Between explosive debuts and crazy amounts of sales, 2021 was quite an eventful year for manga. It was also the year when we got to see some of the biggest milestones etched into the history of manga. Out of so many interesting events and announcements that happened in 2021, these are some of the biggest and most memorable milestones in 2021.
5. Attack On Titan Published Its Final Chapter
Attack On Titan has been one of the most popular manga in the entire world for years. The hyper-popular anime series is certainly a big part of the colossal success of the franchise, but the manga itself has garnered tons of loyal fans since its inception in 2009.
In April 2021, after 12 years of publication, the story of the man-eating Titans officially came to an end. Hajime Isayama-sensei published what could be said to be a fairly controversial last chapter that sparked countless debates among readers. That being said, whether you're a fan of Attack on Titan or not, you can't deny the huge impact this series has had on the industry. The manga world has truly lost one of its Titans.
4. Baki Celebrated Its 30th Anniversary
After talking about the end of a Titan, it's time to celebrate the anniversary of an icon. Yes, Baki the Grappler celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021. Keisuke Itagaki-sensei and the team that is responsible for Baki had so many plans in store to celebrate this epic milestone.
First up was the fan art contest. Fans could upload their Baki art with a theme of “strong, strange, and beautiful” on Twitter and the winner would be featured on Baki's official website. Next was the announcement of the new Netflix series titled Baki Hanma. There was also a new Baki game announced recently to celebrate the 30th anniversary. Last but not least, there was a crowdfunding campaign on Campfire to build an underground fighting ring in the basement of the Tokyo Dome where an exhibition on everything Baki will soon be held.
3. Spy X Family Became Shueisha's Best Selling Digital Manga
Manga Plus is Shueisha's online manga reading platform. At first, it only housed reruns of some of Shounen Jump's biggest titles, but nowadays, there are lots of original manga being published on that digital platform first. Spy x Family is one of the first original titles in Manga Plus.
In 2021, the editor of Spy x Family took to Twitter to announce that the manga had reached 10 million sales worldwide. Spy x Family is the first title from Manga Plus that managed to reach this incredible milestone.
Now that people have become more aware of so many great titles in Manga Plus, more and more titles will soon reach that milestone. But Spy x Family will forever be remembered as the one that paved the way for its successors.
2. Jujutsu Kaisen Dominated the Sales Charts
In 2020, Demon Slayer absolutely dominated its competitors when it came to sales. But while it remained one of the best selling titles last year, it ultimately had to give the crown to Jujutsu Kaisen. According to the Oricon chart, Jujutsu Kaisen was the best selling series of the year with Demon Slayer in a close second.
But if we talk about each individual volume, then the data gets even more ridiculous. Up to that point, there were 17 volumes of Jujutsu Kaisen published in Japan, and all of those 17 volumes managed to break the top 30 best selling individual manga volumes in 2021. To say that Jujutsu Kaisen dominated the sales chart is actually an understatement - it utterly obliterated its competitors.
1. One Piece Published Its 1000th Chapter
Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen may dominate the sales charts, but do you know which other title has held on to its top ten ranking more than 20 years after its debut? That’s right - it’s the one and only One Piece. But sales performance aside, 2021 was a marvelous and highly memorable year for One Piece.
In January 2021, Eiichiro Oda-sensei published the 1000th chapter of One Piece. This is a milestone that not many manga can ever dream to achieve. Not only that, but One Piece Volume 100 also hit the shelves in October 2021. And as if there weren’t enough ones and zeros in one year, the anime of One Piece also aired its 1000th episode in November 2021. Here's to another great year for the Straw Hat pirates!
When it comes to manga, 2021 was actually quite a great year. Other than all of these big milestones in this list, there are also other interesting things happened in the world of manga, such as My Hero Academia finally entering the last part of its adventure, people swarming the temple that the legend of Jujutsu Kaisen's Sukuna is actually based on, and lots of other memorable things.
And there you have it, folks. Were you aware of all of this news before? Are there any important milestones that did not appear on this list? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.