Last month, goo Research polled 1,939 Japanese people from ages 15 to 44 about their manga reading habits. Questions ranged from which manga they read to who their favorite character is—they even asked about favorite one-liners. So if manga is your drug of choice, read on to see which are the most popular in Japan right now.
All 1,939 people polled were asked to indicate whether they even like manga or not. Three-fourths of the respondents like or love it; only 6.4% actively dislike it (with the remaining 19.1% being indifferent toward manga). Even then, only 21.8% of those polled claim to never read manga at all.
When it comes to reading location, a majority of both men and women read at home, with home being the most common place women read manga. Men, on the other hand, often also read while commuting, during work breaks, or any other time they have free time outside of the house. (Note: only people who read weekly manga anthologies were asked the preceding question.)
As to what kind of manga the Japanese people polled typically read, the most popular genres for men are sports, comedy, fantasy, and sci-fi. Women also enjoy comedy and fantasy, but enjoy love story and shojou manga even more.
By far the favorite manga among the men and women polled is One Piece—followed by Dragon Ball, Slam Dunk, and Naruto for men and Slam Dunk, Kimi ni Todoke, and NANA, for women. Unsurprisingly then, the most popular character for both genders is Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece). In fact, of the top five characters, three are from One Piece (though which three vary between men and women). The most popular non-One Piece character is Goku (Dragon Ball) for men and Sakuragi Hanamichi (Slam Dunk) for women.
Lastly, as for the most popular one-liner, it isn't Luffy's "I'll be king of the pirates" or Detective Conan's "One Truth Prevails!" Even my favorite "You are already dead" from Fist of the North Star comes in second. No, the most popular single line comes from Slam Dunk: "If you give up, the game is already over."
So there you have it. Now you know what manga are big in Japan, which genres are popular, and who the most popular characters are. And what should we take away from all this information? I'm going with: Japanese people love One Piece.