Script written by Garrett Alden
Top 10 Manga That Broke the Internet
Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 manga that broke the internet.
For this list, we’ll be going over the Japanese comic series which trended in a big way online, for whatever reason. Since some of the things that made them trend involve spoilers, be prepared for that.
If there’s a manga that blew up, which failed to make a mark on our list, draw your own conclusions in the comments!
#10: “Jujutsu Kaisen” (2018-)
Even before its anime debuted, “Jujutsu Kaisen” had everyone talking. This supernatural action series features much more mature content than most Shonen battle manga, even borrowing elements of horror. But what most often gets “Jujutsu Kaisen” trending are its shocking twists and heartbreaking developments, including several major character deaths. Twitter and message boards explode whenever someone dies or a new revelation drops. We won’t go into detail, but anime watchers are in for a wild ride!
#9: “Goodnight Punpun” (2007-13)
Although the titular Punpun and his family are drawn like little bird people, don’t let that fool you – “Goodnight Punpun” is as serious as serious can get. The series follows Punpun through his youth, teenage years, and into young adulthood. Through a strange lens, it depicts an unflinching look at his life and the various traumas he and his inner circle face. “Goodnight Punpun” doesn’t skip out on illustrating the most messed up aspects of what it’s like to be human. It will shatter your soul, but you won’t be able to look away. Probably why new readers keep flocking to it!
#8: “Dick Fight Island” (2019-)
…Wait, really?! This is real?! That’s probably most people’s reaction to hearing about this series. No wonder it, uh, “blew up.” The original title for this manga translates to “The 8 Warriors.” In this case, the English version is more accurate to what the series is about. “Dick Fight Island” focuses on a group of warriors who compete with what’s between their legs in a contest to gain control of their group of islands. The first to…”arrive” first…loses. The absurd name, premise, and homoerotic content are enough to make the internet take interest, but the memes just write themselves. Plus, it’s apparently endorsed by Squidward…
#7: “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” (2016-20)
The “Demon Slayer” anime is one of the most explosively popular in living memory. That success has translated to unprecedented success, in terms of manga sales, ticket sales, and in buzz online. Although the manga may not have Ufotable’s jaw dropping animation, the story of Tanjiro trying to save his sister after she’s turned into a demon is still compelling. The series is filled with humor, action, and pathos, no matter the medium. While “Demon Slayer” is finished running week to week, the anime has kept it in the public discourse, and it will probably keep slaying for the immediate future.
#6: “Onanie Master Kurosawa” (2007-08)
For those who don’t know, “onanie” is Japanese for…let’s say, “self-gratification.” The series follows a teenager who, after getting caught in a girls bathroom doing the dirty deed, is blackmailed into helping a bullied girl take revenge on popular girls using his “particular set of skills.” With content like that, it’s no wonder it drew notice from a certain anime image board back when it was first released. However, despite the elevator pitch seeming geared towards perverted humor and fan service, “Onanie Master Kurosawa” has surprising depth to its examination of bullying and character growth. Also “Death Note” references.
#5: “Berserk” (1988-)
This dark fantasy series has been around since before the internet, and has been popular for over 3 decades, which is the only reason it’s this low down our list. “Berserk”’s grim tone, existential themes, and heartbreaking story has helped make it a perennial favorite among manga enthusiasts. However, its recent surge in popularity and discussion can be partially attributed to a fittingly tragic cause. The manga’s creator, Kentaro Miura, passed away at only 54 of heart-related illness in 2021, with the subsequent outpouring of tributes causing the series to spike. Thankfully, the series has recently found new life thanks to Miura’s assistants and longtime friend Kouji Mori taking up the mantle!
#4: “Yotsuba&!” (2003-)
A manga about a young girl and her amusing daily adventures may not seem like the kind of series that would light the internet on fire. However, the adorable Yotsuba has become an internet icon for more reasons than just her highly entertaining series. Yotsuba is the mascot of 4chan, a famous, and frequently infamous, anime discussion board. Yotsuba frequently appears in the much-trafficked site, through 404 images, banners, and other logos. And, while 4chan has something of an unsavory reputation, Yotsuba’s wholesome appearance and attitude are untarnished by even that den of dank discussions. However you discovered her, Yotsuba’s antics are more than worth your time.
#3: “Attack on Titan” (2009-21)
While the anime version of this grim, epic series has rocked the internet lately, particularly with its final season, the manga has been equally hype. Since its beginning, “Attack on Titan” has gripped anime and manga fans with its fantastic action, mind-blowing twists, and shocking deaths. Every new development got readers talking – marveling at new events and theorizing about what’s coming next. To say fans are ludicrously passionate about this series would be a colossal understatement. In many ways it’s the “Game of Thrones” of manga – except, it arguably stuck the landing better.
#2: “Chainsaw Man” (2018-)
If you haven’t at least heard whispers of this goliath of a manga, then please hand in your otaku card. The series follows Denji, a down on his luck young man who fights himself in the unfortunate position of fighting against devils, after he himself becomes one, due to a last minute fusion with his chainsaw-faced dog. Yeah. As you can guess, there’s a whole lot of buzz about this online. This is in large part due to its strange mix of goofy humor, bloodsoaked action and tackling of potent subject matters. “Chainsaw Man” is a rip-roaring good time, and it’s revving up to become even more popular with its upcoming adaptation.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
“Black Clover” (2015-)
“Mashle: Magic and Muscles” (2020-)
“Fire Punch” (2016-18)
“Spy x Family” (2019-)
#1: “One Piece” (1997-)
There’s hype, and then there’s “One Piece!” This ongoing adventure on the high seas is one of the most critically acclaimed and the highest selling manga ever! The incredible action, hysterical humor, beautifully realized characters, in-depth worldbuilding, and masterful storytelling of “One Piece” has captured the world’s imagination and the internet’s attention. An entire industry of theory crafting and analysis is based around the countless little details, foreshadowing, and world of pirates. Chapters trend on Twitter before they’re released! It’s basically an unstoppable juggernaut by this point.