The 3 most important mangaka for Japan, according to Yoshiyuki Tomino

One Piece. Image courtesy Crunchyroll
One Piece. Image courtesy Crunchyroll /

When the anime community thinks of the talented mangaka (manga authors) who we have had the fortune of knowing in our lifetimes, many different people may come to mind.

For example, if you ask someone who loves shojo, they may say someone like Bisco Hatori or Natsuki Takaya may come to mind, the two powerhouses wrote Ouran Host High School Club and Fruits Basket, respectively.

These manga authors changed the game, as they rewrote the shojo genre to include different mature topics, such as identity, sexuality, and, in some cases, trauma from losing a loved one. Because of these two authors, shojo is no longer just limited to romance and relationships.


The same sentiment can be held for other mangaka, including (but not limited to) Naruto's Masashi Kishimoto, Attack on Titan's Hajime Isayama, and Jujutsu Kaisen's Gege Akutami.

All these authors have created shounen masterpieces that left amazing impressions on us all. Some would even go on to say that these three mangaka are the new leaders of shounen.

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 - Crunchyroll
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 - Crunchyroll /

In addition to all these talented individuals, some would argue that there are other mangaka who some would say changed the world. In fact, according to Mobile Suit Gundam, Yoshiyuki Tomino, there are three manga authors so integral to the manga world that the entirety of Japan would not be the same without them.

Yoshiyuki Tomino picks the most impactful mangaka

As reported by Ricchippos, Yoshiyuki Tomino was more than eager to give flowers to a few mangaka who he believes created outstanding manga stories that are second to none. Here's who they are!

Akira Toriyama

The late Akira Toriyama's impact will be felt for several generations to come, as his creation, Dragon Ball, taught everyone everything they know today about creating a powerful protagonist who seeks to become the very best in the entire universe.

For decades, Goku, Dragon Ball's protagonist, has been the standard because, after Goku, there were so many stories about an overly persistent character who would never give up on becoming unfathomably strong. Even after Goku's peak in popularity, the anime community is still comparing many new generation protagonists to Goku, as Toriyama's creation is thought to be the epitome of strength.

Dragon Ball Super: SUPER HERO. Image courtesy Crunchyroll /

The manga also told a great story of how far someone is willing to go to protect everything and everyone they love, which is an admirable trait seen in many shounen manga stories we have with us today and will soon have in the future.

Simply put, Akira Toriyama wrote the shounen manga blueprint and he will forever be remembered as the mangaka who rewrote (or some would even say, implemented) power systems as we know them.

Osamu Tezuka

They don't call Osamu Tezuka the "father of manga" for no reason!

Many of the manga and anime styles that you see today were inspired by Tezuka, as he is one of the founding fathers of the famous Japanese art. You can see Tezuka's hand in many things that we have with us today such as the infamous anime wide eye or exaggerated emotions we love to see. Even making manga more geared to adults through less youthful animation and themes (gekiga) was because of Tezuka.

Tezuka got his esteemed title through the creation of certain gekiga titles like Apollo's Song and Black Jack. However, he is widely known for Astro Boy, a manga that dared to question what would happen if humans and robots co-exist.

New York Comic Con 2021 - Day 1
New York Comic Con 2021 - Day 1 / Bryan Bedder/GettyImages

From the story down to the fashion, you'll find that Tezuka's Astroy Boy has influenced people from all walks of life. However, all influences pale in comparison to the influence Tezuka left on Japan.

Because of Tezuka, manga gained a lot of popularity and began to be something that people took as seriously as other forms of art like poetry or painting. Because of Tezuka, Japan has a unique creation that no other nation can ever lay claim to. Because of Tezuka, we enjoy manga and anime.

His legacy will never be forgotten.

Eiichiro Oda

Last but not least is Eiichiro Oda, the creator behind one of the longest-running manga stories of all time — One Piece.

Oda is a staple in the anime community for many reasons, but the most famous of these reasons is that he set the pace for those who wanted to create something that had a longer life to it but would never decline in quality. After all, it's been over twenty years since the debut of One Piece, and die-hard fans have been tuning in every single new chapter.

The same goes for fans of the show, as even after 1000 episodes, they are still more than eager to see what else Oda has up his sleeve because he never fails to disappoint his audience.

One Piece 1000 Commemorative Battle of Onigashima Visual - Photo Courtesy: Funimation
One Piece 1000 Commemorative Battle of Onigashima Visual - Photo Courtesy: Funimation /

Many of the new generation of shounen manga simply cannot run as long as long as Oda's creation. Be it because of expenses or the tedious effort needed to write that much, Oda is an anomaly in the manga world and has set a precedent that we have yet to see mimicked in the current generation of manga.

Manga isn't the only place where you'll find Yoshiyuki Tomino in awe, as he believes that anime films are also a force to be reckoned with, all because of one super famous director!

Spirited Away - Studio Ghibli /

Hayao Miyazaki, founder of Studio Ghibli, gave us so many films that have literally rewritten the entertainment and animation industry as we know it today. Because of his marvelous works, including (but absolutely not limited to) Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo, we get to be transported to wonderful worlds where our imaginations can fly.

Miyazaki's most recent work, The Boy and the Heron, secured him his second Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It's because of this feat that Tomino feels that the standard of anime and manga has gotten even more impressive and challenges the upcoming manga authors to dream big.

"It’s important not to treat young creators lightly," Tomino expressed. "You cannot surpass One Piece or Miyazaki unless you put in a genuine effort. Let’s all put in a lot of effort to defeat Miyazaki! I’m at my breaking point."

Tomino finished his declaration off with a robust statement that we believe no one would disagree with: "Anime and movies itself are evolving because of Miyazaki’s animation."

Howl's Moving Castle - Studio Ghibli /

Tomino didn't miss the mark when he named these heavy hitters as some of Japan's most influential mangaka. However, the only person he missed was himself, as it was because of Mobile Suit Gundam that the genre of mecha became widely known.

Nevertheless, like Yoshiyuki Tomino, Akira Toriyama, Osamu Tezuka, Eiichiro Oda, and Hayao Miyazaki, somewhere out there, there is another mangaka writing a piece that is going to change the manga world as we know it. We can't wait to see if Tomino will add them to his list when the time comes.

Next. The Boy and the Heron re-release. Missed it the first time? Studio Ghibli's The Boy and the Heron to head back to theaters. dark