What is Manga?

Manga are comics or graphic novels that are produced in Japan in the Japanese language. They are predominantly read right to left which is normal in Japan and other Asian countries. There are five main types of manga: Shonen, Seinen, Shojo, Josei and Kodomomuke.

SHONEN: typically refers to boys under 15. The lead character is usually a male and the story is focused on action, adventure and fighting. Examples of this are: Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece, Fairy Tail.

SEINEN: this type of manga is aimed at young men, over 15. They tend to be a bit more violent and psychological than Shonen. They can also contain more mature artwork with nudity and graphic imagery, although this is not the main focus of the story. Examples of this are: Beserk, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Blade of the Immortal, Crying Freeman.

SHOJO: is the female equivalent of Shonen. These tend to focus on romance and emotional relationships, although this can happen within an action or adventure setting. The lead character is often a female, however many male homosexual love stories fall into this category too. Examples of this are: Sailor Moon, Ouran High School Host Club, Kamisama Kiss, Maidsama.

JOSEI: aimed at adult women. Josei are often slice-of-life or romantic tales featuring adult women. These can cover darker and more mature subjects such as infidelity and rape. Examples of this are: Paradise Kiss, Tramps Like Us & Pet Shop of Horrors.

KODOMOMUKE: literally means ’directed at children’. Kodomomuke tend to be simple stories that include lessons about friendship and morals. Examples of this are: Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Pokemon.

If you are concerned that a title may be too mature, there is often an age guide on the back of the book in the form of a letter. A: All ages, T: Teen, OT: Older Teen, M: Mature These letters are just a guide and are not legally binding, unlike DVDs where underage viewing is illegal.

Published: 2019-02-15

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