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Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

What is Manga?

Manga is the umbrella term for the comic books and graphic novels from Japan. Manga is very different from American comic books; while American comics are done in full color Manga is printed in black and white. Full-color prints are usually only leaflets in the book for a special release. Another difference to note is that reading Manga starts from the back of the book and is read right to left and down.  

Manga is often times released chapter by chapter on a weekly or monthly basis instead of a full book at once. The books that are printed are volumes that include several chapters. These volumes together makeup the entirety of the story and its multiple plot lines so they have to be read in order. Unlike the anime equivalent of the story there are no fillers in manga. Naruto and Bleach are two popular animes that are notorious for filler episodes. Fillers allow the author to write the next few chapters that need to be animated and for the production team to animate them.  

 

Different Types of Manga

  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Cooking
  • Drama
  • Horror
  • Slice of Life
  • Fantasy
  • Harem/Reverse Harem
  • Magic
  • Supernatural
  • Mystery
  • Psychological
  • Romance
  • Sci-Fi
  • Sports
  • Shonen
  • Shojo
  • Seinen
  • Josei
  • Yaoi
  • Yuri
  • Looping Paradox 
  • Inescapable Fate
  • Mindless Plot
  • Shape Of Love
  • Travel & Unravel
  • Motivational Goal

Triton Manga

Death Note
My Hero Academia
Ao no Exorcist
Alice in the Country of Hearts
Twisted Visions
Akira
Skip Beat!

Comparisons and Criticisms

What is anime? 

Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating in Japan and is the umbrella term for all animated works. Outside of Japan, anime refers specifically to animation produced in Japan. Anime is different from cartoons as it focuses less on movement and more on the details of the settings and use of camera angels for panning and zooming. Although there are different drawing styles there certain characterizes that are repeated in many (if not all) animes, this includes the big emotive eyes, female characters being drawn out of proportion, and the blocking of nudity and other sexual scenes. A noteworthy characteristic of anime is its use of music in their openings and closings and all throughout often featuring big names in Japanese music. 

How does anime relate to manga? 

Often times a manga will be made into an anime. Depending on the budget and plan for it it can be a full 12 episode season (the most common length) or an OVA which is one or two episodes of Original Video Animation. Just like movie adaptions of books and comics there will always be some changes made to the anime, although most of the time the creators try to stay true to the original work. The only time when an episode is not directly related to the plot is when it is a filler episode, these episodes are meant to given the author and the production team time to catch up on the manga. Filler episodes are generally funny and do not have any ramifications in the original plot line. Bleach, Naruto, One Piece are very long running animes that are notorious for filler episodes, in fact Bleach had a whole story arc of filler. 

Does every anime have a manga and vise versa?

The manga version of a story is used as a marketing tool to see what interest it attracts and how much of it. Since many mangas produce weekly chapters it does not work with anime production timelines therefore an anime can come out a few years after the manga has started. Not all mangas get an anime though, sometimes they are not popular enough, not pitched enough, or just not picked up by production companies for one reason or another. One the other hand sometimes a manga gets picked up for one season and then dropped after that, a popular example is Ouran High School Host Club. 

Dubbed or Subbed? 

There is a long running debate over which is better, anime or manga; dubbed or subbed; rebooted version or original? At the end of the day it comes down to the production quality, voice actors, and storyline. Many English speakers prefer the dubbed version because it is easier to follow than the subbed version with subtitles. The voice actors can make or break an anime because if the acting and voices are good it becomes a great watching experience. A great example of this is Ghost Stories, essentially the American voice actors had free reign with the script and the outcome was a hilarious gag version of the anime and a legend for memes. In regards to original or reboot, it depends heavily on which version you started with and if it is an older anime, can you stand to watch it in the old animation style? 

Anime Recommendations

One Punch Man
Code Geass
Noragami
Death Parade
Parasyte
Erased
Death Note
Free!
Kuroko no Basket
Haikyuu
Attack on Titan
Spirited Away
Tokyo Ghoul
Naruto
Bleach
Seraph of the End
My Hero Academia
Dr. Stone
Soul Eater
Ouran High School Host Club
Pokemon
Yona of the Dawn