2020 is almost over, and what a year it’s been! With all of the stress and uncertainty that this year has brought, I’m more grateful then ever to have this blog and the ability to share my love of manga with all of my readers. Looking back over 2020, there have been some really great new releases and, just like last year, I wanted to make a post that celebrates my favourites.
This is a personal top 10 list and I’ve only included series that debuted in North America during 2020. If there are any awesome new manga that you think I’ve overlooked, be sure to let me know about them in the comments. Also, be sure to check out My Top 10 Most Anticipated Manga of 2020 list from last year and see how it compares to this list!
Without further ado, here are My Top 10 Manga of 2020, in no particular order.
10. Prince Freya
While I liked the first volume of Keiko Ishihara’s shojo, fantasy series, I wasn’t immediately in love with Prince Freya. That changed as I read the subsequent volumes and was sucked in by the drama and intrigue of this medieval world. I’m now completely hooked on this action-packed series! Freya is impersonating her kingdom’s Prince in order to save it from falling to it’s enemies and she must use all of her strength and courage to protect her homeland. I love the lead character and all of the political maneuvering she has to navigate as she tries to keep her secret and save her kingdom!
9. Cherry Magic!
Yuu Toyota’s manga series about a virgin who acquires the ability to read minds when he turns thirty – and subsequently discovers that his handsome and capable colleague is in love with him – is equal parts humorous and sweet. This wholesome story of a shy and awkward man trying to figure out what to do about his co-workers secret crush, and his own confusing feelings, is one of the most fun Boys Love series I’ve read this year and I can’t wait to read more!
8. Sazan & Comet Girl
Sazan & Comet Girl is a retro-style, science-fiction/adventure series about a loveable bunch of space-pirates, a bodacious bounty hunter with an amazing power and an average-joe with a heart-of-gold, who are all clumsily trying to save the earth from certain doom. This manga features lovely, full-colour art and was one of the most entertaining (and nostalgic) manga that I read this year.
7. Kageki Shojo!!
Beautiful, emotional and brimming with youthful optimism, Kageki Shojo!! The Curtain Rises follows a group of teen girls who are training for careers in a famous, all-female theatre troupe. The main-character is a bright and energetic breath of fresh air who refuses to give up on her dreams. I was completely charmed by her and the other girls’ struggles to achieve their goals and by their growing friendships. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel series that’s coming out next year!
6. Yuzu the Pet Vet
Yuzu the Pet Vet might strike some as an odd pick for this list. This manga, which is about a girl who moves in with her uncle and starts helping out at his veterinary clinic, is certainly aimed at a younger audience then your average shojo or shounen series, but I don’t think that’s any reason for it to be overlooked. Yuzu the Pet Vet is an adorable and heart-warming series and I have yet to make it through a volume without being reduced to a blubbering mess! It’s ability to tug at my heart-strings, despite the fact that it’s a comic about puppies and kittens aimed at children, has earned it a place in my heart and a spot on this list.
5. Goodbye, My Rose Garden
Dr. Pepperco’s gorgeous, historical, yuri manga about a refined lady falling in love with her kind and supportive maid, is poignant and very romantic. I have yet to pick up the final volume of Goodbye, My Rose Garden, but I can’t wait to find out how this dramatic love-story ends! Fingers crossed everything ends well, as I love these characters and want them to find happiness together so badly!
4. SPY X FAMILY
Tatsuya Endo’s SPYxFAMILY probably doesn’t need any introduction. This hilarious action-series has taken the manga world by storm, and with good reason. This shounen manga has it all: humor, cool action sequences, a bit of romance and tons of cuteness! At it’s heart, this is a story of found-family and I feel that this emotional core is what makes this series so very appealing. That and it’s absolutely gut-bustlingly funny!
3. Therapy Game
Therapy Game is a sexy, Boys Love series about a drunken encounter that leads to an ill-conceived bet and then to a sweet and adorable relationship. A spinoff of xxxSecret, Therapy Game is hawt, funny and touching. If you’re looking for a BL series that will move you, but also make your toes curl, then this is the series for you!
2. Something’s Wrong with Us
Natsumi Ando’s steamy, mystery series about a young woman who agrees to a marriage of convenience in order to try and find out the truth about a murder that she believes her mother was framed for, is a thrilling read full of twists and turns. Just when I think I’ve figured out who the murderer is, a new suspect will emerge and murky the situation! Something’s Wrong With Us always has me on the edge of my seat and I can’t wait to see how everything will resolve.
- Heaven’s Design Team
Heaven’s Design Team has the honour of being the first (and, so far, only) manga that I’ve given a 10 out of 10 score to in a review. This educational, comedy series follows a group of angels who are in charge of designing animals based on requests that they receive from god. As it happens, designing animals that can survive and thrive on earth is no easy tasks, especially when the instructions they get from their client are so vague! Full of fun and interesting facts about animals and how they’re adapted to their environments, I found this series to be both fascinating and very amusing. I definitely recommend it to any animal lovers out there!
Top OEL Manga of 2020: Fangirl
I thought I’d throw in a special bonus pick! An OEL manga adaptation of the novel by the same name, Fangirl is a brilliant coming-of-age story about an aspiring writer who’s struggling with adapting to change. With beautiful art and a compelling lead, this might not just be the best OEL manga I’ve read this year, but is possibly the best OEL manga I’ve read, period! I can’t recommend this series enough, especially to all of the fangirls and fanboys out there who know that growing up doesn’t have to mean giving up the things that you love!
Well, those are my top picks of the year, but what are your favourite new manga series that came out in 2020? Be sure to let me know in the comments and have a very happy holidays!
Also, be sure to check out my post on My Top 10 Most Anticipated Manga of 2021!
Stay safe everyone!
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