Sunday, 9 January 2011


Manga (漫画) refers to graphic novels and comic strips. Although often it's used outside of Japan to refer to Japanese animation, in the country itself "manga" is specific to print media.

In the UK, graphic novels tend to be both expensive, and quite niche. But in Japan manga is both ubiquitous and reasonably cheap. There are a number of categories of manga, which appeal to many different social groups - such as shojo (aimed at teenage girls), shonen (teen boys), seinen (men aged 18-40) and josei (late-teen to adult women). There are countless sub-categories within these, which relate to the themes, styles and the content.

Its appeal is so broad that it's not uncommon to see middle-aged salarymen or sucessful businesswomen reading the latest seinen or josei series on the commute to work. In fact former Prime Minister Taro Aso was himself a huge manga fan, reading between 10 and 20 magazines a week while in office.

Favourite series in the Ohayou Tokyo household include GTO, Chi's Sweet Home, Chobits, Death Note, and Tokyo Mew Mew.


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