What is Manga

We are often asked what is Manga?  Why do some people like it?  How do you read these books?  Why is this such a big thing?

Katrina, one of our circulation assistants, is a big fan of manga and has even lived and studied in Japan, so I sat down with her and asked her some questions.

Manga is read opposite way from other books.  Manga books are read from top right to bottom left.

Manga books are often black and white with only certain important images in color.

The art style of manga books are unique.  There is more screen tone and grayscale.

Also, I learned that it is not pronounced like mango with an “ah” at the end, but rather it is pronounced Muhn-ga.

Manga novels are a lot like graphic novels, but are stylistically different and read from right to left.


What genres does Manga cover?

Manga covers a variety of genres.  Sports, college, fighting, books specifically for younger boys or younger girls.  Manga is not just for kids, there are books for adults as well.

Manga books typically contain significant themes, such as teamwork, friendship or Japanese culture.

What is Anime and how does that fit in with Manga?

Anime refers to any Japanese cartoon or animation.

Many of the more popular manga books have cartoon television shows, which are referred to as anime.

What is Cosplay?

When people really like certain Manga books or Anime cartoons, they will dress up like the characters and join forums where they interact virtually with other fans or they will attend conventions to meet and interact with other fans.

What are some of the more popular Manga books?

Series for kids ages 13 & up.  When a failed alchemical ritual leaves two brothers with severely damaged bodies, they begin searching for the one thing that can save them: the fabled philospher’s stone.

Series for kids 12 & up. An orphan girl who learns that 13 members of the Sohma family are possessed by the animals of the Chinese zodiac and are cursed to turn into their animal forms when they are weak, stressed, or when they are embraced by anyone of the opposite sex that is not possessed by a spirit of the zodiac

This series for girls was turned into a TV show.  It focuses on five girls infused with the DNA of endangered animals which gives them special powers and allows them to transform into “Mew Mews”. Led by Ichigo Momomiya, the girls protect the earth from aliens who wish to “reclaim” it.

Pokemon media franchise created by video game designer Satoshi Tajiri and managed by The Pokemon Company. Tajiri once stated that the manga series is closest to how he imagined the universe of Pokemon to be

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