The American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association has released its top ten list of graphic novels for teens in 2012; this top ten list comes from a longer list called “Great Graphic Novels for Teens.”
Two manga titles made it into the top ten list for 2012: A Bride’s Story Volume 1 by Kaoru Mori and Wandering Son Volume 1 by Takako Shimura.
In addition, five more manga titles were included in the “Great Graphic Novels for Teens” list: Gandhi: A Manga Biography by Kazuki Ebine, Blue Exorcist Volume 1 by Kazue Kato, Animal Land Volume 1 by Makoto Raiku, Kamisama Kiss Volumes 1 and 2 by Julietta Suzuki, and The Story of Saiunkoku Volumes 1 and 2 by Sai Yukino and Kairi Yura.
Each book on this list is recommended for readers ages 12-18; to be included on the list, the book must meet the criteria of being “both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens.”
The 2011 list included 15 Japanese manga titles, with only one of those titles being featured in the top ten. The 2010 list includes 19 Japanese manga, with three manga titles in the top ten. The 2009 list included nine manga titles, with three manga being in the top ten.
It’s interesting to note how much harder it seems to have become for manga to make this list, especially the top ten portion of it. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but it does seem like this apparent decline seems to coincide with the trend of manga and anime companies going out of business. I certainly hope that next year will see an increase in manga representation on this list.