Are you ready to begin reading manga?
We’re here for you. Before diving into the vast, fascinating realm of Japanese graphic novels, a.k.a manga, we’ll go over the essentials you need to be aware of.
How do you define manga?
Manga is an umbrella term for various comic books and graphic novels originally produced and published in Japan. However, you’ll barely be able to tell once you’ve mastered the art of reading.
In Japan, manga is published monthly or weekly, chapter-by-chapter, through manga magazines, such as the Weekly Shonen Jump (which has been circulated since). If a manga series is well-loved enough, the chapters are then compiled and released in volumes referred to as tankobonvolumes which typically contain only a few chapters of the story.
The majority of the series are lengthy and may span several volumes. It would be best if you kept this in mind when beginning the new series, as it is crucial to go through the books in the right sequence. This is a lot easier for smaller series, like Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon, which only has around 12 volumes, as opposed to more long-running series like Akira’s Dragon Ball, which has 42 volumes.
What is the difference between anime and manga?
When most people hear the word ‘anime,’ they think of adaptations of manga series, such as Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon. Both television shows boosted the popularity of Japanese anime in the West when they aired on American TV during the 1990s. Animation is the art of. This is the distinction.
What is the best place to start?
The most important thing to remember about manga is there is something for everyone. Whether you like high school romantic comedies or high-fantasy epics, there is a manga for you.
It is primarily classified by the reader first, and then the GenreGenre. For instance, the CLAMP’s Cardcaptor Sakura is Shojo (young females) “magical girl” (sub-genre) manga. However, this doesn’t mean that a male reader can’t enjoy the manga. We’d need a separate blog post to address the huge number of subgenres and existing genres. If you’re seeking more details on manga-subgenres and genres, look at Beginner’s Guide to Manga 3: Genres and Subgenres. Read our useful guide for additional ideas!
1. Shonen-Manga is designed for tweens and teenage teens and tweens.
The most common themes are: Action, Adventure, Friendship, and Coming of Age Shonen manga usually features a lot of comedy, action, and a sense of coming-of-age friendship between the characters. Manga Weekly Shonen Jump and its American counterpart, Shonen Jump, have regularly published the most popular shonen-manga in the past 30 years, such as Akira’s Dragon Ball and Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto and Shonen Jump’s latest mega-hit, Kohei’s My Hero Academia.
Their imprints for English-language versions will usually include their Shonen Jump logo. Covers for the shonen series typically have male characters in various action poses.
2. Shojo-Manga is specifically targeted toward tweens and teens.
Common Themes: Romance, Drama, Coming of Age
The emphasis here is less about action and more on emotion, drama and, in most cases, romanticized romance. Similar to shonen manga, Shojo manga typically tells the story of coming of age for the young protagonist. It is easy to identify shojo covers using pretty pinks, flowers, or other cutesy illustrations.
The stories they tell are as diverse as other genres. For example, AiYazawa’s Nanais technically classified as a shojo-based series since a shojo publication publishes it. However, the story follows two women in their teens who navigate through their relationships, sexual relations, and drugs on their way to achieving their goals.
It is a far cry from the CLAMP series Cardcaptor Sakura, about a 10-year-old girl with magical powers who must protect her town from monsters. Naoko Takeuchi’s Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, a.k.a. Sailor Moon, is possibly the most famous instance of a shojo-based series. It is the story of Usagi Tsukino, a normal teenager who learns she is the reincarnation of the famous Sailor Moon, a defender of justice and love from the now destroyed Moon Kingdom. Along with her co-sisters, Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), She must protect all of Earth from the evil forces by claiming the Moon.
3. Seinen-Manga targeted at adult men (18+).
Common themes: action, Sex, Violence, Adult themes
If it does not fall under any other category, such as Shonen or Shojo, and falls under a different category, it is classified under.
While shonen shows often have characters with an idealized, innocent, or simplistic perception of reality, series typically focus on protagonists who must confront realities in which the hero is not always able to get the job done. Seinen covers are typically grim and dark and have male protagonists.
Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira is likely one of the most well-known seinen due to its amazing adaptation of anime that set the stage for Japanese animation’s rise in popularity in the West. Kentaro Miura’s Berserk has been published since its release in 1989. While Akira was set in a post-apocalyptic time, Berserktakes place in a fantasy setting loosely based on European mythology, illustrating the vast array of the manga of the GenreGenre available.
4. Josei-Manga is designed for women of adult age (18 and over)
Popular themes include Romance, Sex, and Drama.
It typically features more mature stories that explore personal and romantic relationships with more depth than their shojo counterparts, but it’s not always the case. In general, the josei-manga is comparable with American novellas for adult love in that they feature explicit scenes that be tame or almost pornographic.
5. Kodomomuke: Manga targeted at young children.
The series is usually adorable, enjoyable, moralistic, and funny. In both cases, the manga and anime of the Pokemon manga and the anime are among the most popular Kodomomuke-related series.
Do you have any other information about manga I need to know?
No rule says that a mature man can’t take a look at a shojo or, in the same way, teenagers should not be able to enjoy a seinen-based series. It’s all about individual taste. There is a manga that challenges the rules of their genres, like Kaiu Shirai’s Promised Neverland and Kiyohiko Azuma’s Yotsuba, both of which are shonen manga that technically are, but both feature female protagonists.
We have made this clear so that readers know the distinctions between different manga from others. This could cause problems when a thoughtful teacher or librarian inadvertently provides a young child access to sexually explicit manga intended for adults.
Like any other type of storytelling, manga’s story can range from heart-wrenching, serious tension to a snarky, mindless amusement.
A Brief Warning: Fan Service and Oversexualized Characters
The fan-service elements never contribute to the plot or provide character development. They provide unnecessary content, including the series’ main character wearing revealing costumes or an untrue sexual situation.
Nakaba Suzuki’s Seven Deadly Sins is an epic fantasy series with excessive fan services, making it inappropriate for children of all ages. Fan service is present in nearly all genres and can range from mildly entertaining to disturbing.
Unfortunately, a significant portion of manga (specifically ones targeted at males) tends to have the over-sexualization of female characters.
This is why we urge you to check and read the manga before giving it to children, particularly the boys in their early years of impressionability. Many intelligent, well-constructed series is perfect and suitable for all age groups. We’ve included several books for children of all ages within the Manga for Middle Schoolers guide.
Our role is not to scold the readers we serve. However, we intend to educate and empower our readers so that they can make their own choices. We also mention this to warn educators, parents, and librarians to be aware of the possibility that they may accidentally give someone the wrong materials.
Manga’s world is extensive, and there are many aspects that we haven’t covered in this article. This is an introduction to manga that will give readers an understanding. Some mangas may not be able to follow the guidelines listed here, and that’s okay! One of the pleasures of reading is the chance to discover novel genres, tropes and stories you’ve never heard of before.
If in doubt, Do your homework. Contact your local library, which manages the manga section or browse the internet for suitable titles. With that information to think about, now you’re ready to start! Explore more manga titles in these well-known Blog posts!