Japanese comics: 5 manga genres and recommendations that may interest you!

  • While manga may be Japan’s version of a comic book, the audience for these vary from kids, teenagers, young adults to much older. This is one of the great things about manga and their creators – they appeal to the masses!

    Having said all that, there are so many different genres that you may be interested in and the 5 that I’ll be touching on in this article are but a few.

    1. Slice of Life

    View this post on Instagram

    There were so many Re:Life manga at the Kinokuniya bookstore in Little Tokyo. It was amazing. We had just finished marathoning the anime while stuck out in Indio. I had no idea the manga was so long and still on going! I want to do a costest from this series in the future because business suit cosplay is easy and I really related to Kaizaki Arata on a spiritual level, more than people could hope to understand. We have parallel life experiences, thought processes and world views. We both help others and feel like an old man stuck around retarded youth. The list goes on. Plus, his seiyuu is Kensho Ono and it would be one more notch on the seiyuu bingo board. ✌🎊 For the same reason, I wouldn't mind doing a costest for Ryo either though, because Ryohei Kimura, damnit! I just have to. Ryo is my second favorite character.

    Antonin Mikael Karlstein 👑さん(@detachmentwings)がシェアした投稿 –

    Slice of Life is basically your everyday experiences being told through story, and the drama that can come with it. Generally, the stories can vary from high school experiences, family relationships, friendships and romance.

    Here are some examples:

    Love So Life by Kaede Koichi
    Taiyou no Ie by Ta’amo
    Re:LIFE by Sou Yayoi
    Nijiiro Days by Minami Mizuno
    Barakamon by Satsuki Yoshino

    2. Shoujo 少女

    Shoujo can be literally translated as ‘young woman’ and is aimed at teenage girls. Whilst ‘shoujo’ is specifically about the demographic of readers, it is still considered a genre by many. In terms of story, you may notice that most leading female characters are high school girls and depicts their life experiences (primarily their first love).

    Here are some examples:

    Kimi Ni Todoke by Karuho Shiina
    Namaikizakari by Mitsubachi Miyuki
    Say I Love You by Kanae Hazuki
    Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki
    Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun by Robico
    Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet by Mika Yamamori

    3. Josei 女性

    View this post on Instagram

    Au début du mois, j’ai eu envie de relire la série de mangas Paradise Kiss de Ai Yazawa. C’est une série terminée en 5 tomes qui met en scène un groupe d’amis passionnés de couture qui vont préparer le défilé de fin d’année de leur lycée. J’aime beaucoup cette série et la relire m’a rappelé mes propres années lycées, époque à laquelle je me suis lancée dans les mangas. Et vous quelle(s) série(s) de mangas lisez-vous ? #mangas #paradisekiss #aiyazawa #livraddict #bookstagram #booklovers #bookworms #reading #books #bibliophile #bookphoto #bookphotographer #booksofinstagram #instabooks #booksaddict #lifeasabookworm #booknerds #bookish #read #bookworld

    A Portée de Plumeさん(@aporteedeplume)がシェアした投稿 –

    A step up from shoujo manga is josei manga which is aimed at girls in their late teens all through to adulthood. The stories told in these are more mature and realistic; romance is more focused on the ups and downs as opposed to a shoujo manga where love blossoms, and there is generally more adult themes included, like infidelity.

    Here are some examples:

    From five to nine by Miki Aihara
    Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai by Aya Nakahara
    Renai Metro by Nene Yamaguchi
    Paradise Kiss and Nana by Ai Yazawa
    Nodame Cantabile by Tomoko Ninomiya

    4.Shounen 少年

    Shounen literally means ‘boy’ and is the reverse to shoujo manga as it is aimed at young male readers. You’ll find that a popular theme in this genre is action and comedy, with minimal romance. You will, of course, have your main male protagonist and follow their story in life as they engage with others, better themselves as they experience different events and stages in life, and aim towards a certain goal.

    Here are some examples:

    Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima
    One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
    Bleach by Tite Kubo
    Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
    Hunter x Hunter by Yoshihiro Togashi

    5. 4-Koma

    More so a style of manga, 4-Koma is a 4 cell comic. While only using 4 panels, the mangaka expertly (and perfectly) executes their story in short clips: 1. Intro to story 2. Story development 3. Climax 4. Conclusion. So basically, what you would get in one chapter of a manga is done on one page. Then it can continue from there to develop the overall story without losing any meaning or development.

    Here are some examples:

    View this post on Instagram

    目と目で通じ合う♪ #お通じだけに #黙れ #2歳 #息子 #育児漫画 #育児日記 #イラスト #4コマ漫画 #親バカ部 ・ いつもコメントありがとうございます! イチコは公園ではっちゃけ、私はタグではっちゃけました🤗元号ネタ乗っかりたくなるよねー!そんで数日に何回かテンションブチ上がるイチコ…ちなみに今も、自作のマイクがいい感じにできたようで、ブチ上げで変顔で歌って踊ってます。楽しそうでええわ #ええわ #れいわ #令和 #もうええわ #もう令和 #まだ平成 連載も見ていただきありがとうございます!連載公開後、今年分のチマチマ作業を終えました…いやほんと来年が怖いー!

    モチコさん(@mochicodiary)がシェアした投稿 –

    Another great thing about manga, is that different genres overlap to give you a more whole experience that really captures you and makes it that little bit more relatable and enjoyable.

    Being popular genres, you may have already read some (if not all) of the examples I’ve given. Are there any others that you’d recommend? Or perhaps there are some I’ve mentioned that you haven’t had a chance to read yet. If not, I hope that you’ll give some of these a try!