Top 20 Selling Manga in the United States for December 2020

Here are the Top 20 selling manga in the United States for December 2020 according to NPD BookScan:

  1. My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge
  3. My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  4. My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  5. My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  6. Uzumaki (Hardcover) by Junji Ito
  7. Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun Volume 1 by Aidairo
  8. My Hero Academia Volume 24 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  9. Remina by Junji Ito
  10. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 2 by Koyoharu Gotouge
  11. Haikyu!! Volume 1 by Haruichi Furudate
  12. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajima Isayama
  13. My Hero Academia Volume 25 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  14. My Hero Academia Volume 5 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  15. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida
  16. Death Note Black Edition Volume 1 by Tsugumi Ohba
  17. Chainsaw Man Volume 2 by Tatsuki Fujimoto
  18. Naruto (3-in-1 Edition) Volume 1 by Masashi Kishimoto
  19. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 3 by Koyoharu Gotouge
  20. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 19 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Source: The Fandom Post

My Hero Academia Is #1 on the NPD BookScan Adult Graphics Novel List for December 2020

16 manga volumes appeared on NPD BookScan’s Top 20 adult graphic novels list for December 2020:

  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#1)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#2)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#3)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#4)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#6)
  • Uzumaki (Hardcover) by Junji Ito (#7)
  • Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun Volume 1 by Aidairo (#8)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 24 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#9)
  • Remina by Junji Ito (#10)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 2 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#11)
  • Haikyu!! Volume 1 by Haruichi Furudate (#12)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajima Isayama (#13)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 25 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#14)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 5 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#15)
  • Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida (#18)
  • Death Note Black Edition Volume 1 by Tsugumi Ohba (#20)

The BookScan rankings collect data sales from more than 16,000 locations including Barnes & Noble and other book chains, independent bookshops, and online purchases — but not sales at comic book stores, Walmart.com, and some other venues.

Source: The Fandom Post

Anime Spotlight: Haikyu!! To The Top

Haikyu!! To The Top is the fourth season of the anime adaptation of the Haikyu!! manga. The season was produced by Production I.G and was directed by Masako Sato. The first half of the season aired in Japan from January 11-April 4, 2020. The second half aired in Japan from October 3-December 19, 2020. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American license for Haikyu!! To The Top.

At the beginning of the season, Kageyama is invited to the All-Japan Youth Training Camp, which is a camp for promising 15 and 16-year-old players to participate in. Tsukishima, meanwhile, is invited to the first-year only prefecture-wide training camp. Hinata, in a fit of jealousy, sneaks into the first-year training camp. Of course, since he showed up uninvited, Hinata is not allowed to participate in the training camp as one of the attendees. Instead, he is allowed to stay and serve as a ball boy. At the All-Japan Youth Training Camp, Kageyama meets other talented players, and as is revealed a little later, Kageyama will encounter some of these players at the forthcoming Nationals tournament.

The first five episodes focus on the training camps. Over the course of this season, the audience gets to see how much Hinata picks up on and learns while serving as the ball boy at the first-year prefecture-wide training camp. While Kageyama shows growth as well, Hinata’s growth is more noticeable and is picked up on by the audience earlier in the season. But let’s be honest about something here. Between these two characters, Hinata had a lot more room for growth than Kageyama, so it would be easier to see Hinata’s character growth and development as a volleyball player. Near the end of the season, the audience also picks up on some growth that happened to Tsukishima through his training camp.

After Kageyama, Hinata, and Tsukishima return to their team, and they have a practice match against Date Tech. Both the Karasuno members who went to training camps and those who practiced on their own get to show off new skills or growth in their skills during this practice match. Not a lot of time is spent on this practice match, though, because within a couple of episodes, the story has moved on to Nationals.

Karasuno’s first match is against Tsubakihara Academy, and two episodes are focused on this match. It’s pretty close, but in the end, Karasuno pulls out the win. The focus is taken off of Karasuno for roughly one-and-a-half episodes, and the audience gets to see Nekoma and Fukurodani playing in their respective matches.

The final episode of the first half is just getting the match between Karasuno and Inarizaki High going when the season stopped for an expected three-month break. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the production, it was decided to delay the second half of Haikyu!! To The Top from the Summer 2020 anime season to the Fall 2020 anime season. While it couldn’t be helped, it was still a little frustrating to have to wait in order to see the matchip between Karasuno and Inarizaki High.

Most of the second half of Haikyu!! To The Top focuses on the match between Karasuno and Inarizaki High. The Miya twins, Atsumu and Osamu, are an important part of this section. This is one of those times where it’s so close that their matchup had to go into a third set in order to determine who would advance. However, sprinkled into this section are flashbacks that helped to develop new character such as the Miya twins and Inarizaki’s captain, Shinsuke Kita. In addition, we also got a break from the Karasuno and Inarizaki matchup to see Nekoma in their match against Hayakawa Technical High School. We only got two episodes for this one, but it was still rather intense. Poor Kenma was being targeted and wearing himself out, but I was happy to see him pull off what he needed to do in order to help his team win. Once I saw that Nekoma had won, I knew that Karasuno would have to somehow win their third set against Inarizaki.

The next six episodes focus on the battle between Karasuno and Inarizaki. And let me just say that this final set was intense and a major nail-biter. The scales kept tipping back and forth as it could have been either team’s game. Emotions ran high for me as a viewer, because one minute there would be a sense of euphoria as it looked like Karasuno would break through and win, but then a huge sense of disappointment as Inarizaki would block the momentum. The final play was such a nail-biter, and the tension for that final play was perfect. The sense of relief that came over me when Kageyama and Hinata succeeded at scoring that final point was something I had never experienced before while watching an anime.

Overall, Haikyu!! To The Top seemed to focus on the topic of growth. As I said earlier, Hinata’s growth was the most obvious. Kageyama and Tsukishima had some growth, but there other characters who displayed some growth during this season as well, such as Tanaka and Kinoshita from Karasuno, and Kenma from Nekoma. While there has been growth and change in some of the characters in the previous seasons, it felt like “growth” was a running theme in this season. I was very glad to see it, though.

The final episode gave the audience a perfect opportunity to destress and catch a breather after such intense episodes. It also set the stage for the upcoming “Battle of the Garbage Dump” at Nationals between Karasuno and Nekoma. Even though, as of this writing, I have no idea when there will be another season of Haikyu!!, I am still looking forward to whenever it comes out. It’s going to be interesting to see how the growth that Hinata and Kenma experienced during this season will come to fruition in the match that their teams will have against each other when the next season of Haikyu!! comes out.

Additional posts about Haikyu!!:

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 25 – “The Promised Land”

The episode opens with a recap of the winning play of the final set before heading into the opening credits. I thought this was a nice touch, and helped remind the audience of how the previous episode ended. It hit me when I saw this recap that Karasuno ultimately got the win because Kageyama and Hinata blocked the ball together. It’s kind of ironic, if you think about it. These two, who started out the series as rivals against each other, were the ones to make the play that brought about Karasuno’s victory in this nail-biting match. Of course, we then later get the humor of the two of them arguing over who made the block. They just can’t admit that they actually worked together on that play. LOL!

One of the aspects that really stood out to me here is how Inarizaki is humanized during this episode. When the players go to face their cheering squad, Atsumu mutters that the cheering squad should be booing them instead of applauding because they lost. Someone in the crowd yells at him something to the effect of, “A team played well should be applauded.” A short while later, we see the members of the team humanized as well, especially Kita (the stoic captain). He says some encouraging words to his teammates… and he smiles!

There’s a couple of brief scenes featuring Bokuto. First is him learning that Karasuno beat Inarizaki, the second is him talking with one of his teammates later and ultimately exuding his normal confidence that their team will beat everyone they come across during these matches.

We also see a scene of Nekoma watching the television coverage of the day’s matches, but of course, Kenma is playing one of his video games. It’s established in this episode that their next match is going to be against Karasuno, so they’re obviously talking about this. As we see in this episode, people are so blown away by what Karasuno has accomplished up to this point that they seem to be favored to win against Nekoma.

But a lot of this “cool down” episode focuses on Karasuno unwinding and unpacking what went down in the course of the sets against Inarizaki. We get to see them laughing and joking as they watch the television recap of their match. The third years also have a moment among themselves to talk amongst themselves and react to what happened. These various scenes had a good mixture of humor and seriousness to them, and this was definitely needed after how tense the past few episodes had been.

Right at the end, we see Coach Ukai talking with his grandfather, and both ultimately talking about the upcoming “Battle of the Garbage Dump” between Karasuno and Nekoma. I like how the younger Ukai makes it a point that the Nekoma team that’s playing now is not like the team his grandfather has held a grudge against all these years. The final scene, though, shows the sun is coming up on the next day, and the players from Karasuno and the players from Nekoma are lined up and meeting face to face outside. The best part is that this scene basically ends with Kenma and Hinata smiling. What a wonderful way to not only end this season, but to set up and get the audience hyped for what comes next.

As of this writing, though, we have no idea when the next season will be. However, I’m really looking forward to whenever it comes out, because I feel confident that the audience be in for a treat with the upcoming “Battle of the Garbage Dump.”

Additional post about Haikyu!!:

My Hero Academia Is #1 on the NPD BookScan Adult Graphics Novel List for November 2020

16 manga volumes appeared on NPD BookScan’s Top 20 adult graphic novels list for November 2020:

  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#1)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#2)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 25 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#4)
  • Haikyu!! Volume 1 by Haruichi Furudate (#5)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 18 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#6)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#7)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#8)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 24 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#9)
  • Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun Volume 1 by Aidairo (#10)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#11)
  • Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida (#12)
  • Uzumaki (Hardcover) by Junji Ito (#13)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 5 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#14)
  • Haikyu!! Volume 2 by Haruichi Furudate (#15)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 2 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#16)
  • Berserk Deluxe Volume 6 by Kentaro Miura (#20)

The BookScan rankings collect data sales from more than 16,000 locations including Barnes & Noble and other book chains, independent bookshops, and online purchases — but not sales at comic book stores, Walmart.com, and some other venues.

Source: The Fandom Post

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 21 – “Hero”

The first half of the episode sees Karasuno making some surprise plays against Inarizaki, but there’s also an important section that focuses on Nishinoya and Kinoshita. Kinoshita is given a chance to go out on the court and serve, but unfortunately, Inarizaki scores easily with that serve. Poor Kinoshita feels like such a loser, especially when he compares himself to the other players, even the other usual benchwarmers. He feels like everyone else has done something epic during nationals, but that he hasn’t. But even though I hardly know Kinoshita, I did feel bad for him as he was leaving the court. The depiction of his disappointment resonated with me. A little later, though, Kinoshita calls out something helpful to Nishinoya, which helps him make the right play to score against Inarizaki and stop Atsumu Miya’s serves from coming. Nishinoya acknowledges this, and I thought this was great. While Kinoshita himself didn’t make the play, he was able to indirectly affect the set by his actions.

As part of this, we get a little bit of character development for Nishinoya. He talks about when he was younger and how he used to be scared of a lot of things, and how his grandfather taught him not to be afraid. We get some flashback scenes of when Nishinoya was a little kid, and he was so adorable. Awww! But, after seeing these flashbacks, I better understand why Nishinoya is so intense. Let’s just say that his grandpa had a major role in shaping him into the character he is now.

The second half primarily focuses on Aran having a flashback on how he met the Miya twins and his observations of the two of them and the development of their personalities in volleyball over the years. While we had seen some competitiveness against each other in some previous flashbacks, these ones really showed just how truly competitive these twins truly are against each other. For these two to actually work as well together as they do on the court is actually quite amazing.

Near the end of the episode, though, I did notice a continuity error. In the last play, we see several members of Karasuno rushing toward the net as Kageyama is about to set the ball, and Hinata is clearly shown running toward the net. I realized that this was re-used footage, but I hadn’t realized the continuity error this created until we see Yamaguchi leaving the court… and he’s being replaced by Hinata. Whoops! Hinata couldn’t have been on and off the court at the same time. Whoever decided to reuse that shot from earlier in the episode hadn’t thought about this, apparently. Perhaps they were cutting it too close to the deadline and threw that in to save time, but this glaring continuity error made the end of the episode a little messy. Outside of this continuity error, though, the rest of the episode was actually rather well done.

Additional posts about Haikyu!!:

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 11 – "A Chance to Connect"

The episode backtracked long enough to show the quick that Kageyama and Hinat pulled off right at the end of the previous episode. I may have forgotten to mention this last week, but I really liked how the animation in here was done in a way to illustrate Kageyama’s thinking as he finally adjusts to the size and layout of the court.

After this, the momentum of the set starts moving in Karasuno’s direction. During this set, a pinch setter for Tsubakihara Academy is introduced. The poor kid looks like he’s so nervous that he’s about to throw up. He surprises Karasuno by trying to do an underhand serve. Unfortunately, he messes up and it beans the back of the head of one of his teammates instead. And poor Hinata. He’s trying to use his instincts to go after the ball, but misjudges. However, the misjudges allow him to body slam the ball for someone else to hit over the net. Hinata gets made fun of a little bit over this, but he later proves that he’s a good attacker. But after a well-fought set, Karasuno comes out on top.

We actually get to see the entirety of the second set during this episode. The nervous pinch setter comes out again during this set and uses his underhanded serve… and he’s successful with it. It throws off Karasuno so much, that it almost looks like the momentum will swing back to Tsubakihara Academy’s favor. The last play of the second set is very intense, and it’s hard to tell which way it’s going to go. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I will say that Sugawara was pretty awesome during that last play.

In this episode, we also get to see a couple of the third-years’ former teammates watching them at nationals. We get to see brief flashbacks of when they were on the team with Sugawara, Daichi, and Asahi. It’s been nice throughout the series getting to see glimpses of when the current third-years were starting out on the team as first-years.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next for Karasuno High School’s team.

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Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 10 – “Battle Lines”

The first half of this episode focuses on getting to the stadium and gearing up for the start of Karasuno’s first match. At the bus station, there’s a bag mix-up for Hinata (a kid with the same bag accidentally grabs Hinata’s). When Hinata gets to the stadium, he discovers he has the wrong bag, and is missing his shoes and his phone. Yamaguchi calls Hinata’s phone and talks to the kid and his mother. The mother agrees to meet at he gym they had just been at to make the exchange, and Kiyoko says she’ll go there and back.

On Kiyoko’s trip there and back, we get a little more backstory on her and how she came to become Karasuno’s manager. Not only that, we learn that the team hadn’t had a manager for a while when she came in, so she had to learn a lot on her own. This really explains why Kiyoko was so insistent on finding someone she could train before she graduated. I really like how this season of Haikyu!! has been giving the girls a chance to shine, especially Kiyoko.

The second half finally see Karasuno beginning their first match, and they are up against Tsubakihara Academy. Before the match starts, Coach Ukai comments that this court is much different from what the team is used to, and it’s going to take them a bit to adjust to it. No truer words had ever been spoken, because we see this happening during their first set. The one who has the most work to adjust is Kageyama, and we see him make several mistakes due to misjudging distances. Over the course of the match that we see in this episode, he works at adjusting, and finally getting it right on with the very last play we see in the episode. I really liked how the animation is done in a couple of the shots as we see Kageyama puzzling out how to adjust his plays to his new surroundings.

Yamaguchi also gets to shine during this part of the episode as well. I’m sure that what he accomplishes helps to build up his self-confidence, especially after how he had been feeling down about himself earlier in the season.

So far, I don’t really have a strong impression of Tsubakihara Academy’s team. There’s one guy who seems to be the nervous type that can be persuaded to calm down through having silver linings pointed out to him. Outside of that, no one else has really made much of an impression yet. I also can’t recall any of their names. Hopefully by the end of the next episode, this team will make a stronger impression.

Additional posts about Haikyu!!:

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 5 – “Hunger”

This episode sees the two training camps wrapping up. But the more important things seem to happen right near the end of Kageyama’s camp. We see Kageyama playing as a spiker and actually doing quite well at it. One of the other guys at his camp thinks he would be a better spiker than a setter. Kageyama disagrees, of course, but he was doing great at it. And after being with and playing with such high caliber players during this camp, how will Kageyama adjust to returning to his own team? And how could this potentially affect Kageyama and Hinata? But, then again, Hinata was observing and picking up on things while serving as a ball boy at the first-year camp. Perhaps both characters can bring something new and different to their combo.

We also get a brief scene of the rest of the Karasuno team practicing. Yamaguchi is still working on his serve, but he sees that someone else on the team (who isn’t one of the main leads) is improving their float serve. It looks like Yamaguchi’s got some more work ahead of him in order to improve his technique.

Near the end of the episode, we see Kageyama and Hinata fired up and returning to Karasuno to practice. It was great to see their banter and their rivalry. I’ve missed this over the past few episodes.

It’s also revealed at the end of the episode that Karasuno has a practice match lined up with Date Tech. And from the preview, it looks like this will be taking place in the next episode.

It was stressed several times during this episode that the Spring Tournament is coming up in less than a month. So I’m curious to see whether the Spring Tournament will begin before the end of this cour, or if this is how the second cour will start.

With some of the characters off on their own, it changed the feel and dynamics of Haikyu!! somewhat. But hopefully with everyone from Karasuno being back together, the feel of the series will be heading back more toward what viewers are familiar with.

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Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 4 – “Take It Easy”

This episode sees a better balance between the first-years training camp and the training camp that Kageyama is at when compared to previous episodes.

At the first-years training camp, Tsukishima invites Hinata to participate in some blocking practice, since they’re not in the official training camp portion of the day. At first, it seems like Tsukishima may feel kind of sorry for Hinata, but we later hear in his thoughts that he wants to do this with Hinata so he can practice against Hinata’s spikes and technique. Admittedly, this is a selfish action, but it does have the benefit of allowing Hinata to participate in some form, even though it’s not in an official capacity.

As Hinata does his ball boy duties, he’s also observing the various participants as they go through their practices and drills. We see him picking up on things about the various players as he does this. I honestly believe that Hinata is starting to gain some better knowledge and detail about volleyball and the various players that he could be up against in the future.

There’s a really tall guy who’s still relatively new to volleyball at the first-years training camp, and he’s struggling to some degree. At one point, he even comments that he wished that Hinata had been invited instead of him. I love how Hinata reacted, and how Hinata was encouraging his guy. During a two-on-two practice drill, Hinata yells out to this guy to “take it easy,” and how the coaches realize that this is sound advice for someone who has been flailing on the court during the chaos of the drill. Hinata’s positivity and encouragement for someone he really didn’t know was awesome to see.

At Kageyama’s training camp, we start getting to know a character named Sakusa. It turns out he comes across as kind of intimidating, but he’s also a major germophobe (which is best shown by his constantly wearing a medical mask over his nose and mouth). We also get to see at least one of the practices that this camp is having, and how Kageyama is adapting to practicing with spikers other than Hinata.

While we didn’t get to see any of the other Karasuno players in this episode, I don’t think that adding any scenes of them would have enhanced this episode any. It was definitely a wise choice to focus on the two training camps. However, while we saw a little more of Kageyama’s camp this time around, I hope we’ll get opportunities to see more of what’s happening at his training camp over the next couple of episodes.

OK, was it just me, or did some of the animation in this episode feel a little “off” somehow? There were some shots in here that just didn’t seem to quite be up to Haikyu!‘s usual standards.

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