Understanding Manga and Anime

By Robin E. Brenner
(Libraries Unlimited, Paperback, 9781591583325, 333pp.)

Publication Date: June 2007

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Description

Teens love it. Parents hate it. Librarians are confused by it; and patrons are demanding it. Libraries have begun purchasing both manga and anime, particularly for their teen collections. But the sheer number of titles available can be overwhelming, not to mention the diversity and quirky cultural conventions. In order to build a collection, it is important to understand the media and its cultural nuances. Many librarians have been left adrift, struggling to understand this unique medium while trying to meet patron demands as well as protests. This book gives the novice background information necessary to feel confident in selecting, working with, and advocating for manga and anime collections; and it offers more experienced librarians some fresh insights and ideas for programming and collections.

Teens love it. Parents hate it. Librarians are confused by it; and patrons are demanding it. Libraries have begun purchasing both manga and anime, particularly for their teen collections. But the sheer number of titles available can be overwhelming, not to mention the diversity and quirky cultural conventions. In order to build a collection, it is important to understand the media and its cultural nuances. Many librarians have been left adrift, struggling to understand this unique medium while trying to meet patron demands as well as protests. This book gives the novice background information necessary to feel confident in selecting, working with, and advocating for manga and anime collections; and it offers more experienced librarians some fresh insights and ideas for programming and collections.

In 2003 the manga (Japanese comics) market was the fastest growing area of pop culture, with 75-100% growth to an estimated market size of $100 million retail. The growth has continued with a 40-50% sales increase in bookstores in recent years. Teens especially love this highly visual, emotionally charged and action-packed media imported from Japan, and its sister media, anime (Japanese animation); and libraries have begun purchasing both. Chock full of checklists and sidebars highlighting key points, this book includes: a brief history of anime and manga in Japan and in the West; a guide to visual styles and cues; a discussion of common themes and genres unique to manga and anime; their intended audiences; cultural differences in format and content; multicultural trends that manga and anime readers embrace and represent; and programming and event ideas. It also includes genre breakdowns and annotated lists of recommended titles, with a focus on the best titles in print and readily available, particularly those appropriate to preteen and teen readers. Classic and benchmark titles are also mentioned as appropriate. A glossary and a list of frequently asked questions complete the volume.

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