10 Most Popular Manga Characters of All Time: The clash between the Western and Eastern ideology is an ongoing and never ending debate. But what bridges the gap between the two ideologies is the entertainment industry. This has been possible because of some entertainment industries & brands like Hollywood, Bollywood, K-pop, Manga, Marvel, DC. Many iconics characters & individuals like MJ, Elvis, SRK, Superman, Batman, Spider-Man have contributed in bringing the cultures close. But at times the fandom and storylines created rifts between people. The main reason for this is ignorance about the other side of the world or culture. Characters like Superman and Captain America somewhat portray that the world means a single nation (US). Even in the graphic novel or animation genre we can’t think beyond DC and Marvel. We often tend to ignore the scale and popularity of Japanese Manga which are making their presence felt at global level.
10 Most Popular Manga Characters of All Time
Kankichi Ryotsu (KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops)
Kankichi Ryotsu is one of the most iconic and loved manga characters of all time. The self assumed super cop always ends up in some unusual events and never fails to provide the readers a lighter riot. The super cop’s charter appeared in the popular Manga ‘KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops’. The iconic Manga series was written & illustrated by Osamu Akimoto. The manga series has more than 200 volumes. It was first published in 1976 and saw an impressive long run till 2021. The super successful manga was also adapted several times into an Anime film (in 1985, 1999 and 2003). The TV adaptation of the manga was also very successful and more than 300 episodes were aired on television. KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops has sold more than 150 million copies.
Son Goku (Dragon Ball)
Goku’s character and the ‘Dragon Ball’ manga can be considered one of the biggest breakthrough products of the Japanese Manga industry that created buzz globally. And even gave tough competition to American Comics characters & storylines. The charter was created by Akira Toriyama. Goku’s character is based on The Monkey King ‘Sun Wukong’ (a mythical creature chinese figure). The mythical figure is referred to as Son Goku in Japan. Dragon Ball was written by Akira Toriyama and was published in 1984 and had a decade-long run in the market. But with time the popularity of the Manga and its characters only grew.
Duke Togo (Golgo 13)
Duke Togo appears in the Manga Golgo 13. The thriller manga was created (written and illustrated) by Takao Saito. The Manga is about a professional assassin ‘ Golgo 13’ ( mostly Duke Togo). He generally uses his M16 rifle for the assassinations. Duke Togo is a mysterious person with zero to no emotions and feelings. The man can literally kill anyone to maintain his secretive identity. The man even appears to be a threat for top agencies like the FBI and CIA because of his acts & killings. Golgo 13 is the oldest and longest running Japanese Manga with more than 300 Million copies sold till date.
Saitama (One-Punch Man)
The next on the list is a Japanese superhero ‘Saitama’ from the Manga ‘One-Punch Man’. The manga is a very recent addition to the iconic list of Japanese Manga. The manga series was created by ‘One’. ‘One’ wrote the webcomic in 2009 and its digital remake was published in 2012. One-Punch Man is a story about a superhero who can defeat any opponent with just a single punch. And eventually gets bored because of lack of challenge. The Manga has seen numerous adaptations. It has seen global success with its successful Netflix venture.
Shinichi Kudo (Case Closed)
Case Closed, popularly known as Detective Conan is a popular Japanese Manga. The detective manga is created(written & illustrated) by Gosho Aoyama. The storyline of the manga revolves around a high school boy named Shinichi Kudo aka Jimmy Kudo. The boy helps the police to solve cases. The detective manga series has published more than 100 volumes and has been running successfully for more than a decade. The manga series has sold more than 250 million copies.
Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)
Monkey D. Luffy is one of the most liked & loved manga characters in recent times. The iconic character was created by Eiichiro Oda. Monkey D. Luffy’s straw hat has become his trademark style and a main element of his appearance. In his childhood Luffy’s appearance was showcased in a simple cool casual avatar where he wore a white shirt and blue shorts. He also has a scar under his left eye. The character has appeared in the popular manga series One Piece. Which has published more than 100 volumes and is still running strong in the market. The manga series is the best selling manga of all time. One Piece has sold more than 500 Million copies till date.
Hanamichi Sakuragi (Slam Dunk)
Hanamichi Sakuragi is the primary character of the iconic sports manga series ‘Slam Dunk’. The Sports Manga series was created by Takehiko Inoue. Slam Dunk had a six year long run from 1990 to 1996. 31 volumes of the sports manga series were published during this span. The manga also had several anime film adaptations. Talking about the primary character Sakuragi, Hanamichi Sakuragi is a popular guy among girls and is also the leader of a gang. The story revolves around him and showcases his transformation and events in his life with tales & twists of sports. Slam Dunk was able to sell more than 170 million copies.
Doraemon is one of the most popular characters of all time. From Manga to animated series the charter has been super successful. The popularity of Doraemon among kids is unmatched. The talking cute robo cat character was created by Hiroshi Fujimoto. The character appeared to be very simple conceptually in designs as it was created mainly for kids and children. The tv animation series of Doraemon was a huge hit and also made Doraemon’s character one of the most popular animation characters of all time amongst children globally. Talking about its manga series Doraemon was able to sell more than 250 Million copies from 1969 to 1996.
Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto)
Naruto Uzumaki is arguably the most popular anime and manga character at this point of time. The ninja character has created a cult and separate fan base all thanks to the engaging & impressive storylines. Be it the Manga series or Anime series, Naruto’s run has been super successful. The ninja character was created by Masashi Kishimoto. Naruto Uzumaki is an individual who aims to become the leader of his village and wishes to create an identity for himself (outside his father’s shadow). Naruto is one of the highest selling Manga of all time and has sold more than 250 Million copies till date.
Tanjiro Kamado (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba)
Tanjiro Kamado is a teenager and a true hero who goes on a mission to restore humanity. The character appeared in the Japanese Manga series ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’. It was created by Koyoharu Gotouge. The manga is about a teenager (Tanjiro Kamado) who turns into a demon slayer after an unfortunate event. Tanjiro Kamado’s family was slaughtered and his younger sister was turned into a demon, which motivates the teenager to become a demon slayer. The manga series had a short but effective 4 year run from 2016 to 2020. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has sold more than 150 Million copies with just its 23 volumes.