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2009 Readers Poll: Best New One-Shot Manga

About.com Readers Pick 2009's Best New Single Volume Manga

By , About.com Guide

Sometimes great things come in small packages – or at least single volumes. These standalone graphic novels offered memorable memoirs, suspenseful dramas, romantic short stories, and visits to strange and wonderful worlds. But only one could come out on top, and that one-shot was GoGo Monster by Taiyo Matsumoto.

See more of the best manga of 2009:

WINNER - GoGo Monster

GoGo Monster by Taiyo Matsumoto from VIZ Media© 2000 Taiyou MATSUMOTO/Shogakukan

Author and Artist: Taiyo Matsumoto
Publisher: VIZ Signature / VIZ Media
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First grader Yuki Tachibana says he can see and talk to 'monsters' -- but are these creatures just a figment of a disturbed child's imagination, or is he the only one who can sense the impending war between two factions of supernatural beings who are haunting his school?

2nd place - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time© 2006 Ranmaru KOTONE © Yasutaka TSUTSUI © TOKIKAKE Film Partners

Author and Artist: Ranmaru Kotone
Authors: Yasutaka Tsutsui (original story), TOKIKAKE Film Partners (original concept), Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (charcter designs)
Publisher: Bandai Entertainment
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After escaping a near death experience from a train accident, Makoto discovers that she can leap forward and backwards in time. At first she uses her abilities to ace her tests and avoid embarrassing mistakes, but Makoto soon learns that there's a price to be paid when you mess around with the flow of time and the workings of the human heart.

3rd place - A Drifting Life

A Drifting Life© Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Author and Artist: Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
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With A Drifting Life, Yoshihiro Tatsumi recounts his life-long pursuit of a career as a professional manga artist during some of the most tumultuous and formative years of contemporary Japanese history. This 800+ page memoir takes readers from this manga maverick's early years from his childhood dreams of manga stardom and his fateful meeting with Osamu Tezuka, to the heady days when he helped found the gekiga ("dramatic pictures") movement.

4th place (tie) - Swallowing the Earth

Swallowing the EarthTIKYUWO NOMU by Osamu Tezuka © by Tezuka Productions

Author and Artist: Osamu Tezuka
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
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Zephyrus is a bewitchingly beautiful woman who drives men mad with desire. As generations of men fall under her spell, Zephyrus leaves a trail of broken hearts, minds and bodies. That is, until she meets a man who is immune to her charms, a drunkard named Gohonmatsu Seki. Who is Zephyrus, what are her reasons behind her actions? Has Gohonmatsu captured the heart of this ice queen, or will her decades-long reign of seduction and destruction continue?

4th place (tie) - Heaven's Will

Heaven's Will by Satoru Takamiya from Shojo Beat Manga / VIZ Media© 2006 Satoru TAKAMIYA / Shogakukan Inc.

Author and Artist: Satoru Takamiya
Publisher: Shojo Beat / VIZ Media
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Sadou Mikuzu is a shy and skittish girl; but then again being able to see ghosts and demons can do that to a teen. When she stumbles into the local haunted house, she meets Seto, a pretty blonde in a Gothic Lolita black lace dress and Kagari, Seto's dark and sullen male companion. Mikuzu eventually finds out that Seto is an exorcist and Kagari is a vampire. On top of that, Seto is really a guy who cross-dresses for fun, and for darker reasons.

5th place (tie) - Castle of Dreams

Castle of Dreams by Masami Tsuda from TokyoPop© Masami Tsuda / Hakusensha, Inc.

Author and Artist: Masami Tsuda
Publisher: TokyoPop
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From the creator of Kare Kano comes a collection of short stories filled with wistful fantasy and romance. The title story is set in the 18th century and it focuses on a young man named Louie who lives in a small house with his love, Jennifer. But a chance encounter with a gentleman who has lost a child forces Louie to weigh his love for Jennifer against a lifetime of loneliness.

5th place (tie) - Only One Wish

Only One Wish© Mia Ikumi

Author and Artist: Mia Ikumi
Publisher: Del Rey Manga
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According to the legend, if you look in the mirror at midnight, you'll see an email address. Send your wish to that address and your wish come true. Four girls get their wishes granted by a young witch, but are will the girls' fondest wishes become their biggest regrets?

6th place (tie) - Red Snow

Red Snow© Susumu Katsumata

Author and Artist: Susumu Katsumata
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
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A traveling monk and a village of lonely women. A young woman and a tree spirit. A young bride goes mad after being sexually assaulted. A water spirit wrestles with the drunk husband of an abused woman. All of these characters and more give a glimpse of rural Japan of the recent past with these gekiga fables for grown-ups.

6th place (tie) - The History of the West Wing

The History of the West Wing© Sun Jiayu, Guo Guo / XIAO PAN

Author: Sun Jiayu
Artist: Guo Guo
Publisher: Yen Press
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Chen has been wandering the countryside, pondering the mistakes made in his past, and his purposeless future. Then he catches a glimpse of Pianpian, the lovely daughter of a government official, and his life is forever changed. Can he turn his life around and be deemed worthy to wed Pianpian, or will Pianpian's demanding mother dash this young couple's hopes of fulfilling their romantic yearnings?

7th place - Genghis Khan: To The Ends of Earth and Sea

Genghis Khan: To The Ends of Earth and Sea© 2008 Nakaba Higurashi, Seiichi Morimura © 'Genghis Khan' Film Partners / FLEX COMIX, Inc.

Author: Nakaba Higurashi
Artist: Seiichi Morimura
Publisher: CMX Manga
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Before he became the warrior king who would unite Mongolia, Genghis Khan was a young man named Temujin. Genghis Khan: To the Ends of Earth and Sea tells the tale of Temujin's youth, his friendship with his blood brother Jamuqa and how the two young men become rivals on the battlefield, fighting for the destiny of Mongolia.

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