I’m guessing that at least a few of you readers are fans of manga. For those of you not in the know, â€œmangaâ€ is the Japanese term for comics, so manga is…comics…from Japan.
Okay, that explanation didn’t take as long as I thought. I’d better talk a little about what makes manga different from the comics we get in America. For starters, they read backwards; you go right-to-left instead of left-to-right. For another, they’re much more quickly produced: the usual schedule for American comics is 22-24 pages every month, but manga artists might draw twice as many pages, or even more. (Generally, though, manga pages are simpler than American comics pages, and manga artists have a staff of several assistants helping them.)
But the biggest, and probably most important difference, is that manga has a lot more genres. (If you weren’t paying attention in English class, â€œgenreâ€ is what kind of story it is: romance, sci-fi, comedy, tragedy, etc.) Walk into any comic store in the United States and you’re going to see one genre above all others: superheroes. You know, the guys in ridiculous tights (and the women in more ridiculous tights) fighting for truth, justice, and all that stuff. But in manga, you can find all sorts of genres. You want romance? Easy. You want fantasy? Also easy. You want action-drama-comedy with giant robots exploding out of a dude’s forehead and a space alien on a flying scooter? No problem. There’s all kinds of stories in all kinds of genres in manga.
Like I said, manga with genres like romance and fantasy are easy to find. So in this post, I’m going to look at three lesser-known genres and the manga within them that you might enjoy.
The human-demon political-relationship action-comedy genre
Suzuhito Yasuda’s series Yozakura Quartet takes place in the town of Sakurashin, where humans and demons (â€œyokaiâ€) live side by side, thanks to the Seven Pillars that exist in both the human world and the yokai world and can act as a conduit between them. Four teenagers, each with special powers (some of them from their yokai heritage, some of them from other sources), one of whom is also the mayor, help protect the city and keep human-yokai relationships from deteriorating. Continue reading The Many Genres of Manga