Manga has created uproar in the world of animated books. It has gained a significant fan following across the world. If you’re wondering what the fuss is all about, here’s a guide for you to navigate through the majestic world of Manga.

Manga, simply put are Japanese comics or graphic novels. They are vastly different from American and European comics, in terms of the storytelling techniques and the visuals used.  Every kid from the 90s has watched the Dragon Ball Z anime series in their childhood, with Goku and the Z warriors fighting the evil.  Anime is Japanese animated cartoon films, made by huge production studios. For people who wish to dive into Manga, the range of genres and the number and volumes of books available can be a bit intimidating. It is typically printed in black and white. Here’s a beginner’s guide to Manga-

  1. How to read Manga – Manga is read from right to left. As comics usually start from left to right, it takes time to get used to the flow of the story for first time Manga readers.
  2. Genres in Manga – Action-adventure, business and commerce, comedy, detective, historical drama, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and fantasy, sexuality, sports and games, and suspense, you name it, Manga covers it all. However, Manga can be broadly divided into these genres-
  • Shonen- The target audience for this genre is teen boys and boys from the age of 10-12. The main protagonist is usually male.

Genre: Action/ Adventure

Popular titles: Death Note, by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata; Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto; One piece by Eiichiro Oda

  • Shojo- The target audience for this genre is teen girls and girls from the age of 10-12. It typically features a female protagonist who is mostly in the centre of a love triangle.

Genre: Romance

  •          Popular titles: The Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi; A Devil and Her Love Song, by Miyoshi Tomori
  • Seinen- The target audience for this genre is young men, mainly in their 20s. A wide range of stories are published under this category.

Genre: Adventure, action, romance, mystery, thriller, comedy

Popular titles: Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida; One Punch Man by Yusuke Murata; Berserk by Kentaro Miura

  • Josei – The target audience for this genre is young women. It is more sexually explicit and also contains content which shows infidelity or rape.

Genre: Romance

Popular titles: Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa; Gokusen by Kozueko Morimoto; Suppli by Mari Okazaki

  • Yaoi: The target audience is female, written by female authors. It basically focuses on sexual relations between the male characters.                                                                                              Genre: Romance

Popular titles: Ten Count by Rihito Takarai

  • Yuri: It mostly focuses on sexual relationships between female characters.

Genre: Romance

Popular titles: Sakura trick by Tachi

Among the popular titles mentioned above, some noteworthy ones are Bleach, Death Note, One Piece and Berserk.  Also, Akira (Genre: Seinen) and Full Metal Alchemist (Genre: Shonen) are some of the best Manga books ever written. They are acclaimed by critics and have a huge fan following too. Death Note is another popular choice for people to dive into the world of Manga and it happens to be one of the most brilliant supernatural thrillers among Manga books. However, Manga books can be expensive. One can read these books using various apps like Manga. AON and Manga reader. They are free and offer lots of books of different genres. Now that you know where to start, what are you even waiting for? Go for it and happy reading!

Feature Image credit – FluentU

Disha Saxena

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