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“Original manga” redirects here. For the English comics inspired by manga and anime
drawings, see Original English-language manga.
This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. For other uses, see
Manga (disambiguation).
Anime and Manga Portal

Manga (漫画?) listen (help·info) (pl. manga) is the Japanese word for comics and print
cartoons. The drawers of these comics are called mangaka. Outside of Japan, it refers
specifically to comics originally published in Japan, or works derivative of the style.
Native Japanese are often unaware of the use of manga to refer to Japanese comics
specifically. As of 2007, manga represents a multi-billion dollar global market.[1] Manga
developed from a mixture of ukiyo-e and foreign styles of drawing, and took its current
form shortly after World War II. Recently, Manga are read by almost all Japanese social
classes and age groups. Themes include sports, romance, historical drama, comedy, soap
operas, fantasy, mystery, sexuality and horror.

It comes mainly in black and white, except for the covers and sometimes the first few
pages; in some Animanga (anime printed in manga style) all the pages are colored. They
usually originate in Japan, China, or other East Asian countries.

Popular manga are often adapted into anime (Japanese for animation) once a market
interest has been established. Adapted stories are often modified to appeal to a more
mainstream market. Although not as common, original anime is sometimes adapted into

There is a popular misconception in English speaking countries that the word "manga"
refers to Japanese animation (anime). This is in part due to the name and logo of the
Manga Entertainment distribution company, who have brought many anime productions
to western audiences.

[hide] [hide]

• 1 Origins
• 2 Osamu Tezuka
• 3 Gekiga
• 4 Cultural importance
• 5 Manga format
o 5.1 Dōjinshi
• 6 Classification of Manga
o 6.1 Types of manga
o 6.2 Genres
• 7 International influence
o 7.1 North America
o 7.2 Europe
o 7.3 Influence
• 8 Language notes
• 9 See also
• 10 References

• 11 External links

[edit] Origins
Main article: History of manga

Manga, literally translated, means "whimsical pictures". The word first came into
common usage in the late 18th century with the publication of such works as Suzuki
Kankei's "Mankaku zuihitsu" (1771) and Santo Kyoden'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 containing assorted drawings from
the sketchbook of the famous ukiyo-e artist Hokusai.[2] However, giga (literally "funny
pictures"), especially chōjū jinbutsu giga (鳥獣人物戯画,? literally "funny pictures of
animals and humans"), drawn in the 12th century by various artists, contain many manga-
like qualities such as emphasis on story and simple, artistic lines.

Japanese wood block illustration from 19th century

Modern manga developed from a mixture of woodblock printed books and pictures with
foreign art movements. When the United States began trading with Japan, Japan entered a
period of rapid modernization and globalization. Thus, they imported foreign artists to
teach their students things such as line, form and color, which were never concentrated on
in ukiyo-e as the idea behind the picture was normally considered more important[citation
. Manga in this period was known as Ponchi-e (Punch-picture) and, like its British
counterpart Punch magazine, mainly depicted humor and political satire in a short, 1- or
4-picture format.

During the late Meiji period to the period before WW II, notable mangaka include
Rakuten Kitazawa and Ippei Okamoto. Rakuten Kitazawa trained under Frank A.
Nankivell, an Australian artist, and joined Jiji Shimpo newspaper company after being
invited by Yukichi Fukuzawa. After that, Rakuten published such famous comic strips as
Tagosaku to Mokubē no Tōkyō-Kenbutsu (田吾作と杢兵衛の東京見物,? "Tagosaku and
Mokube's Sightseeing in Tokyo") (1902) and Haikara Kidorō no Shippai (灰殻木戸郎の
失敗,? "The Failures of Kidoro Haikara") (1902). Ippei Okamoto is the founder of
Nippon Mangakai, the first cartoonist's association in Japan. His manga manbun works,
such as Hito no Isshō (人の一生,? "A life of a man") (1921), had a major influence on
contemporary mangaka and became prototypes of later fiction-based manga.[3]

[edit] Osamu Tezuka

Osamu Tezuka's manga show influence of American comics

Manga spread by the Showa Modan culture in around 1930. Manga in this era was made
from low-priced paper and ink. It was sold not in bookstores, but in toy shops for
children. The Imperial Japanese Army came to influence Manga strongly when the
militarism of Japan strengthened in around 1940. (For instance, Norakuro is a popular
poetic justice manga written by Suihō Tagawa in 1931.) When World War II ended, the
United States culture was introduced into Japan again. Osamu Tezuka was influenced by
Fleischer Studios and Walt Disney's styles, and developed the cartoon to Manga. The
story and the tragedy were introduced by Tezuka Osamu. [4] He had a strong influence on
a lot of Mangaka. In around 1950, many young Mangaka came to the apartment Tokiwa-
sō where Tezuka lived. The residents included Ishinomori Shōtarō, Akatsuka Fujio, and
Fujiko Fujio.
Tezuka introduced film-like storytelling and characters in comic format in which each
short film-like episode is part of a larger story arc. The only text in Tezuka's comics was
the characters' dialogue and this lent the comics a cinematic quality. Tezuka also adopted
Disney-like facial features where a character's eyes, mouth, eyebrows and nose are drawn
in a very exaggerated manner to add more distinct characterization with fewer lines,
which made his work popular. This somewhat revived the old ukiyo-e-like tradition
where the picture is a projection of an idea rather than actual physical reality.[citation needed]
Initially, his comic was published in a children's magazine. Soon, it became a specialized
weekly or monthly comic magazine of its own, which is now the foundation of the
Japanese comic industry.[citation needed] Tezuka adapted his comic to almost all film genres of
the time; his manga series range from action adventure (e.g. Kimba the White Lion, also
known as Jungle Emperor Leo) to serious drama (e.g. Black Jack) to science fiction (e.g.
Astro Boy, Ambassador Magma), horror (e.g. Dororo, The Three-eyed One.) Though he is
known in the West as a creator of the children's animation Astro Boy, Many of his comics
had some very mature and sometimes dark undertones. Most of his comics' central
characters had a tragic background. Some criticize Tezuka's extensive use of tragic
dramatization in his stories.[citation needed] As the manga generation of children grew up, the
market for comics expanded accordingly and manga soon became a major cultural force
of Japan. Tezuka also contributed to the social acceptance of manga. His qualification as
a medical doctor as well as the holder of Ph.D in medical science and his serious
storylines were used to deflect criticism that manga was vulgar and undesirable for

[edit] Gekiga

A page from the Marmalade Boy manga, volume 1 (Japanese version)

Another important trend in manga was gekiga ("Dramatic Pictures"). Between the 1960s
and the 1970s, there were two forms of comic serialization. One, the manga format, was
based on the sales of anthology magazines which contained dozens of titles. The other,
gekiga, was based on a rental format of an individual manga "book" of single title. Manga
was based on weekly or biweekly magazine publications, so production was prompt, and
the deadline was paramount. Consequently, most manga artists adopted Tezuka's style of
drawing, where characters are drawn in a simpler but exaggerated manner, typified by the
large round eyes regarded abroad as a defining feature of Japanese comics. In contrast,
gekiga typically had more complex and mature story lines, with higher production value
per page. For this reason, gekiga was considered to be artistically superior. However,
gekiga's rental business model eventually died out in the 1970s, while manga artists
significantly improved their graphic quality. Eventually, gekiga was absorbed into manga
and now is used to describe a manga style which does not use cartoon-like drawing.
Some examples of the gekiga-style manga are Kamui-den by Shirato Sanpei, Kyojin-no
Hoshi by Kawasaki Noboru, Gorgo 13 by Saito Takao, and probably most famous abroad
Akira by Ōtomo Katsuhiro.

However, gekiga did not only influence the art style of manga: after the 1970s, more
mature-themed pictures and plot lines were used in manga. Many had significant
depictions of violence and sexual activity, and were marketed at teenagers: unlike in
Tezuka's time, children in the 1970s had more disposable income, so they could directly
purchase manga without asking their parents to buy it for them. Thus, manga publishers
did not need to justify their products to the parents. Moreover, the dominance of the
serialized manga format on a weekly basis meant that manga was increasingly becoming
"pulp fiction", with large amounts of violent content and some nudity (especially,
although not exclusively, in manga aimed at boys). Representative titles of this genre
were Harenchi Gakuen by Gō Nagai and Makoto-chan by Kazuo Umezu, both of which
had copious amounts of gore, nudity, and vulgar (often scatological) jokes. Much like in
the United States during the Comic book scare in the 40's and 50's, teachers and parents
had objections to the content of manga, but unlike the U.S. no attempt was made to create
an oversight board like the Comics Code Authority. Interestingly, manga magazines "for
children" in the 1970s arguably had more vulgar themes (due to the fact that it was the
only major publishing format available), but by the 1980s and 1990s, new magazines
catering to teenagers and young adults had come into play.

[edit] Cultural importance

Strip of the yonkoma manga series OL Shinkaron. Common to Japan but rarely localized
for other countries, yonkoma closely resemble Western comic strips.

Though roughly equivalent to the American comic book, manga holds more importance
in Japanese culture than comics do in American culture. In economic terms, weekly sales
of comics in Japan exceed the entire annual output of the American comic industry[citation
. Additionally, manga and comics in general are more widely consumed among the
adult population of Japan than in America, where comic books and animation are
traditionally seen as children's medium.[citation needed] Several major manga magazines which
contain about a dozen episodes from different authors sell several million copies each per
week. Manga is well respected both as an art form and as a form of popular literature,
though it has not reached the acceptance level of historically higher art genres such as
film or music. However, approval of Hayao Miyazaki's anime and other works of manga
are gradually changing the perception of anime and manga, placing them closer to the
status of "higher" arts (The film with the all-time highest box office gross in Japan is
Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki, with 30.4 billion yen).

Like its American counterpart, some manga has been criticized for being violent or
sexual. For example, a number of film adaptations of manga such as Fist of the North
Star were rated Restricted or Mature in the United States. However, there have been no
official inquiries or laws trying to limit what can be drawn in manga, except for vague
decency laws applying to all published materials, stating that "overly indecent materials
should not be sold." This freedom has allowed artists to draw manga for every age group
and a wide selection of topics.

[edit] Manga format

Manga magazines usually have many series running concurrently with approximately 20–
40 pages allocated to each series per issue. These manga 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 long.
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.

When a series has been running for a while, the stories are usually collected together and
printed in dedicated book-sized volumes, called tankōbon. These are the equivalent of
American comic's trade paperbacks. These volumes 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 one US dollar) each to compete with the
used book market.

Manga are primarily classified by the age and gender of the target audience. In particular,
books and magazines sold to boys (shōnen) and girls (shōjo) have distinctive cover art
and are placed on different shelves in most bookstores.

Japan also has manga cafés, or manga kissa (kissa is an abbreviation of kissaten). At a
manga kissa, people drink coffee and read manga, and sometimes stay there overnight.

The reading direction in a traditional manga.

Traditionally, manga are written from top to bottom and right to left, as this is the
traditional reading pattern of the Japanese written language. Some publishers of
translated manga keep this format, but other publishers flip the pages horizontally,
changing the reading direction to left to right, so as not to confuse foreign audiences or
traditional comics consumers. This practice is known as "flipping". For the most part, the
criticisms suggest 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"). Another example includes the character Miroku from InuYasha,
who has a black hole in his right hand: in the flipped and translated version, dialogue
shows him having it in his right palm, but the drawings show it in his left hand. Flipping
may also cause oddities with familiar asymmetrical objects or layouts, such as a car being
depicted with gas pedal on the left and the brake on the right, or more astute readers may
notice that all characters in manga may seem to be left-handed. It should be noted,
however, that oddities and disparities between art and dialogue can usually be rectified by
editing and proof-reading. The most obvious example of this in manga reproduced for a
western audience is to be found in Dark Horse's reproductions of Hiroaki Samura's Blade
of the Immortal, where the original sound effects, written text and page layouts are
retained from the source material, with individual panels flipped horizontally. It is likely
this was done to prevent offense to western readers - as the main character in the book
sports a large manji (buddhist swastika, 卍), and simply flipping the book's pages would
have resulted in him seeming to sport the nazi emblem.

[edit] Dōjinshi

Some manga artists will produce extra, sometimes unrelated material, which are known
as omake (lit. "bonus" or "extra"). They might also publish their unfinished drawings or
sketches, known as oekaki (lit. "sketches").

Dōjinshi is produced by small amateur publishers outside of the mainstream commercial

market in a similar fashion to small-press independently published comic books in the
United States. Comiket, the largest comic book convention in the world with over
400,000 gathering in 3 days, is devoted to dōjinshi.

Unofficial fan-made comics are also called dōjinshi. Some dōjinshi continue with a
series' story or write an entirely new one using its characters, much like fan fiction.

[edit] Classification of Manga

Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket, is an example of the stereotypical moe style of manga
characterized by such features as large, expressive eyes and a small, simple nose.
While 'manga' is defined as "a Japanese comic book or graphic novel",[5] some people
contend that manga defines a style rather than a country of origin. This viewpoint can
most predominantly be seen by the manga publisher Tokyopop, which markets original
English-language manga.

"Manga is like hip-hop. It's a lifestyle. To say that you can't draw it because you don't
have the DNA is just silly."
—Stu Levy, Tokyopop CEO[1]

However, like any artistic medium, there is no true set style for manga. Manga can range
from the realistic to super deformed. Therefore, when manga is referenced as a style, it
generally is specifically referring to the moe style of manga common to the fantasy genre
and the most familiar style of manga to foreign readers.

[edit] Types of manga

Not all manga is drawn in the large-eyed moe style. Shown here is Akira Hojo from the
realistically drawn seinen manga Sanctuary.

With an immense market in Japan, manga encompasses a very diverse range of subjects
and themes, satisfying many readers of different interests. Popular manga aimed at
mainstream readers frequently involves sci-fi, action, fantasy and comedy. Notable
manga series are based on corporate businessman (the Shima Kousaku and Salaryman
Kintaro series), Chinese cuisine (Iron Wok Jan), criminal thriller (Monster) and military
politics (The Silent Service). As a result, many genres apply equally well to anime (which
very often includes adaptations of manga) and Japanese computer games (some of which
are also adaptations of manga).

[edit] Genres

• Kodomo children
• Shōjo young and teenage girls
• Shōnen young and teenage boys
o Battling companion (not an official name)
• Josei (or redikomi), mainly young women, but men too
• Redisu, women
• Seinen men
• Alternative (See also: Garo)
o Gekiga (dramatic pictures)
o La nouvelle manga (Franco-Belgian/Japanese artistic movement)
o Semi-alternative (popular publication individualistic style)
o OEL manga (original English language manga)
• Dōjinshi Fan-art or self-published manga
• Magical girl (mahō shōjo)
• Gag, humour
• Jidaimono, historical
• Robot/Mecha (giant robots)
• Suiri, crime and murder
• Moé, fetishism or love for characters as main subject
• Shōjo-ai or Yuri, lesbian romance
• Shōnen-ai or Yaoi, gay romance
• Ecchi, erotic
• Hentai, pornography

[edit] International influence

Main article: Manga outside Japan

Demo by Brian Wood (story) and Becky Cloonan (art) is an example of an American
comic that is influenced by manga

Manga has long had an influence on international comics and animation the world over.

[edit] North America

The first Westerner to introduce the visual approach and concepts of manga into English
language comics was Vernon Grant, who drew comics in 1969-1972 while he was living
in Japan. At the time, he was absorbing numerous Japanese comics, including Kazuo
Koike's 28-volume samurai epic Lone Wolf and Cub, which he wrote about in the
Mainichi Daily News in 1972. From 1977 to 1988, Grant published his series, The Love
Rangers about a racially mixed space crew spreading love thoughout the universe. In
1983, Frederik L. Schodt's Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics (Kodansha)
profiled creators and detailed manga's background and history for American readers.

Following increasing interest during the 1990s, manga eventually grew into a large
industry in America, tripling during 2002-05 to become a $180 million market by 2005.[1]
Also as evidence of their pervasiveness, at least 40 syndicated newspaper have added
manga strips to their funny pages.[1] Manga has also been noted for making female
readers interested in comics. In a nation where the American comic book readership is
largely dominated by males, females make up an unheard of 60% of all manga

[edit] Europe

In France there is a "Nouvelle Manga" movement started by Frédéric Boilet which seeks
to combine mature sophisticated daily life manga with the artistic style of traditional
Franco-Belgian comics. While the movement also involves Japanese artists, a handful of
French cartoonists other than Boilet have decided to embrace its ideal. France is the
biggest country after Japan where Manga are most sold, with 10 million books in 2005.

The manga style has influenced not only writers and artists, but musicians as well.
Turkish rock band maNga [sic] has not only its name derived from the style; their videos
and album cover feature manga-style animation and the members of the band have their
own manga characters, drawn by award-winning artist Kaan Demirçelik. English metal
band Versus Akira derives its name and certain stylistic qualities in the music and artwork
from the famous Japanese anime film/manga Akira.

[edit] Influence

American artist and writer Frank Miller has been heavily influenced by manga and in
particular by Koike's Lone Wolf and Cub. Miller was one of the first American comic
artists to make use of decompression, a style prevalent in manga.

Other American artists such as Becky Cloonan (Demo, East Coast Rising), Ben Dunn
(Ninja High School), Corey Lewis (Sharknife, PENG), Joe Madureira (Battle Chasers)
and Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley (Lost At Sea, Scott Pilgrim) are also influenced by the
mainstream manga style and have received acclaim for their work outside of
anime/manga fan circles. These artists have their roots in the anime/manga subculture of
their particular regions (as well as the Internet and webcomics), but incorporate many
other influences that make their work more palatable to non-manga readers.

American artist Paul Pope worked in Japan for Kodansha on the manga anthology
Afternoon. Before he was fired (due to an editorial change at Kodansha) he was
developing many ideas for the anthology that he would later publish in the U.S. as Heavy
Liquid. As a result his work features a strong influence from manga without influences
from international otaku culture.
In addition, there are many amateur artists who are influenced exclusively by the manga
style.[citation needed] Many of these have their own small publishing houses, and some
webcomics in this style have become very popular (see Megatokyo and "Sequence
(manga)"). For the most part, these artists are not yet recognized outside of the anime and
manga fan community.

[edit] Language notes

• Because nouns in Japanese do not have a plural form, manga is the form for both
plural and singular. It is also commonly called コミック (komikku, from comic)
in Japanese.
• Mangaka (漫画家) Literally "Manga professional" is a Japanese term for a manga

[edit] See also

• Anime
• Bilingual manga
• Dōjinshi
• Japanese popular culture
• La nouvelle manga
• Lianhuanhua
• List of films based on manga
• List of manga
• List of manga by Japanese title
• List of manga distributors
• List of manga magazines
• List of mangaka
• Manga iconography
• Manga outside Japan
• Manhua (Chinese comics)
• Manhwa (Korean comics)
• Original English-language manga
• Scanlation (fan scanned and translated manga)

[edit] References

• Gravett, Paul. Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics. New York: Collins Design,
2004. ISBN 1-85669-391-0.
• Kern, Adam L. Manga from the Floating World: Comicbook Culture and the
Kibyôshi of Edo Japan. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2006.
ISBN 0-674-02266-1.
• Schodt, Frederik L. Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga. Berkeley,
Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 1996. ISBN 1-880656-23-X.
• Schodt, Frederik L. Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics. New York:
Kodansha International, 1983. ISBN 0870115499 ,


• Masters, Coco (August 10 2006). "America Is Drawn To Manga". Time 168 (7):


1. ^ a b c d e Masters, "America Is Drawn To Manga"

2. ^ Adam L. Kern, Manga from the Floating World, ISBN 0-674-02266-1
3. ^ Isao Shimizu "Zusetsu Manga no Rekishi" ISBN 4-309-72611-9
4. ^ Takeuchi Ichiro - [Katsushika Hokusai Origin of story cartoon] [1] Literary
prize the 28th Suntory
5. ^ Definition of manga. Merriam-Webster Online.

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:


• Manga at the Open Directory Project


Comics around the world

Argentina • Canada • Mexico • United States
Asia: China • India • Japan • Korea • Philippines
Belgium • Czech Republic • France • France and Belgium combined •
Europe: Germany • Italy • the Netherlands • Poland • United Kingdom
Oceania: Australia
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Categories: Articles with unsourced statements since February 2007 | All articles with
unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since July 2007 | Manga |
Artists' books | Japanese words and phrases

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