For the first post I introduced myself and anime in general. For this post I wanted to talk a little about a topic that I don’t hear talked about enough. This topic is a different aspect of Japanese Pop Culture than anime. This topic is manga or Japanese graphic novels. These graphic novels are done in a different style than the graphic novels here in the States. With manga the novels are read from right to left starting in the top right corner. The stories in manga can range from action adventure stories with lots of fights and intense developments to cute romance stories that will tug at your heart strings. There are even manga that will have you laughing out loud every panel with the humor and situations that the characters get into.
I enjoy reading manga just as much as I read other books. I have to admit I am a reader kind of person so it was easy for me to get into manga. Personally I have both bought volumes and also read stuff online. I prefer to read the more cute and funny manga with some action and romance mixed in. One of the series that I have really enjoyed is Omamori Himari, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Trinity 7, and Maga Tsuki. The only one of these titles that is sold in the U.S. is Omamori Himari, this means that the others I have to read online. If they do release the others in the states I will try to buy them just like I have bought Omamori Himari. My hope is that more manga will be released in more areas around the world by promoting it as much as I can.
Where to buy Manga?
While most of the manga that I read is online through websites like Batoto I still like to buy manga from stores like Amazon and Barns and Noble . The manga collection that I have keeps getting larger every time I buy a volume or two. There are a few major companies that are bringing manga to America, the main ones are Seven Seas Entertainment, Yen Press, and Viz Media. These are not the only ones that have English manga but they have the biggest libraries of manga that you can buy. It is important that after you find a manga that you enjoy online buy the paperback copies if they are sold where you live to make sure that they continue to release new titles that we can read.
Seven Seas Entertainment also has some original manga that is not imported from Japan but was created by people here in the states. This is great and theses titles are done in the same style as Japanese manga but will have more cultural references that people in the U.S. would understand more. To be honest I love that they have done this. I think that there are more people out there that would like to professional create manga and have it published but the industry here in the States is nonexistent. If more of these companies promote local creators the industry will expand and U.S. manga will have a larger presence. This means that we have to support the creators and publishers by buying the paperbacks when they sell manga. Reading online is a great way to get exposed to lots of manga and find the ones that you want to buy but there is nothing like holding the book in your hand and reading it cover to cover.
Reading Manga Online
When I read manga online I read it at Batoto because they support the fan translators the most and have the largest selection of manga. Fan translators are normal people who in their spare time take manga from Japan and translate it to English and post it online. These people do a great job with the translations but they are basically doing something illegal. Most of them do give credit to the original author of the manga and only do what they do to allow the manga to be seen and read by more people. I respect what they do and hope that by seeing the amount of manga that is fan translated the larger companies that publish manga here will see that there is a market for it here and bring us more titles.
I hope that you enjoyed this post. I will be posting more about manga in later posts so look forward to going more in-depth in this topic and others that I will cover in these posts. I enjoy talking about these topics and look forward to being able to talk more about them with more people.
Written by Mike