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Following a comic series for the first time can be super challenging, considering the various volumes and pinning down the history of where it all began is difficult, and let’s not even get started with the problem of multiple writers for various issues. And if you thought that was crazy, following manga is all the more chaotic when you first start with it.
Don’t give up just yet, it always is kind of intimidating and confusing making your way into something from another culture. Also, manga is so totally worth checking out! So let's get started.
What is manga?
Manga (pronounced as mawnguh) are Japanese comic books, which should not be confused with anime (Japanese cartoons) as the drawing style for both of them is extremely similar. The content for manga’s can be about anything from fantasy to superheroes to historical drama, the genres are pretty much just like western comics.
Why are the books backwards?
As manga hails from Japan, it follows the Japanese reading style–which is right to left. But, nowadays, many westernised publications do print the books left-to-right.
Understanding Manga Ratings
Classification of content is done as per age and sex. Shoujo
is for girls under 15, Shonen
for boys under 15 , Josei
for 16+ girls, Seinen
for 16+ boys and Kodomomuke
is for kids and people of all ages actually, because no one ever grew out of Maruko-Chan, Doraemon and Heidi. While an 'A' or 'E' rated manga is suitable for all ages, ‘Y’ for 10+, ‘T’ for 13+, 'OT' or 'T+' for 16+, and ‘M’ is adult content for 18+.
The series is set in future after the third world war. Tokyo has been re-built as Neo-Tokyo, where crime is at large and this all is somehow due to a governmental experiment going horribly wrong with the involvement of a young boy - Akira.
Lone Wolf and Cub -
Disgraced by false accusations Ogami Itto is forced to take the path of the assassin; along with his three-year-old son, Daigoro.
Cowboy Bebop -
A bounty hunter along with his partners is travelling across the galaxy looking for high priced fugitives to bag.
- It’s a short a manga series about vampires, where the Hellsing Organization fight supernatural entities and occultists.
Ouran High School Host Club
- A poor girl is working at a rich kids' school, to pay off a debt; she’s mistaken for a boy by a few student who decide to fix her up and give her a male uniform. She instantly is the coolest new kid in school.
Hikaru no Go
- A young boy's journey to become a profession Go-player, guided by the ghost of a long dead Go-master.
Ciel Phantomhive disappears on the night of his 10th birthday, coincidently his parents are murdered the same night in a fire. A month later the boy returns home with a butler seeking revenge.
- About a young girl who gets conferred the powers of a deity, and learns more about it with her fox guardian spirit.
- About a boy who can see demons, and helps both humans and demons with their problems.
Ao No Exorcist
- Raised by an exorcist, twin brothers later learn that their father is Satan, which explains their extraordinary strength.
Ghost In The Shell –
An extremely dangerous "ghost" hacker is on a mission to own the world.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
- Princess Nausicaa is on a mission to change the fate of the world by saving two warring nations from destroying themselves and their planet.
A teen girl discovers that she has superpowers.
Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou -
Protecting each other’s secrets a boy and girl turn their odd relationship from friendship to love.
Ultimately, we’re just scratching the surface on all the awesome stuff you can explore in manga, the genre is incredibly vast and diverse. We would love to hear from you on what are the latest new titles one should indulge in, other basic manga facts and more. Let’s talk in the comments!