Attack On Titan By Hajime Isayama
Isayama took the manga world by storm with his post-apocalyptic vision of a faltering human race besieged by man-eating giants. The plot has evolved since that initial premise its now filled with conspiracies, a questionable exploration of oppression, and even more questionable parallels to real-life history, but those early volumes remain of the best manga portrayals of action-packed survival and adventure.
The Mainstay Of The Japanese Culture And Economy
For more than 60 years, manga has been a major part of the Japanese cultural identity. Accounting for over 25 percent of all in the country, it represents a significant share in Japans publishing industry. As it offers something for everyone, manga fans range from small children to senior citizens. Nearly every aspect of Japanese pop culture production can be traced to the industrial complex of manga, as the most famous manga has a far-reaching influence and quickly turns into books, television shows, anime, collectible figures, and video games. For a long time, manga has served as a cultural pillar of Japans economy. It transcended cultural barriers and made an important and lasting impression on audiences across the globe, becoming Japans most popular cultural export. Having a solid fan base and fuelling further interest in the Japanese culture, manga helped the country become one of the planets largest exporters of cultural products. For that reason, it has become a mainstay of the Japanese economy and culture.
A Brief Warning: Fan Service And Oversexualized Characters
Fan service is also something to keep in mind. This refers to art that only exists to please or titillate the fans. Acts of fan service never further the plot or offer character development, and simply serve as gratuitous content, such as featuring a series’ prominent character in a revealing costume or pseudo-sexual situation. Nakaba Suzuki’s Seven Deadly Sins is a high-fantasy series that features an overabundant amount of fan service that makes it unsuitable for young children. Fan service appears in almost all types of manga and can range from harmless fun to seriously disturbing.
Unfortunately, a large chunk of manga tend to feature a disproportionate amount of oversexualized female characters. It is not unusual for female characters to randomly lose their clothing, wear revealing clothing, or be accosted in a sexual manner by the other male characters. Sexual assault is not something to be taken lightly, however, it is often played for laughs within these manga. For this reason, we encourage you to double check and read through the manga yourself before giving them to your children, especially young impressionable boys. There are plenty of thoughtful, well-developed series out there that are perfectly appropriate for readers of all ages. We have listed several titles for younger children in our guide.
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High School Debut By Kazune Kawahara
A middle school softball superstar, Haruna decides to pursue a different goal when she enters high school: finding a boyfriend. One small problem: shes never paid attention to romance, fashion, or make-up and has no idea how to go about achieving her dream. Not to be deterred, she seeks help from the most popular guy in school. To everyones surprise, he agrees to help but on one condition: she must not fall in love with him. The premise sounds stereotypical, but you will fall in love with Harunas earnest, straightforward charm.
Fan Communities In Malaysia
Studies of fan behavior focused more on big fan activities or conventions in the past and transitioned toward from fan communities to individual fans. There are four conventions in urban areas of Malaysia: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Kuching, Sarawak Sunway, Petaling Jaya, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. They are held four times annually between December 2012 and August 2013. According to the survey, there are about 585 people who regularly attend these conventions. Half of the respondents were aged 18-22 as of 2013 with equal numbers of both genders. More than half of the respondents were student and all respondents were consumers of Japanese media object. Although those four conventions did not officially announce that their event is mainly Japanese popular culture, majority of people were fans of Japanese popular culture. Their main purpose of attending these conventions were to meet new/old friends, to have fun, and to cosplay. They regularly attend these conventions to keep their fan communities active.
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Top Manga Series For Teens
1. Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse, in a fictional world where alchemy rules. However, when they try to resurrect their mother a tragic accident occurs and Edward loses his limbs and Alphonse his body. The series follows their adventures as they try to find the philosopher’s stone to restore their health. After a visit from the state military they agree to join up in return for help finding the stone and their adventures begin.
Originally a one-shot comic this series is now on it’s 64th release and still has a way to go. Naruto is a teenage ninja in training. As a child he was orphaned when his village was attacked by the powerful fox, Nine-Tails and a number of people, including his parents, were killed. Although he doesn’t know it to begin with, the fox demon has been trapped within Naruto and he continues his training unaware. The series showcases his training, exams and missions as he grows up.
The inspiration for feature films, video games and even rock musicals, Bleach is one of the most popular manga series. Ishigo could always see spirits but when one passes some of her Spirit Pressure energy through to him, he is given the powers of a Soul Reaper. With his new powers he now has the responsibility to guide people through to the afterlife and protect humans from the evil spirits and Hollows that threaten them.
4. Death Note
6. Black Butler
8. Blue Exorcist
9. Astro Boy
Best Anime Art Books: The Ultimate Collection
But another style is the world of Anime art. The Japanese have a unique flair to animation all their own and if you love anime movies/TV shows then youll adore these art books.
Granted there are dozens of books out there so Ive whittled down this list to my top 20. But this still offers a broad range of anime art with popular series westerners know & love.
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Mobile Suit Gundam Art Book
The Gundam series has a huge following with a bunch of different anime shows & movies. If you search around you can find a ton of different art books based around this series and they all have different styles.
I personally recommend the Mobile Suit Gundam Illustrated 2013 artbook for its size and level of detail. This is another Japan-only release so you probably wont be able to read anything in this book.
Thankfully youre probably getting this book for the pictures and those wont disappoint. The book features a ton of Gundam designs with raw sketches to showcase the concept process. It really is a design book focused on the Gundam world and the many different anime series.
You might pair this with the Gundam Complete Works guide which is a bit longer and comes with a larger variety of concept artwork.
They both come straight from Japan so they may be tough to find in stock. But Gundam fans will find a whole heap of inspiration from these never-before-seen visuals.
What’s The Difference Between Manga & Light Novels
As anime and manga continue to grow in popularity, Western fans have encountered a vast world of breathtaking stories. From action to romance, Japan has covered it all when it comes to manga or light novels. Still, there are plenty of fans who hesitate to read up on some classic stories because they’re not sure how.
Outside of animation, Japan has a massive market geared towards comic readers. With manga and light novel sales rising each year, more artist are spreading their stories across the mediums to the confusion of some fans.
Here at ComicBook, we are breaking down the two mediums so you don’t have to guess about them any longer. And, when we’re done, you will have more than a few recommendations to go read up on.
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Der Mond: The Art Of Neon Genesis Evangelion
Evangelion is another anime that pretty much all anime fans know about. Der Mond: The Art of Neon Genesis Evangelion takes a look into this series offering a history of the story and the characters.
Its a sizable book with 120 pages full of color prints. Most of these prints are traditional finished pieces with characters, postcard designs, and even marketing/promo art.
Very few of these prints have captions so this can feel like a random assortment of artwork. Not to mention the ratio of finished illustrations to concept art must be 4:1 at best.
Certainly a gorgeous art book if you love the Evangelion series. But this doesnt show a lot of production art so its not as in-depth as you might expect.
A Bibliomanic Takes Center Stage In Ascendance Of A Bookworm
One recent series that has won the hearts of many anime fans and spread the message of how amazing books can be far and wide is Ascendance of a Bookworm. It’s an isekai, with protagonist Main being reborn in a fantasy world after she dies in an accident before she is able to fulfill her dream of being a librarian.
What follows, however, isn’t sword-wielding action or harem antics. Rather, it’s a gentle, informative slice-of-life show that sees Main introduce the beauty and wonder of reading to the people around her, and fight the class divisions that have made books the sole possession of the rich. Bookworms everywhere will be cheering her on.
Steins gate Art Works Imaginations Of Huke
Steins Gate Art Works Imaginations of Huke features some of the most incredible anime artwork Ive ever seen. Regardless of whether you know this series or not, this artwork will blow you away.
I know many artists reading this want to draw their own mangas or improve their anime drawing abilities. Naturally you need to practice a lot, but you also want to find inspiring pieces that you can compare against your work to gauge your progress.
This art book for Steins Gate has dozens of gorgeous full-page spreads in HQ print quality. Full color digital paintings that will keep you mesmerized for hours.
If you love anime and want a genuine reference into the art style then this book will not disappoint.
Skip Beat By Yoshiki Nakamura
Kyoko Mogami followed her childhood friend to Tokyo to support his dream of becoming an idol. But her dreams of one day marrying him are shattered when she discovers he was just using her. This unleashes her wrath and Kyoko swears that one day shell become a bigger star than him. Two things elevate this plot about a woman scorned. First, Kyoko discovers her own talents during her so-called quest. And two, her love interest is not the childhood friend who took advantage of her good will.
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Chihayafuru By Yuki Seutsugu
The beautiful thing about sports manga is that theyre not just about what we in English-speaking countries consider traditional sports. A fair number also feature traditional strategy games! Chihayafuru showcases the Japanese card game, karuta, through its heroine, Chihaya, who displays an unexpectedly natural aptitude for the game.
Library Wars Knows Books Are Worth Fighting For
Books aren’t just entertainment. They’re also a way of communicating powerful ideas. Censorship of books can be one of the most subtly dangerous parts of any regime, a concept that has itself been explored in books such as the enormously influential Fahrenheit 451.
There’s also an anime that explores this idea — Library Wars, which, as the name suggests, follows a new recruit who fights to protect her local library from the forces of a near-future, dystopian Japanese government. This series is a testament to the power of books and the lengths people will go to protect them.
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Fist Of The North Star
Fist of the North Star , was published on Weekly Shonen Jump between 1983 and 1988, is one of the most famous action manga in Japan in 1980s. The setting is the deserted world after the nuclear war in 1990s, and Kenshiro, the successor of an ancient martial art of assassination called Hokuto Shinken, survives the world battling with villains.
As the famous manga creator Katsuhiro Otomo and his works have lots of fans all over the globe, his masterpiece Akira should be listed in the best manga lineup. 120 chapters of Akira were published on Weekly Young Magazine between 1982 and 1990, and the anime movie adaption, which was released in 1988, has been worldly renowned.
The sci-fi and near-future manga is set in the fictional, catastrophic city Neo-Tokyo in 2019, which is deserted for by an enormous explosion 37 years ago. The two main characters Shotaro Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima are mixed up in the chaotic conspiracy of the government with Akira who looks like a small child and has the devastating psychic power.
Akira represents a variety of social problems, and surprisingly, 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled in this manga as well as the real world even though it was written from 1982. The fact became a popular topic among Japanese and international fans.
Some spin offs as short manga and novels have been published, and anime adaptions are being produced.
Ghost In The Shell Original Collection
The entire Ghost in the Shell series is just over 20 years old and its one of the most beloved animes/OVAs to ever come out of Japan.
You can find a bunch of weird art books for this series but many of them feature postcards or semi-popular art you can find everywhere. But Ghost in the Shell Original Collection is the artbook for this series.
Its absolutely massive with 288 pages and well over 1,000 illustrations/concept designs. The artwork is organized in chronological order based on the film and snippets from the anime.
Youll find character sketches, storyboards, animation cels, and tons of visual development ideas.
Definitely a great buy if you love Ghost in the Shell or if you want a peek behind the scenes at the production side of anime.
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Yona Of The Dawn By Mizuho Kusanagi
Set in a fantasy world heavily influenced by Korean culture, the story begins with the sheltered Princess Yona. Her innocence is ripped away when her father is murdered by her childhood friend, Soo-Won, who shed one day hoped to marry. Yona, with her other childhood friend and bodyguard Son Hak, barely escapes with her life. Outside of the castle, she learns of the disarray the kingdom fell into while under her fathers rule. Now, Yona intends to redeem herself and save her kingdom and its people.
The Art Works Of Lupin The Third
The Art Works of Lupin the Third is a sizable 8.5×11 A4 print artbook full of rare production art from the anime. This is by far one of the most detailed art books Ive found with real concept production art overflowing each page.
It totals 128 pages and most of the book is full of real Lupin the Third artwork. Just note that technically this is a Japan-only release so it was never translated into English.
Thankfully you dont need to reach much Japanese because the visuals are more than enticing. This is primarily an animators art book with tons of storyboards, x-sheets, animation cels, and rough sketches from the days of traditional animation.
This book actually prints complete storyboards for scenes from the anime and theyre all incredibly high-quality prints. You can learn so much just from skimming this artwork and its easily one of the best anime art books out there.
If you can justify the cost this will prove an amazingly valuable asset for art/animation inspiration.
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Amazing Anime That Are Based On Full Length Novels
It’s super common for creators to base anime on manga or light novels, but anime based on novels are considerably more rare. Even so, full-length novels can serve as excellent source material for anime. Literary fiction is usually lacking in ridiculous anime tropes, so adapting them can be a great way to break the mold with some fresh ideas. They can be hot takes on classic novels like The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, or they can be fun reworks of modern books, like Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui.
Anime inspired by novels can add variety to your anime viewing experience. Plus, anyone who’s seen the musical will undoubtedly be morbidly curious about what a shojo adaptation of Les Misérables entails.
Manga Crash Course By Mina Petrovic
Subtitled: Drawing Manga Characters And Scenes From Start To Finish, you get a good idea of what to expect between the covers of this book. The author provides unique tips and guidance on taking your characters and doing some amazing things with them.
There are 25 step-by-step demonstrations, over 130 lessons that cover anatomy, fashion, hairstyles, and poses plus, a fun character invention game that will assist you in creating new and different characters.
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Naruto By Masashi Kishimoto
What is there to say about Naruto? An entire generation of manga fans cut their teeth on this series about an orphaned boy who dreams of becoming the best ninja in his village. If you love slick battles and cool ninja powers, this is the series for you. Its also one of the most accessible series for readers brand new to manga.