At our local high school, the students meet once a month at the end of the day and watch anime on a laptop and projector. I interviewed the group about anime and manga and why they love it so much. During the meetings we were watching Blue Exorcist and it was hard to drag some of the teens away to talk about manga.
What is your favorite Manga series and why you like it?
Hannah, 17: My favorite manga series is Skip Beat because it has a unique main character and its funny. Also its a romance with being too overbearing with the romance.
Katie, 16: Either Fruits Basket or Chibi Vampire because I can read them over and over again and not get bored.
Noah, 16: Bleach because it has well developed characters and action.
Ivy, 16: I like Ouran High School Host Club. I like the imagery and the personalties.
Kaylah, 13: Fullmetal Alchemist because it is fun, awesome and suspenseful.
To read more about Fullmetal Alchemist, check out Hub blogger Erin Daly’s review of the series, which she highly recommends.
Do you spend as much time reading manga as you do watching anime?
Everyone unanimously said they spent more time reading manga than watching anime.
If someone had never read manga before what would you suggest and why?
Hannah, 17: If someone had never read manga before I would suggest Fruits Baskets or xxxHolic because they both have a storyline that’s fairly easy to make sense of when you are first reading to read manga. Also they are both well liked stories that people haven’t be exposed to they won’t have the same reservations about reading it and will likely enjoy it.
Katie, 16: I would suggest a shorter series so they don’t get frustrated or distracted.
Noah, 16: I would suggest anything with a lot of the culture. I would suggest manga to a reader because they have every genre available.
Ivy, 16: Inu-Yasha because its easy to follow.
Kaylah, 13: Fullmetal Alchemist because it is my favorite and first manga that I’ve read.
For a full review of Inu-Yasha, Graphic Novelists You Should Know â€” Manga Edition by Hub blogger Maria Kramer will fill in all you need to know about this popular series.
If the school or public library stopped buying manga, what would you tell your teachers or librarians to help them understand how important manga is? Is it really as important as fiction chapter books?
Hannah, 17: If the school or public library stopped buying manga I would tell the librarians that manga is important because it allows teenagers to learn about culture in a way they couldn’t otherwise do without visiting the country. Also it gets teenagers interested in learning more about Japan and possibly about learning the language. I think manga is as important as fiction chapter books because, like fiction chapter books, manga entertains people and allows them to step into a different world.
Noah, 16: For a lot of kids it would help them picture the book more and may get them into reading chapter books.
Ivy, 16: A petition would show them how many people love manga. It really helps people visualizes how things play out.
Kaylah, 13: Manga helps you understand the Japanese culture.
Clearly anime and manga go hand in hand. The bond between the two media types is as strong as young adult’s devotion to the genre. Do you know someone who needs an introduction to manga or anime? Maybe you can pique their interest with Our YA Lit Resolutions for 2012: blogger Erin Daly promises, “My reading resolution is to read more manga. It is too popular with my teens for me to lack familiarity with a variety of series.” Doesn’t that sound more fun than promising to exercise more?
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