The history of manga

In this blog we will delve into the history of manga comics, where they came from and about some of the most famous manga comic series. If more traditional comics are more your thing you can read about the history of comic books here and here. 

What is manga?

Manga is a Japanese term which refers to comics and cartooning. Outside of Japan, the term Manga is used to refer to comics originally published in Japan. Manga is enjoyed by all kinds of different people, of all ages and all walks of life. Manga comics covers a wide range of subjects from comedy, action, horror, erotic to mystery. 

Since the 1950’s Manga has become a huge part of Japan's publishing industry. In 2022 the manga market was worth Y615 billion which is significantly bigger than the American comic market. Since 2010 Manga comics have regularly out sold American comics. In 2021, Manga made up 76% of all comic and graphic novel sales in the US. Yes Manga is HUGE!

Opposite is a Manga comic from 1945, MAA-CHAN NO NIKKICHOU – OSAMU TEZUKA, 1946

What is the difference between 

manga and anime?

Anime is Japanese animated TV shows, whilst Manga is Japanese comics and graphic novels. They both share a very unique visual style, and a lot of Anime TV series are based on Manga comics and vice versa. 

Who created manga? 

Osamu Tezuka is known as the father of manga. Born in 1928 in Japan, he was a manga artist, cartoonist and animator. He is considered the ‘Walt Disney’ of Japan. Actually Walt Disney was a huge inspiration for Osamu. 

Osamu started the manga revolution in 1947 with New Treasure Island. A manga series based of Robert Louie Stevenson’s book written in 1883. This series went on to spawn some of the most successful and influential manga series, such as Astro Boy, princess Knight and Buddha. 

Best manga of all time

One Piece which started in 1997 is easily the best manga of all time. 96 volumes have been published and 470 million copies sold worldwide. It has been translate into over 40 languages. 

One Piece is about a is about a pirate called Monkey D Luffy, who sails around the sea with his crew seeking the treasure known as One Piece. One Piece consists of many import themes such as history, dreams, love and team work. 

Another best anga of all time is course Naruto. It’s a ninja themed manga series which started in 1999, so far 72 volumes have been published, with over 250 million copies sold worldwide. 

Naruto is set in a fictional world called Shinobi. Naruto is a hopeless ninja, who slowly builds his skills whilst repeatedly suffering setbacks. 

Our 3rd best manga of all time is Dragon Ball. The main character is Son Goku who is on a quest to find all 7 dragon balls. 

The story starts with him training hard as he battles with various characters. Dragon Ball has led the martial arts genre within Manga since 1984 when it started. 

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