Good Morning, Good Evening and Good Afternoon. I'm Marcus, the latest addition to the DD Team and this week i'm going to be talking about my favourite genre of books - Manga.
Manga, what is it? A simplified explanation of manga would be that it is the Japanese style of graphic novel but that barely scratches the surface of what it is and what makes it such a unique and special art form. Manga in its earliest form can be traced back hundreds of years to the early 1800s. Today manga is bigger than ever and districts of japan such as Akihabara and Ikebukuro are filled with manga stores and manga cafes. The art is traditionally hand-drawn, and that practice is still mostly kept alive today, which makes it truly awe-inspiring that such beautiful and complex drawings are created just to progress the story one panel at a time. Looking beyond the art we find a near-limitless number of stories that are sure to appeal to anyone’s different tastes. Manga is truly a special art form to behold and is defiantly worth the time to find a series you think you’ll enjoy.
Firstly, my favourite thing about manga is the near limitless abundance of genres and stories within them. As far as I have seen it trumps what is available through more traditional western media such as comics and graphic novels. Would you like a more traditional story to get you started in the realm of manga? My go-to recommendation would be One Punch Man – a hilarious take on the superhero genre where a man has become so powerful that he can beat any enemy with one punch. Do you love the cat and mouse game of a detective hunting down his nemesis? Then Death Note should be right up your alley – the story of a man who has a notebook come into his possession that can kill anyone whose name is written inside and what he must do to protect his secret. Sucker for a cheesy romance like me? Then Oremonogatari (My Love Story!) is where it’s at – A beautiful story of a light-hearted romance between a shy high school girl and a gentle giant high school boy. And of course, being Japan there is plenty of weird and wonderful stories stemming from absurd topics. Want a manga where a high-school boy must fight alongside the alien trapped within his arm to save his planet from a complete takeover? Then Parasyte is up your alley. A school of teenage assassins tasked with killing their alien teacher before the end of the school year to prevent their world from being destroyed? Try Assassination Classroom out. A Prison where inmates fight each other with weapons crafted from their own blood? Deadman Wonderland. And finally, a generational epic spanning generations of a family with huge psychic strength and the adventures and enemies they meet on the way fighting by posing in positions named after famous rock and roll acts? Then you’re going to love JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Fair warning though once you become a fan then you will never be able to stop referencing the show in day-to-day life ha-ha
Secondly, the art of manga is truly awe-inspiring. Amazing art such as the cityscapes in works such as Attack on Titan and Akira, the highly choreographed fight scenes of Naruto or Dragon Ball, the guts and gore of Berserk or the truly grotesque body horror that can be found in works such as that of the artist Junji Ito shows the immense talent of the mangaka behind them. And the food in manga (especially coloured panels) is truly mouth-watering. Whether this is a character’s meal in any given series or a more food-oriented series such as Food Wars! It is sure to leave you hungry for your next meal.
And now is a better time than ever to jump headfirst into the world of manga. More and more works are receiving English translations and are getting imported to the west due to the growing love and fascination with Japanese culture. Our store has a small manga section on hand for you to browse, and we will be more than happy to special order any works that you would like to purchase.
So, in summary, Manga is a truly special art form and variety of books due to the amazing art and the sheer quantity of different genres and stories within those genres that are sure to satisfy the tastes of even the pickiest reader. I strongly recommend that you all browse the different manga available and try out a few series to see if manga is up your alley