Contrary to what most people in the West think, manga (both the singular and plural form are the same) have NOTHING to do with pronorgraphy. Some manga are pornographic, but that's just a small percentage of manga.
Manga, in Japanese, means "flowing words" or "Undisciplined words". It is an ancient art that has been used for centuries as a form of entertainment. It's basicallt Japanese comic books, which can be easily translated to English. However, just saying manga are comics from Japan is wrong.
First of all, in the US and in Europe, most comics are addressed to young children between the ages of 9 and 13. That is not the case of manga. There are 6-7 major types of manga, each having its own audience. Kodomo manga is for children. Shonen manga is for boys ages 12-18 , Shoujo manga is for gilrs age 12-18. Josei manga is for adult ladies above the age of 20, mainly working women. Seinen manga is for young men between the ages of 18 and 30, and Hentai manga is pornographic, adult manga.
As you can see, saying "comics from Japan" is wrong. Another difference between manga and Western comics is that each comics volume has its own plot, while manga volumes all follow the same plot. The artwork is VERY different. Manga has its own particular artwork, especially when it comes to human faces, particularly the eyes, chin, nose, mouth, forehead... Manga is also read from RIGHT to LEFT. (Yes, even the English ones).
In Japan, 40% of all book & magazine sales are manga. That's a huge number, considering the Japanese read A LOT. In 1998, about 3 billion manga volumes were printed in Japan, I'm sure that number is higher now.
Many manga have been translated to English and are sold everywhere.
GTO, Excel Saga, Inu Yasha, Fushigi Yugi, Naruto, Pretty Face, Hunter x Hunter, Confidential Confessions, Love Hina, and Berserk are all examples of manga.
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