100 Selected Titles From Weekly Shonen Sunday and Weekly Shonen Magazine

The following titles were selected by Shueisha and Kodansha Publishing to represent them at the "DNA" exhibit held in the Kawasaki Museum in August and September, 2009.  The descriptions are based on the handout from the exhibit and have been reworded to clean up some of the English translations of the original Japanese.  I'm including the descriptions here to call attention to the artists from these magazines and to help you decide to buy their books.  Note that the titles are listed more or less chronologically.


Kintaro and Momotaro, the two best-known heroes of Japanese folktales, love baseball. Although the two heroes, leading their own amateur baseball teams, hold games, neither of the teams can win. So the heroes decide to become professional players to determine which is stronger. Kintaro joins the Yomiuri Giants, and Momotaro joins the Nishitetsu Lions. The two players promise to compete with each other at All Star games and in the Japan Series. This series, featuring the artist's good sense of humor, is well remembered as an early work of weekly manga magazines.


Piloting a rocket called Hayabusa-go, Kain, the prince of a kingdom situated under the sea, his younger sister Chima and Dr. Chieno work together to settle various incidents caused by an evil organization in various parts of the world. The original story of this marine SF was conceived by Takagaki Mamoru, a scenario writer. This was the first series for a weekly manga magazine by the duo Fujiko Fujio, who were already active in monthly magazines.


A boy named Ricky has a tail like a squirrel's. He was found in a rural area in India by a Japanese man, who adopted him. His tail proves that he is a descendant of Zero-man, a species that evolved from squirrel-like animals on Venus. Ricky somehow knows that Zero-man's nation, located underground, beneath the Himalayas, intends to invade human nations with its advanced military technologies. Along with Ricky's struggles to prevent Zero-man's invasion, the story features such topics as migration to another planet, evolution of species and conflicts between technologies and nature's power - topics common to the artist's early SF works. Zero-Man became a great hit, supporting the early days of Weekly Shonen Sunday.


Kagemaru, a boy serving the Tokugawa Shogunate Government as a ninja, visits various parts of Japan to combat other ninja groups who attempt to overthrow the Shogunate. In addition to Kagemaru's supernatural abilities, this series is highlighted by his enemies' unique techniques and weapons. Moreover, group battles, featuring a wide variety of ninja characters fascinated many readers. The series was subsequently transformed into a puppet theater, presented on TV and movies. "Iga no Kagemaru," a mega hit that supported the early days of Weekly Shonen Sunday, played a leading role in boosting the ninja boom during the first half of the 1960's.


This series, featuring the sextuplets Osomatsu. Karamatsu, Choromatsu, Ichimatsu, Jushimatsu and Todomatsu, is unique and extraordinary since conventional manga up to this time emphasized the personality of a single leading character. In this sense, the setting of the story was unprecedented. In addition to the six brothers, unique characters appeared one by one, including impertinent Chibita, who loves oden (Japanese vegetable and fishcake stew), a show-off called Iyami, whose "Sheee" pose became extremely popular; Hatabo and Dekapan. In the middle of the series, by turn these side characters began to play leading roles. As a result, parts of the series comprise stories without Osomatsu or his brothers. This is the masterpiece of Akatsuko Fujio, a genius gag manga artist.


006 EIGHT MAN HIRAI Kazumatsu and KUWATA Jiro
Eight Man (Eighth Man in the U.S. version), an android that supports a group of seven detectives of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, usually acts in secret as a private detective named Azuma Hachiro. Despite being an android, Eight Man has a human heart and memory, and sometimes becomes too empathetic to fulfill his mission. He is also vulnerable to heat and radio waves, but has detachable arms he can control from from a distance. To enhance his power, he smokes cigarettes containing a nuclear substance. This series was extremely attractive due to the trendy design of the robot and the speedy development of the story.


007 GEGEGE NO KITARO Mizuki Shigeru
Kitaro, the last living member of the Ghost Tribe, works together with Ittan Momen (Roll of Cotton) and other righteous monsters to eradicate vicious monsters. The highlights of the series, however, are not battle scenes, but psychological descriptions of Kitaro and other monsters who, like humans, have worldly desires and concerns. The Kitaro series, in a sense, is even philosophical. The story of Kitaro, first adopted in kamishibai (paper theater) before World War II, was later applied in various media, including rental manga, manga magazines and several anime works. Through these media, the series generated a yokai (monster) boom. Continuations of the series were carried in Shonen Sunday in 1971 and Shonen Magazine in 1986.


The hero, Hoshi Hyuma, endures severe and difficult training to become a star pitcher of a professional baseball team – the Giants – and thus fulfills his father's unrealized dream. To overcome his vital weak point as a pitcher – light balls that a batter can easily smash – he practices  "magical" breaking balls. His untiring efforts and fighting spirit, represented in powerful images and dramatic words, struck a chord with many readers. Originating the genre of supokon ("sports and guts"), which focuses on a hero's enthusiastic approach to life, as well as extraordinary efforts in sports event, this series influenced many subsequent manga works. In 1967, the artist was honored with the eighth Kodansha Child Manga Award.


Suwa Mitsuo, a clumsy elementary schoolboy, was selected as a super hero "Perman" by an alien who passed by him on the street. Exerting the supernatural powers given to him by the alien, the hero rescues victims of crimes and disasters and tries to eradicate villains. Although Mitsuo must keep his identify secret from others, due to his carelessness, he often nearly fails to fulfill this duty.  The highlights of this series include SF-like tools, such as a copy robot that acts as the hero while he is engaged in his special missions. Together with "Doraemon" (Gadget Cat from the Future), this masterpiece is loved by readers of all generations.


This series features Bakabon, a dim-witted boy who always causes troubles and mischief, his father who is equally helpless, his beautiful mother who has common sense, and a genius younger brother, Hajime. The family always makes a fuss together with the side characters. In addition to gags and nonsense conversations, the artist surprised readers with his brand new ideas of representing manga. For instance, he presented large faces of characters in double-page spreads, explaining that they are full-size portraits. Such radical techniques that transcended conventional rules of manga had a great impact on readers, and pioneered a new frontier for manga art.


This historical manga (set in the latter half of the Muromachi Period, 1333-1573) features a young boy named Hyakkimaru, who was born with parts of his body taken off by demons. Before his birth, his father, a greedy feudal lord, made a pact with demons, letting them take parts of his unborn son's body in return for granting him great power. An orphan thief named Dororo travels with Hyakkimaru to regain the deprived parts of his body. Together they fight against demons, and each time they defeat one Hyakkimaru reclaims one piece of his body. This work is often compared to "Gegege no Kitaro" by Mizuki Shigeru, which was extremely popular at that time. Although the series was suspended due to an excessively serious theme for a boy's magazine, many readers still love Hyakkimaru and Dororo.


012 MUYONOSUKE Saito Takao
Shiga Muyonosuke, a lonely masterless warrior who has only one eye, is despised as a "useless dog". Traveling around the country he becomes involved in various incidents but breaks through, thanks to his wise strategies and extraordinary swordsmanship. The artist, strongly inspired by Kurosawa's historical films, created radical images to emphasize the dynamic power of swordsmanship, while at the same time using static images to indicate stop motion. This series, featuring film-like realistic action and an elaborate plot, indeed represents the culmination of gekiga or manga characterized by realistic representations for adult readers.


This is a gag manga featuring a boy named Ataro, who runs a green grocery left by his deceased father, another boy called Dekoppachi, who helps Ataro as a shop assistant, and the ghost of Ataro's deceased father. The work evokes empathy for manly Ataro and his warm-hearted neighbors who support him extensively. Many animal characters, including a badger, stray cat and caterpillar, also became popular.


014 21 EMON FUJIKO F Fujio
In 2018, the earth is visited many tourists from other planets. The hero of this work is 21 Emon, a son who is destined to inherit the old hotel Tsuzureya, which is likely to go into bankruptcy because of the presence of huge, fancy hotels. One day, a guest at Tsuzureya gives the hero an animal that has a teleportation ability. Using the animal, the hero introduces a simultaneous transport service from the space port to the hotel, but he is always involved in various commotions. Portraying differences in customs between aliens and humans in a comical way, this series gained many enthusiastic supporters.  In 1981, an anime film was produced based on this work.


This work features the growth of a delinquent boy, Yabuki Joe, who becomes a boxer through severe training. In a slum, he meets with Tangei Danpei, a boxing gym manager, who patiently persuades Joe to make efforts to become a man. Although Joe initially resists Tangei, saying that he is not interested in effort or patience, he gradually begins to feel the joy of learning and developing himself. Since the authors portray his changing psyche meticulously, readers developed great empathy towards Joe and the other characters. When Joe's rival, Rikishi Toru, died in the ring, enthusiastic readers actually held a funeral ceremony for the deceased boxer in the real world. This work continues to have impact not just on manga fans but society at large.


016 TIGER MASK Kajiwara Ikki and TSUJI Naoki
Tiger Mask (whose real name is Data Naoto) grew up at Tiger's Cave, an organization that trains orphans as professional heel wrestlers and exploits their fight money. Tiger Mask, however, betrays the organization in order to use his money to build an orphanage. His betrayal infuriates the leader of Tiger's Cave, and he sends many assassins, including wrestlers, to punish Tiger Mask. This work represented various social problems at the time, including poverty and presence of many orphans. The authors conceived a unique setting in which real wrestlers appear, including Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki. Subsequently, a real wrestler wearing a tiger mask actually appeared in the ring, igniting the boom of combat sports.


This is a gag manga, featuring battles between an expert agent, Homohomo 7, and the Lesles Block, an organization comprising beautiful female agents. The artist invented a new style of manga by combining the styles of both comical gag manga and serious narrative manga. For instance, he represented the same character sometimes as a short comical figure with a disproportionally large head and other times as more realistic figure. By radically changing the conventional manga rules in this way, the artist had a great impact on other artists. The artist also invented a series of parodies of existing mange works and films. As such, the series was indeed epochal, influencing subsequent trends in gag manga.


018 DAME-OYAJI FURUYA Mitsutoshi
The hero of this manga work is a timid office worker with an arrogant wife and children who are fond of picking on their father. With great sympathy, the artist represents the hero, Ameno Damesuke, who endures extraordinary bullying both at his office and in his own home. When this series started, "father's authority" remained barely intact. The artist's technique of creating humor by reversing existing values is similar to that of his mentor, Akatsuka Fujio. In this long series, the hero, however, becomes the president of his company.  Readers were surprised and thrilled at rapid changes in the plot.


This work portrays the growth of Sabuyan, whose job is to adjust pachinko machines. Competing against the techniques of professional pachinko players, who earn their living playing pachinko, and other players who try to cheat pachinko parlors, Sabuyan learns their approach to life and various human emotions. Introducing a profession associated with pachinko, a game for adults and therefore unfamiliar for boys, the artists successfully entertain their young readers with their extraordinary techniques, which they also used in other works, including "Hochonin Ajihei".


Oyama Nobotta, who is called Oidon, left his hometown in Kyushu to study in Tokyo. Due to economic difficulties, however, he has to suspend his schooling. Nobotta is a short man with glasses and lives in a small, shabby apartment. He sustains his life, sometimes eating mushrooms sprouting from his unwashed briefs that he keeps in the chest. Many beautiful women, however, approach him, although they all leave him before long. This series represents the artist's early work before he released such great SF masterpieces as "Galaxy Express 999".


This story is based on the real story of Oyama Masutatsu, the founder of the Kyokushin karate style. In addition to portraying his exceptional training in Japan and the U.S., along with the processes of founding a new karate style and promoting it all over the world, the series also reveals Oyama's weak points, such as his association with gangsters during the chaotic times following the end of World War II, and his fear of strong rivals. Occasionally inserting real-life dialogs between the author and Oyama, the series imparts the actual circumstances of the Kyokushin School.  As a result, the number of karate students at this school increased. After changes in artists in 1973 (from Tsunoda Jiro to Kagemaru Joya), the main characters also changed to Oyama's disciples.


Demons, who emerged on Earth prior to the appearance of homo sapiens, have the ability to possess and control animals and humans, and by doing so, they increase their power. To protect humankind from such demons, Fudo Akira allows himself to be possessed by an extremely powerful demon. As a result, Akira transforms into the superhuman Devilman, with the strength and power of the demon, but maintaining the heart and soul of the human Akira. Devilman fights against demons in order to save humans. In fear of the demons' attacks, however, humans begin to kill one another. On finding the body of his girlfriend brutally slain by a mob, Akira becomes disappointed in mankind. The series, representing the weaknesses and ugliness of human nature, had a great impact on subsequent manga and anime works.


As a boy, Taiga Makoto saved the life of a girl named Saotome Ai. At the time, however, Ai injured Makoto's forehead and ruined his life, along with his parent's lives. She happened to meet Makoto after many years, and found that he was furious over what she had done to him and his parents. In pursuit of Makoto, Ai goes to Tokyo and enters her high school. At the school, which is well known for delinquents, Ai and Makoto fight each against the leader of a delinquent group. Through these hardships, the two develop mutual trust and love. By portraying love and hatred between adolescent boys and girls, rather than mere puppy love, this series expanded the potential of boys' manga. Moreover, the statement "I can die for you" by one of the characters, Iwashimizu Hiroshi, became extremely popular.


The hero, Mihira Sanpei, whose grandfather was a legendary angler, loves fishing more that anything else. Together with an angler named Ayukawa Gyoshin, Sanpei travels around the country and overcomes various challenges in fishing by improving his skills. The artist himself was an enthusiastic angler, and boasted that he had actually caught almost all the species of fish described in this series. Illustrating detailed fishing techniques based on his own experiences, the author offers useful information for anglers in this series, which ignited a nationwide fishing boom, encouraging many boys to go fishing in rivers and the sea.


The hero, Uesugi Teppei, lived with his father deep in the mountains. After being forced to return to his home (his father proved to be the head of a good family), Teppei enters a prestigious, private high school.  Although Teppei, who had led a free and wild life in the mountain, is unable to control himself, he begins to dedicate himself to practicing kendo. Yet, his kendo style is extremely wild and causes various troubles for other members of his kendo club. This manga, featuring a cheerful and energetic boy who develops himself through the difficult training of sports, truly represents the genre of campus-life story manga.


Ichitaro, whose father is a researcher of ghosts, finds himself involved in a series of mysterious incidents. Sometimes his life is in danger, but each time he is saved by his guardian spirit named Hyakutaro. Many ghost photographs are inserted in this series, together with introductions of the readers' own experiences with ghosts. Thus, the border between fiction and the real world is made fuzzy. Moreover, the author represents incidents involving ghosts and spirits in parallel with actual homicides and wartime battles. This approach was effective in thrilling readers. The series indeed ignited an occult boom in the mid-1970's.


Backed by a fixer who controls the political and economic circles, a high school student, Jinryu Goji, governs his school – Seiun Gakuen. In response, the school authority asks Nagare Zenjiro, a champion of Chinese martial arts who killed his father and was sentenced to a juvenile detention center, to fight Jinryu Goji. The story revolves around combats between the two. The dual develops into extensive conflicts involving high school students nationwide, and eventually leading figures in political and economic circles. The artist represented detailed movements of kung-fu, which was extremely popular at that time. The series was epochal in that is established a new genre of manga highlighted by conflicts on campus.


028 PRO GOLFER SARU Fujiko A Fujio
A genius young golfer, Sarutani Sarumaru, has been supporting his family of six since his father's death. He has only one wooden golf club that he made by himself. Yet, he has a special technique to power the ball to the flag and drop it in the hole. With his extraordinary techniques and inspiration, he wins many close games. A fixer in golfing circles, who notices the hero's talent attempts to recruit Sarumaru into his dark organization. When he finds that Sarumaru will not join, he sends assassins after the boy. The unbelievable tools, techniques and other devices invented by the artist thrilled many readers.


This is a mystery manga created during the occult boom in the 1970's. The hero, Sharaku Hosuke, appears to be an ordinary boy with an x-shaped bandage on his forehead. When he removes the bandage, however, his third eye appears, and he exerts supernatural powers inherited from his ancestors. He is a descendent of a three-eyed tribe that once ruled the earth. Together with his girlfriend, Wato Chiyoko, he resolves many mysteries related to incidents that involve them.  The series, introducing the author's own interpretations of ancient history, fascinated many readers, stirring their intellectual curiosity.


Shark Horiguchi, a second-class boxer, raised his son Genki alone after his wife's death. To show his son the way a man should live, he worked hard to become a world champion while training his son. Shark died, however, in the ring after a death match with a young talented boxer, Seki Kenji. Genki, left alone, determined to fulfill the promise he made with his father: to become world champion.  To differentiate this series from "Tomorrow's Joe," serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine, "Ganbare Genki" (Do Your Best Genki) spotlights tragic family situations, Genki's open and cheerful personality, romance between adult characters, and victories by continual knockouts.


When a boy named Suzuki Satoru was exploring a deep cave with his friends, a great earthquake occurred, killing all his friends and leaving him alone. In the world where the majority of the land has sunken into the sea, Satoru struggles to survive, fighting against his loneliness and desperation, as well as against other survivors. In addition to psychological descriptions of his internal conflicts, this series imparts practical information regarding survival techniques: how to secure food, clothing and shelter after the collapse of civilization and its social infrastructures. In the boom of "The Prophecies" by Nostradamus, this series made a strong impression on readers, imparting such practical knowledge.


Tsuhiro Yusuke, on leaving his hometown to enter a high school in Tokyo, began living by himself in a house owned by his uncle. Due to a mistake by a real estate, however, he found himself living with Yamaba Kei, a beautiful girl who was his classmate, in the same house. Although both are fascinated by each other, they can not reveal their emotions. Despite their inner sentiments, Yusuke and Kei approach other partners, thus hurting each other's feelings. This series, portraying mental suffering of the young characters, thrilled many boy readers due primarily to the setting in which the hero and the heroine live in the same house.  This setting was adopted by many other romance comedy manga stories.


This extraordinary romance comedy features an optimistic and extremely flirtatious high-school student, Moroboshi Ataru, a girl called Lum from another planet and other aliens. The series begins with a game of tag in which Ataru runs after Lum to touch her horn. The series ends with another game of tag. Highlighted by many charming characters and a spectacular view of the world, the series not only contributed to the growth of Weekly Shonen Sunday during the 1980's, but also influenced greatly the subsequent production of manga works and pop culture. "Urusei Yatsura," also known as "Lum", "the Invader Girl" and "Those Obnoxious Aliens," is an early masterpiece or Takahashi Rumiko, one of the magazine's most popular contributors.


Azuma Sanshiro is a high school boy who has confidence in himself, without any solid proof he believes that he is the strongest contender. With three friends, he founded a combat sports club, winning rugby and judo matches by using unauthorized techniques from professional wrestling. However, he had to withdraw from the rugby club because of an injury to a club member. Subsequently, he begins full-fledged training to become a professional wrestler. He sometimes faints during severe training and critical games. The combination of difficult training and comical scenes found in this series makes a striking contrast to the traditional supokon (sports and guts) manga established by Kajiwara Ikki. The author also frequently uses parodies of other works by contemporary artists, effectively enhancing the attractive features of his work.


An evil organization called Black Ghost kidnapped men and women throughout the world and transformed them into cyborgs, the strongest fighters. However, Shimamura Joe, alias Cyborg 009, and eight other cyborgs escaped with Dr. Gilmore, who had created them. After that, they fight desperately against Black Ghost and other villains around the world. This work, a landmark in science fiction manga, questions the fundamentals of humanity by dealing with war and discrimination. The series first appeared in 1964. The work serialized in Shonen Sunday is a spinoff. The artist skillfully succeeds in illustrating differently the distinctive appearances and super powers of nine fighters, including super acceleration and flame-emitting abilities, according to their birthplaces and occupations. Even today, this work is still popular.


The hero, Mukai Taiyo, is a junior high school student who supports his family, comprising five members, together with his mother who is running a small local restaurant. At first, he earned money by secretly betting on golf games. After helping a member of his school's golf club, however, he began to practice golf hard in order to become a professional player. The hero's persistent character along with his physical constitution – he is fat and short – helped promote the image of golf as a familiar sports event. To hit a tee shot well, the hero always calls out "Cha Shu Men" (Chinese noodle with slices of baked pork), which became a popular expression at the time.


Kamijo Taku and Hoshno Asuka are childhood friends, living next door to each other. Both are preparing for entrance examinations for senior high school; while Asuka is good at studies; Taku is not. Worried about his performance, his parents hired a private tutor, a beautiful college student. This series is an elaborate, high-quality romance comedy, featuring meticulous psychological descriptions of the two childhood friends against the backdrop of the entrance examination for senior high school, an event that nearly all Japanese readers surely experience.


Aoba Shunsuke is a small misogynistic boy and Asoka Natsumi is a big, tall, beautiful girl who is called Eru (L) due to her size. For some reason, she comes to like him and a strange "S&L pair" is born. Shunsuke is overwhelmed by Eru, who has a positive attitude toward everything, and feels annoyed with her at first. However, he gradually becomes attracted to her gentle nature. In romantic comedies, heroes are always passive towards heroines. The artist livened up this work by emphasizing this characteristic of romantic comedies using the difference in size between the two. This is one of the features of this work. In addition, the young, fresh and healthy glamour that is projected by the slightly plump Eru attracted a lot of readers.


Since childhood, Natsuki Musashi had learned kendo from his parents who were champions known as "Iwate no tora" (tiger of Iwate Prefecture) and "Tohoku no oniyuri" (tiger lily of the Tohoku region). When Musashi was in the first grade of elementary school, his father died due to injuries that he'd received in a kendo match with Todo Kunihiko. Eventually, Musashi and Todo Shura, Kunihiko's son, become good rivals. Through friendly competition, both boys develop their skills.  This long series represents a genre of kendo manga, together with "Ore wa Teppei" by Chiba Tetsuya.


040 TOUCH ADACHI Mitsuru
The main characters are twin brothers – Uesugi Tatsuya and Kazuya – and their childhood friend Asakura Minami. While Kazuya, the younger twin, is serious and hard working, Tatsuya is lazy. Kazuya is a star pitcher at his high school, striving to lead his team to Koshien, the stadium where the national high school baseball championships are held. Minami kindly supports and encourages Kazuya to fulfill his dream, while Tatsuya cedes to his younger brother in both sports and romance, even though he too loves Minami. In this series that combines baseball manga with romance comedy, the author presents brotherhood, friendships and a love triangle.  "Touch," which still retains high popularity, led the boom in romance comedies.


Set at Tsurugamine Gakuen, a super-huge high school with 20,000 students, this action comedy depicts Shindo Kotaro's everyday life, full of happenings and adventures. Although frivolous and a little lecherous, Kotaro has excellent physical ability and superb karate skills. The story contains various lively episodes featuring the feverish confrontations with his rival, Tenkoji Teruhiko, the awkward romantic relationship between Kotaro and his childhood friend, Watase Mayumi, and his sports matches, slapstick experiences of picking up of girls, and the battle with a mysterious, unknown group. The work is a long-running story, now having continued for more than 20 years by adding several new series.


042 BATS & TERRY OSHIMA Yasuichi
Battou Gun with ducktail hair, nicknamed Bats, and his Afro-ed partner, Ichimonji Teru, called Terry, are riotous, trouble-making high school students, who spend their days speeding around on motorcycles. The two boys, however, are actually super baseball players, an iron-armed pitcher and a brilliant catcher. After meeting a girl named An, a mascot of a motorcycle gang team, they start to get involved in furious fighting among the gangsters. The work is skillfully composed of attractive episodes featuring humorous and clever conversations between the two boys, vigorous action scenes of gangster fighting and breathtaking baseball games.


A huge school student, Koma Gun, called Gun, is known as an aggressive-style and fearless motorcycle rider. His passion is racing on public mountain roads. Invited by one of his classmates, Gun starts to compete in circuit races. The story depicts his development in becoming a motorcycle racer through national and international-level races, illustrated by such episodes as love affairs and competitions with his rival, who has stable and cool-headed riding skills. The racing scenes are so thrilling that many expressed concern that the story would encourage dangerous racing on public roads. It is amazing how vividly this work reproduces the scenes in which racers ride at unbelievable speeds on winding mountain roads by hurling their body weight from side to side.


Takizawa Noboru is a high school who often changes schools because of his father's job, which is to investigate schools that are having problems and to remedy whatever evil he detects. Although his father has sneaked into Noboru's school in disguise, simple-minded Noboru does not recognize him. In fact, he often fights against evil out of his own strong sense of justice, resulting in helping his father without knowing it. The story has become highly popular by comically and passionately depicting the troubles and fights that Noboru gets into at various schools through episodes that show Noboru, a hot-blooded fool, going out of control fruitlessly.


045 JUST MEET HARA Hidenori
Members of the baseball team at Hoshi Prefectural High School are dedicated to attracting girls' attention. This slapstick comedy features the members of the team, focusing on two boys: Tachibana Fumiya, a pitcher who is such a grandstand player that he only throws forkballs, and Sakamoto Tenma, a fast runner who specializes in hitting bunts. The team members, frivolous but talented, discover their enthusiasm for baseball as they advance without much effort to the upper rounds of competition, and they finally aspire to participate in the National High School Championships held at Koshien Stadium. The author, a master of Japanese love comedy manga, successfully produced this series as a good quality adolescence story. The readers laugh thanks to the author's sophisticated story-telling techniques and are deeply moved by the passion of the characters in the story.


Ajiyoshi Yoichi is a junior high school student and talented cook, who together with his mother manages an eating house left by his late father. One day, Murata Genjiro, known as Aji-oh, a tycoon in the culinary field, visits their restaurant. Murata is impressed with the originality and ingenuity found in the katsu-don (pork cutlet on rice) prepared by Yoichi.  Invited by Murata, Yoichi attends the Aji-oh culinary meeting in which he participates in cooking matches with top chefs representing various cuisines. Although Yoichi's cooking is based on unexpected, novel ideas, he only uses cooking materials and methods common to everybody. Consequently, many readers have actually followed Yoichi's recipes. In this sense, this work has opened up a new possibility in the genre of cooking manga, which often deals with sophisticated, gourmet dining far from the lives of ordinary people.


047 RANMA 1/2 TAKAHASHI Rumiko
A high school student and martial artist named Saotome Ranma fell into a cursed spring while training in China. Due to the curse, he has the peculiar characteristic of turning into a girl when splashed with cold water and changing back into a boy when exposed to hot water. After returning to Japan, he stays at the martial arts school run by his father's old friend. Ranma's everyday life is full of slapstick happenings because of his gender-swapping characteristic, and he often quarrels with Tendo Akane, his bride-to-be appointed by the parents of the two.  The author of this manga series was already known as a specialist in slapstick love comedy featuring a diverse cast of unique characters. Moreover, this story has attained an excellent reputation as a high-quality, full-length serious fighting manga thanks to its carefully prepared story elements using martial tactics to beat rivals. Consequently, this work has turned out to be a mega hit, opening new ground for the author.


048 KENJI MATSUDA Ryuchi and FUJIWARA Yoshihide
A mischievous elementary school boy, Go Kenji, with a straight-forward personality, often bravely gets into fights even with adults. Kenji's grandfather, a master of Chinese martial arts, trained his grandson to be a martial artist, highly evaluating Kenji's honest, fair-minded spirit. Upon entering high school, Kenji goes to China to look for his grandfather who disappeared somewhere in that country. During his search, he continues training in martial arts and spiritual practices. This is a long fighting manga series, with accurate descriptions of martial techniques based on expertise, and a cast of characters featuring real martial artists. The series is also known for its attractive, grand-scale story providing excitement in solving the mystery behind the history.


Saijo Kazuya is known as a doctor with a super brain and strong body, who performs medical operations using his godlike skills. In the underground community, however, he is known as "K", who is consistent in his belief to be fair to everybody. He has no tolerance for anyone acting immorally, no matter whether that person is a famous politician or gangster. On the other hand, he even risks his life to help the weak calling for assistance and often does not charge fees in return. While the series centers on the superhuman ability of K for the sake of story impact, it deals with various medical problems occurring in the real world with support provided by Dr. Nakahara Tohoru for the scenario. Accordingly, this series has set a new standard in the genre of medical manga having a good balance between entertainment and realism.


In a small, weak high school volleyball team, there is a good pair of players: Iguchi Kenta, who is average in physical constitution and ability but a passionate, persistent player, and Maeda Takahiko with extraordinary playing sense and power. The series is a sports manga showing how the two boys lead the team to grow and challenge other strong teams. Carefully depicting the role of each player in a volleyball team, such as receiver, setter and attacker, the series presents a dramatic, touching story that reveals the process in which Kenta, average in both ability and personality traits, grows into an excellent receiver and the key player of the team.


On transferring to a new school, Mitsuhashi Takahashi decided to take the opportunity to change himself from an ordinary boy into a delinquent, by dyeing his hair gold. Another boy, Ito Shinji, spiked up his hair, thinking the same way. The two boys happened to move to the same school and became a delinquent duo well known among high school students in Chiba Prefecture. Although they quarrel all the time, they work together in a perfect combination when it comes to a crisis. It can be said that they are contrastive in their personalities. While Mitsuhashi is wise and cowardly, the serious-minded Ito has a strong sense of justice. The hilarious everyday life of the two boys depicted in the story makes readers laugh, and the scenes in which they fight together in good cooperation make them refreshed. Unlike the majority of stories about delinquents, the series does not contain many depictions of violence and sexual activities. Therefore this series has many female fans.


Kurogane Yaiba, a boy swordsman who grew up in a jungle forest, trains himself with his father to be a top-class samurai. His rival was possessed by the evil power of the legendary Devil Wind Sword and turned into the demon Onimaru. To defeat Onimaru and turn him back into a human, Yaiba starts his journey along with another magic sword, Thunder God's Sword. During his travels, he fights bizarre monsters sent by Onimaru, and legendary swordsmen such as Sakai Kojiro and Yagyu Jubei, using his innovative sword techniques and the power of his magic sword. The series is a bright and cheerful cloak-and-sword story which contains many heart-warming scenes showing the innocence of Yaiba, and the light-hearted conversations between Yaiba and Mine Sayaka, a girl who has joined him in his adventures.


053 OBI WO GYUTTO NE! KAWAI Katsutoshi
Five junior students including Kogawa Takumi met for the first time at a rank promotion test for Judo. They all coincidentally entered the same high school and started a judo club together. The story features unique club members with distinctive personalities: Sugi Seishu, Takumi's best friend who supports the frivolous Takumi; the tall-and-short pair Miyazaki Shigeru, a boy small in stature but with a lot of passion and Mitsumizo Yukihiro, a gentle giant; and Saito Koji, a boy with a poker face. Containing humorous conversations among the five boys and some love affairs with girl managers, the series is known as a new type of judo manga which displays the sport in a clean, not-sweaty atmosphere. The story offers a fresh impression with its sophisticated drawings and accurate depictions of the sport focusing on speed and techniques.


At various sites all over the world, many artifacts representing ancient civilizations have been found. These mysterious artifacts have a hidden power that cannot be explained by today's science. To prevent this hidden power from being captured by those with ill intentions, the ARCAM corporation dispatches their agents, the Spriggans, to secretly destroy these artifacts for good. The series is an archaeology-based action story depicting the adventure of a Spriggan, Ominae Yu. The story presents actual ancient sites and artifacts, familiar to fans of super-ancient history through occult magazines and other media, in bold new interpretations. While thus satisfying the reader's thirst for knowledge, this manga series also thrills them by vividly depicting regional battles between the Spriggans and those secretly aiming to use the artifacts for military purposes.


Makunouchi Ippo is a quiet, timid boy who is always kept busy helping with his family's fishing business. One day, a professional boxer, Takamura Mamoru saves Ippo from being bullied by a group of delinquents. This incident led Ippo to go into the field of boxing. Through spiritual exchanges or feuding with peers and rivals, and his consistent, repeated training, Ippo grows into a boxer who fights and wins with solid techniques, not with an animal-like instinct. By carefully showing the process of Ippo's growth, the story has succeeded in giving a sense of reality to match scenes. Having set a new standard for the genre of boxing manga, this long-running story has become the manga work with the largest number of volumes in one series in the history of Weekly Shonen Magazine.


Aotsuki Ushio accidently released a monster sealed in his family's storage shed for 500 years. By inheriting the sacred treasure called Beast Spear, Ushio managed to defeat the monster and named it Tora. Although from the beginning Tora intended to seize the opportunity to devour Ushio, a friendship has steadily grown between the two as they cooperate in defeating many monsters. This long series is a fantasy-action story featuring various monsters created by referring to ethnological studies and monster drawings in the days before modern era.


Yazawa Eisaku, a short and ugly boy with no brains, who is always being bullied, takes the opportunity when entering high school to change himself into a delinquent. This series is known as a unique story of how a delinquent boy becomes a big shot thanks to his luck and big mouth. The story is overwhelmingly powerful, filled with blue jokes by Yazawa who is quite lecherous. Although the hero of the story does not grow spiritually or physically at all, many readers still empathize with him and his success even brings catharsis to them. This can be attributed to the hero's charm and the smooth storytelling skills of the author.


The MMR (MAGAZINE MYSTERY REPORTAGE) is an investigation team composed of the editorial staff from Weekly Shonen Magazine. In this magazine, the MMR members scientifically solve various mysteries commonly known by fans of occult stories, such as UFO's, supernatural powers and Nostradamus' Prophecies. The story deals with problems actually occurring today, including abnormal climate and virus mutation, and suggests that MMR members and scientists shown in the story exist in the real world. These twists have added a nonfictional tone to the work. Its bold logic for solving the mystery has always surprised readers. In 2008, a new, two-part episode was released.


059 SHOOT! OSHIMA Tsukasa
The freshman soccer team of the newly-established Kakegawa High School attracted much public attention as they became one of the top eight teams at an inter-high school competition. The group of three boys, Tanaka Toshihiko, Hiramatsu Kazuhiko, and Shiraishi Kenji, who were all famous junior high players, entered the Kakegawa club wishing to play together with the team's captain, Kubo Yoshiharu, their idol. At that time, however, Kubo had already been afflicted with a serious disease. This work is known as a heartwarming sports drama, which focuses on the relationships among the team members by illustrating the meeting and parting of the brilliant team leader and three boys, as well as their friendship among the three.


Asakawa Taku, a high school student who had been always bullied, turns into a delinquent, wishing to be strong like Narugumi Hideto, a new student at his school. As Taku gets out of pinches many times thanks to his last-minute wits and calmness as well as his will not to give in, he makes friends with notorious motorcycle gangsters as if destined by a strange fate. While the work features many foul words used typically by motorcycle gangsters, such as "bukkomi", and vigorous dogfight scenes, it demonstrates that Taku still remains straightforward and honest even after he has acquired courage to fight against gangsters. Effectively presenting two contrasting elements, harshness and honesty, with a good balance, the series has succeeded in becoming a heartwarming adolescent story.


This work is an occult gag manga that features Ghost Sweepers (GS), private exorcists for hire. Mikami Reiko is known as a skilled ghost sweeper although she charges an exorbitantly high fee. Reiko solves many difficult cases together with Yokoshima Tadao, a teenage boy who is lecherous and silly but exceptionally tough, and a beautiful ghost girl, Okinu. The story features various elements such as the delicate relationship between Reiko and Yokoshima, amorous scenes featuring Reiko, and a wide variety of spiritual weapons, together with effective slapstick scenes. As the story progresses, it steadily reveals the destined fate of Reiko and Yokoshima. In this sense, many readers enjoy the work as a good piece of romantic fantasy.


062 BOYS BE... ITABASHI Masahiro and TAMAKOSHI Hiroyuki
This work is a love comedy series released in an omnibus format comprising a number of one-shop episodes. The author continued to present various love stories with a little bit of erotica in the three series, "BOYS BE...", "...2nd Season" and "... L CO-OP" for 10 years for boy readers. These stories contain romantic elements such as the meeting of boys and girls, declaring of love, jealousy, lovers' quarrels, secret affection toward a classmate, and boys' adoration towards girls older than themselves. The series craftily depicts bitter-sweet adolescent sentiments common to everybody, by illustrating how easily boys are blinded by their wishful thinking. This manga is well known as an appealing story featuring various types of beautiful girl characters.


A famous soccer player, Takasugi Kenichi, was killed when he saved a boy named Suetsugu Koichiro in a traffic accident. Kenichi's son, Kazuya was so shocked by his father's death that he stopped playing soccer. As if destined, Koichiro and Kazuya met at a match at a high school competition and made exceptional efforts to become professional players, vigorously competing against each other in Japan and abroad.  The two boys went respectively to Europe and South America to improve their soccer techniques, played at the World Cup, and finally came to play at the Italian soccer league. Featuring actual incidents occurring in Japan's soccer league in real time, the series gained much popularity.


064 H2 ADACHI Mitsuru
Pitcher Kunimi Hiro and catcher Noda Atsushi played baseball together as a well-known battery at their junior high school. The two boys, however, were misdiagnosed as having career-ending injuries, and believed that they could never play baseball again. Accordingly, they entered the high school that had no baseball club. After they found out that they were misdiagnosed, they started to make efforts to establish a club at their high school, together with Koga Haruka. Meanwhile, Hideo, a slugger and teammate of the two boys at the junior high school entered a high school with a strong baseball team, together with his girlfriend Amamiya Hikari. Hiro and Hikari had delicate, secret affections for each other when they were together in junior high school.  When they meet each other again as students of two opposing high schools, they feel shaken and disturbed. The work is known as a good adolescent story depicting a romantic relationship among two heroes and two heroines (H2) with a sensitive portrayal of their feelings and thoughts.


This work is a detective story showing how Kindaichi Hajime, a high schools student and grandson of the famous detective Kindaichi Kosuke, solves difficult murder cases. Hajime, who is frivolous and lecherous, is always scolded by his childhood friend, Nanase Miyuki. When it comes to dealing with a mystery case, however, he solves it brilliantly using his 180-level IQ, saying his catchphrase, "In the name of my grandfather." The story features sophisticated tricks of seemingly impossible crimes, such as locked-room murders, or settings such as a non-suspect having a complex, sympathy-raising criminal motivation. The readers may feel as if they themselves participate in the process of solving tough mysteries with Hajime, using some clues cleverly hidden in the story, Thanks to this quality calling for the reader's participation, the series gained extraordinary popularity.


This work features real professional soccer teams and Japan's World Cup team. Although the players are fictional, the story has a reality to it. It presents playing scenes in a realistic, non-eccentric manner. Also, the series displays not only soccer but also other elements, such as the effects on players due to the establishment of the J League in Japan. In the beginning, the story revolves around two players playing for the Urawa Red: Motohashi Joji, a veteran suffering from a knee injury, and Akaboshi Taka, a promising newcomer with a unique kick made possible by his flexible ankles. The story presents the drama of the generation transition from Motohashi to Akaboshi.


067 "LOVe" ISHIWATA Osamu
This is a sports manga about a girl and a boy who met through tennis as if by destiny. The story shows how they compete against each other as good rivals regardless of gender. Takagi Ai is a girl who has extraordinary agility, flexible muscles, and an ability to instantly learn any tennis technique she sees. In order to play against Kujiraoka Yohei, a genius male player, who is older than her, Ai enters the boy's school that Yohei attends by falsifying her age and gender. This soul-stirring story features Ai's exceptional vitality to overcome her handicaps, and vigorous match scenes based on the concept that tennis is a fighting sport.


Kudo Shinichi, known as a famous high school detective, was transformed into a seven-year-boy by a mysterious group of men in black clothes. The incident forced Shinichi to live as Edogawa Conan, an elementary school kid, hiding his identity. While investigating the whereabouts of the mysterious group in order to transform back into Shinichi, Conan encounters and solves a number of tough mystery cases one after another. The story features various elements of an authentic mystery, including carefully-planned tricks and dramatic settings such as the standard locked-room murder. Meanwhile, the work is full of attractive characters and various detective tools, elements essential to boys comics. Accordingly, this manga series has become a mega hit loved by both kids and adults.


This work is a long sports manga that covers Honda Goro's (his name changed later to Shigeno Goro due to his mother's remarriage) devotion to baseball from childhood, and his struggles to become a major leaguer, overcoming various obstacles. Goro's father, a professional baseball player, died because he was hit in the head by a ball pitched by major league pitcher Gibson, when Goro was small. Overcoming his sorrow, he made up his mind to become a professional baseball player. The death of his father, however, was only one of the hardships which Goro had to overcome in making his dream come true. This series has been going on for 15 years, and has been adapted as a TV animation series and an anime film. It even enjoys high popularity among professional baseball players.


070 DAN DOH! SAKATA Nobohiro and BANJO Daichi
An elementary school kid, Aoba Tadamichi, also nicknamed Dandoh, was brought up apart from his mother due to financial problems. Having learned that he could earn a lot of money playing golf, Dandoh asked a legendary former professional golfer, Shinjo Mikiyasu, to teach him and his baseball teammates, Sunada Yuka and Oike Kohei. As Shinjo trains them very strictly starting with the basics, Dandoh gets more devoted to the game. The series describes the theory of golf techniques, which require training and practice from early childhood. Meanwhile, this convincing golf manga depicts how Dandoh grows mentally through the competition with his rivals, and the friendship among the three kids.


Hanabishi Recca, a son of fireworks technician, is obsessed over ninja techniques. Touched by the tenderness of Sakoshita Yanagi, a beautiful girl at his high school, Recca pledges loyalty to her, likening himself to a ninja and Yanagi to a princess. While Recca has a secret power to create fire with his hand, Yanagi has the power to heal living things. Because of their extraordinary abilities, the two become drawn, as if fated, into a hideous battle that has been going on since the age of civil wars. This series is known as a heart-touching action story that shows the darkness of the human mind as revealed during war, in a good contrast with the straightforwardness and honesty of Recca and Yanagi who respect each other and care deeply for their friends.


This work is known as a gag manga with a surrealistic twist, featuring a mysterious alien named Father and a boy presented as his son, Onnasky. Longing to become popular among women, they make bizarre plans every day in their apartment to pick up girls. Then they go to town, enact their stupid plans, and go home in vain. In this series, no detailed information is provided about the characters. Their conversation does not make sense sometimes, and Father's face is drawn intentionally out of proportion. These features generate uncomfortable, "off-key" feelings that result in a unique, peculiar humor, which is loved by many enthusiastic fans.


Asuma Eiji is a high school student with a psychometric ability through which he sees a part of people's memory when touching their body or belongings. The story is a suspense mystery showing how Eiji fights against violent crimes with Shima Ryoko, a beautiful police investigator. The story was unique in featuring a new type of investigation method, profiling, which had just started attracting attention. Examining a subtle fact, Eiji determines the profile of the suspect and steadily tracks down the unknown criminal. Featuring the process of Eiji's profiling, the series has succeeded in producing a sense of tension different from that seen in conventional detective stories that center on solving criminals' tricks.


074 MONKEY TURN KAWAI Katsutoshi
Hatano Kenji, a high school student, gave up his long-time dream of becoming a professional baseball player due to his short stature. His homeroom teacher, who knew that Kenji had extraordinary spirit and physical abilities, advised him to become a professional speedboat racer. When he visited a boat race stadium, his heart was captured by the Monkey Turn, a high speed cornering technique used in boat racing. During the Monkey Turn, the racer stands up still; he may die if he falls from his boat. The author carefully gathered material and presented the story in a realistic, easy-to-understand manner, showing the struggles and hardships of the people engaged in fierce competition in the harsh world of boat racing. Accordingly, the series is highly evaluated by people involved in that sport.


A junior high school girl named Higurashi Kagome time-travelled back to the age of civil wars, by accident, through a passage hidden in the enshrined well house. There she met Inuyasha, a half-demon boy who had been sealed in a sacred tree. Kagome and Inuyasha began travelling together to find the Jewel of the Four Souls, a magical stone that enhances demons' powers and can grant any wish, which was once hidden in Kagome's body. In days of fighting to end the long-lasting conflict caused by the jewel, Kagome and Inuyasha gradually become attracted to each other. This manga series is a long, large-scale romantic fantasy, which carefully illustrates the growth of Kagome and Inuyasha, emotional changes found in them, and the strong ties among the two and their companions.


GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) alias Onizuka Eikichi, an ex-motorcycle gang member who has dyed his hair blond and wears pierced earrings, uses his energies to solve problems occurring at the school. He is not at all like a normal teacher; he is a bawdy guy who is easily carried away. However, he is determined to act according to his principles whenever needed, showing his mettle as a former member of a well-known, one-time strongest motorcycle gang in Shonan, Kanagawa Prefecture. His attitude reveals contradictions in the irrational educational setting in those days, which had a great impression on readers. This is a thrilling on-campus manga that focuses on the humanism lying beneath manga centered around delinquents, which is a popular manga category for Weekly Shonen Magazine.


The tranquil life of Takatsuki Ryo, a high school student, ended when an ARMS implant in his right arm activated. This ARMS implant was secretly embedded when he was injured during his childhood. ARMS implants are metallic life forms and aggregates of nanomachines that were developed by a giant munitions corporation. They give their owners regenerative capabilities, making their owners nearly immortal, and bestowing tremendous destructive power. While Ryo fights against agents from the corporation together with three other boys and girls who are in the same circumstances as him, details of a huge-global scale intrigue are gradually brought to light. This is a genuine science fiction action manga incorporating state-of-the-art technology, treating a substantive theme of the struggle and growth of humans who have inhuman power.


The story of "KARIKURI CIRCUS" centers around three main characters: Saiga Masaru, who is a legatee of property of a major enterprise and whose life is threated by auto-mannequins; Kato Narumi, a young man who happened to save Masaru's life; and Shirogane, a mysterious and beautiful girl who claims that protecting Masaru is her mission. The accidental meeting of these three leads them to participate in a bloody battle that has continued over centuries behind historical events. The features of this story are that new characters appear one after another and their episodes are described, and the story has a multi-layer structure in which the relation between friend and enemy completely changes many times. These elements are woven together and fall into place beautifully in the end. This work is a semi-miraculous saga, in which stories about the characters are minutely described, attracting many fans.


"LEGENDARY GAMBLER TETSUYA" is a long, fact-based picaresque manga. The artist created this work by fictionalizing autobiographical novels written by Asada Tetsuya (real name: Irokawa Takehiro), a novelist. The main character is Tetsuya, a young gambler who moves from one mahjong parlor to another in the chaos of postwar Japan to make money with luck, courage ad cheating. His do-or-die fight and the catastrophic lifestyles of the men that Tetsuya met in gambling houses are minutely described as if they all were main characters. This is a novel manga that was a success as a boy's manga by focusing on tactics such as how to forestall your rivals and turn the tide of the game, rather than detailed techniques of mahjong.


Katsu Kaizo, the main character, is a high school student. He was once a child genius, but became eccentric after receiving a serious blow to his head during his early years. One day, the head of a club that he belonged to played a joke on him and he consequently came to believe that he had been turned into a cyborg. While the main topic is almost neglected, otaku-like comments on actual anime, entertainment celebrities etc. made by the characters; internal chit-chat about artists of Weekly Shonen Sunday; and self-tormenting parodies in which the artist himself appears and sighs, saying that his manga is not popular; won great popularity. In the last episode, the main topic was nicely settled and this manga came to its end enjoying a favorable reception from the readers.


Urashita Keitaro, the main character, is studying to pass the Tokyo University entrance exam, despite already failing twice, in order to fulfill a childhood promise that he made with a girl, his first love, to enter the university together. One day, Keitaro, who was kicked out of his house, went to the hot spring inn owned by his grandmother. However, the inn had become a girls' dorm, called Hinata House, and somehow he became the dorm's manager. This manga captured the hearts of reader's through its setting, realizing boys' fantasies where many beautiful girls live under the same roof and often take a bath together with him. Besides, each girl's sour-sweet feelings and heartfelt exchange with Keitaru are carefully developed. This makes the work one of the finest manga treating youth, in which many characters are minutely illustrated.


082 GETBACKERS YUYA Aoki and RANDO Ayamine
The main characters are Mido Ban and Amano Ginji, the GetBackers, who recover any stolen item, regardless of person or object, for their clients. Although requests for clients are always dangerous, they make strenuous efforts, armed with their special abilities: Ban's "Evil Eye," which allows them to induce minute-long hallucinations on a target opponent, and Ginji's ability to emit high-tension electrical energy from his body. In addition to solving riddles relating to requests from clients, the multi-layer story structure attracts the readers; the past of the two is revealed as they battle against other professionals in the underworld, such as "carriers," and this leads to a grand conspiracy involving all mankind. Treating occult elements, including magic and curses, is another feature.


"Demon Eye Kyo" (Oni-me-no-Kyo) is a samurai who is said to have killed 1000 people with his sword. There is a bounty of one million ryo (a currency unit used up until 1871 in Japan) on his head. He is said to wield a 1.5 meter-long sword, to have a family crest modeled on the Yin-yang symbol tattooed on his back, and to have demonic blood-red eyes. Shiina Yuya is a bounty hunter seeking his head, aiming to avenge the death of a relative. She suspects a medicine dealer named Mibu Kyoshiro to be the killer that she is looking for. The story about Kyoshiro and Kyo, is woven together with the battle against the Mibu clan, which has influenced history behind the scenes, set in the early Edo period (around the 1700's). Readers are attracted by the brisk and spirited action scenes in this work and its fantastic worldview, which is based on real history yet incorporates present-day items.


Haru Glory, a boy who lived with his sister on an isolated island, met a mysterious old man named Shiba. Haru was entrusted with a sacred stoned called RAVE, which has the hidden power of "Light". At the same time, those who obtained the evil stone Dark Bring began to lead the world to war again. Haru became determined to start a journey to save the world as the inheritor of RAVE. This work is a fantasy, a genre that rarely appeared in Weekly Shonen Magazine at the time when the manga was serialized; however, it was rated highly due to its well-structured worldview. Heartfelt exchange among the characters made a strong impression on many readers.


The story begins when Kamiyama Takashi, a model student, happens to enroll at the Tokyo metropolitan government-run Cromartie High School, which is filled with delinquents. The artist, with his skillful technique, succeeded in dramatically transforming the exchange between tough-looking delinquents and the serious Kamiyama into laughter by carefully describing small psychological shifts. The gap created by illustrating frivolous episodes in a serious touch like Ikegami Ryoichi's manga makes the readers laugh even more. The ridiculous nonsense of mystery characters such as Freddie, Gorilla and Mechazawa Shinichi is another feature of the manga.


The main character is Muto Kunimitsu, a cheerful delinquent born in a traditional shopping, entertainment and residential district of Tokyo. He has a strong sense of justice and happened to become interested in politics. The Dietman who he first worked for sent him to Sakagami Ryoma's office for political training. Sakagami Ryoma was between jobs, aiming for the mayor's position, and in such poor circumstances that invited debt collectors came to his office. Despite these situations, Kunimitsu supports Sakagami's election campaign with his inborn cheerfulness and power. This work treats politics squarely, which is rare in boys' magazines. It gained public attention and was dramatized on TV.


"GODHAND TERU" is the longest-ever medical manga serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine. Mahigashi Teru, the main character, is a doctor just beginning his career. Usually he is a clumsy blunderer, but once he encounters a case where a patient is in critical condition, he exercises quick judgment and demonstrates genius techniques, as if he were a completely different person. His father, Mahigashi Kosuke, a famous surgeon called "God Hand," died in a plane crash, as if he had given his life to his son after giving him resuscitation treatment. This seems to have given a miraculous ability to Teru. This earnest main character makes the work full of energy despite dealing with medical matters, which tend to become serious.


Many junior high school students were brought together from all over the world and forced to fight each other at God's whim. They were told that the winner would receive any talent that he/she chose. Ueki Kosuke, who always behaves in his own way, was also forced to participate in fighting after he was given the ability to change garbage to trees. He survives by making full use of his given ability. Each student must fight by cleverly putting his/her ability to practical use. Kosuke's will to become a thoughtful person is tested during battle by greedy, cunning fighters. The combination of each puzzle-solving-like plot element and the message that the artist wants to send through this story provides readers with intellectual interest.


"YAKITATE! JAPAN" is a cooking manga centering on bread-baking battles between Azuma Kazuma, the main character, and his talented rivals. Kazuma is a boy who has "Solar Hands," warm hands suited to bread baking because they allow the bread dough to ferment faster. He aims at making Ja-pan ("pan" means "bread" in Japanese), which is bread the Japanese people consider is tastier than rice. Cooking manga tends to be divided into two extreme categories: informative manga packed with technical knowledge and manga attaching importance to dramatic elements in which absurd dishes are created to surprise the readers. However, this manga is rated highly because the elements from both types are incorporated in a balanced manner.


Shirayama Kenichi, the main character, is a boy who has been victimized. He joined his high school's karate club, but his seniors just used him as a substitute for a punching bag. One day, he made friends with Furinji Miu, a beautiful, talented female fighter who lived in a training hall for martial arts called "Ryozanpaku". After learning the basics of martial arts from her, he became a trainee in the hall. In this way, a period of strenuous training began. While Kenichi struggles with the spartan training given by masters of martial arts who gather at Ryozanpaku, he gradually becomes robust thanks to his sincere efforts. Although the training and Kenichi's struggles are described humorously, the way that he develops makes a deep impression on readers. The variety of martial arts introduced is another feature.


"SCHOOL RUMBLE" is a slapstick romantic comedy manga centering around three high school students: Karasuma Oji, a taciturn boy who always behaves in his own way; Tsukamoto Tenma, a girl who has romantic feelings towards him; and Harima Kenji, a delinquent boy who loves her. The feature of this manga is a multi-dimensional story structure in which the number of the characters gradually increases and each romance progresses at the same time. The love triangle between Karasuma, Tenma and Harima, who always plays the fool, and occasional action scenes involving Harima are narrated and illustrated in a totally different way, and this gap induces laughter.


092 AIR GEAR OH! Great
Air Trecks (ATs) are inline skates with small powerful built-in motors that enable a person wearing them to glide at high speed and fly using the walls. Minami Itsuki (nicknamed Ikki), a junior high student, happens to fight against a motorcycle gang called Storm Riders, who wear AT and fly through the town at night. After learning the basics of AT from the sisters who live in the house where he lodges, he climbs all the way up in the world of motorcycle gangs. Three-dimensionally described battle scenes in the sky and lively descriptions of AT riders from approach to taking off attract readers.


Negi Springfield, the main character, is a young boy genius who teaches at a Japanese girls’ junior high school as part of his training to become a great wizard. Innocent but slightly erotic slapstick scenes by the girls are woven around the 10-year old hero, who is in charge of their class. They gradually build trust amongst each other, and Negi grows both as a teacher and as a wizard. Then, Negi's and the students’ great adventures in the magic world begins. The artist has an ability to elaborately illustrate the characteristics of the 31 different girls in the class and this made the work prominent above a host of manga works in which many moe cute girls appear.


Sumimura Yoshimori and Yukimura Tokine are friends from childhood. Both of them were born in the 400-year-old clans of kekkai (barrier magic) users, or kekkaishi, professional "monster busters". Both clans are supposed to protect their forest with a special power called “Karasu-mori” together; however, they are rivals and fight like cats and dogs; to become the legitimate successor of their school, Yoshimori and Tokine, too, often quarrel with each other. One day, Tokine gets injured because of Yoshimori’s mistake. Since then, he has pledged himself to protect Tokine. One of the attractive aspects of this work is its lively action scenes. In addition, battles making extensive use of kekkai techniques, in which an invisible cut is made in order to divide space, are interesting since they resemble puzzles.


Karumatani Sora, the main character, is a high school student whose mother was a legendary basketball player. He has promised his mother, who is fighting against a disease, to take part in a national competition. Although he is only 149 centimeters tall, he strives with quick movement and agility to make precise long shots. While the basketball club in school was a haunt of delinquents at first, Sora, who is obsessed with basketball, determines not to run away from adverse circumstances, and he eventually unites the militant members, who all have all sorts of background stories. The mental tactics necessary for a player handicapped by poor physique and unbalanced ability to go progress and win by making full use of his limited skills, are thoroughly described in this work.


Ayasaki Hayate, the main character, is a high school student who begins working as a butler for Sanzen'in Nagi, a girl who very easily assumed the heavy debt that Hayate's parents left him. This work is a romantic comedy in which the almost-painful love affairs between Hayate, a person with an absolutely good nature, and various girls who have romantic feelings toward him, always go wrong. The readers can enjoy otaku-like parodies everywhere in this work through the unique wording of the dialogue and the action of the characters who rhythmically move around even if they do not know the source of the parodies. This work is a good example of the state-of-the-art plots in present-day manga.


"CROSS GAME" is a youth manga based on the relationship between Kitamura Ko, the son of a sports goods store owner, and the four sisters of the Tsukishima family, which runs a batting center. After entering Seishu Gakuen High School, Ko became the ace of the baseball club and made strenuous efforts to appear at Koshien, which was the dream of Tsukishima Wakaba. Revolving around baseball, the pain felt from losing loved ones, and the frustrating distance that grows when the interactions between the characters always go wrong are shown with a controlled touch. One particular feature of this work is that it deals with the problems surrounding present-day high school baseball, including the high school baseball scholarship system, and the players' bitter struggles against the policies of their schools and their managers. This makes this work a standout among Adachi Mitsuru’s titles.


"SAYONARA ZETSUBO SENSEI" is a comedy about Itoshiki Nozomu, a high school teacher who takes all aspects of life in the most negative light possible, and the students in his class, each of whom has an extremely distinctive personality. Most episodes consist of a large amount of dialog (about ironic or self-tormenting issues) and parodies. This work manages to harmonize both the immeasurable seriousness of the issues that are treated, and the lightness in which the issues can be laughed off only because this work is a comedy manga. In this regard, it can be said to be a profound work. A variety of drawing techniques, including bold frame structures, a method of depicting characters in all black swatches, retro-flavored landscape and quotations from modern and present-day literature are used.


Sawamura Eijun, the main character, is a first-year student who enrolled at the distinguished Seido High School, in Tokyo, from a junior high deep in the mountains. He aims to become a pitcher. He is technically unskilled, he has a hidden ability with his whippy left arm to throw a unique straight ball that changes its course just in front of the batter. He became a junior trainee of the baseball club due to a blunder just after joining the club. However, his talent will eventually bloom. This the work of a profound significance focusing on not only interest factors like teamwork and techniques, including how catchers lead the pitchers, but also concerning conflicts inside a baseball club with more than 100 baseball elites from all over Japan.


Katsuragi Keima, the main character, is a master of dating simulation games, known as the “Capturing God” for his skill to “capture” any 2D girl in a video game. In real life, however, he is not at all popular. A demon named Elsee mistakes him for a master of “real” love affairs. Due to this misunderstanding, in order to catch evil spirits that hide in the hearts of girls, she came from hell and give him the role to make the girls fall in love with him. The humor is derived from the play between Keima, who is a total otaku, and Elsee, who often plays the fool unintentionally. Additionally, the attitude of Keima, who so earnestly tries to "capture" targeted girls, moves the readers' heart as if this were a kind of romantic story.

Return to the "50 Years of Shonen Sunday/Shonen Magazine".