Top 10 Manga of 2022

The popularity of manga continued to increase in 2022, which enabled manga publishers to launch an array of new series, some in familiar genres and others that go in unexpected directions.


The popularity of manga continued to increase in 2022, with a strong boost from anime adaptations of series, such as “Spy x Family” and “Chainsaw Man.” That enabled manga publishers to launch an array of new series, some in familiar genres and others that go in unexpected directions. Here are 10 of our favorite manga from 2022.


Kamatani, Yuhki. Shonen Note: Boy Soprano, Vol. 1. Kodansha. ISBN 9781646515011.
Gr 8 Up –Waiflike 12-year-old Yutaka Aoi has something few boys at his age have: A beautiful soprano voice. When he arrives at his new school, he joins the choir and becomes part of the group, but when a teacher suggests he sing in a local opera, his loyalties are tested. Yutaka is smaller than the other kids, looks younger, and has super-sensitive hearing. Kamatani, creator of “Our Dreams at Dusk,” beautifully depicts Yutaka’s feelings, whether he is being swept away by the sounds of the ocean at dawn or melting down when he’s caught in the middle of an argument.

Matsui, Yusei. The Elusive Samurai, Vol. 1. Viz. ISBN 9781974732517.
Gr 9 Up –After the massacre of his family by a traitorous retainer, eight-year-old Hojo Tokiyuki must escape with the help of a handful of loyal survivors. Aided by a sleazy clairvoyant named Suwa Yorishige, he must learn how to take back his kingdom using the only skills he has: running away and evading capture. While Yorishige has visions of Tokiyuki becoming the ruler of Japan, the young heir must escape his enemies first. From the creator of “Assassination Classroom,” this beautifully drawn story is filled with action-packed sequences and welcome hints of comedy to keep readers engaged and rooting for our young hero.

Midori, Wataru. Run on Your New Legs, Vol. 1. Yen Pr. ISBN 9781975339005.
Gr 8 Up –Shouta Kikuzato finds his dreams of starting on his school’s soccer team derailed by an accident that costs him his leg. When he tries to run with his prosthetic leg, Kikuzato is spotted by Chidori, a prosthetist, who wants to start a partnership with him for his new business creating prostheses for athletes. Chidori sees an opportunity for Kikuzato not only to help him with this venture but also to achieve the dreams Kikuzato thought were gone. With positive, inclusive representation, this is a great story about achieving your dreams despite the odds.

Miura, Kouji. Blue Box, Vol. 1. Viz. ISBN 9781974734627.
Gr 8 Up –Taiki is a badminton boy. Chinatsu is a basketball girl. Both have dreams of playing Nationals in their respective sports, but the real prize Taiki wants is Chinatsu’s heart. While keeping his crush on her a secret, and receiving (un)helpful advice from his friends, Taiki wants to impress Chinatsu any way he can. Faced with the possibility of missing Nationals due to her parents going overseas for business, Chinatsu finds a way to compete, by staying with her parents’ close friends…who happen to be Taiki’s parents. Now Taiki must keep even more secrets so that both can achieve their goals. This hilarious manga is great for those who love sports action and matters of the heart.

Miyako, Ritsu. Usotoki Rhetoric, Vol. 1. One Peace. ISBN 9781642732030.
Gr 7 Up –Sixteen-year-old Kanoko, who can hear if someone is lying by the sound of their voice, teams up with Iwai Soma, a detective with a sharp eye but an empty wallet, in this lighthearted mystery series. Soma notices small details with big implications, much like Sherlock Holmes, while Kanoko listens for lies and covertly signals him when she detects one. A young detective-story fan shows up halfway through the first volume to mix things up a bit. The series is set in 1926, the first year of the Showa era, and the richly detailed art makes the most of the period setting.

Mochizuki, Mai. Alice in Kyoto Forest, Vol. 1. illus. by Haruki Niwa. Tokyopop. ISBN 9781427870971.
Gr 5 Up –Alice, a 15-year-old orphan, leaves her unhappy foster home to become an apprentice geisha in her old hometown of Kyoto. From the moment she walks across the Gojo Bridge, though, everything seems different. Landmarks have moved, people have tails, and her stuffed frog and rabbit have come alive. When Alice becomes an old woman overnight, she sets off to find the mysterious Cartographer who can explain this new land to her. Although there are some allusions to Alice in Wonderland, this manga is a truly original fantasy set in a rich world that blends magical elements with traditional Japanese culture.

Nadatani, Wataru. Cat + Gamer, Vol. 1. Dark Horse. ISBN 9781506727417.
Gr 7 Up –Quiet office worker Riko isn’t lonely. She has her video games and now, a cat. Learning to take care of her new pet is treated as “leveling up” in cat care; each chapter tackles a new task. This series is funny and adorable, and of course, everyone loves seeing drawings of a cat. Excellent for those wanting to know more about having a pet in a relatable way or as a substitute for having one—all the cute moments without any of the fur or mess.

Shirono, Honami. I Want to Be a Wall, Vol. 1. Yen Pr. ISBN 9781975338961.
Gr 9 Up –Yuriko and Gakurouta may seem like any newlywed couple, but these two are walking down the aisle with zero romantic interest in each other. As an asexual woman and a gay man, they know love will never bloom between them. Each is nonetheless determined to be a supportive, encouraging partner. The plot incorporates tropes—Yuriko is a devoted BL (Boys’ Love) romance fan while Gakurouta is in love with his childhood best friend—but the knowing tone keeps readers laughing instead of rolling their eyes. For asexual teens, this is a rare story that presents them with a future with a family of their own making at the center. Queer teens who turn to manga for varied representation will be happy to find this title.

Tagame, Gengoroh. Our Colors. Pantheon. ISBN 9781524748562.
Gr 9 Up –High school student Sora is gay, but he’s afraid to tell anyone—his parents, his best (girl) friend Nao,
and especially, his crush, Yoshioka. A chance meeting with Mr. Amamiya, an older gay man who owns a coffee shop near his school, changes all that. For the first time, Sora is able to discuss his feelings and fears with someone who understands. Their conversations give him a new perspective, and ultimately, he comes out to Nao and his parents. As various personal dramas intertwine throughout, Tagame uses Sora’s sense of color to reflect his emotions, even though the manga is in black and white. Tagame’s earlier manga, “My Brother’s Husband,” won an Eisner Award in 2018.

Tanabe, Seiko. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish. illus. by Nao Emoto. Yen Pr. ISBN 9781975341732.
Gr 8 Up –Tsuneo has dreams of studying abroad to become an oceanographer. All he needs is the money to do so, and an opportunity approaches him (literally) when he stops a runaway wheelchair. The wheelchair user is a young woman named Josee, and Josee’s grandmother hires Tsuneo to become her caretaker, although Josee is not receptive to the idea. When the two bond over an impromptu trip to the beach and their shared love for the ocean, though, they start a friendship that eventually blossoms into romance. This is a beautiful love story that depicts the impact of ableism and the realities of living with a disability with respect and realism.

Brigid Alverson, Robin Brenner, Johanna Draper Carlson, and Renee Scott contribute to the blog “Good Comics for Kids” at

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