Award-Winning Manga 1: General Category

By Amanda Pagan, Children's Librarian
September 8, 2020
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL)
covers of manga books

Whether you are new to manga or a veteran reader, it can sometimes be difficult to find new titles to read. Trying to sift through the staggering amount of manga currently available can seem very daunting. Fortunately, a multitude of international committees have taken over the task for us. 

Award committees such as the Shogakukan Manga Award (established 1955), the Japan Cartoonists Association Award (established 1972), and the Kodansha Manga Award (established 1977) have been judging and awarding manga for more than forty years. Awards such as the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize (established 1997), the International Manga Award (established 2007), and the Manga Taishō (established 2008) might be relatively newer, but they are no less prestigious. The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards have included manga in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material (since 1998) and the Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia category (since 2010). 

While there are plenty of amazing manga out there that never received an award, we chose to highlight these winners for several reasons. As a reader, you can judge for yourself whether or not you agree with the committee’s decision and whether or not these titles still hold up. This catalog of past winners is a fun time capsule that offers a glimpse into what was deemed award-worthy at the time. You might be surprised by the titles you see (and don’t see) listed here. Most importantly, these are some really, ridiculously good manga. Many of them permanently changed the industry and popular culture after their release. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are simply the titles we currently have available in our catalog. We have organized this list into a “General” audiences category, however, these are all primarily aimed at adults. If you are looking for recommendations for younger readers, check out our Manga for Middle Schoolers: Guide and Recommendations, which includes several award-winners in the children’s categories. 

Looking for more award-winning manga? Check out Award-Winning Manga 2: Shojo Category and Award-Winning Manga 3: Shonen Category.  Fan of the classics? Check out A Beginner's Guide to Manga Classics.

Now without further ado, check out this list of award-winning manga! 

Discover more recommended manga titles with these popular blog posts:

A Beginner's Guide to Manga

Award-Winning Manga 2: Shojo Category 

Award-Winning Manga 3: Shonen Category

Beginner's Guide to Isekai

Hot, Steamy, and Extra Dreamy: Romance Manga

Manga for Days: Manga 25 Volumes or Fewer for Adults

Manga for Days: Manga 25 Volumes or Fewer for Teens

Manga for Middle Schoolers: Guide and Recommendations

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.