You may not be an otaku, but you know that manga is a Japanese comic inspired by prints that are mainly in the form of comic series that sell for millions of copies and have many readers. A good start.
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In this article, Superprof wants to help you with your manga adventure by giving you the basics to understand these enigmatic and yet easy to read Japanese manga. We will also give you some reading tips to start your journey through your first manga smoothly. Yukō!
As in any type of work, there are different themes that will attract you more or less according to your tastes and your age. This is how the types of Japanese comics are divided; in this way, a series can be for children, adolescents, or a more mature audience. What we understand by type is, therefore, clearly the editorial objective of the manga.
The first existing type is Shonen, understood as the manga for children or adolescents. The most representative publisher of this type of manga is, without a doubt, the Shonen Jump, the magazine in which Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece and Yu-Gi-Oh! Were published. If these references are familiar to you, you already know what we are talking about.
The Shonen is primarily focused on action, fighting, adventure, humor, and a bit of romance. The hero is usually a boy who will grow stronger and stronger to fight for a planetary cause. These adventures are usually longer than for the other genres.
The second type is Shojo, the manga for girls or teenagers. In Japan, it is mainly in publishers like Shueisha where you will find these mangas, but also in Hakusensha or others. Shojo's big names are Nana, Vampire Knight, Fruits Basket or Sakura, card hunter.
You may have imagined it, but the main theme of the Shojo genre is love. It is a cliche, but it works and not only between girls. There is also sport, music, or fantasy in the themes. The protagonists are usually developing girls who fall in love with a high school boy ... But this scenario is not immutable!
The third most common type is Seinen's, the manga for young boys, in other words, the manga for adults. The Josei gender is that of young women, but the distinction is quite blurred given that the Seinen gender attracts both men and women. The sets of this manga are more mature, harder, and rawer.
There are many Seinen, but among them, we can mention Akira, Gunnm, Parasite, Gantz, 20th Century Boys, or Berserk. Therefore, we often go from comedy to drama, going through horror, medieval fantasy, and historical manga.
To stay in a mature editorial line, there is the Hentai type, which you may also know. These are sexual sleeves, ranging from sensual to pornographic.
Finally, we go to the Kodomo, a type of manga reserved for children. They are extremely light and fit perfectly into the most substantial sleeve.
The themes of the manga
As you can see, there are several topics that are covered in Japanese comics. You'll have a wide variety of topics to explore during your illustrated adventures. Here we leave you a list of the main themes that you can find in the works of the manga as:
- Adventure (Nekketsu)
- Science fiction
- Mecha (Robots)
- School Life
- Magical Girl (Magical Girls)
- Ecchi (literally "perversion")
It goes without saying that you have many options to find the one that pleases you the most. You don't have to read what doesn't catch your attention.
Select a manga based on various criteria (duration, popularity, interest)
There are other secondary criteria that can also influence when selecting a manga from the list of existing works. Obviously, you will have to filter a bit!
The first criterion can belong. If it is your first contact with a manga, if you are looking to read it quickly or in a reasonable time, it will be best to read a short series, which does not exceed 15-20 volumes (many even have less than 10 volumes), or perhaps You can turn to One Shot, a very short type of manga, consisting of a single chapter of approximately one hundred pages maximum.
The second criterion may be the popularity of the chosen manga. If you don't know anything about it, you will probably type "known manga" in Google and let yourself go. However, if you do not like the theme, it may not be the best way. You will have to combine popularity and your personal taste when choosing.
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Finally, think about what you like about a story. To do this, think about the movies you have seen, the series, or the cartoons that have caught you in front of the screen or the books that you are passionate about.