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The Best Funko Pops for Fans of Japanese Anime and Manga

Japanese anime and manga have captured the hearts and imaginations of fans across the globe. Iconic characters like Goku, Sailor Moon, Naruto, and more have become deeply ingrained in pop culture. As the popularity of anime and manga continues to grow, so too does the world of anime merchandising.

Funko Pops have become one of the most popular ways for fans to celebrate their favorite anime and manga. The cute chibi-style Funko Pop vinyl figures make perfect desk accessories or additions to any anime fan‘s collection. With new figures released regularly, it can be hard to keep up with which ones are considered the best and most valuable for collectors.

In this guide, we‘ll highlight the top Funko Pops that any fan of classic or modern Japanese anime and manga should consider adding to their collection.

How We Chose the Best Anime and Manga Funko Pops

With hundreds of anime and manga Funko Pops available, narrowing down the selection was no easy task. We looked at several factors to settle on the best options:

  • Popularity of the character/series: The most iconic, well-known anime and manga tend to have Pops that hold more collectible value. Popular series like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, My Hero Academia ranked highly.

  • Rarity: Funko Pops that were exclusive convention releases or limited editions are harder to find, making them more valuable to collectors.

  • Detailing: Pops that capture the essence of the character with colors, props, and other detailing are more appealing.

  • Popularity with collectors: Using aggregate data from eBay sales, Pop Price Guide, and feedback from collectors‘ communities and forums.

  • Personal passion: As anime fans ourselves, we factored in our own love for certain characters and series.

Using this criteria, we present our picks for the top Funko Pops to satisfy any anime and manga collector.

Best Overall: Kurama (#97)

Series: Naruto Shippuden

Release Date: 2015

Why It‘s Great: This glow-in-the-dark 6-inch figure of Naruto‘s Nine-Tailed Demon Fox is stunning. As a 2015 GameStop exclusive, it was limited from the start. The character‘s imposing size and glowing eyes look amazing in a dark room. It‘s vaulted and fetches prices over $400 in mint condition.

Runner Up: Moon Black Lady (#368)

Series: Sailor Moon

Release Date: 2018

Why It‘s Great: Part of the Sailor Moon line‘s first wave, this Summer 2018 Convention exclusive perfectly captures Black Lady‘s unique look. With her dramatic hair and staff, it encapsulates the character‘s vain persona. As a limited edition, its value has soared over $200.

Best Recent Release: Tanjiro Kamado (#1124)

Series: Demon Slayer

Release Date: 2022

Why It‘s Great: The runaway success of Demon Slayer has made its Funkos hugely popular. This standard Tanjiro figure captures the character‘s kind-hearted resolve. With clean lines and vivid colors, it‘s an exceptional representation of the anime‘s art style. It sells steadily in the $50 range.

Most Stylized: All Might (#388)

Series: My Hero Academia

Release Date: 2019

Why It‘s Great: Funko got creative with this silver-age gray-scale variant of All Might exclusive to reopened Toys-R-Us stores. The metallic sheen and exaggerated muscular physique capture All Might‘s public bravado and make this a standout piece. As a limited edition, it sells for over $100.

Best for Fans of Classic Anime: Vegeta (#9)

Series: Dragon Ball Z

Release Date: 2014

Why It‘s Great: It‘s hard to beat the iconic look of Dragon Ball Z‘s prideful Saiyan prince. This standard Vegeta Pop perfectly encapsulates his tough persona. While not rare, Vegeta remains popular due to Dragon Ball Z‘s enduring legacy. Mint boxes sell around $50.

Best Companion Piece: Edward & Alphonse Elric (#390, #391)

Series: Fullmetal Alchemist

Release Date: 2018

Why It‘s Great: These standard Edward and Alphonse Pops are must-haves for any Fullmetal Alchemist fan. With Ed‘s flowing red cloak and Al‘s hulking armor shell, they represent the duo‘s visual motifs. Sold together around $50, they capture the brotherly bond central to the anime‘s heart.

Most Adorable: Chopper (#1090)

Series: One Piece

Release Date: 2020

Why It‘s Great: This standard Chopper Pop oozes cuteness! The furry texture, pink hat, and happy expression capture Chopper‘s innocence perfectly. As one of One Piece‘s most beloved characters, demand for Chopper is high among collectors who find him adorable. Mint Pops run about $30.

Best Funko Shop Exclusive: Dabi (#637)

Series: My Hero Academia

Release Date: 2019

Why It‘s Great: As a Funko Shop exclusive, this stylized Dabi is harder to find than common Pops. With his marbled blue hair and tattered outfit, it encapsulates Dabi‘s mysterious villainous flair. Prices typically exceed $100 for mint boxes, and value continues rising.

Best Vaulted: Planet Arlia Vegeta (#10)

Series: Dragon Ball Z

Release Date: 2014

Why It‘s Great: The holy grail for anime Funko collectors is this ultra rare Planet Arlia Vegeta. As a 1-day-only con exclusive with little production, it‘s priced in the thousands. Its metallic blue finish gives it an alien look fitting of Vegeta‘s early Dragon Ball Z appearance. Finding one for sale is near impossible.

Best Budget-Friendly: Eren Jaeger (#15)

Series: Attack on Titan

Release Date: 2015

Why It‘s Great: Despite Attack on Titan‘s popularity, its common Pop vinyls are suprisingly affordable. This standard Eren Jaeger can regularly be found mint for around $10 – $15. For an iconic anime protagonist, it‘s a steal to find Eren readily available at cheap prices.

Best Variant: Deku Hero Costume (#872)

Series: My Hero Academia

Release Date: 2019

Why It‘s Great: Funko has made many Pops of My Hero Academia‘s Deku, but this Entertainment Earth exclusive armored costume version really pops. With metallic paint, a determined expression, and shots of his glowing energy, this stylized take on Deku is amazing. It trades around $30 mint.

For both casual fans and devoted collectors, here are some tips to build the perfect anime Funko Pop collection:

Pick characters and shows you love – Ultimately you‘ll appreciate and enjoy the pieces more if they represent series you‘re passionate about. Avoid buying Pops just for potential value.

Prioritize exclusives – Conventions exclusives, retailer exclusives, and limited editions tend to increase in value most over time. Stick to commons for newer and under the radar series.

Consider condition – Mint, unopened boxes will be worth far more. Damage will seriously hurt value. Inspect boxes and protect your Pops.

Research thoroughly – Use Pop Price Guide, eBay trends, and collectors forums to research value and avoid overpaying. Knowledge is power.

Cherish the hunt – Finding that ultra rare, vaulted Pop can be a chase. But don‘t stress too much and keep your passion foremost.

Display proudly – Ultimately Funko Pops show off your fandom. Find fun ways to show off your Pops through shelves, cases or creative arrangements.

Once you‘ve built your anime Funko Pop collection, proper storage and maintenance is crucial:

  • Store in cool, dry conditions away from direct sunlight to avoid fading and warping.

  • Keep them dust-free and clean – accumulation of dust can damage paint jobs. Gently wipe with a soft cloth.

  • Avoid humidity that could lead to mold growth. Desiccant packs can help absorb excess moisture.

  • Display out of reach from pets or small children who may knock them over and cause damage.

  • Do not remove them from boxes as this severely hurts their value. Leave original packaging pristine.

  • Invest in protective pop stack cases or acrylic blocks to prevent shelf wear and damage during moves.

  • Consider insurance coverage for high-value pops – your homeowner‘s policy may already cover them!

The right display can make your prized anime Funko Pops the centerpiece of any room:

Floating Shelves – Staggered floating shelves properly highlight each Pop while keeping them safely separated.

Bookcases – Classic built-in or free-standing bookcases with adjustable shelves fit collections of all sizes.

Wall Risers – Clear plastic risers that attach to walls provide cheap floating shelf options.

Curio Cabinets – Display cabinets with glass doors keep Pops dust-free while showing off your rare finds.

Rotation Displays – Lazy Susan or multi-tiered spinning displays let you showcase the full 360-degree view.

Funko Pop Stacks – Special acrylic cases create fun layered "stack" displays.

Themed Setups – Arrange anime Pops with complementary props – Dragon Ball Pops with dragon balls, Naruto Pops with headbands, etc.

With limitless possibilities, use your imagination to show off your anime Pop collection with style!

We hope this guide inspired you to begin or grow an anime Funko Pop collection with fantastic figures of your favorite characters. The world of anime merchandising can be overwhelming. But by focusing on popular and rare releases of beloved series, you‘re sure to treasure these vinylfigures for years to come.

There are always great new anime Pops on the horizon. Stay tuned for Funko‘s upcoming releases from hot series like Spy x Family, Chainsaw Man, and Demon Slayer‘s continued success. Satisfy your inner anime fan and enjoy this fun and engaging hobby!