Monday, June 7, 2010

Manga Monday (1)

I nearly made it 30 years (28 to be specific...very different than 30), without touching manga. That was before my husband and I went to Japan in April. It was a fabulous trip. My husband is fluent in Japanese and lived there for several years. We spent a week and a half traveling around the country visiting all his Japanese friends. We went to Nagoya, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Takasaki, Niigata, and Tokyo. I ended the trip with a vocabulary of about 50 or 60 words. I could basically communicate on the level of a 2 year old.

I've been interested in Asian culture and particularly Japanese culture for several years. Visiting Japan made me even more curious about all things Japanese. I decided to dip my hands into manga.


Me in full geisha regalia in Kyoto      

 Feeding the deer in Nara    
               
What is Manga?


Manga is basically the Japanese word for comics or graphic novels. Manga can be traced back to traditional Japanese art and storytelling, particularly a style that began in the 1800s. It really got started in the form that we recognize today after World War II.

Manga is massively popular in Japan, as well as other parts of Asia. People of all ages read it. It is increasingly popular in the United States, Canada, and Europe.


Books of manga are read right-to-left in the traditional Asian style. Most American/Western publishers honor this format. It took me about half a book to get used to it and then it seemed quite natural. Manga is also published in volumes. It is not uncommon for a manga serial to have 10-20 volumes, each comprising several chapters of the story. In Japan, manga is typically published in magazine format. It is republished in paperback after the series has established a following. I think most American manga is published in book form initially.

Types of Manga


Shojo Manga is written for girls. Manga of this style are typically romances and often feature a young girl/teenager coming of age. This is the type of manga I've read thus far.
Shonen Manga is geared toward boys. These are your typical action-hero and slapstick comedy stories.
Seinen Manga is aimed at young adult men, ages 18-30. It has more mature, sexual themes than shonen manga.
Seijin Manga is sexually explicit manga. It may also be known as hentai.
(Information courtesy of Wikipedia)


Future Manga Mondays


I'd like to take readers with me as I continue to explore the world of manga. Future posts will give more background of manga. I'll also give reviews of various manga series. So far, I've only read three series. I liked two of them and want to read all the volumes. One I didn't like as much and didn't get past the first volume.

I mostly plan to stick to shojo manga, because those are the types of stories I love best. I may also try shonen manga. I definitely plan to steer clear of seinin and seijin manga.

29 comments :

  1. I love both shojo and shonen. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like Vampire Knight and Fruits Basket! Oh and Happy Cafe and Black Bird and Bloody Kiss!

    ReplyDelete
  3. one word - AWESOME! Great post :) Definitely following for your "Manga Mondays"!

    ReplyDelete
  4. There are some awesome seinin titles, like EMMA, Ikigami, and Pluto, that deserve a try. They are not sexually explicit at all, but do have more thought provoking storylines.

    Thanks for following my blog! I am following yours as well, and I'm eager to read your reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm sticking to Shojo too. leave the Shonen to the Anime.

    I was hopeing someone will make a Manga related post. I even made a Manga Monday myself, before I knew about this one (but I'll change the name). I can't wait to participate!!!

    ReplyDelete
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