For Further Reading About Manga

Below is a list of helpful English-language web resources about manga. (For information about manhwa, please visit For Further Reading About Manhwa.) I update this page on a regular basis, so suggestions are always welcome!

Articles on Manga

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.

Akira Maruyama on Early Shojo Manga: Former Shojo Club editor Akira Maruyama discusses girls’ manga of the 1950s and 1960s, challenging popular perception of these works as sentimental and cliched.

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:

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.

The Classics of Manga: Brent Newhall (Otaku, No Video) compiles a list of the most beloved and influential manga published in English. A great resource for readers who are new to manga.

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:

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:

The Early Years of Garo: A history of Garo magazine by Ryan Holmberg, curator of the 2010 exhibit, “Garo Manga: The Early Years, 1964 – 1973” (Center for Book Arts). The essay provides historical and artistic context for the magazine, as well as a corrective to the notion that the term “garo” is synonymous with “heta-uma.”

The Face of the Other: An essay by cultural anthropologist Matt Thorn explaining artistic conventions in manga, and challenging the widely held belief that manga characters look more Caucasian than Asian.

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.

I Want to Get Drunk and Tell You About My Eating Disorder: Shaenon Garrity (ComiXology, The Comics Journal, CLAMP in America) examines the history of confessional omake (author’s notes) in shojo manga. Also of interest:

Interview with Masamune Shirow: Manga scholar and translator Frederick Schodt interviews Masamune Shirow about Ghost in the Shell, Orion, technology, and animism. [N.B. The original version of the interview appeared in a 1998 issue of Manga Max magazine.] Also of interest to fans of Shirow’s work:

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. Also of interest:

Know Your Publishers: Japan and North America: Sean Gaffney (A Case Suitable for Treatment) provides a helpful overview of big and mid-size Japanese manga publishers, as well as information about which American companies are licensing their work.

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:

Manga in the USA: Anime expert Mike Toole (ANN) discusses the first manga to be translated and published in the United States.

Manga Interview: Moyocco Anno: Veteran comics journalist Brigid Alverson interviews josei artist Moyocco Anno (Sakuran, Flowers and Bees) about her work.

Mangaka Profile: Hideko Mizuno: Marc Bernabe interviews pioneering shojo artist Hideko Mizuno, who made her professional debut in Shojo Club magazine in 1956 with Akkake Pony.

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.

Moe: The Cult of the Child: Author and manga editor Jason Thompson examines the roots of the moe phenomenon, differentiating between “moe” in the general sense (e.g. having a special affection for trains, Peter O’Toole, German shepherd puppies) and “moe” as an underage character type found in manga such as Azumanga Daioh, Blood Alone, Kanna, and Yotsuba&! Also of interest:

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 Secret History of Manga: An audio recording of a talk given by author Jason Thompson (Manga: The Complete Guide) at SakuraCon 2010. Thompson’s presentation focuses on the history of manga translation in the US.

The Sparkling World of 1970s Shojo Manga: In this nine-part series, Scholar Kathryn Hemmann and blogger LM document the development of shojo manga through its most important decade. Here are links to the other eight installments:

The Stu Levy Interview: Veteran comics journalist Brigid Alverson sits down with Stu Levy, founder of the now-defunct TOKYOPOP to discuss his company’s legacy and possible future.

Ten Defining Manga: Shaenon Garrity (The Comics Journal, ComiXology, CLAMP in America) lists ten influential manga in a variety of genres and styles which, when taken as a whole, provide a good introduction to the medium.

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.

Top Ten Scariest Manga You Haven’t Read: Reviewer Thomas Zoth (Mania.com) examines ten of the most influential — and least read — horror manga released between 1990 and the present.

Translator Tea Time: Justin S. of The OASG hosts regular podcasts with industry professionals, giving them an opportunity to discuss their craft and share their experiences.

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 Shoujo Manga Are and Are Not: A brief introduction to shojo manga by cultural anthropologist Matt Thorn, with a representative list of shojo titles that have been published in English. Also of interest at Thorn’s site:

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:

Forums

The Alternative Manga Club: A fan community hosted by MyAnimeList. The group’s areas of interest include gekiga, underground manga, early (pre-Tezuka) manga, heta-uma, horror manga, and nouvelle manga.

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).

Websites

Anime Research: A comprehensive guide to English-language scholarship on anime, manga, and Japanese popular culture. Includes several extensive bibliographies of articles, books, and dissertations about anime and manga.

BonnKansan’s Translation Blog: An unofficial list of editors, letterers, and translators for JManga. The list is organized alphabetically by series title, and is updated on an ongoing basis.

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.

Masters of Manga: Translator, author, and manga authority Marc Bernabe (Japanese in MangaLand, Kanji in MangaLand) interviews prominent Japanese artists about their work. Recent interviews include Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina, Negima!) and Hiroshi Hirata (Satsuma Gishiden). Interviews are conducted in Japanese with English and Spanish subtitles.

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.

The Rumic World: A comprehensive overview of Rumiko Takahashi’s work, from her first published work to her most recent series. The site is updated on a regular basis with chapter and episode summaries of Rin-ne and InuYasha: The Final Act, and features character profiles, publication histories, and other information of interest to Takahashi fans.

Tezuka in English: A comprehensive guide to Osamu Tezuka’s work, maintained by manga scholar Ada Palmer. 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.