Volume 1

Publisher: Kodansha Manga
Mangaka: Yusuke Namora 
Volumes: 9

“After a disastrous defeat at the 2018 World Cup, Japan’s team struggles to regroup. But what’s missing? An absolute Ace Striker, who can guide them to the win. The Japan Football Union is hell-bent on creating a striker who hungers for goals and thirsts for victory, and who can be the decisive instrument in turning around a losing match… and to do so, they’ve gathered 300 of Japan’s best and brightest youth players. Who will emerge to lead the team… and will they be able to out-muscle and out-ego everyone who stands in their way?”

Buy here. 

7. Beastars

BEastars Volume 12

Publisher: VIZ Media
Mangaka: Paru Itagaki
Volumes: 15

“At a high school where the students are literally divided into predators and prey, friendships maintain the fragile peace. Who among them will become a Beastar—a hero destined to lead in a society naturally rife with mistrust?”

Buy here. 

6. Hell’s Paradise Jigokuraku

Hells Paradise: Jigokuraku Volume 9

Publisher: VIZ Media
Mangaka: Yuji Kaku
Volumes: 11

“Gabimaru is a ninja on death row with one chance to see his wife again—by finding the elixir of immortality on a supernatural island and delivering it to the shogun. Standing in his way are his fellow convicts and the fearsome beasts that roam the island, devouring or killing anyone they encounter.”

Buy here. 

5. Sweat and Soap

Top manga 2021

Publisher: Kodansha Manga
Mangaka: Kintetsu Yamada
Volumes: 11 (Complete)

“In an office romance, there’s a fine line between sexy and awkward… and that line is where Asako — a woman who sweats copiusly — met Koutarou — a perfume developer who can’t get enough of Asako’s, er, scent. Don’t miss a romcom manga like no other!”

Buy here. 

4. ZOM 100 Bucket List of the Dead

Zom: 100

Publisher: Kodansha Manga
Mangaka: Haro Aso & Kotaro Takata
Volumes: 4

“After spending years slaving away for a soul-crushing company, Akira’s life has lost its luster. But when a zombie apocalypse ravages his town, it gives him the push he needs to live for himself. Now Akira’s on a mission to complete all 100 items on his bucket list before he…well, kicks the bucket.”

Buy here. 

3. Spy x Family

Spy x Family Volume 4

Publisher: VIZ Media
Mangaka: Tatsuya Endo
Volumes: 6

“Master spy Twilight is unparalleled when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions for the betterment of the world. But when he receives the ultimate assignment—to get married and have a kid—he may finally be in over his head! Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn’t know is that the wife he’s chosen is an assassin and the child he’s adopted is a telepath!”

Buy here. 

2. Chainsaw Man

Chainsaw Man Volume 5

Publisher: VIZ Media
Mangaka: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Volumes: 8

“Denji was a small-time devil hunter just trying to survive in a harsh world. After being killed on a job, he is revived by his pet devil-dog Pochita and becomes something new and dangerous—Chainsaw Man!”

Buy here. 

1. Kaiju No. 8

Kaiju No 8 - But Why Tho

Publisher: VIZ Media
Mangaka: Naoya Matsumoto
Volumes: 1

With the highest kaiju-emergence rates in the world, Japan is no stranger to attack by deadly monsters. Enter the Japan Defense Force, a military organization tasked with the neutralization of kaiju. Kafka Hibino, a kaiju-corpse cleanup man, has always dreamed of joining the force. But when he gets another shot at achieving his childhood dream, he undergoes an unexpected transformation. How can he fight kaiju now that he’s become one himself?!

Buy here. 

With so many titles to fall in love with this year, My Hero Academia, Queen’s Quality, and Jujutsu Kaisen  barely missed the cut. Did your favorite manga make the Top Manga of 2021 list? Let us know on social media @butwhythopc.

Synopses of manga listed on the Top Manga of 2020 list were taken from their product pages.

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