Japanese comic books, also called Manga or Manga books, are a popular and fast growing form of literature. Characterized by the artistic style of faces using exaggeratedly large and expressive eyes in combination with small noses and mouths, Manga has an extremely easily identifiable look.
A couple of wildly popular Shojo Manga are fantasy books like, “Sailor Moon” and “Princess Ai.” Meanwhile, books like “Dragon Ball” and “Full Metal Alchemist” and “Yu-Gi-Oh!” All of which have been spun off into successful movies and television series that have appealed to children and adults alike.
Manga books began around the same time as American comic books—during World War II—but gained in popularity in the years afterward. However, as boys in America were reading about lone super heroes, the boys in Japan read science fiction about robots and space travel as the girls were given their own Manga books about fantastic females like “Princess Knight.”
Gradually, the popularity of Manga books grew to epic proportions and, as Japanese Animation became an export to the West, the graphic novels of Japan followed behind. Comic book stores in the United States began carrying Manga books as early as the 1990s and soon they were easily found on the shelves of nearly any bookstore or library across the country. Manga books consistently outsell and out-circulate some of the best graphic novels and comic books out there. And, it’s easy to see why since, in Manga, there is something for just about everyone.
Over the years, Japanese comic books have become a huge part of Western culture. Now, even American publishers have attempted to adapt the classically Japanese style of art into their own publications. Even American superheroes have undergone Manga makeovers in titles such as, “Spiderman: Legend of the Spider Clan” and “Batman: Child of Dreams.” This only goes to show that Manga books are here to stay.