2023 has witnessed a rise of incredible stories, unforgettable characters, and record-breaking sales of mangas. A manga is basically just a comic book, it can be used to refer to the ones made in Japan. However, in Japan, the terms manga and comic are used interchangeably.
If we were to list the differences between manga and comic books, it could turn into a debate, much like the question: ‘Is anime the same as cartoons?’ As a diplomatic observer, I refrain from taking a stance in order to maintain neutrality and avoid upsetting anyone. Or do I?
Anyways, getting back to the main discussion without any further delay, here’s a list of the top 5 best-selling Japanese manga of 2023 so far.
Top 5 Best Selling Manga 2023
5) Oshi no Ko (Aka Akasaka) – more than 5 million copies sold
Oshi no Ko’s manga has experienced a surge in sales since the anime adaptation was released. The manga is still ongoing which implies that there’s more of the anime yet to come and the sales may get another boost when the next season is released.
The story revolves around a doctor and a patient, both of whom passed away and were reborn as twins to a renowned Japanese pop idol. It delves into their experiences as they journey through the ups and downs of the entertainment industry in Japan while growing up together.
4) Chainsaw Man (Tatsuki Fujimoto) – 5.2 million copies sold
During the first half of 2023 (from November 2022 to May 2023), Chainsaw Man secured the second-place spot in the best-selling manga series list. The story remains ongoing and is expected to extend for at least another year or possibly two.
Its first arc was serialized in Shueisha’s shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2018 to December 2020; its second arc began serialization in Shueisha’s Shōnen Jump+ online magazine in July 2022.
3) One Piece (Eiichiro Oda) – 5.6 million copies sold
One Piece holds the title of the highest-selling manga of all time with over 516 million copies sold in total (might as well cross Harry Potter someday), and it remains the third best-selling manga in 2023. This long-running series began in 1997 and still continues to release new chapters. If you’ve managed to stay current with both the One Piece manga and anime, hats off to you.
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2) Jujutsu Kaisen (Gege Akutami) – 6.4 million copies sold
The Jujutsu Kaisen story is full of exciting adventures, mysterious supernatural elements, and a touch of spooky fantasies. The manga of Jujutsu Kaisen is currently incredibly popular among its fans, as it’s jam-packed with lots of major events happening all at once in the story.
1) Blue Lock (Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Yusuke Nomura) – 10 million copies sold
Even though it’s a sports manga, Blue Lock has managed to outperform even the most famous shounen manga titles this year. It has sold more copies in total than both Oshi no Ko and Slam Dunk combined. Specifically, volumes 12-14 and 21-23 of “Blue Lock” have ranked among the top-selling manga volumes in the first half of 2023.