‘Elements of Me’: Japanese Fans Choose Top 50 Manga That Define Them

Alu Elements of Me

There is no doubt that manga can play a very important part in any otaku’s life, which is why “manga community service” Alu received such a positive response to their recent ‘Elements of Me’ campaign. This campaign asked users to choose five manga that they felt “define” then, generate an image with their choices and share it on social media with the hashtag #私を構成する5つのマンガ. So numerous were the responses, in turn, that the hashtag quickly entered into the top trending.

Alu also recently shared some of the results from the Elements of Me campaign, drawing from 627,236 entries during the period between March 21 and April 2 to create a list of the top 50 most commonly chosen series. The results may shock you.

Alu’s Top 50 ‘Elements of Me’

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
  2. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
  3. Gintama by Hideaki Sorachi
  4. Hunter x Hunter by Yoshihiro Togashi
  5. Slam Dunk by Inoue Takehiko
  6. Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
  7. Haikyuu!! by Furudate Haruichi
  8. Bleach by Tite Kubo
  9. Katekyo Hitman Reborn by Amano Akira
  10. Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP
  11. Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama
  12. The Prince of Tennis by Takeshi Konomi
  13. Kimetsu no Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotouge
  14. Yu Yu Hakusho by Yoshihiro Togashi
  15. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
  16. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki
  17. Detective Conan by Gosho Aoyama
  18. D.Gray-man by Katsura Hoshino
  19. Soul Hunter by Ryu Fujisaki
  20. My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi
  21. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi
  22. Ranma ½ by Rumiko Takahashi
  23. Kuroko’s Basketball by Tadatoshi Fujimaki
  24. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki
  25. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama
  26. Zatch Bell! by Makoto Raiku
  27. Shaman King by Hiroyuki Takei
  28. Black Butler by Yana Toboso
  29. Black Jack by Osamu Tezuka
  30. Inuyashi by Rumiko Takahashi
  31. Phantom Thief Jeanne by Arina Tanemura
  32. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic by Shinobu Ohtaka
  33. Pokemon Adventures by Hidenori Kusaka (scenario) and Mato (art)
  34. Doubutsu no Oisha-san by Sasaki Noriko
  35. Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida
  36. Honey and Clover by Umino Chika
  37. Natsume’s Book of Friend by Yuki Midorikawa
  38. Saiyuki by Kazuya Minekura
  39. Magical Circle Guru Guru by Hiroyuki Etou
  40. Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori
  41. Hetalia: Axis Powers by Hidekaz Himaruya
  42. Doraemon by Fujiko Fujio
  43. World Trigger by Daisuke Ashihara
  44. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
  45. Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui
  46. Fairy Tail by Mashima Hiro
  47. Sket Dance by Kenta Shinohara
  48. Ushio to Tora by Kazuhiro Fujita
  49. Hellsing by Kouta Hirano
  50. Fushigi Yugi by Yuu Watase

An Imperfect Barometer

One of the first things that you will notice about the top 50 results for the Elements of Me campaign is the abundance of titles that belong to the shonen demographic. This makes sense, given that shonen series tend to sell the most and make the biggest impact, but there are also several notable shoujo series, such as Cardcaptor Sakura and Fruits Basket. There are almost no seinen or josei series, however, which is a shame.

Furthermore, although the top spot belongs to Fullmetal Alchemist and Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan, the majority of the most popular series were published in Weekly Shonen Jump at one point or another; One Piece, Gintama, Hunter x Hunter and Slam Dunk make up the rest of the Elements of Me campaign’s top 5. If that isn’t enough to cement the absolute dominance of Shueisha’s magazine, then I don’t know what is.

Of course, these sorts of public votes always have flaws. In the first place, what exactly goes into a manga that “defines” you is subjective, which inevitably turns the whole thing into a popularity contest – hence why you can see such series as Kimetsu no Yaiba and My Hero Academia so high up. These series probably haven’t been around long enough to “define” anyone, let alone come to a conclusion.

In any case, what the results for Alu’s Elements of Me campaign do show us are the top 50 manga most present in the minds of Japanese consumers right now, as well as the current shonen-dominated state of the industry. If I were to pick my top five, in turn, they’d be something like this in no particular order:

Elements of Me Jacob

I made these choices on the basis of those series that I feel have most influenced me, both on a professional and personal level. In the case of Bakuman, you can read a little bit more about that here. What about you? What are the five manga that best define you? You can use Alu’s image generator to share your picks, as well as get in touch with us on social media.

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