After reading my first volume of manga I was not excited. Yup, I hated it and didn’t really see the point. The pictures confused me and seemed to want me to read a lot into a little. I didn’t touch another volume for a couple years. I wrote off the manga book format as a fad for fanboys and nerdy girls (no disrespect for nerdy people or fans of pop culture icons).

Yet here I am a fangirl of manga. How’d that happen you ask…? I’m here to share A to Z of manga! If you have the right information, you too can fall in love with the wonderful worlds from Japan’s popular comic style… manga.

A

Anime many times has been adapted from beloved manga series.

B

Boy’s manga are called shônen and they have stories targeted at male teenagers.

C

Children’s manga are called kodomo and generally are single volume story arcs.

D

Dialogue is spaced into often short bits contained in text boxes so it’s easy to blast through an entire page of manga without actually looking at the mangaka’s (or artist’s) work. So pay attention!

E

Everyone (not most people, but literally all sorts and types of readers and non-readers alike…) can find a manga to love!! In Japan manga is read from the very young to men and women in their 40s.

F

Fusion is what manga is… a combination of a book, movie and television show… There is a distinct book beginning, middle and end to the story over the entire series. The movie comes in through the art. There is no space wasted… The television show is in the volume nature of manga. Everything isn’t resolved but some sort of progress is made just like an episode.

G

Genres range widely just like with novels, from fantasy and science fiction to slice of life and mecha. Often, these genres have blurred lines that allow for very imaginative stories and plot points.

H

Hello Kitty is an example of kodomo manga! The brand started out as a story and has spread to all sorts of goods and products.

I

Illustrations tell the majority of the story through careful, beautiful emotions (or for comedies, extreme exaggerated emotions) and distinct actions. Either way the art will tell you it all…

J

Josei manga are for women and have more mature themes. Many times depicting the reality of romantic liaisons. Seinen are the same thing for men!

K

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You is one of my all time favorite shôujo manga about an awkward girl who finally makes some friends in high school. New to interactions with classmates she’s unaware of the boy right by her side who quite likes her but who stays quiet about his feelings as she comes into who she is as a person.

L

Library Wars: Love & War is another fun shojo manga for those who want a more familiar story… In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves—the Library Forces!

M

Many different styles are a part of the manga art world… some you will be immediately attracted to and some will turn you off the story entirely. BUT there is a style for everyone and when you find that groove it will be a sweet story time…

N

Nodame Cantabile is a great example of a Josei manga. Nodame”, is a piano student who prefers to play by ear rather than according to the musical score; thus, is regarded as sloppy and playful. When she meets Chiaki, an arrogant, multilingual perfectionist, and the top student at Momogaoka College of Music She helps him grow so he can fulfill his secret ambitions to become a conductor.

O

Oh My Goddess! is a seinen manga that many will have heard of… Keiichi Morisato is a college sophomore who accidentally calls the Goddess Help Line. The goddess Belldandy tells him that her agency has received a system request from him and has been sent to grant him a single wish. Believing that a practical joke is being played on him, he wishes that she will stay with him forever, and his wish is granted.

P

Printed, originally, in a magazine with other story lines then gathered into their own volumes to sell once they reach a certain length. These volumes are typically what Americans are referring to by manga.

Q

Quick is the name of the game with manga… it’s fun to finish a volume in one sitting then go back and quickly read it over again!

R

Read right to left, all manga, translated or otherwise start at the back of the volume.

S

Shôujo are girl’s manga and they center on women empowerment and romantic connections.

T

The Ancient Magus’ Bride is my favorite shônen series of all time!! It’s new and taking the world by storm with its magical beauty and the beast retelling story. Chise and Elias have an unusual relationship that will challenge the idea of what it means to choose for oneself.

U

Understand that manga has taken the world by storm and is now translated into many languages including English. For Americans, like comics, manga is seen as aimed for child or people who won’t grow up, i.e. for those of us too lazy to read all the words in a novel.

V

Viewing manga this way simply isn’t true! It’s dynamic form of story telling that simply needs an open mind!

W

Webtoons are similar to manga but published as digital comics online originating from South Korean. They are in full color and have many fans…

X

X my heart… The best thing about manga is that it is for readers who LOVE comics and it is for readers who DISLIKE comics.Yes, a manga is a type of comic in that it has panels of illustrations and dialogue bubbles but the feels as you read a manga as compared to a comic are TOTALLY different!

Y

Yaoi and Yuri are words you’ll see thrown around in the manga world referencing homoerotic stories about men or women in love for any audience.

Z

Zip on out to your local library and try a manga for yourself! Aware of the growing popularity of this form of media libraries are dedicating more of their budgets to fulfill the need!