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Manga

By: Hannah Pettibone


As I read manga I always asked myself why a lot of manga seems to be directed at the
male gender. But all at the same time I wonder if it seems like that because I read mangas that
most would say are for the males, with all its fighting, blood, and gore. But when I read female
directed mangas Im always questioning why it all has to be so cutesy, dramatic, and a lot of the
time love based, mainly the female lead trying to find a boyfriend. But even as I ask them I
already know the answers. And from the very beginning I wondered why this type of book has
because so important to me and so many over people around the world.
I started reading manga in seventh grade. My first manga was Tokyo Mew Mew by
Yoshida Reiko with the art by Ikumi Mia, it was about these teenage girls whose DNA was
merged with that of wild animals. Because of their mixed DNA these five girls are able to use
powers that deal with the type of animal whose DNA they were merged with. Because of the
mixed DNA the group of girls became known as super heroes. This manga is a romance, between
the leader of the girls and the leader of the alien species, which they are fighting. This genre
can be called transformer girls, for a nickname. This manga is a twelve year old plus type of
story.
Manga, is a type of book similar to comic books or graphic novels. This type of book can
be found for any age level. For the younger reader there is manga such as Pokmon by Hidenori
Kusaka which is mainly directed at the young readers. For the female young readers there is
ChocoMimi by Konami Sonoda. But there are a lot more mangas set for the older readers, a lot
of them incorporating in blood, fighting, gore, language, sex, and much more not suitable for

children. For those who say manga is for kids, they are hugely mistaken. One example of Not for
Children is Boku no Pico, it looks somewhat childish but is extremely sexual yaoi (this manga is
used as a trick to get unsuspecting people to read yaoi. It is given as a fake answer when
someone is unaware of a name of a manga).
Manga, even though it has only recently became popular, is actually a bit older, or a lot
older than most people would have thought. One of the oldest cartoons is a set of 12th century
cartoons called Chojyu-giga, which is said to be a parody and the root of Japanese manga
culture. (Kitazume, Do The Japanese Have A Sense Of Humor?). They were cartoons of
frolicking animals, which was designated as a national treasure. And a big part of it was that the
uniqueness of Chojyu-giga is that the pictures are contained in a scroll. A hand scroll was a
common method of explaining legends about the origins of Buddhist temples to common people,
in a way they could easily understand them. They use the Chojyu-giga to hold their beliefs and
their legends in a compacted area. The Chojyu- giga was also an easy way of storing and
transporting items and stories.
Millions of manga have been created and sold, and their translated and animation
versions are also commercially successful globally, and the influence on children, youth, and
young adults cannot be overstated (Ito, Popular Mass Entertainment in Japan: Manga, Pachinko,
and Cosplay). I believe that Manga allows its readers to explore worlds that they do not know or
worlds that they cannot yet think of on their own. Mangas can also teach lessons about morals,
beliefs, and struggles. They help readers expand the readers minds. I think the use of manga
helps bring fun into some of the different learning styles.
75% of manga readers in the states are female (Goldstein, Are You There God? It's Me,
Manga: Manga as an Extension of Young Adult Literature). Manga is written for both genders

working in the same areas but the mangas written for female is on the rise. One of the most
popular genres of manga among females, other than plain right out romance, is boys love, BL,
or as known in Japanese as Yaoi. There is also one of these same sex genres for males called
Yuri, Ive never really heard it called anything but that.
Girls have primarily come to comics through manga, which in Japan has long been
written for and marketed to both genders and for all ages (Goldstein, Are You There God? It's
Me, Manga: Manga as an Extension of Young Adult Literature). Gender bending and gender
fluidity are common themes in manga, especially in the shojo and boys' love genres, both written
for females. The boys' love genre depicts romances between two beautiful boys. This type of
manga is very popular among females, one of the most popular yaoi stories being Junjou
Romantica. The manga is about a clich story about a tutor and student, and is about their lives
of living together (Shungiku, Junjou Romantica). This manga is ranked as yaoi because of the
mild sexual exploits throughout the ongoing story. I think this genre is so popular because its a
different type of love story with passions that arent shown in regular love stories.
The first yaoi I ever read was Junjou Romantica, on recommendation from a friend, I
couldnt get past the first chapter. I didnt read any more till other friends started talking about
how cute the story was so I picked it back up. I think its a funny and an adorable story. I find the
relationship to have more depth and meaning than most of my friends relationships that excise
in my real life, who seem to only to be with their boyfriend or girlfriend to just be able to say
they are dating someone.
The shojo manga (girls manga) genre diversified greatly in the 1970s, when women
authors began to outnumber male authors and it was during this decade that shonen-ai (boys
love) manga began to appear (Martin, Girls Who Love Boys' Love: Japanese Homoerotic Manga

As Trans-National Taiwan Culture). Most boys love or BL stories are categorized under two
categories: shonen-ai and yaoi. Shonen-ai is about platonic, non-sexual relationships between
young boys, revolving around the characters high school years. But yaoi is more sexual and
depending on how much sexual content is has it can be categorized as H- manga or Hentei
meaning pervert. And from what I understand there are different levels of sexual content or least
for one translating group, Blissful Sins, where they divide the mangas into three levels of sexual
output, to give farther warnings about the amount of sexual content in the actual story.
Just like there is Yaoi mangas for the female readers there is Yuri manga for both genders,
mainly for bi curious girls and males. Yuri manga is in other words is called girls love. In this
type of manga there are also two different sub categories for this type of manga; Shoujo Ai,
which is a mild case of Yuri and again it does not show the some or close to the amount of sexual
exploit of the other category of the full blown Yuri. The first time, and only time I read Yuri, not
knowing what it was, was again on the recommendation from a friend. I got about half way
through the first chapter before I couldnt read any more. The whole idea of the story freaked me
out. I wouldnt recommend it but thats just me.
We can consider shounen manga to be aimed at a young male audience. For years this
has been the most popular type of manga and also the most expanded overseas (Cabezas, Shonen
Manga: Action-packed!). Shonen Manga is a popular genre of Japanese Comics, mangas,
generally about action/fighting but often contains a sense of humor and strong growing
friendship between the characters (Toy, What Is Shonen (Shounen) Anime?). Shounen mangas
are really popular, I think it is because they bring in many different aspects into one story, where
in a lot of cases there are at most three in the story. These types of manga can incorporate
different genres to help bring the story together.

One popular shounen manga is Bleach by Kubo Tite In this manga the main character has
to go through many trails and fights while his, at first, borrowed powers grow to outrageous
amounts. And along to way some of the people he once called enemies and had to fight, end up
becoming some of his most trust worthy friends that help his through the remaining trails, though
some time they have to go against him but only because they have to, mainly because it is an
order from their commanding officer. He ends up becoming friends and saving people he never
thought hed have to.
Another popular Shonen Manga is One Piece by Oda Eiichiro. This manga is about a boy
who wants to be the pirate king. Unlike in Bleach where most fights were to help others the main
character in One Piece, Luffy, gets into fights half of the time just because hes just plain idiotic
and rushes into things without thinking. Though in the similarities to Bleach the main character
of One Piece will do anything to save his friends, even declaring war on the Government. Also in
One Piece it shows that is doesnt matter what type of person someone maybe when you first
meet them they can always change and become one of our best friends.
Also a lot of people read mangas for the simple fact that its easier to read, and I think
they are easier to understand. While reading books we paint a picture of the world we are reading
about, but the second its shown in picture we are all disappointed because the way we pictured it
is not the same as it was made. With manga you dont have that problem. The picture comes with
the story. Those picture becomes bigger and bigger as the story grow without you having to face
the disappointments of the wrong picture when its turned into a movie or a show. The basic
elements of a manga are the pictures, they help tell the story the way it was meant to be seen
without the wrong interoperation of the background.

Also unlike actual books manga is a lot easier to turn into a show or movie. Manga like
books have chapters but unlike books manga makes the chapter ends a bookmark as to where it
can end one show and begin another. Unlike books, where every detail cant be put in to the
show or movie in manga in seems to be the exact opposite, when manga is changed into anime
the writers of the anime add in additions episode and information to help feel in questions that
dont really have anything to do with the actual manga or really even the actual story line, it is
also a big part of the animators to take a break from the actual story, say when the anime catches
up with the ongoing manga.
Also another thing about manga to anime is that unlike with books to movies we dont
have to go through the disappointment of seeing the picture that we envisioned of the characters
be wrong when they are being portrayed be living breathing human beings, who do not meet up
to our expectations and hopes for the movie. Even the smallest difference from a book character
to a movie character can set us off in a fit of rage whereas with manga the image of the
characters are already drawn out so we do not have to imagine what the characters are like. The
only time I get angry with the animes that I have both watched and read the manga is when the
anime participates or makers of the anime cant get the lines right that make up that of the
characters, giving they looks that are not them or anything close to what the original had drawn
out for the manga readers making the characters look like different people.
If I had to choose between books and movies and manga and anime I would choose
manga and anime for the simple reason of I wouldnt have to make up a false hope for the book
world when it is right in front of me. I would also choose manga and anime because when manga
is made into anime they expand on the story line unlike in movies that narrow it down to the
point where it might not make any sense to anyone but them.

Work Cited
Cabezas, Rubn Garcia., and Akane. Shonen Manga: Action-packed! New York: Harper Design,
2012. Print.Toy, Koko. "What Is Shonen (Shounen) Anime?" HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web.
19 Feb. 2015.
Goldstein, Lisa, and Molly Phelan. "Are You There God? It's Me, Manga: Manga As An
Extension Of Young Adult Literature." Young Adult Library Services 7.4 (2009): 32-38.
Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
Ito, Kinko, and Paul Crutcher. "Popular Mass Entertainment In Japan: Manga, Pachinko, And
Cosplay." Society 51.1 (2014): 44-48. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
Kitazume, Sachiko. "Do The Japanese Have A Sense Of Humor?." Society 47.1 (2010): 35-37.
Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Feb. 2015
Kubo, Tite. Bleach. San Francisco, CA: Viz Media, 2012. Print.
Martin, Fran. "Girls Who Love Boys' Love: Japanese Homoerotic Manga As Trans-National
Taiwan Culture." Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 13.3 (2012): 365-383. Academic Search
Premier. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
Oda, Eiichiro. One Piece. San Francisco, CA: Viz Media, 2009. Print.
Shungiku, Nakamura. "Junjou Romantica (Yaoi) Manga." MangaGo. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb.
2015.
Yoshida, Reiko, and Mia Ikumi. Tokyo Mew Mew. New York: Kodansha, 2012. Print.