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Manga: The Complete Guide Paperback – October 9, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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We Are the Ants
We Are the Ants
A brand-new novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving. Hardcover | Kindle book

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jason Thompson has over ten years’ experience as a manga editor, working at SHOHEN JUMP magazine and other publications. His writing has appeared in Animerica and The Comics Journal.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (October 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345485904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345485908
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Jason Thompson is the author of Manga: The Complete Guide and author of the graphic novel King of RPGs. As a manga editor, he has worked on the English editions of titles such as Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragon Ball Z, Hana-Kimi, One Piece, Shaman King, Uzumaki, The Drifting Classroom and Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei. His writings on manga have appeared in WIRED, The Comics Journal and Otaku USA, as well as online at Anime News Network, io9.com and comixology.com. He is the author/artist of several fantasy comics including Hyperborea, H.P. Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Strange High House in the Mist, The White Ship, Bold Riley and the Serpent in the Belly and the webcomic The Stiff.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first heard of this author and this book on the "Comic Geek Speak" podcast, (an excellent podcast by the way). I have been reading American comic books for over 25 years and had read very little Manga but was always interested. I was bit put off from some Manga because it either seemed juvenile or pornographic.

This book does a tremendous job in dispelling the image of Manga that many of us raised on American comics have about the genre. This book explains not only the history of Manga but the various types of Manga to the point where if you can't find something you'd like, you just didn't look hard enough. Plus there are over 900 reviews!

Don't like big-eyed teenage girls running around in skirts? Don't worry! There is a Manga series that caters to both men and women of every age group and interest. Horror, fantasy, occult, mystery, politics, sci-fi, sports, pets, martial arts, military, business people, etc...Whew! Without this book, the hundreds of titles and dozens of genres would be too much to try and piece together.

I'm sure many experienced Manga fans will disagree with some of his reviews but when you've read as many as the reviewer has, cliches are probably very easy to spot and quality easy to discern.

If you feel that your American Comics collection is getting a bit predictable or drab, or you just want to expose yourself to this art form, this book is a must for people absolutely new to the form.
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Format: Paperback
Thompson's book is an impressive achievement, and he's written the definitive "Everything You Ever Really Wanted to Know About Manga (But Had the Good Sense Not to Ask)" reference book. He provides coverage of every single manga that's been translated and made commercially available in the United States, which is a major undertaking by itself, and he goes the extra mile by including extensive essays on a variety of subjects ranging from basic Japanese culture to American fandom to the ins and outs of the publishing industry itself. Any librarian or educator who really wants to get a handle on what their kids are reading should do themselves a favor and order a copy. Manga fans themselves will want this just to keep track of the sheer number of comics that have been released since the 1980s, and to determine which ones are worth tracking down, and which should be avoided at all costs.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up a copy of Manga: The Complete Guide, since I already owned an Anime version of this type of collection. Basically, it is a listing of every Japanese manga licensed in English (by early 2007) with a synopsis and a review, along with volume information and age ratings (though mistakes like the volume # for Hero Heel abound).

This volume also contains an introduction and afterward about Japanese comics (and even has a hiragana/katakana chart for reference), which are all very interesting and useful. The book succeeds as a reference guide to manga in general, but the separate yaoi section fails as a good guide for determining whether a series is worthwhile or not, and probably because this book was compiled mostly by men (presumably straight) who are not necessarily fans of the genre (the ratings seem to get lower the more graphic the series are...) and seem to prefer Viz shonen series (for which the author is an editor).

The book does list all of the active licenses up to last year (2007), except for being entirely lacking of any of the BL novels (aside from mentioning the OtRFK novels) or non-BL light novels, and not containing any Korean manwha titles, Chinese manhua, OEL (western graphic novels styled like manga) or cine-manga (picture manga based on anime series/movies). This is an English-licensed-Japanese-manga-only collection.

I wouldn't take the ratings to heart, especially since they go from 0 to 4 stars, which aside from being awkward are completely inconsistent. Naruto got 4 stars, but Fruits Basket, the greatest selling shojo manga in the US and Japan got 3.5. Bleach got 3 stars, though the review would lead you to believe it wasn't "that great" of a title.
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Format: Paperback
Several guides to manga were published in 2007-2008 but this is by far the most complete one. The coverage of titles is truly comprehensive -- although of course they are all manga, so that means no graphic novels, Korean manhwa, Original English Language manga, etc. Still, I have not been able to find a single manga title published in English before 2007 that this book doesn't have at least some information on. And since these series are published over a long time period and the U.S. publication dates lag behind the original Japanese publication dates by several years, this book is still in 2011 an up-to-date resource on most of the popular manga titles, except for the absolute newest ones.

The book is arranged in alphabetical order by title. Each entry includes the Japanese phonetic title, translation, and kanji title along with author's name. This is followed by the names of both the U.S. and the Japanese publishers and the different dates of publication in each country, as well as the name of the magazine it was originally serialized in, and the total number of volumes. My favorite detail is the category (shojo, shonen, josei, seinen, yaoi, yuri) as well as the genre (fantasy, crime, occult), followed by age ratings that include specific content notices (language, nudity, sexual situations). If you are a parent or librarian trying to decide whether a certain title might be appropriate to purchase for a child, this information is absolutely invaluable.

Last is the review and star rating. I love the fact that many of these are not just plot summaries but honest-to-goodness signed reviews that help gauge the quality of the plot and artwork, as well as place it in context. In general I agreed with most of the reviews and ratings.
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