What is the best manga you've ever read?
i thought about this and it’s definitely PHOENIX by Osamu Tezuka. an unfinished story cycle where each volume takes place in a different time period, from the distant past to the distant future, with some recurring characters (like, reincarnations) and the constant appearance of the titular magical bird. 12 volumes were finished at the time of his death in 1989. Not every volume is super amazing but the good ones are REALLY REALLY GREAT and as a whole project it is so deliriously wonderful, even in its unfinished state. It feels like he was only a few volumes away from finishing, but the fact that it points towards a grand statement without quite getting there honestly is thematically appropriate and strangely satisfying.
I guess when I think about it, it’s probably the main comics influence on my current book, Seconds, which is otherwise inspired more by fiction I read as a kid (Diana Wynne Jones and stuff).