Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kat Reads Manga : A Super Basic Guide To Reading Manga

 In "Kat Reads Manga" , a new feature on Books and Sensibility a total manga novice attempts to review manga. 

Kat's Super Basic Guide To Reading Manga

Before I do my first review I wanted to make a super basic guide for people who don't know anything about  manga. There is so much more to talk about and I'm no expert, but these are the basics.



Origins
Manga is simply the Japanese word for comics. In America, it typically refers to any comic/graphic novel originating from Japan.

In America, mangas are published in monthly anthologies like Shojo Beat or Shonen Jump. The manga volumes you see in the bookstores are the strips from the anthology put together into a volume. Often the volumes have extra images and notes from the artist.


Mangaka
This is the Japanese word for a Manga artist--the person who draws the characters and may write the stories. 
 Some artist are represented as avatars. Hiromu Arakawa, managaka of Fullmetal Alchemist usually appears as a cow with glasses.

Structure
Manga volumes are about 180-200 pages long and can be read in one sitting. Most of them cost around $9.00 in stores. A series will have many volumes so, I suggest going to the library or used bookstores where volumes can be $3.00 or $4.00

Because they are translated from Japanese to English, manga reads right to left. Most manga have a page that explains how to read it.  Use this as a guide when you start.

Genres
Mangas exist in specific genres based on gender and age. They can be a helpful guide to what you want to read.

Shonen - Manga aimed at boys and is about young boys like Naruto

Shojo - Manga aimed at girls and often about love/high school life like Sailor Moon

Seinen-  Manga for older males. May includes lots of violence or gratious fanservice. A well-known example is Akira.

Josei - Manga for older females. Many of these aren't popular.

I find  these categories are getting more blurred and even the biggest fans can't differentiate them anymore.

Ready to get started ?

Reading manga is weird at first. I think once you get into it you start to like it. To find what you want to read :

For More Detailed Guide Check out :


Look out for my review of Vampire Knight !











2 comments :

  1. I didn't know much about manga until now. Looking forward to your review!

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  2. Great guide! I'm a big fan of manga, though I don't like the price so that's why I don't read them as much as I used to. D: $9 for something I can finish in like an hour? It's ridiculous. Still, I love the art, and some of the stories are very creative. :)

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