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Top 10 Manga Artists

Script Written by Allen-Michael Harber When it comes to manga nothing is simply black and white - and these artists are masters of the craft. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Manga Artists. For this list we are counting down Japanese Manga Artists based on how prolific they are, their tenure in the industry and their overall influence on the world of anime and manga. Special thanks to our user jkellis for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script Written by Allen-Michael Harber

Top 10 Manga Artists

When it comes to manga nothing is simply black and white - and these artists are masters of the craft. Welcome to and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Manga Artists.
For this list we are counting down Japanese Manga Artists based on how prolific they are, their tenure in the industry and their overall influence on the world of anime and manga.

#10: Hirohiko Araki

Though it may have taken some time for “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” to gain success in the west, Hirohiko Araki has been a cultural icon in Japan for some time. The Jojo series has been active for almost three decades, managing to both adapt to and influence the industry greatly - Seeing an evolution in style from the burly, Fist of the North Star-inspired “Phantom Blood” to the slender, fashion modelesque proportions of “Steel Ball Run”. Araki’s eccentric writing, western influence and memorable catchphrases have led him to stand apart from all other manga artists.

#9: Masashi Kishimoto

There are few manga or anime that reach the heights of cultural phenomenon, but Masashi Kishimoto achieved this with his manga “Naruto.” Originally beginning serialization in 1999, Kishimoto’s “Naruto” has spawned multiple anime series, quite a few movies, tons of video games and an ever-growing fan base. It is his ability to convincingly forge action sequences through static images and knack for designing unique, nuanced, characters that has made his works a staple to all manga readers - Believe it.

#8: Yoshihiro Togashi

For some artists it takes a while for them to realize they have a talent for drawing, but for Yoshihiro Togashi, this skill came at an early age. While attending college he published his first manga and won the most prestigious award for new manga artists. Togashi proved more than worthy of the award as he would later go on to publish “Yu Yu Hakusho” and “Hunter x Hunter.” He is also married to fellow famed manga artist Naoko Takeuchi, who is responsible for “Sailor Moon”. Though illness and other commitments have kept his works in hiatus hell, he has nonetheless cemented himself as one of the all-time greats.

#7: Junji Ito

The undisputed master of horror manga, himself. Junji Ito, famed for his disturbing works such as “Uzumaki” and “Gyo” has long since become the forerunner in the horror-manga genre. No other artist in his field has been able to instil fear from a single page quite the way that he does. Though time has proven that the anime adaptations simply cannot replicate Ito’s style, this has actually preserved the integrity of his manga works. Ito was set to work alongside Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima to reboot the Silent Hill video game series, and a project that was shamefully scrapped the very same year it was announced.

#6: Hiromu Arakawa

Every manga artist has that one series they will always be most commonly known for, and Hiromu Arakawa is no different. Unlike other manga artists, however, not many have achieved as much success as she has, thanks to her “Fullmetal Alchemist” series. Although FMA is her magnum opus she has created other series including the award winning “Silver Spoon” and the more recent adaptation of Yoshiki Tanaka’s “Heroic Legend of Arslan”. Arakawa’s continued contributions to the industry and refusal to stick within her comfort zone proves her to be one of the most diverse in history.

#5: Naoki Urasawa

Meet the Renaissance man of Manga. Being the creator of the masterpieces “Monster” and “20th Century Boy”, as well as a part time musician, the talents of Naoki Urasawa are undeniable. Throughout his career he has become recognized for his realistic hybrid art style and intriguing psychological thrillers. Urasawa even achieved the impossible when he successfully adapted Astro Boy’s “The Greatest Robot on Earth” arc with his series “Pluto”. His works would also serve as influence to creators across the globe such as, you guessed it, Del Toro.

#4: Rumiko Takahashi

When it comes to female artists, none have changed the landscape of anime and manga quite like that of Rumiko Takahashi. Most people may know her for her feudal fairytale “InuYasha”. However, she is also credited being one of the originators of the harem anime genre thanks to “Ranma ½”. Rumiko continues to contribute to the industry even to this day with her series “Rin-Ne” and shows no signs of letting up. Rightfully so, she has won several awards and is officially recognized as the best selling female comic artist in the world.

#3: Eiichiro Oda

If Masashi Kishimoto is the reason anime ninjas are cool, Eiichiro Oda is the reason anime pirates are cool. Approaching its second decade of circulation, “One Piece” has earned unrivalled success by becoming the most selling manga on the planet. Though Oda’s has few other notable projects to his name, the sheer impact on the industry caused by One Piece earns him notable acclaim. Surprisingly, Monkey D. Luffy, was actually the protagonist of one of Oda’s earlier works “Romance Dawn”, a pirate themed one-shot manga, but we will always remember him as the leader of the Straw Hats.

#2: Osamu Tezuka

Known as the godfather of manga and anime, Osamu Tezuka is considered to be the pioneer of this medium. His influence from western icons such as Mickey Mouse led him to be the man responsible for synonymous “large eyes” anime art style that is still used to this date. Although he is most famous for his series “Astro Boy”, Osamu Tezuka also proved his mastery through works like “Black Jack” and “Kimba the White Lion”. It is impossible to tout the success of this artist in so few words - but quite simply; without Tezuka there would be no anime industry today.
Before we unveil our top pick here are a few honorable mentions.
Takeshi Obata
Tite Kubo
Kentaro Miura
Naoko Takeuchi
Takehiko Inoue
Yuu Watase

#1: Akira Toriyama

Every artist on this list has their own legacy, but few have branched out or achieved as much acclaim as Akira Toriyama - creator the “Dragon Ball” series. Not only is “Dragon Ball” one of the most decade defining manga, it also serves to inspire generation after generation of new artists. Toriyama’s works don’t simply exist within the realm of anime and manga, as he is also the character designer for video games including the “Dragon Quest” series, “Blue Dragon” and “Chrono Trigger”. But perhaps most impressive of all, Akira Toriyama was also one of the leaders of the 90’s anime boom which helped make anime a global phenomenon.

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