SEAN: As always, there’s been so much this year that it’s hard to choose. Honestly, my pick of the year is an anime, and one that ran in 2022 as well: Birdie Wing: Golf Girls Story. The perfect sports anime, the perfect (almost) yuri anime, and totally, one hundred percent gonzo and ridiculous. I hope it gets a series of light novels, manga, and a sequel.
MICHELLE: For various reasons, I haven’t read much of *anything* this year, so instead of picking a title, I will pick a publisher. Seven Seas keeps licensing things I *want* to read, like Guardian and Don’t Call It Mystery, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.
KATE: My vote goes to the Mangasplainers, both for their awesome podcast and for their publishing efforts. Okinawa was a terrific first project, and bodes well for the other titles they have in the pipeline for 2024.
ASH: Like Michelle, I haven’t had the chance this year to read nearly as much as I would have liked, but I am still very grateful for the variety publishers releasing such a wide range of materials that I will have plenty to keep me busy for a very long time. That being said, I have managed to follow Drawn & Quarterly pretty closely this year and have been very pleased with its 2023 catalog, from the new and improved edition of the previously out-of-print Kitaro anthology, to contemporary indie comics by Woshibai, to alternative works by Japanese women, to classics of avant-garde manga, there’s been so much to appreciate and enjoy.
ANNA: I’m terribly behind in my manga reading as well, but for this year I want to highlight two titles that I thought would never be licensed – Don’t Call it a Mystery and Neighborhood Story. It is great that I can still be pleasantly surprised by licensing decisions! I also want to give a shout out to March comes in Like a Lion which I was eagerly anticipating.