defining manga

What is manga?
The short and simple definition of manga is “Japanese comics.” You can get them in tankubon format (compilation, usually of similar series) or through monthly “phonebooks” (magazine collection of short stories or installments for running series).

What kind of manga are there?
There’s shoujo (for girls), shounen (for boys), yaoi (male-male relationships), etc… A significant amount of manga have been made into anime, while a few manga have been adapted from the anime (e.g. the shoujo and shounen versions of 3 x 3 Eyes). Manga has also been adapted from certain video games, and vice versa.

Where can I get them?
You can get them from your local Kinokuniya or special order them from stores with online catalogs like Sasuga. Subscriptions for the monthly “phonebooks” can be arranged. If you go to a store looking for titles, the manga are arranged by publisher. Make sure you know who publishes your titles or you’re going to be browsing for a while. ^^ Asking for help from the people who work there would be easier if you have the ISBN number, since you really can’t expect them to know every single title they carry..

Terminology

manga – Japanese comics
mangaka – the manga authors
“phonebook” – monthly anthologies.. they are nicknamed as such by non-japanese
readers because of their size.. monthly installments on running series are published
here… imagine if your favorite novels were released chapter by chapter instead
of having to wait the whole year for it to get published into a novel
tankubon – after a significant amount of chapters/installments have been
made available through monthly anthologies, they will be put together into this
collection.. aka the novel format
graphic novel – most American readers are more familiar with this term.. it would
be the English translated tankubon
bunko – some of the more popular works may later be reprinted onto
smaller versions (in terms of face dimension) which are also considerably thicker than
tankubons.. The paper is generally of better quality

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