#10 – Baby Steps (2007-2017)
The last spot on these top 10 lists is always harder than the first. In the end, Baby Steps had to be on here, because it may be the best pure sports manga ever written. There are other elements (like romance) here, and they’re great. But at heart Baby Steps is all about the sport, and its attention to detail is astonishing. It also has one of the best protagonists in manga history. The four-cour anime adaptation is very good, but the manga is this series at its best (even if it was reportedly forced to end prematurely, one of the great travesties in manga publishing).
Let’s get this party started! As with the Noughties list, I’m going to cheat by starting with an…
Honorable Mention – Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu (2018-present)
OK, I admit it, this is a bit of a cheat. Truthfully, BokuYaba is a series I couldn’t quite slide into the top 10. But I couldn’t bring myself to leave out a series I love as much as any I’ve read in a very long time. Again, this list is personal, and this is the ultimate expression of that. Little more need to said about why I love it so much – manga romance and romcom protagonists just don’t get much better. By the end, it might very well have worked its way onto a theoretical list like this without need of a wild card.
I’m excited to begin another LiA crowdsourcing project! This time around it’s my top 10 manga of all-time. We didn’t hit quite the same levels of support we did for the “Best of the 2000’s” project, but thanks to your generosity we cleared Tier 2. That means a full top 10 manga, list, with a short summary of why I made each pick. Here are the folks who stepped up and supported this project on Ko-fi:
Of course, those folks will once again get a one-week special sneak preview of my picks, along with my deepest gratitude. I’ll be going in countdown form again, starting with the supporters and going live here on 9/2/23.
As for the list, it goes without saying that it was incredibly difficult to put together. I think I should also reiterate that this is in no way an attempt to create a “best” list – these are my personal favorites, no more and no less. And given that the pool of manga I haven’t read is vastly deeper than the pool of manga I have, there are going to be series not on my list that many of you think should be (and would be on yours).
Unlike with the year-end and decade anime lists, I don’t see any particularly tricky eligibility questions. The only restriction is that it must be a manga – originally written in Japanese and published in Japan. And I’m not restricting myself to completed series – if an ongoing manga is on here, it’s based on the published and translated chapters to date.
Finally, let’s do another contest, as those seem to be natural for any top 10 list. I’ll leave this open until I post #10 – take your best shot just like with Best of the 2000’s list The winner gets a haiku about any series on the list, their choice.
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