The spring holiday known as Golden Week is upon us in Japan, and if you would like to lay claim to the title of manga super fan, you may want to spend your days off reading these canonical series. Without further ado, here are the 20 most popular manga of all time, based on publication numbers!
20/19. Sangokushi (三国志), Rurouni Kenshin (るろうに剣心)
Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s retelling of Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Nobuhiro Watsuki’s tale of a reformed assassin tie for the last spot on the list with 70 million copies each.
The chronicles of Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki add up to 74.6 million copies.
17. Hajimi no Ippo (はじめの一歩)
George Morikawa’s story about a high school boxer rising to fame has been going strong since 1989, with 75,500,000 copies to date.
16. Captain Tsubasa (キャプテン翼)
Another sports-themed series, Captain Tsubasa follows the exploits of a youth soccer team. It’s one of Shonen Jump’s most popular series ever at 80 million copies.
15. Sazae-san (サザエさん)
Lovable housewife Sazae-san first debuted in 1946 and has been around long enough to have gone from a symbol of leftist feminism to a symbol of nostalgia for traditional society—and to rack up 86 million copies.
14. Kindaichi Case Files (金田一少年の事件簿)
One of the earliest works in the mystery manga genre, this series about a crime-solving high school kid has printed 90 million copies.
13/12/11/10. Fist of the North Star (北斗の拳), Touch (タッチ), Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム), Doraemon (ドラえもん)
A post-apocalyptic psychic warrior, baseball playing twins, a gifted robot boy, and a time-traveling robot cat share a slot at 100 million copies each.
9. Slam Dunk
Takehiko Inoue’s series about a highschool basketball team (Anyone sensing a pattern here?) is credited with the rising popularity of basketball in Japan. No wonder, with 119 million copies out there.
8. Oishinbo (美味しんぼ)
Who would have thought a comic about a guy that likes to eat would rack up 130 million copies?
Everybody’s favorite fox-faced ninja has published 135 million copies!
6. Detective Conan/Case Closed (名探偵コナン)
Gosho Aoyama’s series about a detective undeterred by his transformation into a child has published an impressive 140 million copies.
5. Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所)
Despite its way longer than average name, this comedy cop series has garnered fans to the tune of 155.3 million copies published.
4. Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール)
Even non-manga fans will know this one, unless they’ve been living under a rock for the last 30 years. Goku has 157 million printed copies.
3. Black Jack (ブラック・ジャック)
Another entry by the great Osamu Tezuka, this series follows the title character’s adventures righting medical wrongs and teaching jerks a lesson. A whopping 176 million copies have been printed.
2. Golgo 13 (ゴルゴ13)
This venerable manga series about a professional assassin has been in continuous publication since 1968, racking up 200 million copies.
And finally, blowing the competition out of the water at an astounding 300 million copies, the most popular manga of all time is…
1. One Piece