Everything you need to know about manga in 10 questions

Share : Facebook Twitter Whatsapp

The entire history of manga, broadly speaking, from the origin of the genre to the present, through its different incarnations. Curious, connoisseurs or amateurs, these 10 questions and answers are made for you.

1. How was the manga born?

The term "manga" literally means "laughable image" or "unfinished drawing." Composed of two kanji, man means "aimless", "entertainment" and "exaggeration", while ga indicates a graphic representation.

If we go back to the origins of the manga, the word acquires all its meaning. In fact, it originated in the Nara era with narrative painting and, in particular, Japanese painted narrative scrolls, called emakimono. The latter combine paintings with calligraphic texts that, together, tell a story.

Historically, the term "manga" became common in the late 18th century with the publication of works such as Kankei Suzukis Mankaku Zuihitsu (1771) or Minwa Aikawas Manga Hyakujo (1814). But the book that unveiled it in the West is a collection of prints from the Katshushika Hokusai: Hokusai manga.

It was not until the 20th century that manga acquired the meaning of a comic.

2. What is the first manga in the world?

To stay a little longer in the story (we can never get enough), the worlds first manga dates back to 1902.

It appeared in the illustrated pages of the Sunday supplement of the Jiji Shinpo, which quickly became the Manga Jiji, and takes up a theme that we all know very well, that of sprinkler irrigation, taking inspiration from European culture.

3. Who invented the manga?

Yasuji Kitazawa (Rakuten Kitazawa by his artist name) is the first to use the term "manga" to designate his drawings and, no doubt you have guessed, he is the author of this famous sprinkler story.

4. What do you call the author of a manga?

It is simple, we add the suffix "ka" to the manga: mangaka! And if you are intrigued by the profession, Tsugumi Oba and Takeshi Obata produced the Bakuman manga series, which tells the story of two college students who want to become manga artists and which reveals a wealth of information about the profession. Otherwise, draw the manga with Yu Watase from Yu Watase and Hiroyuki Lizuka.

5. What is a manga and a manga tome?

As we saw earlier, manga was born from narrative paintings and therefore tends to tell a story through a narrative in images. Today we can afford to qualify and particularize its meaning a little more, defining it as a black and white Japanese comic with very specific graphic codes. Displayed in a novel way, it reads from right to left, like Japanese writing, and begins with what would normally be the last page for us.

We use the term "tome" to divide a work into several consecutive parts. Thus, volume 1 will follow from volume 2, 3, 4 ... until the final volume that marks the end of the manga series.

6. What are the different types of sleeves?

This is without a doubt the question that you will find the most useful as you browse the shelves of the manga! In fact, there are different types of manga depending on whether you are a boy, a teenager, an adult, or a girl.


This type of manga is exclusively for children and has no other purpose than to entertain and have fun. (Pokemon et Astro Boy)


We climbed a few steps to reach a teenage audience. Shonen is the masculine side and is aimed at school children, high school and high school students. Most stories will highlight a youthful hero that the reader can easily identify with but, because manga is all about entertainment and twists, this hero will have a hidden talent that will allow him to surpass himself and "achieve great things.".

One of the best known subgenres of shonen is undoubtedly the "Nekketsu" shonen, where the hero is usually left orphaned and naive but eager to surpass himself by embarking on the great adventure of fighting for good with the group of friends of he. (Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto)


The shojo means "girl" and is therefore intended for an audience of schoolgirls, college girls, and high school students. The stories that take place in this genre are stories of adolescent life (love, friendship, school).

In subgenre, we can find the "Magical Shojo" that uses fantasy as a backdrop (Sailor Moon, Sakura), or the "Shojo Romance" for all those who swear by the rose water stories (Nana, Fruits Basket).


This type of manga sits right between shonen and seinen and is aimed at high school and college students (Booking Life, Happy Mania)


For young adults. These manga become various topics such as religion, terror, fantasy, science fiction but also sentimental intrigues or the chronicles of everyday life. The seinen really do tackle all subjects in atmospheres from the most sober to the most extravagant. (Berserk, Samurai Champloo).


Also called the ladies comic, the josei is the replica of the seinen but for young women. Seduction, romantic and sexual relationships are usually the main themes of these stories, as are the concerns of the heroines who often touch celibacy, work, in search of the ideal partner. (Nonamour, Beijing Roaring Twenties)

HENTAI This is for people over 18 years of age. We will say no more! But we can still thank the Japanese and their overflowing imagination.

7. What is the difference between a manga and an anime?

The difference is quite simple: while manga is a Japanese comic printed on paper, anime is a Japanese cartoon that is sometimes also called "japanime" or "japanimation".

8. What is the longest sleeve?

Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari koen mae hashutsujo (1976-2016) is the longest manga, it has 200 volumes. It literally means "This is the police station in front of the Kameari park in the Katsushika district", but it is abbreviated as Kochikame. Who is your mangaka? Osamu Akimoto.

9. What is the best-selling and best-known manga in the world?

Eiichiro Odas One Piece is the best-known and best-selling manga with approximately 500 million sales. It is followed by the power of KAMEHAMEHA from Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama and that of Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto.

10. What are the best manga today?

One Piece (1997) by Eiichiro Oda

Dragon Ball (1984) by Akira Toriyama

Death Note (2009) by Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Oba

Berserk (1990) by Kentaro Miura

Fullmetal Alchemist (2001) by Hiromu Arakawa

Akira (1982) by Katsuhiro Otomo

Naruto (1999) by Mashashi Kishimoto

Monster (1994) by Naoki Urasawa

Compartir : Facebook Twitter Whatsapp