In a recent run, manga has seen a massive increase in popularity and sales thanks to new creators and a legion of dedicated readers. Following a lengthy slump, titles like Attack on Titan and One-Punch Man revived the dying medium to make it a major competitor for Western comic books. Thousands of manga chapters are released every year by publishers such as Kodansha and Shueisha, and there are millions of readers out their waiting for those publications.
In 2016, a slew of popular manga titles enjoyed success both internationally and abroad. Here at ComicBook.com, we are breaking down six of the best-selling manga series of the year so you can start binge reading now.
Fair warning though; Don’t try to read all of One Piece in one sitting. You may never get up.
Seven Deadly Sins
With over 200 chapters to its name, Seven Deadly Sins is becoming a manga series to be reckoned with. Published by Kodansha, the shonen series has grown infinitely more popular thanks to its recent anime adaptation. The manga had more than 7.6 million sales abroad this year and landed on the New York Times’ Best-Sellers list for manga publications. If you are not familiar with the story, then you should know that Seven Deadly Sins follows a group of medieval knights. These fabled heroes once served the king of Britannia, but they disbanded after being accused of treason. But, when the kingdom is taken over by a group of tyrannical Holy Knights, the king’s youngest daughter leaves to find the Seven Deadly Sins in order to save her homeland.
If you are into historical manga, then you will understand why Yasuhisa Hara’s Kingdom has done so well with sales this year. The long-running manga debuted back in 2006 and continues to intrigue fans with its gritty war storylines. With more than 40 volumes to its name, Kingdom sold around 9.8 million units in 2016. The story itself takes place in the Warring States era in China where two orphans dream of becoming great generals.
Haikyū!! is an unstoppable force in the world of manga. The sports series debuted back in February 2012 and has since racked up more than 220 chapters. Following its adaptation into an anime, Haikyū!! is one of the most popular shonen series worldwide, and its manga sales prove it. The series had more than 10 million sales in Japan alone during 2016, and the manga is still on-going. Clearly, Shōyō Hinata would be happy to hear those numbers. As the star of
Haikyū!!, fans keep up with the volleyball player as he and his teammates fight to restore glory to their high school’s sports club.
Attack On Titan
It should come as no surprise: Attack on Titan is one of the manga series to beat when it comes down to sales. Created in 2009, the post-apocalyptic manga tells the story of a boy named Eren Yeager who joins the military after his home is ravaged by mindless, murderous beasts known as Titans. So far, there are 88 chapters of Attack on Titan published, and more than 10.8 million units were sold just in Japan this year.
Despite being one of the whackier entries on this list, Assassination Classroom is undeniably popular. Created by Yūsei Matsui, the manga was first released in July 2012 and ended earlier this year in March. The shonen series follows a group of students who learn that their wise yet unhinged professor is actually an alien trying to destroy the Earth. Tasked with assassinating their teacher, the students get up to all sorts of shenanigans in order to stop Koro-sensei. In 2016, more than 11 million units of Assassination Classroom were sold as fans rushed to catch-up with the ending manga.
There is no denying the popularity of One Piece. The Shueisha title was created by Eiichiro Oda back in July 1997, and it is still in publication today. Having been adapted into a success anime, One Piece stands as Japan’s most popular anime and manga franchise by far. In 2016, more than 12 million chapters of the series was sold in Japan alone, and that number would definitely have Monkey D. Luffy seeing stars. The Straw-Hat Pirate and his crew are the stars of One Piece as the manga follows their quest to see the captain become the next King of Pirates. If you have the time, you can always start this manga from scratch, but be ready for the time investment that comes with it. One Piece is one of the longest running manga series to-date since it has over 800 chapters.