Ika Musume

Manga characters are heavily stylized, with pronounced features such as large eyes and unusual hair styles. In this example, the character, Ika Musume, has a squid motif.

Manga are Japanese comic books, but calling them "comic books" comes at the risk of upsetting the nerds. While manga are usually graphic novels, visually telling a story, manga can come in a variety of genres and can even be educational or informational.

Many popular anime series initially starts out as manga.

Manga formatEdit

There are numerous differences between the formats of manga and western style comic books. While American comic books are released as often as once a month with about 50 pages of colored content, manga is often released in weekly installments of about 20 pages, and are seldom colored. While comic books contain a single issue, manga books contain several installments, can be much thicker, and may be released less frequently.

Most manga is read from right to left, which differs from the traditional left to right style of most media. Not only are pages flipped from right to left, but the panels themselves and the speech bubbles are also read from right to left. This can initially be challenging for those new to the manga format. Sometimes, in the process of localization, manga pages are "mirrored" to make them easier to read for American audiences. However, even American readers generally prefer the original format, and sometimes manga artists criticize the mirroring process, saying that it can cause graphical distortions that they did not intend.

Manga art styleEdit

There are many variations of the manga style, but each variation is typically recognized as manga style by onlookers. While many of the usual conventions of anatomy and composition are followed, manga characters can have features distinct from other art styles, such as large eyes, faces that appear flat, smaller noses, larger mouths, and hair styles that can sometimes be very spiky, or colorful. Manga is seldom colored, and gradients are not often used in manga, contributing to it's cartoony appearance.

Early in the development of the manga style, a major contributing factor was old Disney cartoons, which enjoyed some popularity in Japan.

Gender constituencyEdit

Statistically, far more manga readers are female. Male manga readers are more outspoken about it, which can lend to the appearance that there are more male readers.

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