Hello everyone! My name is Jade. I’ve been a part of the Teenscape at the library and now work here as an intern. I wanted to share with you about anime and manga. For starters, I should define what anime and manga are for those readers who might not know. Anime is a style of Japanese film and television animation, typically aimed at adults as well as children. It often features characters with large and expressive eyes. Most people know at least one anime. Pokémon, Naruto, Sailor Moon, or Bleach are a few that you readers might know.
What is Manga?
Manga is a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically aimed at adults as well as children. A manga is often very different from your typical comic book. For starters, most American comics are read from left to right. A manga is read differently, usually from right to left. A manga is also read “backwards” to a normal book. If you buy or find a manga that is read like a normal book and looks like an American comic, it is considered “flipped.” Most manga you find nowadays, will not be “flipped.”
If you aren’t sure how to read the text bubbles, most manga come with a diagram on the last page. It will show you what order the panels are in and how to read the text so it makes sense. It will also usually tell you that you are reading the book the wrong way and direct you to flip the book over to begin reading. It might even talk briefly about the “flipped” manga I mentioned previously. You will also find the content rating for the book here.
Just like normal books have different genres, so do manga and anime. But manga often use words like “Shonen” if the manga is about a male character or directed at a male audience. Or they will use the word: “Shojo” if the manga is about a female character or is directed at a female audience. A manga is considered “Maho Shojo” or Magical Girl genre if there is any kind of magical powers or items that the main female character possesses.
Some Shonen anime and manga I recommend are: Naruto or Tokyo Revengers (this one is for older teens or adults).
Naruto is the main character of the Naruto series. He is a young boy with blonde hair and what look like whisker marks on his face. Naruto lives in Konohagakure or “The Village Hidden in the Leaves.” It is a village of ninja run by a leader known as the Hokage. In the beginning of the series Naruto is considered a troublemaker, yet he aims to become Hokage himself. One night he steals the forbidden scroll from the Hokage’s office and proceeds to learn a new technique with it. It was called the “Shadow clone Jutsu” He later uses this technique to save his teacher from the ninja academy. He is so grateful, he allows Naruto to graduate with the rest of his class and become a genin. This starts him down a long path of learning and adventure with his teammates, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno. You can pick up the manga for Naruto and its connected series, Baruto, on our young adult shelves on the first floor.
Tokyo Revengers is an anime and manga I recommend for older teens or adults. It is about a young boy named Takemichi Hanagaki and his attempts to stop the ruthless leader of the Tokyo Manji Gang, Sano Manjiro AKA “Mikey”. One day he finds out his childhood friend Naoto and his ex-girlfriend Hina are killed while attending a festival. On the way to their funeral, while he is waiting for a train, someone pushes him into the path of the coming train. However, he isn’t hit. Instead he wakes up 12 years prior. He is back in his Junior High self’s body. While confronting an upperclassman who had been arranging fights for sport after school, Takemichi meets a young Mikey and his childhood best friend Ken Ryuguji AKA “Draken” Mikey strikes up a friendship with Takemichi then and there. Thus, begins the quest to stop Mikey from turning into the ruthless gang leader he becomes 12 years later. Keep an eye out for the manga, coming to the library in a few months!
I like both for the reason that they both revolve around friendship or what happens if you lose those friends. Naruto teaches that the labels people give you in life aren’t set in stone. That with a little bit of time and effort, you can make your own destiny and create a new path for yourself.
Tokyo Revengers on the other hand shows what can happen when a person gives in to the darker side of themselves. When they don’t ask people for help after a traumatic event, such as the death of a friend, and when power, greed or revenge drive people to do unspeakable things.