MICHELLE: When declaring a pick of the year, I feel some self-induced pressure to choose something highbrow, but the fact is that the the title that I loved the most, cared about the most, was from Shounen Jump. And that, of course, is My Hero Academia. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s got a lovable cast. It’s also got trauma, kids struggling with feelings of inadequacy, a great and gradual redemption arc for the protagonist’s childhood bully, and scenes that make one cry. I love it to bits.
SEAN: There’s a lot of titles I really loved this year (including MHA), but the one that caught my eye the most, as I said last week for Pick of the Week, was Our Dreams at Dusk. One of the best LGBTQ titles to hit these shores, it scores in characterization, art, mood, just about everything. It was simply amazing.
ASH: Our Dreams at Dusk really is a phenomenal series, and one of my top picks of the year, too. The other debut that made a big impression on me this year was the beautiful hardcover release of Moto Hagio’s The Poe Clan. It’s a marvelously dark and dramatic shoujo classic; I can definitely understand why it became such an influential work.
KATE: My favorite manga of 2019 was Taiyo Matsumoto’s gorgeous, weird, and trippy Cats of the Louvre, which is both a meditation on purpose of art, and a meditation on what it means to close the door on your childhood and face the uncertainty of being an adult. I’m still thinking about it more two months after I read it—something I can’t say about most of the books I read this year.
ANNA: My pick of the year is Witch Hat Atelier. It combines stunningly detailed art with classic world building, creating a manga that reminds me of fantasy stories I read as a child.