Gone are those days when kids and grownups were only limited to reading Marvel and DC comics as there is a new addiction in town which goes by the name “Manga”. It is quite obvious that since you are out here reading this article, you most probably know already what Manga is or what we can expect to find in it. Still, a little introduction does no harm.
“Manga” to put in the simplest of terms are basically comics beautifully composed of a crazy load of graphics and emotions. With Manga is quite obvious that the graphics will easily grab your attention. However, what makes it even more fun to read is the way the various emotions are depicted in it. Each facial expression has its very own meaning and is quite distinct for every kind of emotion.
So even though it is a comic, why the different name?
Well the answer to it lies in its origin. Manga comics undoubtedly have a very different prospect to it. Unlike our everyday comics, Manga has a quite different approach when it comes to story telling and representation, which we are going to discuss very shortly as we learn “How to start reading Manga?”
Also, since its origin lies in Japan itself and the term “Manga” in the Japanese Language translates to Comics or Cartooning. The answer itself is pretty self-explanatory.
Age Types, Not Genres
This may be the first and the most important point when it comes to learning how to read Manga the correct way. When we are talking about Manga, we have to understand a very fundamental concept, that is it is the age group which is important and not the type of genre. Although, genre too has a role to play but that is further down the line.
So, the very first thing you need to understand is that Manga is divided into five main types:
In the Japanese language Kodomo basically translates to small kids. Hence, we can pretty easily assume that Kodomomuke is a Manga which is specifically directed towards kids. They are imaginative as well as colourful and will have some kind of a moral behind most of the stories. Some of the very popular video cartoon series like Doraemon, Pokemon, Digimon, etc have also been taken from their comic counterparts.
This type of Manga is for those boys under the age of 15. So whenever a kid thinks he needs something a little more matured and deep than what Kodomomuke gave, he can next step to Shonen and get going on with the Manga adventure.
This type is primarily directed towards boys or young man between the age of 15 to 24. Hence, you can pretty much assume what type of contents you can expect to find in a Shonen type of Manga. These types of Manga comprise of a slightly more violent, more intense and sometimes even a slight adult type of content from time to time. They are obviously pretty fun & addictive and even if you are someone who do not fall under the specified group. Still, there is always a high chance that you might as well get addicted to Shonen Manga after a single read.
Shojo similar to Shonen directs specifically to a younger group of people. However, these young group of people may comprise of mainly young girls who love something cute and cosy with a tinge of romance in it.
Now Josei here is among those type of Manga which proves to be both intriguing and appealing to the minds of more matured and adult women. They consist of some of the more intense and realistic topics such as infidelity, relationships, etc with some tinge of romance as always.
Genres come into the picture too!!
Not everyone’s choices are the same. Even if you belong to the same age group, choices are something which we can say will mostly be different from person to person. Similarly, if we just group Manga comics according to their directed age groups it would not be fair. Thus, like any other entertainment media, Manga too has a number of Genres. And by number, I mean a lot of numbers. When we are talking about Mangas, it is just not genres we are talking off, we also have subgenres.
Manga genres mostly comprise of the common genres like comedy, romance, sci-fi, drama, adventure and so on. However, when we look at sub genres, that is when things can get a little complicated and crazy. Genres like cyberpunk, demon, vampire, school, historical and game are a few of many such sub-genre names you can expect to find while walking down the Manga road.
The Unconventional Yet Conventional Pattern Of Reading
Conventionally if you are someone who has been reading comics from DC, Marvel or any other kind brand, the most common pattern of reading it would be I assume would be from left to right. However, in case of Manga it is completely the opposite. This might sound pretty unconventional for those who are more used to reading comics like DC and Marvel. But, for those readers in countries like Japan, China and Korea, this way of reading a comic from right to left is the most conventional way.
So, for those of you who are looking forward get involved with Manga and all that it has to offer, it might take a little time to get used to it but if you ask me then like any other Manga lover. I would say that it is worth it.