FAQ on Manga

What is manga? 
 Manga literally means ‘humorous picture’ and started out as
simple caricatures eventually morphing into an original style of Japanese
comics. Mangas are far more complex than a casual glance can explain. The
artist will combine expression, character looks, and text to express more than
simple words can do. Story lines can range from obvious good vs. evil scenarios
to complex mind-bending happenings. 

So manga is like the Japanese version of American comic
books?
 No. Not really. Although often described as ‘Japanese
comic books,’ manga is far different than what we typically think of as comic
book tales. Manga is far more complex than a typical hero-villain two
dimensional tale. The art of manga has evolved and will continue to evolve than
its early story beginnings. Unlike the typical good vs. evil scenario, manga
incorporates an astonishing variety of different story elements. The complex
mix of themes with drama from its artwork sets manga apart from its typical
comic counterparts.

Isn’t reading manga just for children or comic book lovers?
 Hell no! Manga is for anyone and everyone.

I’ve heard manga is like porn drawings. Is that true?
 I once had a person who told me their grandmother thought
reading manga was like looking at porn drawings. The majority of manga is not pornographic.
I will admit many manga do have a more sexual edge to them aka women are far
bustier/sexier than real life, sexual innuendos can be quite common etc.
However, this is definitely not the rule. 

What about hentai?
The term hentai, in Japanese, can be used as a description
for a bizarre sexual desire or action. Hentai is not a genre (like horror
supernatural romance etc) in manga. People often make this mistake as many times
pornographic anime and manga are labeled as such. Westerners often do this when
they market these products for sale to make them easier for consumers to
recognize.

How does anime factor into manga?
Many people have the idea every anime is based on manga.
While it is true many popular mangas are made into anime this is not always the
case.  In certain cases the anime came
first and was so popular, a manga version followed. Sadly, there are times when
truly awesome manga just exist as manga, no anime counterpart. I say it is sad
because there are so many manga I would love to see become anime. Maybe one day
they will be.

What is a yaoi manga?
Yaoi is a term used to describe relationships between
boy/boy or girl/girl. Almost all mangas I have come across which have yaoi
themes are marked as such. Readers who are offended by same-sex relationships
or simply not a fan of yaoi should heed the label. I have found the ones who
complain about yaoi the most are those who read the manga while knowing
perfectly well it contained those themes. If you don’t like, don’t read.