2008 Manga Popularity Ranking


Oricon has released results of their poll for the “most interesting” manga of 2008.

Putting aside the more formal statistics of manga sales numbers, the results provide a glimpse of what series are most preferred by Japan’s manga reading public.

The poll was conducted by Oricon, the main arbitrator of sales rankings for everything from DVDs to theater tickets in Japan. Their statistics are what are used in the anime DVD sales numbers presented so frequently online.

Japanese ranging from ages 10-40 were questioned on what manga they considered to be “omoshiroi”, the Japanese word closest to the English “interesting” but also incorporating elements of “amusing, funny, delightful.” The “approval rating” indicates what percentage of those questioned consider the manga to be omoshiroi.

As happens too often with these sort of polls, a sample size number is not given, nor are many more details such as geographical location of those questioned available.

Ranking Series Approval Rating
1 ONE PIECE 45.9
2 のだめカンタービレ / Nodame Cantabile 38.8
3 NANA 32.5
4 NARUTO 23.6
5 Hunter x Hunter 23.1
6 Bleach 18.8
7 黒執事 / Kuroshitsuji 17.0
8 ブラッディ・マンデイ / Bloody Monday 16.5
9 君に届け / Kimi ni Todoke 15.5
10 聖☆おにいさん / Saint☆Oniisan 11.2

As it has been since time immemorial, Shonen Jump titles dominate the list of popular manga titles; 4 of the magazine’s series make up nearly half of the list – Naruto, Bleach, Hunter x Hunter and with One Piece taking the crown for #1 most interesting manga of 2008.

Nodame Cantabile grabs the #2 spot, unsuprising giving the popularity of the series in the 2008 Manga Sales Ranking where it took the #3 ranking.

Indeed, this list looks quite similar to the 2008 Manga Sales list, as most of the titles listed here were also among the top 20 best-selling of 2008. The only titles here that were not on that list are Bloody Monday (a shonen action series) and Saint☆Oniisan, an odd comedy/slice of life series of Jesus and Buddha sharing an apartment in modern day Japan…

Picture of Nico by Megadriv.

Via Oricon.

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  • ahhh… more “endless” anime/manga. I can’t stand manga and anime that are as long as these. Why are the long ones always the ones on top? I can understand how and why these would get onto the list of most profitable, but is there no short manga that’s incredible like Ghost in the Shell these days? I won’t dispute the quality of intelligence in Shonen stuff like Naruto and One Piece, but there’s gotta be something more like GitS, that’s more of an artistic staple?

    • I don’t see whats so bad with “endless” anime/manga as you put it. The reason why the long ones are at the top is because people like the manga and they also like the fact that the manga they like is still going. Fair enough all storys need to end but short mangas are by no means better than long ones because of length.


  • you know what Eiichiro Oda is fucking genius and one piece is getting even more interesting with each episode. you people don’t read the manga so you don’t get it.

    in naruto and bleach the story is so predictable and and they add many caracters which are not needed in the story, like sai in naruto and where the hell is he now anyway. and that naruto is always in training and always weak, but now he looks pretty strong but after like 30 episode of training…

    and in bleach i like Tite Kubo’s drawing specially the girls with big boobs but the story is getting dull now cause of too much fighting.. the first arc in the soul society was interesting but after that kudo killed the manga with too much fighting.

    but is one piece the story is big and very satisfying. its amazing how Oda delivers such big story in a simple and interesting way. for me oda is a real genius..

    • so angry yet so true.

      i fucking love one piece, i enjoyed naruto and bleach but right now bleach is sucking pretty bad. the characters are getting all these fancy new forms… that i don’t care about.

      one piece has the unfortunate curse of being hated on by arrogant, ignorant fucks who wish they knew better yet are all the more so stupid for hating one piece because it looks fun.

      as for the lame, weakling way up there who said that one piece has a horrendous art style… must be fucking blind. comparing it to sailor moon also took away whatever credibility that poster wished he/she had. people with no taste shouldnt be given internet access.

  • Awwww! One Piece is awesome! I’m Happy for that!

    ……But for 2008 i read a lot of new mangas including FairyTail and got very into it at the end of August and THEN

    I read Soul Eater

    And My God it Surpassed everything i read for 2008…EVERYTHING… Well One Piece is still in my favorites :)…. But Definitely Soul Eater should be on this list. Very Very awesome.

  • why it never ends?Because the readers wanted more stories even though the author’s is waaaay too tired and irritated by the plots he/she created but i can’t believe HunterxHunter also belongs to the top slot.

  • one piece owns. so many different things happening. naruto; i only like the first part of the series. the time skip kinda ruined it for me. its slow and not so interesting. im glad the manga is going to end sooner than most others.

    bleach, well i havent seen/read it in a long time but i will always think of it as dbz with swords. ichigo always wants to get stronger but gets his ass whooped in the process.

  • Increasing amount of 4chan like comments is getting slightly old. No, Really, really old. If you don’t like shonen, ignore the article.
    This isn’t even a “Most Popular” poll, it’s most interesting. And One Piece, though popular obviously, is incredibly interesting. Oda has created an absolutely gigantic world of characters, and he’s forgotten none of them. Unless they die, they always pop again somehow.

    And for those “It never ends!” Oda had an ending for One Piece planned from the start, and none of that’s changed. Before you want to start calling it generic shonen crap, maybe you should actually learn something about the damn property.

    I disagree with some of the choices in the poll, but I’m not going to shit all over someone else’s opinion of “Interesting.”

  • turned 1st of jan 30 minutes ago!! happy new year everyone!! hope 09 brings u all the best.. and to artefact n everyone who commits their time to this site! u’ve done a really really really really awesome job ^0^ HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

    • Again with this? What is wrong with One Piece?! It’s a great manga/anime. Why don’t you list some sturdy reasons of why you don’t like it?

      You know why it’s #1? BECAUSE IT APPEALS TO BOTH GENDERS. It’s full of hopes, dreams, and camaraderie. The plot can be basic at first, but the characters are extremely well-developed. You get inside their heads, see their quirky personalities, and understand them more. They’re always discovering new adventures and getting into trouble as they strive to achieve their dreams. Even the fillers are fun to read/watch.

      Friendship plays a very large role in One Piece. You wouldn’t understand how much Luffy cherishes his friends. Watch movie 5, it’s stylistically different from the usual but it’s great.

      One Piece has quite a number of powerful moments. Moments that can be heart-wrenching. It has made me cry several times.

      • I actually have fond memories of reading One Piece, although they might be clouded a bit by sentimentality – One Piece was my first “carry manga”, the manga I carried around with me everywhere to read on the train, in lines, etc. when I first lived in Japan in 2003.

        • Right. Because comparing bring out Picasso, it will make you look smart and totally like you know whatever the hell you’re talking about.

          Oh, wait…

          Picasso’s art style seems weird to the amateur onlooker, anybody who has half a grasp of art appreciation will know the meaning behind this weird style. He analyzed, broke down and reassembled every object he painted in a highly analytical and purposeful manner, he didn’t just say… “Hey, what’s the best way to make this look fucked up…”.

          One Piece’s art style however, is as random, inconsistent and f**ked up as it can get before anything the artist is trying to draw becomes indiscernible, this is no purposeful choice, this is blatant lack of artistic skill and sensibility, the artist has a taste for exaggeration of proportions and misuse of perspective.

          And the story is nothing brilliant either… The characters are as cliche’d as they can get and none of them are memorable in any single way. The writing is lazy, it depends on over used shonen resources that we’ve all seen thousands of times before from times immemorial.

          As for Naruto and Bleach, I’ll say the same, the story, the art, the characters, the dialogs, all of them are unoriginal, forgettable, irrelevant and lazily fabricated to appeal to shonen fans. Both of them allowing their plots to shamelessly revolve around the over used “power-levels” trope (Zanpakuto releases for Bleach, Kekkei Genkai, and technique/ninja/mission rankings A, B, C, D, E, and S… for Naruto).

          Specifically under the art department, I’m always miffed to see that the Bleach artists will use whatever excuse they can to avoid drawing a properly designed background except when it’s necessary by the plot, and in Naruto’s case, my complain will be in the complete and blatant disregard Kishimoto has for the laws of physics.

          It’s time you faced reality, people, long running shonen manga/anime always sucks. We do not buy it for the quality, we buy it for the sheer amount of awesome.


        • you haven’t read it yet, have you?
          seriously, if you do, you’ll LOVE IT!
          you like naruto? that explains why you don’t like a superior manga!

          there are types of people….
          1. those who look for the story and artwork (one piece isn’t horrible artwork..it’s unique…and awesome!)even picaso had weird drawing styles….do you know who he is?

          2. those who look for story only (like novel sort of manga….and one piece is “novel”-able manga…why, if you read it, you’ll get this feeling that this whole plot was extracted from some novel called “one peice” or smth!)

          3. and there are people like you….who like Naruto (anime is good…shippuuden can suck my C^CK!)

        • Haven’t seen the series? This may sound odd, but for me One Piece is sort of like watching multiple separate series. Kenshin for example, vows to atone for what he has done in the past. A large turning point for this decision fairly is shown, in this case the death of Tomoe.

          In One Piece, it’s like you’re introduced a new “Kenshin” each time a crewmate joins. Each character has a heavy past, and gains a large resolve to carry burdens for the sake of the wills they inherit from their loved ones. In Kenshin you can see something fairly similar for characters, but it’s not as deeply depicted compared to Kenshin’s. They’re somewhat just there in the story to join the ride, then randomly drop off here and there.

          Although for One Piece, the series gives pretty much full attention to each crewmate, so Luffy is there as a supplementary character and doesn’t hog story at all. The crew is always together as well, removing the imbalance of short peek-a-boos. You may even say each crewmate is as significant as Luffy himself. The setting/environment is quite varied also.

          Well enough about One Piece I guess, sorta got carried away I suppose. It’s well deserved though. Nodame Cantabile doesn’t really surprise me to be on that list, but it’s pretty high. The multiple renditions of the series do contribute to its popularity though. I’ve only watched the J-drama, and quite a number of people will recommend it over the anime/manga actually.

          I’ve watched Naruto to about Ep 80 or so of the first series, then continued with the manga. It’s funny though, I started watching it around the time that ep was airing. I guess the manga has kept me somewhat interested in the series, but it’s not something I look forward to or take effort to bother with. It’s just there as something quick to be done then simply set aside.

          The ~100 eps of filler won’t help the general view of the series as well. I think US eps have started the filler too. I’ve actually never watched a dubbed Naruto ep… Anyway, ongoing manga in general may be too slow paced for me so I could be biased. I can at least be thankful it doesn’t have a schedule like Claymore I guess, which releases at chapter a month.

          What I did to Naruto I also did to Bleach. I stopped around 60, before the Byakuya vs Ichigo fight. I do honestly regret this though, it would have been nice seeing it animated first. Afterwards all I can say is this: Ah Studio Pierrot, the filler masters. Oh well, at least I can recommend Dark Souls. In my opinion it’s the best fighting game available for DS. Then I again a play a modded version with the Japanese audio. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8vQqh4x8b8 (this is a video of the prequel)

          Don’t worry I’m finally done with the post, boredom will have its limits. For anyone that actually reads this, I thank you for your time. 2008 ended very roughly for me, so here’s to a good year. Cheers.