2021 has been a crucial year for both the growth of the manga industry and of the audience. The complications of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted manga in a huge way for many fans looking for new avenues of entertainment, and that continued well into this year also. In fact, it was even stronger in some ways as the manga that had been previously available on shelves have been quickly disappearing as more and more fans seek out new volumes. That also means it's been an incredibly competitive period with tons of new manga vying for fans' attention alongside the classic hits with their huge audiences already.
With so many new and older manga series hitting their major strides at pretty much the same time, there were some quality releases this year. It's almost a snap back from 2020 as the stuff here is just overall much better than what was seen before. That even goes for the winner of this category, which took the winner's spot for this category after a strong run last year as well.
And the winner of the 2021 ComicBook.com Golden Issue Award for Best Manga is...
While 2020 was a huge year for Kohei Horikoshi's original manga series due to the Paranormal Liberation Front War, 2021 turned out to be an even bigger year for the manga. Trying to describe exactly why without many spoilers is tough, but the series notably kicked off the Final Act of the manga overall. Series creator Horikoshi recently noted how if all goes as planned, then he would end the manga within a year or so. Looking back on just how much has happened over the course of the year and thinking about what could be coming next, it really does feel like the manga is going to end soon.
This means that each chapter we have seen this year has been absolutely huge. The hero world has changed drastically in the fallout of the massive war against the villains, but this first year of the Final Act has shown that fans clearly have no real idea about what could be coming at the end of it all. It's the most compelling week to week read that the manga has been for quite a long time, and it's become increasingly clear that 2020 was just all a set up for 2021.
Huge fights, massive shifts in the hero world, reveals shaking up the foundation of the manga's story, and more all went down in the pages of My Hero Academia this year. It's been a great read to be a part of. If this streak continues, we could be looking at the winner for Best Manga in 2022 as well.
Congrats to My Hero Academia on its Golden Issue Awards win!
The nominees for Best Manga are: