Manga (漫画, Manga) are comics created in
Japan or by creators in
the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in
Japan in the
late 19th century. They have a long and complex pre-history in
earlier Japanese art.
The term manga (kanji: 漫画; hiragana: まんが; katakana:
マンガ; listen (help·info); English: /ˈmæŋɡə/ or
Japan is a word used to refer to both comics and
cartooning. "Manga" as a term used outside
Japan refers to comics
originally published in Japan.
In Japan, people of all ages read manga. The medium includes works in
a broad range of genres: action-adventure, business and commerce,
comedy, detective, historical drama, horror, mystery, romance, science
fiction and fantasy, sexuality, sports and games, and suspense, among
others. Many manga are translated into other languages. Since
the 1950s, manga has steadily become a major part of the Japanese
publishing industry, representing a ¥406 billion market in Japan
in 2007 (approximately $3.6 billion) and ¥420 billion (approximately
$5.5 billion) in 2009.
Manga have also gained a significant
worldwide audience. In Europe and the Middle East the market was
worth $250 million in 2012. In 2008, in the U.S. and Canada, the
manga market was valued at $175 million.
Manga represent 38% of the
French comics market, nearly 260 million Euros which is equivalent to
approximately ten times to that of the United States. Manga
stories are typically printed in black-and-white, although some
full-color manga exist (e.g., Colorful). In Japan, manga are usually
serialized in large manga magazines, often containing many stories,
each presented in a single episode to be continued in the next issue.
If the series is successful, collected chapters may be republished in
tankōbon volumes, frequently but not exclusively, paperback
books. A manga artist (mangaka in Japanese) typically works with a
few assistants in a small studio and is associated with a creative
editor from a commercial publishing company. If a manga series is
popular enough, it may be animated after or even during its run.
Sometimes manga are drawn centering on previously existing live-action
or animated films.
Manga-influenced comics, among original works, exist in other parts of
the world, particularly in
Algeria ("DZ-manga"), China, Hong Kong,
Taiwan ("manhua"), and South Korea ("manhwa").
2 History and characteristics
3 Publications and exhibition
3.2 Collected volumes
4 International markets
4.2 United States
5 Localized manga
7 University education
8 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
The word "manga" comes from the Japanese word 漫画, composed of
the two kanji 漫 (man) meaning "whimsical or impromptu" and 画 (ga)
The word first came into common usage in the late 18th century
with the publication of such works as Santō Kyōden's picturebook
Shiji no yukikai (1798), and in the early 19th century with
such works as Aikawa Minwa's
Manga hyakujo (1814) and the celebrated
Hokusai Manga books (1814–1834) containing assorted drawings from
the sketchbooks of the famous ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. Rakuten
Kitazawa (1876–1955) first used the word "manga" in the modern
In Japanese, "manga" refers to all kinds of cartooning, comics, and
animation. Among English speakers, "manga" has the stricter meaning of
"Japanese comics", in parallel to the usage of "anime" in and outside
Japan. The term "ani-manga" is used to describe comics produced from
History and characteristics
A kami-shibai story teller from
Sazae-san by Machiko Hasegawa. Sazae
appears with her hair in a bun.
History of manga
History of manga and
The history of manga is said to originate from scrolls dating back to
the 12th century, and it is believed they represent the basis for the
right-to-left reading style. During the
Edo period (1603-1867), Toba
Ehon embedded the concept of manga. The word itself first came
into common usage in 1798.
Writers on manga history have described two broad and complementary
processes shaping modern manga. One view represented by other writers
such as Frederik L. Schodt, Kinko Ito, and Adam L. Kern, stress
continuity of Japanese cultural and aesthetic traditions, including
pre-war, Meiji, and pre-Meiji culture and art. The other view,
emphasizes events occurring during and after the Allied occupation of
Japan (1945–1952), and stresses U.S. cultural influences, including
U.S. comics (brought to
Japan by the GIs) and images and themes from
U.S. television, film, and cartoons (especially Disney).
Regardless of its source, an explosion of artistic creativity occurred
in the post-war period, involving manga artists such as Osamu
Tezuka (Astro Boy) and
Machiko Hasegawa (Sazae-san).
Astro Boy quickly
became (and remains) immensely popular in
Japan and elsewhere, and
the anime adaptation of
Sazae-san drawing more viewers than any other
anime on Japanese television in 2011. Tezuka and Hasegawa both
made stylistic innovations. In Tezuka's "cinematographic" technique,
the panels are like a motion picture that reveals details of action
bordering on slow motion as well as rapid zooms from distance to
close-up shots. This kind of visual dynamism was widely adopted by
later manga artists. Hasegawa's focus on daily life and on women's
experience also came to characterize later shōjo manga. Between
1950 and 1969, an increasingly large readership for manga emerged in
Japan with the solidification of its two main marketing genres,
shōnen manga aimed at boys and shōjo manga aimed at girls.
A figure drawn in manga style—typically reduced to black and white
and different patterns to compensate for the lack of colors
In 1969 a group of female manga artists (later called the Year 24
Group, also known as Magnificent 24s) made their shōjo manga debut
("year 24" comes from the
Japanese name for the year 1949, the
birth-year of many of these artists). The group included Moto
Hagio, Riyoko Ikeda, Yumiko Ōshima, Keiko Takemiya, and Ryoko
Yamagishi. Thereafter, primarily female manga artists would draw
shōjo for a readership of girls and young women. In the following
decades (1975–present), shōjo manga continued to develop
stylistically while simultaneously evolving different but overlapping
subgenres. Major subgenres include romance, superheroines, and
"Ladies Comics" (in Japanese, redisu レディース, redikomi
レディコミ, and josei 女性).
Modern shōjo manga romance features love as a major theme set into
emotionally intense narratives of self-realization. With the
superheroines, shōjo manga saw releases such as Pink Hanamori's
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Reiko Yoshida's Tokyo Mew Mew, And,
Naoko Takeuchi's Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, which became
internationally popular in both manga and anime formats. Groups
(or sentais) of girls working together have also been popular within
this genre. Like Lucia, Hanon, and Rina singing together, and Sailor
Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus
Manga for male readers sub-divides according to the age of its
intended readership: boys up to 18 years old (shōnen manga) and young
men 18 to 30 years old (seinen manga); as well as by content,
including action-adventure often involving male heroes, slapstick
humor, themes of honor, and sometimes explicit sexuality. The
Japanese use different kanji for two closely allied meanings of
"seinen"—青年 for "youth, young man" and 成年 for "adult,
majority"—the second referring to sexually overt manga aimed at
grown men and also called seijin ("adult" 成人) manga. Shōnen,
seinen, and seijin manga share many features in common.
Boys and young men became some of the earliest readers of manga after
World War II. From the 1950s on, shōnen manga focused on topics
thought to interest the archetypal boy, including subjects like
robots, space-travel, and heroic action-adventure. Popular themes
include science fiction, technology, sports, and supernatural
Manga with solitary costumed superheroes like Superman,
Spider-Man generally did not become as popular.
The role of girls and women in manga produced for male readers has
evolved considerably over time to include those featuring single
pretty girls (bishōjo) such as
Belldandy from Oh My Goddess!,
stories where such girls and women surround the hero, as in Negima and
Hanaukyo Maid Team, or groups of heavily armed female warriors (sentō
With the relaxation of censorship in
Japan in the 1990s, a wide
variety of explicit sexual themes appeared in manga intended for male
readers, and correspondingly occur in English translations.
However, in 2010 the
Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Tokyo Metropolitan Government passed a bill to
restrict such content.
The gekiga style of drawing—emotionally dark, often starkly
realistic, sometimes very violent—focuses on the day-in, day-out
grim realities of life, often drawn in gritty and unpretty
Gekiga such as Sampei Shirato's 1959–1962 Chronicles
of a Ninja's Military Accomplishments (Ninja Bugeichō) arose in the
late 1950s and 1960s partly from left-wing student and working-class
political activism and partly from the aesthetic dissatisfaction
of young manga artists like
Yoshihiro Tatsumi with existing manga.
Publications and exhibition
Delegates of 3rd Asian Cartoon Exhibition, held at Tokyo (Annual Manga
Exhibition) by The
A manga store in Japan
In Japan, manga constituted an annual 40.6 billion yen (approximately
$395 million USD) publication-industry by 2007. In 2006 sales of
manga books made up for about 27% of total book-sales, and sale of
manga magazines, for 20% of total magazine-sales. The manga
industry has expanded worldwide, where distribution companies license
and reprint manga into their native languages.
Marketeers primarily classify manga by the age and gender of the
target readership. In particular, books and magazines sold to boys
(shōnen) and girls (shōjo) have distinctive cover-art, and most
bookstores place them on different shelves. Due to cross-readership,
consumer response is not limited by demographics. For example, male
readers may subscribe to a series intended for female readers, and so
Japan has manga cafés, or manga kissa (kissa is an abbreviation
of kissaten). At a manga kissa, people drink coffee, read manga and
sometimes stay overnight.
Kyoto International Manga Museum
Kyoto International Manga Museum maintains a very large website
listing manga published in Japanese.
See also: List of manga magazines
Eshinbun Nipponchi is credited as the first manga magazine ever made.
Manga magazines usually have many series running concurrently with
approximately 20–40 pages allocated to each series per issue. Other
magazines such as the anime fandom magazine
Newtype featured single
chapters within their monthly periodicals. Other magazines like
Nakayoshi feature many stories written by many different artists;
these magazines, or "anthology magazines", as they are also known
(colloquially "phone books"), are usually printed on low-quality
newsprint and can be anywhere from 200 to more than 850 pages thick.
Manga magazines also contain one-shot comics and various four-panel
yonkoma (equivalent to comic strips).
Manga series can run for many
years if they are successful.
Manga artists sometimes start out with a
few "one-shot" manga projects just to try to get their name out. If
these are successful and receive good reviews, they are continued.
Magazines often have a short life.
After a series has run for a while, publishers often collect the
episodes together and print them in dedicated book-sized volumes,
called tankōbon. These can be hardcover, or more usually softcover
books, and are the equivalent of U.S. trade paperbacks or graphic
novels. These volumes often use higher-quality paper, and are useful
to those who want to "catch up" with a series so they can follow it in
the magazines or if they find the cost of the weeklies or monthlies to
be prohibitive. Recently, "deluxe" versions have also been printed as
readers have gotten older and the need for something special grew. Old
manga have also been reprinted using somewhat lesser quality paper and
sold for 100 yen (about $1 U.S. dollar) each to compete with the used
Kanagaki Robun and
Kawanabe Kyōsai created the first manga magazine
in 1874: Eshinbun Nipponchi. The magazine was heavily influenced by
Japan Punch, founded in 1862 by Charles Wirgman, a British cartoonist.
Eshinbun Nipponchi had a very simple style of drawings and did not
become popular with many people. Eshinbun Nipponchi ended after three
issues. The magazine Kisho Shimbun in 1875 was inspired by Eshinbun
Nipponchi, which was followed by Marumaru Chinbun in 1877, and then
Garakuta Chinpo in 1879.
Shōnen Sekai was the first shōnen
magazine created in 1895 by Iwaya Sazanami, a famous writer of
Japanese children's literature back then.
Shōnen Sekai had a strong
focus on the First Sino-Japanese War.
In 1905 the manga-magazine publishing boom started with the
Russo-Japanese War, Tokyo Pakku was created and became a huge
hit. After Tokyo Pakku in 1905, a female version of Shōnen Sekai
was created and named Shōjo Sekai, considered the first shōjo
magazine. Shōnen Pakku was made and is considered the first
children's manga magazine. The children's demographic was in an early
stage of development in the Meiji period. Shōnen Pakku was influenced
from foreign children's magazines such as Puck which an employee of
Jitsugyō no Nihon (publisher of the magazine) saw and decided to
emulate. In 1924, Kodomo Pakku was launched as another children's
manga magazine after Shōnen Pakku. During the boom, Poten
(derived from the French "potin") was published in 1908. All the pages
were in full color with influences from Tokyo Pakku and Osaka Puck. It
is unknown if there were any more issues besides the first one.
Kodomo Pakku was launched May 1924 by Tokyosha and featured
high-quality art by many members of the manga artistry like Takei
Takeo, Takehisa Yumeji and Aso Yutaka. Some of the manga featured
speech balloons, where other manga from the previous eras did not use
speech balloons and were silent.
Published from May 1935 to January 1941,
Manga no Kuni coincided with
the period of the
Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945).
Kuni featured information on becoming a mangaka and on other comics
industries around the world.
Manga no Kuni handed its title to Sashie
Manga Kenkyū in August 1940.
Main article: Dōjinshi
Dōjinshi, produced by small publishers outside of the mainstream
commercial market, resemble in their publishing small-press
independently published comic books in the United States. Comiket, the
largest comic book convention in the world with around 500,000
visitors gathering over three days, is devoted to dōjinshi. While
they most often contain original stories, many are parodies of or
include characters from popular manga and anime series. Some dōjinshi
continue with a series' story or write an entirely new one using its
characters, much like fan fiction. In 2007, dōjinshi sold for 27.73
billion yen (245 million USD). In 2006 they represented about a
tenth of manga books and magazines sales.
Manga outside Japan
By 2007, the influence of manga on international comics had grown
considerably over the past two decades. "Influence" is used here
to refer to effects on the comics markets outside
Japan and to
aesthetic effects on comics artists internationally.
The reading direction in a traditional manga
Traditionally, manga stories flow from top to bottom and from right to
left. Some publishers of translated manga keep to this original
format. Other publishers mirror the pages horizontally before printing
the translation, changing the reading direction to a more "Western"
left to right, so as not to confuse foreign readers or traditional
comics-consumers. This practice is known as "flipping". For the
most part, criticism suggests that flipping goes against the original
intentions of the creator (for example, if a person wears a shirt that
reads "MAY" on it, and gets flipped, then the word is altered to
"YAM"), who may be ignorant of how awkward it is to read comics when
the eyes must flow through the pages and text in opposite directions,
resulting in an experience that's quite distinct from reading
something that flows homogeneously. If the translation is not adapted
to the flipped artwork carefully enough it is also possible for the
text to go against the picture, such as a person referring to
something on their left in the text while pointing to their right in
the graphic. Characters shown writing with their right hands, the
majority of them, would become left-handed when a series is flipped.
Flipping may also cause oddities with familiar asymmetrical objects or
layouts, such as a car being depicted with the gas pedal on the left
and the brake on the right, or a shirt with the buttons on the wrong
side, but these issues are minor when compared to the unnatural
reading flow, and some of them could be solved with an adaptation work
that goes beyond just translation and blind flipping.
Manga has influenced European cartooning in a way that is somewhat
different from in the U.S. Broadcast anime in France and Italy opened
the European market to manga during the 1970s. French art has
Japan since the 19th century (Japonism) and has its
own highly developed tradition of bande dessinée cartooning. In
France, beginning in the mid-1990s, manga has proven very popular
to a wide readership, accounting for about one-third of comics sales
in France since 2004. According to the
Japan External Trade
Organization, sales of manga reached $212.6 million within France and
Germany alone in 2006. France represents about 50% of the European
market and is the second worldwide market, behind Japan. In 2013,
there were 41 publishers of manga in France and, together with other
Asian comics, manga represented around 40% of new comics releases in
the country, surpassing
Franco-Belgian comics for the first
time. European publishers marketing manga translated into French
include Asuka, Casterman, Glénat, Kana, and Pika Édition, among
others. European publishers also translate manga into
Dutch, German, Italian, and other languages. In 2007, about 70% of all
comics sold in Germany were manga.
Manga publishers based in the United Kingdom include Gollancz and
Titan Books.
Manga publishers from the United States
have a strong marketing presence in the United Kingdom: for example,
Tanoshimi line from Random House.
Manga made their way only gradually into U.S. markets, first in
association with anime and then independently. Some U.S. fans
became aware of manga in the 1970s and early 1980s. However, anime
was initially more accessible than manga to U.S. fans, many of
whom were college-age young people who found it easier to obtain,
subtitle, and exhibit video tapes of anime than translate, reproduce,
and distribute tankōbon-style manga books. One of the first manga
translated into English and marketed in the U.S. was Keiji Nakazawa's
Barefoot Gen, an autobiographical story of the atomic bombing of
Hiroshima issued by Leonard Rifas and Educomics (1980–1982).
More manga were translated between the mid-1980s and 1990s, including
Golgo 13 in 1986,
Lone Wolf and Cub
Lone Wolf and Cub from First
Comics in 1987, and
Kamui, Area 88, and Mai the Psychic Girl, also in 1987 and all from
Viz Media-Eclipse Comics. Others soon followed, including Akira
from Marvel Comics' Epic
Comics imprint, Nausicaä of the Valley of
the Wind from Viz Media, and Appleseed from Eclipse
Comics in 1988,
and later Iczer-1 (Antarctic Press, 1994) and Ippongi Bang's F-111
Bandit (Antarctic Press, 1995).
In the 1980s to the mid-1990s, Japanese animation, like Akira, Dragon
Ball, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Pokémon, made a bigger impact on
the fan experience and in the market than manga. Matters changed
Toren Smith founded
Studio Proteus in
1986. Smith and
Studio Proteus acted as an agent and translator of
many Japanese manga, including Masamune Shirow's Appleseed and Kōsuke
Fujishima's Oh My Goddess!, for Dark Horse and Eros Comix, eliminating
the need for these publishers to seek their own contacts in Japan.
Simultaneously, the Japanese publisher
Shogakukan opened a U.S. market
initiative with their U.S. subsidiary Viz, enabling Viz to draw
directly on Shogakukan's catalogue and translation skills.
A young boy reading Black Cat
Japanese publishers began pursuing a U.S. market in the mid-1990s due
to a stagnation in the domestic market for manga. The U.S. manga
market took an upturn with mid-1990s anime and manga versions of
Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell (translated by Frederik L. Schodt
and Toren Smith) becoming very popular among fans. An extremely
successful manga and anime translated and dubbed in English in the
mid-1990s was Sailor Moon. By 1995–1998, the
Sailor Moon manga
had been exported to over 23 countries, including China, Brazil,
Mexico, Australia, North America and most of Europe. In 1997, Mixx
Entertainment began publishing Sailor Moon, along with CLAMP's Magic
Knight Rayearth, Hitoshi Iwaaki's
Parasyte and Tsutomu Takahashi's Ice
Blade in the monthly manga magazine MixxZine. Two years later,
MixxZine was renamed to
Tokyopop before discontinuing in 2011. Mixx
Entertainment, later renamed Tokyopop, also published manga in trade
paperbacks and, like Viz, began aggressive marketing of manga to both
young male and young female demographics.
In the following years, manga became increasingly popular, and new
publishers entered the field while the established publishers greatly
expanded their catalogues. and by 2008, the U.S. and Canadian
manga market generated $175 million in annual sales.
Simultaneously, mainstream U.S. media began to discuss manga, with
articles in The New York Times, Time magazine, The Wall Street
Journal, and Wired magazine.
Main articles: DZ-manga, Manfra, and Original English-language manga
A number of artists in the United States have drawn comics and
cartoons influenced by manga. As an early example,
Vernon Grant drew
manga-influenced comics while living in
Japan in the late 1960s and
early 1970s. Others include Frank Miller's mid-1980s Ronin, Adam
Warren and Toren Smith's 1988 The Dirty Pair, Ben Dunn's 1987
Ninja High School
Ninja High School and
Manga Shi 2000 from Crusade
By the 21st century several U.S. manga publishers had begun to produce
work by U.S. artists under the broad marketing-label of manga. In
2002 I.C. Entertainment, formerly
Studio Ironcat and now out of
business, launched a series of manga by U.S. artists called
Amerimanga. In 2004 eigoMANGA launched the Rumble Pak and Sakura
Pakk anthology series.
Seven Seas Entertainment followed suit with
World Manga. Simultaneously, TokyoPop introduced original
English-language manga (OEL manga) later renamed Global Manga.
Francophone artists have also developed their own versions of manga
(manfra), like Frédéric Boilet's la nouvelle manga. Boilet has
worked in France and in Japan, sometimes collaborating with Japanese
The Japanese manga industry grants a large number of awards, mostly
sponsored by publishers, with the winning prize usually including
publication of the winning stories in magazines released by the
sponsoring publisher. Examples of these awards include:
Akatsuka Award for humorous manga
Dengeki Comic Grand Prix for one-shot manga
Japan Cartoonists Association Award various categories
Manga Award (multiple genre awards)
Seiun Award for best science fiction comic of the year
Manga Award (multiple genres)
Tezuka Award for best new serial manga
Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize (multiple genres)
The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded the International
Manga Award annually since May 2007.
Kyoto Seika University
Kyoto Seika University in
Japan has offered a highly competitive
course in manga since 2000. Then, several established
universities and vocational schools (専門学校: Semmon gakkou)
established a training curriculum.
Shuho Sato, who wrote
Umizaru and Say Hello to Black Jack, has created
some controversy on Twitter. Sato says, "
Manga school is meaningless
because those schools have very low success rates. Then, I could teach
novices required skills on the job in three months. Meanwhile, those
school students spend several million yen, and four years, yet they
are good for nothing." and that, "For instance, Keiko Takemiya, the
then professor of Seika Univ., remarked in the Government Council that
'A complete novice will be able to understand where is "Tachikiri"
(i.e., margin section) during four years.' On the other hand, I would
imagine that, It takes about thirty minutes to completely understand
that at work."
Anime and manga
E-toki (horizontal, illustrated narrative form)
Japanese popular culture
Lianhuanhua (small Chinese picture book)
List of best-selling manga
List of films based on manga
List of licensed manga in English
List of manga distributors
Oekaki (act of drawing)
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