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Manga, the Japanese term for “whimsical pictures,” popularly refers to printed comics originating in Japan. This differs from anime, which refers specifically to Japanese animation. A simplified comparison between manga and anime would equate to the difference between comics and cartoons in Western society. However, there is more to manga than this definition alone:

  • Japanese comic-like drawings from as early as the 12th century contain manga-like features.
  • Manga more closely related to today’s style appeared in the late 18th century.
  • Modern manga developed in the years before and after World War II.
  • Manga characters may either be realistically drawn or contain exaggerated, cartoonish features.
  • Manga today isn’t just kids’ stuff; manga titles and subject matter are produced for female (shoujo) and male (shonen) audiences of all ages and interests.
  • Japan even has manga cafes; essentially hybridized manga havens and coffee shops.
  • American and European readers are beginning to embrace manga for its styles and themes.

Although manga has yet to fully break through in Western society, readership and popularity are gaining momentum. To learn more about manga and order online from a variety of titles, visit Westfield Comics.

In recent decades, Japanese manga—printed comics, not to be confused with the anime cartoons—has grown to include series and subject matter for readers of all ages and interests. In its home market, manga enjoys greater readership and higher regard than comic books and graphic novels in Western society, though that is changing. Visit Westfield Comics online and discover the manga genre.



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