If there’s one thing that Hon no Hikidashi’s report on the highest selling first manga volumes in 2020 proves, it’s that word travels fast on the interest. Published at the beginning of every year, this list doesn’t include any spinoffs or special editions, but does give us a taste of which new manga are proving popular right now in Japan. Last year, Koyoharu Gotouge’s short story collection came out on top, but this year saw an actual series take the crown: Kaiju No. 8, followed by This Croc Will Die In 100 Days.
Both of these series were published online, proving that you don’t need to be published in one of the big weekly manga magazines anymore to see mainstream success. In fact, This Croc Will Die in 100 Days was initially entirely self-published by author Yuuki Kikuchi on his Twitter, only later being picked up by Shogakukan for volume release. That’s honestly a little bit more impressive than Kaiju No. 8, which is serialized on Shueisha’s online manga service Jump Plus.
Speaking of Jump, Tite Kubo’s new series Burn the Witch came in at number three on Hon no Hikidashi’s highest selling first volume of 2020 list. This isn’t all that surprising given the prior success of Bleach, but does also stand out given that Naruto author Masashi Kishimoto’s 2019 comeback Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru sold very poorly. Oshi no Ko by Aka Akasaka and Mengo Yokoyari, serialized in Weekly Young Jump, also came in at number five.
Moving over to Kodansha, A Couple of Cuckoos managed to bag the number four spot, which isn’t that surprising given its record-breaking success. Weekly Shonen Sunday also got its first look-in at number six with Sousou no Frieren, which is very much well deserved.
Weekly Shonen Jump newcomers MASHLE: Magic & Muscles and Ayakashi Triangle, meanwhile, ranked in at number seven and number eight, respectively. The latter is penned by To Love-ru artist Kentaro Yabuki, so his prior success definitely brought some name recognition, but we’d argue that the series is good in spite of that. MASHLE has also tapped into a certain zeitgeist, although several problems still plague it.
Finally, Onna no Sono Hoshi by Yama Wayama came in at number nine, alongside Jii-san Baa-san Wakagaeru by Kagiri Araido at number ten. You can find Hon no Hikidashi’s full list of the highest selling first manga volumes in 2020 via their official website.