Manga and anime

Manga are illustrated and printed stories. Anime are animated stories in the format of short films, series or films for cinema, traditional or digital television.

The difference between manga and anime is the format. However, both are considered narrative and artistic expressions originating in Japan.

DefinitionIllustrated and printed stories.Animated stories in traditional or digital format.
OriginJapan, 13th century.Japan, early 20th century.
  • TV series.
  • Special for television.
  • THIS.
  • SHE.
TypesAccording to demographics:

  • Kodomo manga.
  • Shōnen manga.
  • Shōjo manga.
  • Seinen manga.
  • Josei manga.

According to the narrative genre:

  • Nekketsu.
  • Spokon.
  • Gekiga.
  • Mecha.
  • Mahō Shōjo.
  • Kemeno.
  • Meitantei.
  • Virtual reality.
  • Others.
According to demographics:

  • Kodomo manga.
  • Shōnen manga.
  • Shōjo manga.
  • Seinen manga.
  • Josei manga.

According to the narrative genre:

  • Nekketsu.
  • Spokon.
  • Gekiga.
  • Mecha.
  • Mahō Shōjo.
  • Kemeno.
  • Meitantei.
  • Virtual reality.
  • Comedy
  • Others.
  • Vagabond.
  • 20th century boys.
  • Platinum end.
  • Silent Möbius.
  • Pokémon.
  • Zero no Tsukaima.

What is manga?

Manga is a way of telling stories in print. Within Japan (where this expression arose), the term is used to refer generally to what in the West we would call comics or comics.

However, outside of Japan, manga is considered an artistic expression of that nation, so it is only used to refer to stories illustrated under Japanese parameters.

Manga has multiple classifications, but it can be grouped into two broad categories:

Types of manga according to demographics

It is the most popular classification of publishers. It refers to the categorization of stories according to the age of their readers:

  • Kodomo manga : children’s stories, such as Doraemon .
  • Shōnen manga : stories for male teenagers, like Dragon Ball.
  • Shōjo manga : stories for female teens, like Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
  • Seinen manga : stories for grown men, like Ghost in the shell.
  • Josei manga : story for adult women, like Nana.

Types of manga according to the narrative genre

There are multiple genres of manga, and it is very common for them to mix with each other as the stories progress, hence it is difficult to list them all. However, these are some of the most popular:

  • Nekketsu : the protagonist defends values ​​such as love, friendship, perseverance and hard work. It has many action scenes. Manga like Dragon Ball and Naruto are classic examples of nekketsu .
  • Spokon : stories focused on sports. Champions was the first manga of this style.
  • Gekiga : dramatic stories for adult audiences, such as Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths.
  • Mecha – The story is centered on giant robots. Mazinger Z is one of the classics of the genre.
  • Mahō Shōjo : girl or young woman with magical abilities, like Sailor Moon .
  • Kemeno : humans with animal features, such as Tokio Mew Mew
  • Meitantei – Police-themed stories, such as Death Note .
  • Virtual reality : the story takes place within an online video game, such as Sword Art Online.

Manga history

Manga is a word of Japanese origin that can be translated as “doodles” or free drawings. The manga has centuries of history, and one of the oldest expressions is believed to be a satirical representation of animals called Chōjugiga , attributed to the author Toba no Sōjō and published in the 13th century.

However, the painter and printmaker Hokusai (famous for his illustrations on the sea and the views of Mount Fuji) is considered the creator of the term manga, when he included it for the first time in one of his texts, the Hokusai Manga.

The first manga

Officially, the work Tagosaku to Mokube no Tokyo Kenbutsu , by the artist Rakuten Kitazawa , is considered the first manga, in the terms that characterize this format today.

This work was published in 1902 and related the stories of some peasants who go to Tokyo to visit and behave in a crude way, compared to the ways of the big city.

Astroboy and the manga industry

Two decades later, manga with children’s stories began to be produced and popularized, but it was in 1947 when the aesthetic and narrative foundations of what we know today as manga were laid with the publication of Astroboy , created by Osamu Tezuka.

In the sixties, Tezuka would sell the rights to his work to the US network NBC and would begin not only the expansion of manga in the West, but also the dissemination of anime.

What is anime?

Anime are all the stories in animation format, either with drawings made by hand (traditional technique) or with digital resources.

The anime is characterized by having a peculiar style in which the large eyes stand out, a very limited range of movement for the lips, the use of bright colors and complex narrative lines.

Many anime are the animated version of popular manga. However, it is not an essential requirement that this happens. That is why it is possible to find animes that are original productions.

Generally speaking, anime is classified the same way as manga: by demographics and by genre.

Types of anime according to demographics

According to the age of the readers, the animes are classified into:

  • Kodomo manga : stories for children, like Pokémon .
  • Shōnen manga : stories for boys, like Dororo.
  • Shōjo Manga : Stories for Girls, as K.
  • Seinen manga : stories for grown men, like Gungrave.
  • Josei manga : story for adult women, like Paradise Kiss.

Types of anime according to genre

While anime and manga share the same genres, there are some that are particularly popular in anime, such as:

  • Comedy : as the name implies, the stories are held in humor, triggered by the funny actions of their protagonists. An example is Aho Girl.
  • Cyberpunk: the plots are a direct or indirect consequence of technological advances, as in S ilent Möbius
  • Gekiga : adult dramas, like Golgo 13
  • Mecha : in this case the protagonists are giant robots that can work in a realistic or fantastic way, they are usually handled by humans. Mazinger Z is an example of this type of anime.
  • Isekai: the protagonist is transferred to a magical or parallel world where the plot takes place. An example of an isekai animeis Zero no Tsukaima.

Types of anime according to the format

Animation studios can create animes in various formats, depending on the medium chosen for transmission.

T.V. series

It is the classic anime format. The story is divided into chapters that air weekly. In some cases they are also organized seasonally. Astroboy was the second anime series and the first to have worldwide success.

Television specials

They show some aspect of a television series from a different point of view than usual. They are usually broadcast on special occasions and are considered an added value to a series.

In 1988, in Japan they broadcast Goku’s Fire Department , an educational special in which the characters of the series gave advice on fire prevention.


They are productions made for direct video distribution ( original video animation ). It was a popular format in the 1980s and early 1990s with the rise of audiovisual technologies such as Betamax, VHS, and DVD. Bubblegum Crisis was one of the first Japanese OVAs.


They are productions for transmission on the internet ( original net animation ). They are those that are produced especially for streaming networks An example of ONA is The King of Fighters: Another Day.

Anime history

Unlike manga, which already had years of history, anime only became known at the beginning of the 20th century, in parallel with the advances of the audiovisual industry. In principle, the manga was influenced by Disney productions (more aesthetically than narrative).

In the sixties, anime began to develop its own style at the hands of the first animation studio in Japan, called Toei, who decades later would be responsible for productions such as Spirited Away or Mazinger Z , which turned out to be unsuccessful. only within Japan, but in the West.

Another great decisive influence for the world of anime was Studio Ghibli, a Japanese company whose creators Hayao Mizayaki and Isao Takahata were in charge of catapulting anime as a new mass entertainment format and as works of art, due to its technique, narrative and aesthetics. cared for.

Some of the most representative titles in this study are The Castle in the Sky , My Neighbor Totoro , Kiki’s Home and The Tomb of the Fireflies, to name a few.

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