The Best and Worst Manga is an annual tradition at Comic Con, an always well-attended panel that convenes at the supper hour. The very lovely Deb Aoki (Mangasplaining) reigns over a group of deliciously witty, uber passionate (but very opinionated) social media experts who explain what they think are the titles every manga fan should devour or avoid at all costs). At SDCC ’23, Deb was joined by panelists Varun Gupta (Demon Slayer Podcast,, Siddarth Gupta ( and LumSquad podcasts), Jillian Rudes (Japanese culture and manga special collections librarian, New York City Department of Education), Laura Neuzeth (YouTube and TikTok vlogger), and Brigid Alverson (SmashPages, School Library Journal).

SDCC '23 Panel Best and Worst Manga of 2023

The rules were simple. Panelists were advised to select manga series with at least one volume published between July 2022 and July 2023 and had 60 seconds to pitch their reasons why. While most panelists stuck to their delivery times, some went beyond the buzzer to get their points across.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the panelists’ picks for the best and worst manga of 2023.

Best New Manga for Teens Grade 6 or Older

    • Jillian, Call the Name of the Night (Yen Press)
    • Deb, Akane-Banashi (Shonen Jump/Viz)
    • Laura, Cinderella Closet (Seven Seas)
    • Varun, Guyabano Holiday: Papanya (Denpa)
    • Brigid, My Sister the Cat (Seven Seas)
    • Siddarth, Usotoki Rhetoric (One Peace Books)

Best New Manga for Grown-Ups

    • Varun, Homunculus (Seven Seas)
    • Laura, Oishi No Ko (Yen Press)
    • Deb, The Summer Hikaru Died (Yen Press)
    • Brigid, Talk To My Back (Drawn & Quarterly)
    • Siddarth, Mermaid Town (Glacier Bay Books)
    • Jillian, Soloist in a Cage (Seven Seas)

Best Continuing Series Manga for Kids & Teens

    • Laura, Sasaki and Miyano (Yen Press)
    • Deb, My Happy Marriage (Square Enix Manga)
    • Brigid, Yokai Watch (Viz)
    • Varun, Pompo: The Cinephile (Seven Seas)
    • Jillian, Shadows House (Yen Press)
    • Siddarth, Hikaru in the Light (Azuki)

Best Continuing Series Manga for Grown-Ups

    • Varun, Zom 100: Bucketlist of the Dead (Viz)
    • Deb, Kowloon Generic Romance (Yen Press)
    • Jillian, The Boxer (Ize Press)
    • Laura, Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan (Kodansha)
    • Brigid, Cat + Gamer (Dark Hourse)
    • Siddarth, How Do We Relationship? (Viz)

Worst Manga (for Anyone, Any Age)

    • Kamen Rider Kuuga (Manganato)
    • Jillian, Sweet Poolside (Kodansha)
    • Deb, Yonezawa (Seven Seas)
    • Laura, Gap Papa: Daddy at Work and at Home (Seven Seas)
    • Siddarth, My Stepsister Who Tells Me to Die Every Day, Tries to Hypnotize Me to Fall for Her While I Was Sleeping…! (Mangamo)

Most Anticipated New Manga (August 2023 – April 2024)

    • Laura, My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999 (Inklone-Penguin Random House), April 2024
    • Deb, Neighborhood Story (Shojo Beat/Viz), December 2023
    • Varun, Kingdom of Gold, Kingdom of Water (Seven Seas), November 2023
    • Siddarth, My Ultramarine Sky (Penguin Random House), December 2023
    • Siddarth, Number Call (Kodansha), March 2024
    • Jillian, The Illustrated Guide to Monster Girls (Yen Press), August 2023
    • Deb, Innocent (Dark Horse), November 2023
    • Siddarth, Short Game (Denpa), Late 2023

Most Wanted (But Not Yet Licensed) Manga

    • Deb, Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting (Kodansha)
    • Varun, Yawara! (Shogaku kan)
    • Siddarth, Fire! (Bungeishunju Ltd.)
    • Siddarth: Mikazuki Mao Can’t Choose A Gender (Shogakukan)
    • Deb, A Witch’s Life in Mongol (Akita Shoten)

Underrated, But Awesome

    • Brigid, Polar Bear Cafe (Seven Seas)

Sadly, a false fire alarm cut the “Underrated, But Awesome” category short, but fans who want the final list of manga can go to Deb’s Mangasplaining for all the juicy details

Miss any of our earlier SDCC ’23 coverage? Find it all here!


  1. Just wanna say the publisher listed for Kamen Rider Kuuga is a pirate site, the actual publisher is Titan Comics

    Also Yonezawa, Deb’s pick, is published by Mangamo and the full title is Yonezawa-sn Is Done Being Human

Comments are closed.