If not for Manga, there wouldn’t be any anime for people to enjoy. While there are original shows, the ones that become popular tend to derive from comics.
Manga is a unique form of a comic. With distinct art styles and exciting page-turning dynamics, manga plays a crucial role in the anime industry.
We’ve read and looked through many incredible manga to give you all our picks of the best manga authors. From their impressive art styles to the narratives they’ve spawned, we’ve identified a nice list of manga authors who deserve everyone’s attention.
As usual, we would love to hear your thoughts about our picks in the comments below. If there is anyone we missed, we’ll try our best to get them added here when we can.
Junji Ito is one of the most prolific Horror manga authors and artists. From his creepy visuals to his chilling takes on mundane life, Ito has provided manga enthusiasts with long-lasting nightmares. A notable aspect of Ito’s work is his uncanny ability to transform normal activities into something chilling.
Others argue that Ito takes on the body and cosmic horror, making him a stellar manga author. Some of Ito’s best works include Tomie, Gyo, and Uzumaki. These three works have grand narratives and mind-numbing visuals that will terrify you. Ito has earned a few awards for himself over the years.
In 2019, Ito received his first Eisner Award for his adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. He’d earn two more Eisner awards two years later for his works Remina and Venus in the Blind Spot. With a few anime adaptations of his best stories on the horizon, Ito has a solid decade ahead of him.
Naoki Urasawa is one of those manga authors with vibrant narratives. It’s hard to put a story down from Naoki Urasawa as his stories are page-turners with chapters ending on amazing cliffhangers. His art style is unique from present manga authors as characters have more realistic features with most of his landscapes looking cinematic in form.
Although some of Urasawa’s works haven’t received anime adaptations those that have received adaptations worthy of his name. One of these works is Urasawa’s crime thriller story Monster. Not only does Monster feature a likable protagonist in Tenma, but many regard Tenma’s enemy Johan Liebert as one of the most well-written antagonists in the medium for his devious intent and strong intellect.
Urasawa has earned himself quite a few awards in his lifetime. He won the Shogakukan Manga Award three times and by 2021 his works had over 140 million copies in circulation worldwide.
Eiichiro Oda is one of Shonen Jump’s beloved manga authors and artists. While he hasn’t created many works like the previous authors, his long-running shonen One Piece has attained a cult-like following in the anime industry and fandom. Not only is One Piece the best-selling manga in history, but it wouldn’t be as grand or magical without Oda’s involvement.
Oda’s writing style features a great mix of emotional and fun-loving elements. Many enjoy his works for his clever use of literary techniques like foreshadowing and symbolism. Something minuscule from an old chapter can find its way to being something pivotal in a future story arc. It’s this use of foreshadowing and planning that helped Oda become a popular and well-beloved author.
Oda’s not without his share of awards. Outside the millions of copies, his work has sold, Oda has broken two Guinness World Records in 2015 and 2022 for the “most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author.” Furthermore, One Piece helped him attain the Grand Prize at the 41st Japan Cartoonists Association Awards in 2012.
Alongside his friend Eiichiro Oda, Masashi Kishimoto is responsible for creating another of Shonen Jump’s most popular series of all-time Naruto. Despite Naruto’s journey coming to a close, Masashi Kishimoto has decided to continue the knucklehead ninja’s legacy by focusing more on Naruto’s son, Boruto Uzumaki.
While some are decisive about Boruto, Naruto left a major impact on the fandom at large. This series had wonderful fights, memorable characters, and emotional scenarios that brought a tear to many people’s eyes. Although One Piece has Naruto beat in sales, Naruto grabbed a tighter hold on the anime fandom worldwide since its debut on programs like Toonami.
The original series spanned 700 chapters and 72 volumes. It presented a blueprint for many series to follow afterward while taking inspiration from other previous works. It offers a different take on ninjas and provides fans with a supernatural world full of ninjutsu and violence.
Before Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto, there was Akira Toriyama, the creator of works like Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball. With its funny gags, epic fights, and iconic characters and attacks, Dragon Ball got many people to explore the world of manga and anime.
His designs have this simple yet iconic look to them that reflects his writing style heavily. While Toriyama can write some intense sequences, many enjoy seeing Toriyama place his characters in mundane situations that are relatable and pure. Furthermore, Toriyama has introduced many shonen tropes that later series like Naruto and My Hero Academia would emulate in their story-writing.
It’s safe to say that Toriyama influenced and motivated many writers to produce works on par with his creative and loveable worlds. Besides manga, Toriyama has created character designs for some of the best JRPGs of all time like Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger.
Osamu Tezuka is an important figure in the anime and manga industry. Many cite Tezuka as being the Japanese equivalent of Walt Disney and the “Father of Manga” in the industry. Tezuka boasts many works from Astro Boy to Black Jack.
His works target children and adults alike and netted him numerous awards before and after his passing in 1989. His passing affected many artists and cartoonists. So much so, that a museum was built in Takarazuka to honor his legacy.
Tezuka was a jack of all trades. He enjoyed many forms of media inside and outside his home country. He cites Disney as a major influence on his character and world designs. Tezuka’s stories contained themes surrounding robotics, humanity, and immortality.
With every year that passes by, more innocent lives get taken away. Despite passing away at the age of 54, Kentarou Miura left a vital impact on the entertainment industry. He’s best known for creating the critically acclaimed dark fantasy manga, Berserk.
This manga delves into heavy themes involving death, betrayal, and trauma. Many argue the series’ antagonist Griffith is one of the most cold-hearted villains in all anime. Miura has cited many well-known artists like Buronson and Tetsuo Hara and Go Nagai as major influences on his work.
Miura’s one of those talented artists that knew how to get the most out of the white space he was provided. His character and environment designs look astonishing and nearly realistic. His works went on to inspire several hit video game series like Dark Souls and Elden Ring. Like Tezuka, Miura’s legacy will live on forever.
It’d be pointless to deny JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s popularity. This series has wonderful tension, memorable characters, and exhilarating action. If it weren’t for the series creator Hirohiko Araki’s excellent writing, it wouldn’t be as well-beloved as it is today.
Each arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure features new heroes to cheer for and new villains to despise. Araki’s character and world designs look immaculate and grand. While his characters may not have realistic proportions, they wreak power and delight.
Araki knows how to draw fashionable attire for his characters. His eye for fashion was so great that it allowed him to collaborate with luxury brands like Gucci and Balenciaga. His artwork can be viewed in the same museum that houses the Mona Lisa.
With his magnificent track record, mature narratives, and distinct art style, Araki consistently shocks and inspires many artists, authors, and creators alike.
Yoshihiro Togashi is a beloved shonen manga artist with a lot of fame and support under his belt. He’s known for creating a multitude of well-written manga. His most precious works are Hunter X Hunter and Yu Yu Hakusho. He’s currently working on Hunter X Hunter’s latest story arc involving one of its beloved protagonists, Kurapika.
Togashi is an incredible writer that knows how to build a visually stunning and intricate world. His stories often contain much exposition and set-up for future events. While his stories start off wholesome and adventurous, he makes sure his characters endure severe trauma that’ll push them to greater heights.
Unfortunately, Togashi’s weakest attribute is his low work ethic. However, it’s important to note that Togashi suffers from severe back pain despite what some may say about him. Although he’s in critical condition, Togashi strives to give it his all in his work. Judging by what he’s produced for Hunter X Hunter so far, Togashi’s fans are in for a worthwhile treat.
Takehiko Inoue is one of the most talented manga authors and artists today. His depictions of people and ability to draw out their emotions through artwork are why people hold him in high regard. Many critics claim it’d be impossible for animators to translate his work into animation due to Inoue’s realistic-looking art style.
Inoue’s stories often carry mature themes that reflect humanity’s internal and external struggles. Many argue Inoue exceeds himself with each new project. His stories offer enough depth, mystery, and realism to warrant people returning to each new project he tackles.
Inoue has earned himself many awards over the years. Some include the 40th annual Shogakukan Award in 1995 for his work on Slam Dunk and the Grand Prize of the 6th Osamu Tezuka Culture Awards in 2002 for his work on Vagabond. Give his works a read if you’re looking for enthralling stories and artwork.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best manga authors throughout the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!