Below is a list of helpful English-language web resources about manga. I update this page on a regular basis, so suggestions are always welcome!
Articles on Manga
7 Manga Titles Perfect for Any Young Adult Reading List: Author and illustrator Harmony Becker recommends seven titles “that will make you laugh, cry and, above all else, feel that it’s OK to be exactly where you are.”
1000 Years of Pretty Boys: J.R. Brown offers a comprehensive history of the bishonen in Japanese art and literature, from the feudal era to the present day.
Charting the Beginnings: Ryan Holmberg (The Comics Journal) explores the roots of alternative Japanese comics, from the 1950s through the 1970s. The first in an ongoing series at The Comics Journal, “What Was Alternative Manga?” Other articles from this series:
- The Aomushi Showa Manga Library
- The Bottom of a Bottomless Barrel: Introducing Akahon Manga
- Emonogatari in the Age of Comics, 1948-1957
- An Introduction to Gekiga, 6970 A.D.
- Manga Finds Pirate Gold: The Case of New Treasure Island
- Saito Takao and the “Gekiga Factory”
- Tezuka Osamu and American Comics
CLAMP MMF: Introduction and CLAMP Directory: Melinda Beasi (Manga Bookshelf) offers a brief history of the four-woman team responsible for writing Cardcaptor Sakura, Kobato, and xxxHolic. The essay also includes a brief but detailed synopsis of every CLAMP titles available in English.
Confessions of a Manga Translator: Prolific translator Zack Davisson (Kitaro, Queen Emeraldas) explains the vital role of translators in adapting manga for English-language readers. Davisson has also written and spoken about Shigeru Mizuki, whose work Davisson has translated into English:
- The Life and Death of Shigeru Mizuki, 1922-2015
- Manga Translator Zack Davisson on Maintaing the Spirit of Mizuki’s Kitaro
Defining Yuri: A Q&A with Erica Friedman: Manga journalist Brigid Alverson interviews Yuricon founder Erica Friedman about the origins and type of yuri manga, and solicits a few recommendations for readers new to yuri.
Early Manga Days: A Chronology: A list of manga published in the US between 1977 and 1991, arranged chronologically. Ryan Sands (Same Hat!) compiled the initial list and has continued to update it since posting it in February 2010. Also in this series:
- Mai the Psychic Girl
- The Manga Story #1: Fred Patten (reprint of an essay that appeared in the first issue of Mai the Psychic Girl)
- The Manga Story #2: Frederik Schodt (reprint of an essay that appeared in subsequent issue of Mai the Psychic Girl)
Full Circle: The Unofficial History of MixxZine: Adam Arnold (Aoi House, Vampire Cheerleaders) explores the early history of Tokyopop, focusing primarily on Tokyopop’s short-lived MixxZine anthology, home to Ice Blade, Magic Knight Rayearth, Parasyte, and Sailor Moon.
How to Interview Japanese Manga Artists: Tips for Western Journalists: Veteran journalist and reviewer Deb Aoki shares advice for interviewing manga-ka attending American conventions.
How Manga Was Translated for America: Gabriel Gianordoli and Robert Ito trace out the history of the American manga market from the 1980s to the present, focusing on how manga was formatted and and translated for English-speaking readers.
Making a Living in Manga: Deb Aoki (About.com) interviews Western artists who are working in the manga publisher field, both in the United States and abroad. Other essays in the series:
- “Real” or “Fake” Manga: The OEL Dilemma
- The Skills to Pay the Bills: The Manga Training Gap
- Publishers, Self-Publishing, and Making it in Japan
Manga in the USA: Anime expert Mike Toole (ANN) discusses the first manga to be translated and published in the United States.
Mangaphobia: Don’t Make Those Eyes at Me!: Author Paul Gravett provides a simple, illustrated rebuttal to the common misperception that manga is a style, not a storytelling medium.
Purity and Power in Magic Knight Rayearth: Scholar Kathryn Hemmann (Contemporary Japanese Literature) examines gender and sexuality in CLAMP’s shojo fantasy Magic Knight Rayearth. Also of interest:
Reading Manga: An overview of the manga publishing industry in the US, compiled by Deb Aoki (About.com). Deb has drafted a variety of introductory articles designed to help new readers find titles that appeal to their sensibilities. Also of interest to new manga readers:
The Ruins of Space Battleship Yamato: An Essay on Matsumoto Leiji and War: An essay exploring the legacy of veteran sci-fi artist Leiji Matsumoto (Space Battleship Yamato, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999) by Japanese manga critic Natsume Fusanosuke, and translated by Jon Holt and Teppei Fukuda. Other entries in this ongoing series include:
- Barbara: Tezuka Osamu’s Self-Denial
- Drawing American Comics the Marvel Way
- Making It Just in Time: Author-Creator Matsumoto Taiyo
- Remembering Two Titans of Manga: Shirato Sanpei and Saito Takao
- Seinen Manga Legend: Remembering Miyaya Kazuhiko
- Takahashi Rumiko and the Turning Point in the History of Manga and Anime
- Taniguichi Jiro and His Gekiga Years
- Time to Re-Evaluate Taniguhi Jiro’s Place in Manga
- The Tradition of Training Images in Manga
- The Transgenerational Manga Sazae-San and Its Meaning
- Urasawa Naoki: An ‘Adult’ Since He Was Young
- Yoshinaga Fumi: Those Gallant Girls’ Comics of Hers
Tones 101: A Primer for Readers and Reviewers: Artist Dee Dupuy, who’s worked with Svetlana Chmakova on Dramacon and Night School, explains the whys and hows of toning. Essential reading for reviewers.
Toren Smith on Manga Censorship: Studio Proteus founder discusses the controversy over modified images in the original Dark Horse edition of Ghost in the Shell. Also of interest to fans of Shirow Masamune:
- The Live-Action Birth of Ghost in the Shell
- The Rise and Fall of Masamune Shirow [NSFW]
- Who Is the Real Motoko Kusanagi?
Visual Languages of Manga and Comics: Writer and comic artist Stephanie Folse compares the visual flow of shonen and shojo manga with American superhero comics.
What’s the Big Deal About Sailor Moon?: ALC founder Erica Friedman discusses the Sailor Moon phenomenon, both in Japan and the United States.
Year 24 Group Wikipedia entry: An introduction to the work and careers of pioneering shojo artists Ryoko Ikeda, Moto Hagio, Keiko Takemiya, and Mineko Yamada. Also of interest:
Year 24 Group: A fan community hosted by MyAnimeList, dedicated to exploring the work of the Magnificent 49ers (e.g. Yasuko Aoike, Moto Hagio, Ryoko Ikeda, Keiko Takemiya).
Interviews with Manga Artists
- A Conversation with Moto Hagio (Carlo Santos, Anime News Network)
- Interview with Masamune Shirow (Frederick Schodt, Manga Max)
- Manga Interview: Moyocco Anno (Brigid Alverson, MTV News)
- The Quiet Terror of PTSD Radio with Eisner-Nominated Horror Manga Creator Masaaki Nakayama (Lynzee Loveridge, Anime News Network)
- TCAF 2015: Gengoroh Tagame Talks Gay Manga, “Bara,” BL and Scanlation (Deb Aoki, Manga Comics Manga)
- Video + Interview: Tsutomu Nihei at San Diego Comic-Con (Deb Aoki, Manga Comics Manga)
- Video: Yusuke Murate Draws One-Punch Man at International Manga Festa 2014 (Deb Aoki, Manga Comics Manga)
Interviews with Manga Industry Professionals (Publishers, Translators, etc.)
- A Conversation with Zack Davisson (Alex Deuben, The Comics Journal)
- The Stu Levy Interview: Veteran comics journalist Brigid Alverson sits down with Stu Levy, founder of TOKYOPOP to discuss his company’s legacy and possible future.
Contemporary Japanese Literature: A website exploring manga, fiction, and movies, as well as scholarship about Japanese culture.
Good Comics for Kids: A blog at the School Library Journal that focuses on comics, graphic novels, and manga for readers under the age of 18.
The Graphic Library: Librarian Sara Smith posts weekly reviews of manga and comics for kids, tweens, and teens. Each review includes age guidelines and information about potentially offensive/suggestive content.
Manga Librarian: Ashley Hawkins describes her site as “Japanese anime, manga, and culture for librarians,” offering a helpful mixture of reviews, resources, and terminology.
No Flying, No Tights: A website devoted to manga and comics for younger readers, founded by librarian and former Eisner judge Robin Brenner. Each review includes age guidelines and information about potentially offensive/suggestive content.
Tezuka in English: A comprehensive guide to Osamu Tezuka’s work in English. The site includes extensive summaries of Tezuka’s major work, as well as information about untranslated material. N.B. At the moment, many of the links to the official Tezuka World Web Page are broken.
TezukaOsamu.net: The official English-language website of Tezuka Productions. The site includes summaries of Tezuka’s best-known anime and manga, a biography of Tezuka, an encyclopedia of “representative” characters, and brief samples of manga such as I.L., Jungle Emperor Leo, Princess Knight, and The Three-Eyed One. N.B. Samples are in Japanese.