Japanese manga fans look back fondly at some of the legendary giants in the field.
In a recent Goo Ranking survey, Japanese fans of manga voted to determine the top manga artists who have already passed away but whose new work they would be most thrilled to read given the opportunity. Details about the size and demographic of the surveyed pool are unknown, but below are the ten manga artists who received the highest percentage of votes in the poll along with their notable works.
9. Mitsuteru Yokoyama (1934-2004) [tied at 4.6% of votes]
Notable works: Tetsujin 28-go, Romance of the Three Kingdoms
9. Shotaro Ishinomori (1938-1998) [tied at 4.6% of votes]
Notable works: Kamen Rider, Cyborg 009
8. Kaoru Tada (1960-1999) [5.4% of votes]
Notable works: Ai Shite Knight, Itazura na Kiss
7. Fujio Akatsuka (1935-2008) [6.3% of votes]
Notable work: Tensai Bakabon
6. Takashi Yanase (1919-2013) [7.5% of votes]
Notable work: Anpanman
Let’s take a look at the five manga artists with the highest percentage of votes in a bit more detail, shall we?
5. Shigeru Mizuki (1922-2015) [9.2% of votes]
Fun fact: The author of GeGeGe no Kitaro, which featured traditional Japanese monsters and ghosts known as yokai, was also an avid historian who wrote a series of critically acclaimed historical manga known collectively as Showa: A History of Japan in English. These volumes chronicled the years leading to, during, and following World War II.
▼ GeGeGe no Kitaro
4. Machiko Hasegawa (1920-1992) [9.9% of votes]
Hasegawa’s slice-of-life comic strip revolving around housewife Sazae-san received an anime adaptation in 1969, which currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest running animated television series. To this day, families across Japan tune in every Sunday evening to see the latest antics of Sazae-san’s lovable family.
3. Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) [10.6% of votes]
Known as the “God of Manga,” Tezuka penned those classics which paved the way for manga as we know it today. Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Phoenix, and Black Jack are some of the pivotal manga for which we can thank him.
▼ Astro Boy
2. Yoshito Usui (1958-2009) [12.9% of votes]
Usui passed away in 2009 when he was only 51 while hiking in Gunma Prefecture. His legacy lives on, however, in the form of his butt-waggling, precocious five-year-old character Crayon Shinchan.
▼ Crayon Shinchan
1. Fujiko F. Fujio (real name: Hiroshi Fujimoto) (1933-1996) [15.8% of votes]
One member of the creative duo behind the internationally beloved blue-robot-cat-from-the-future Doraemon, Fujio passed away in 1996 when he was 62 due to liver failure. After the success of Doraemon, Fujio went on to pen a number of other series aimed towards children, but that doesn’t stop long-time fans of his from wishing he were around to write even more.
As you can see from this list, many of these manga artists passed away at unnaturally young ages. Let’s honor their memories by continuing to share their legendary works with future generations in the decades to come.