Top 10 Comedy Manga of 1998
1. Hunter x Hunter
Hunters are a special breed, dedicated to tracking down treasures, magical beasts, and even other men. But such pursuits require a license, and less than one in a hundred thousand can pass the grueling qualification exam. Those who do pass gain access to restricted areas, amazing stores of information, and the right to call themselves Hunters.
(Source: Shonen Jump)
2. Fruits Basket
Tohru Honda is a high school freshman who is having a serious bout of misfortune. Not only was she recently orphaned with the tragedy of her mother's death, but she also has no where to live and is currently residing in a tent! However, when her luck to seems to be at its worse, she meets the Sohma family - and is invited to stay with them in exchange for taking care of the household chores.
But it isn't long before Tohru discovers that the Sohmas have a deep secret. The family is cursed by the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac, and some of the children born into the Sohma family can be possessed by these spirits. When possessed, they cannot be "huggled" by the opposite sex, or they transform into their respective Zodiac animal!
However, this doesn't phase Tohru, who promises to keep their secret. She continues living with them, and her grave humbleness and thankfulness never wanes. As a result, they come to be very important people in her life, and the Sohmas begin to realize how very lucky they are to have her.
3. Hikaru no Go
After stumbling across a haunted Go board, irresponsible Hikaru Shindo discovers that the spirit of a master player has taken up residence in his consciousness. In his pursuit of the "Divine Move," Fujiwara-no-Sai awakens in Hikaru an untapped interest and genius for the game, and soon the schoolboy is chasing his own dream--defeating the famed Go prodigy Akira Toya!
Note: There are 197 chapters total in the original release.
Professor Kawato is the new japanese teacher in the ill-famed Futagotamaga high shool, whose baseball club is composed by thugs and bullies who have been suspended for a year from all school competitions for causing a brawl during an official match. Now that the supension is over, the only club's members left are interested only in women, smoking and doing nothing until, under professor Kawato guidance, they discover a new dream called Koshien. The road to Koshien is far from easy, as they have to get back in shape, to learn how to play baseball and to win everyone else mistrust, including the principal's and other professor's one, with only a few months available. Sweating and fighting, the baseball club will find his determination and strenght, as they proceed towards their dreams, while Kawato's enthusiastic and non-conventional ways slowly change the attitude of everyone near them. (Source: ANN)
5. Chrno Crusade
America in the Roaring 20s. On the surface, it's a positive, peaceful time after the violence of the Great War. But lurking in the shadows is a dark element ready to snatch that peace away. Sister Rosette Christopher, an exorcist working as a part of the Magdala Order, has a duty to fight the demons which appear and cause destruction. But along with her companion Chrono, she usually ends up causing more destruction than the demons themselves! On one particular mission, they meet a young girl with a beautiful voice named Azmaria, who is being targeted by her own stepfather. As Rosette and Chrno work to save her, more is revealed about the relationship between them. There is more to these two than meets the eye.
6. Trigun Maximum
Much of the damage attributed to "Vash" is caused by the activities of bounty hunters who are after the 60,000,000,000$$ (sixty billion "double dollars") reward on Vash's head for the destruction of a city called July. Vash does not clearly remember the destruction of July, and only wants "love and peace", as he puts it; though he is a gunfighter of inhuman skill, he uses his weapons only to save lives wherever he can.
As the series progresses, more is gradually learned about Vash's mysterious history and the history of the human civilization on Gunsmoke, the desert planet the series is set on. The series is often humorous in tone, but at the same time it involves very serious character development and especially in later episodes it becomes quite emotionally intense. Vash is occasionally joined by a priest, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, who is almost as good a gunfighter as Vash himself, and later is targeted by a band of assassins known as the Gung-Ho Guns for reasons which are mysterious at first.
Trigun evolves into a very serious discussion of the nature of morality, posing questions such as: What is the nature of morality? Can we judge different moral codes? If a person is forced to betray their moral code, does that betrayal invalidate that moral code, and can the person still try to live up to that moral code? Can the person find redemption from their wrongs, and if so, how?
7. Love Hina
Keitaro has had great difficulty getting into the university of his choice and no luck in meeting women. In a desperate effort to go into seclusion and study for his entrance exams, he volunteers to take over running his grandmother's hotel. His plans are ruined when he discovers that the "hotel" is actually an all-girls dormitory ... and some serious distractions ensue.
8. Shaman King
Yoh Asakura is a shaman--one of the gifted few who, thanks to training or natural talent, can channel spirits that most people can't even see. With the help of his fiance, Anna, Yoh is in training for the ultimate shaman sports event: the "Shaman Fight in Tokyo," the once-every-500-years tournament to see who can shape humanity's future and become the Shaman King. But unfortunately for Yoh, every shaman in the world is competing for the same prize...
The later serialized one-shots, Mappa Douji, Relax and the short manga, Funbari no Uta are also included in the volumes of Shaman King.
The side story Funbari no Uta, which lasts for five chapters, is set seven years after the end of the manga series and features Hana Asakura and his journey with his uncle Ryu to gather up the 5 elemental warriors
The side story Mappa-Douji shows Hao's childhood in his original life. It follows the story of Hao in feudal Japan through the death of his mother at the hands of humans, meeting his first spirit friend, and developing his mind reading powers and other advanced shamanic abilities. The side story Relax follows Hao gathering followers for the tournament years before it started.
Note: This entry is for the original printing of Shaman King. Please see Shaman King (Kanzenban Edition) for the chapters not included in this edition.
9. Ai Yori Aoshi
Despite her family's protests, Aoi Sakuraba decides that she is going to marry Kaoru Hanabishi, her love of eighteen years. Once he realizes that her intentions are genuine - and that she's not just trying to get him to reconcile with his estranged (and domineering) family - he begins to definitely warm up to the idea, too. What obstacles must the two overcome in order to be together?
10. The Devil Does Exist
High school is hard for Kayano. When she tries to confess her love to the kind but distant Yuichi, the school bully Takeru makes her life hell. But things get worse when Kayano's mother gets engaged to Takeru's father, the school principal!
Soon enough, instead of be in love with Yuichi, she falls in her love with her future brother, Takeru.
What will she do about this forbidden love?
* Volume 5 includes the short story: July
* Contains a short story in vol. 11 called Flying Rabbit:
Sayoko and her best friend Tsukasa don't know what real / true love is. But then Oota from Tokyo appears and there is a dramatic past about him. What will happen to them? (Source: MU)