Manga

...bibliographic notes about manga...

Author: davis.5257@osu.edu

Checking Out Manga – Three Online Manga Readers

Image: Screen Captures of 3 Featured Manga Reader Catalogs:
ShonenJump+, Manga Library Z, and Sukima

By Chase Conner

Hello again, everyone. I hope the new year is being kind to you all. Today we’d like to return to our list of online manga resources compiled originally by Michiko Ito at UKansas. So let’s look at some of the list’s “Open Access Comics,” which allow us to read manga for free online! There is a plethora of content available on the Internet these days, and many manga publishers have jumped on the bandwagon to provide online comic apps. In addition to newly published manga, we can find many out-of-print comics that have found new life through online manga readers. Let’s get started and take a look at a few resources for accessing some.

ShonenJump+ Website Banner

少年ジャンプ+ (Shonen Jump+)

Shonen Jump has always been a big name in the industry and one that anyone with a passing interest in manga is likely aware of. Given its vast influence and collection of popular print titles, it’s no surprise that Shonen Jump is a leader in the digital comic market. On the Shonen Jump+ site, many segments of their popular manga titles — including One Piece, Death Note, Dragonball, Naruto, and more – are available at no cost! A good number of chapters are available for free, but newer chapters require the purchase of “points,” which users must redeem in order to read. While paying for points is certainly an option, this post aims to highlight its many great “open access” offerings as well.

MangaToshokanZ Website Banner

マンガ図書館Z (Manga Library Z) [http://www.mangaz.com/]

マンガ図書館Z (manga toshokan Z) or Manga Library Z is another site that offers plenty of manga completely free of charge. Specifically, the titles included here include numerous out-of-print series that have been granted uploading rights by the original creators. While its various titles are not as widely known as Shonen Jump+’s, researchers and manga fans alike will certainly value this web site for its older and off-the-beaten-path titles. In addition to the many free manga on this site, there is also some adult-oriented manga, which are locked behind a paywall. Because you might encounter images of these adult titles while browsing the front page, I would advise exercising caution when browsing, especially if you have privacy concerns.

Sukima Website Banner

スキマ(Sukima) 

Sukima is yet another valuable online resource for reading manga in Japanese. The Sukima site essentially operates like many other online manga readers that sell access to large collections of titles — including the more recent volumes – through a pay-per-point redemption system. Despite this limitation, I find that Sukima’s big appeal is that it also offers a plethora of new and old manga titles completely free of charge! It’s true that the open access manga tend to lean towards older and lesser known titles, but among these you’ll also find some of the popular classic titles like Kimagure Orange Road or even more recent titles like Gokushufudō (Way of the House Husband). You’ll definitely want to take a trip through Sukima’s library. While an account is not required to read the free manga, users must create a username and password to purchase or peruse some of the more mature titles for the 18-and-over crowd.

I recommend that anyone check out these three sites to see what titles you can find — You may just find something new and interesting! If you encounter something that you would you like to read in print at OSU Libraries, please feel free to contact OSU’s Japanese Studies Librarian, Ann Marie Davis,  at davis.5257@osu.edu, with questions and suggestions.

 

Manga Resources While Teaching and Learning from Home

“Girl in Mask” clip from the anime Laughing Salesman
(笑ゥせぇるすまん) Ep. 4, adapted from the manga
by the same title created by Fujiko A. Fujio,

One of my colleagues, Michiko Ito, Japanese Studies Librarian at the University of Kansas, recently put together a truly fantastic library guide that lists tons of links to online, Japanese-language manga (including comics, graphic novels, and anime) and manga resources.  Her collection definitely deserves a shout-out and share, so  I am shamelessly copying much of it verbatim here.  As Ito notes herself, a word of caution and a disclaimer is in order:  This online guide is meant to provide links to web resources created by third parties. Contents available through these websites may contain materials not suitable for educational purposes. The compiler of this guide has no control over these websites and cannot be held responsible for website contents.

To jump down to the various sections below, click on the section guide you want to see first:

Open Access Comics,
Websites by Comic Publishers,
Serialized Web Comics,
E-comic Stores,
Online Archives and Databases, and
Organizations, Museums, and Institutes.

Open Access Comics

This section lists individual Open Access (=free) manga, selected by Ito:

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Websites by Comic Publishers

The following websites are operated by major comic publishers to announce their new comic publications. Some publishers separately operate serialized web comics (see the section immediately below.) Free previews are available:

 
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Serialized Web Comics (includes free previews)

This section lists selected websites for serialized web comics, most of which are operated by well-known comic publishers. Each website includes dozens of titles, and in most cases, the first few episodes and the most recent episodes are available for free. Registration and/or purchase is often required to read full contents, such as when users are required to purchase “coins” or “points” to read chapters. Note: some of these services are limited to within Japan, and some require credit cards issued in Japan.


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E-comic Stores

Many of these E-comic store websites provide free previews, and they typically require membership or registration for purchase.  As with the list above, some services are limited to within Japan and/or require  a credit card issued in Japan. (If your membership is canceled, you may not retain access to the materials you purchased.)

 
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Other Comic Websites

 
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Online Archives and Databases


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Organizations, Museums, Institutes

 

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“Ohio State Manga Collection at Ohayocon!”

Last month, our manga collection was featured at the 2020 Ohayocon, and then, as a result, in the student-run newspaper, The Lantern. We have been so very proud and grateful for this unique opportunity to share information about our wonderful collection!

Thanks to a lovely invitation to participate from the Japan-American Society of Central Ohio (JASCO), we were able to offer a table display in the Yuki Matsuri room at the Con, and we also held a well-attended panel presentation (full of cosplayers in the audience) on Manga at Ohio State University Libraries. If you check out the video, you’ll see that the members of our panel were me (Ann Marie Davis, Japanese Studies Librarian); Kapil Vasudev, Education Librarian; and Kay Clopton, Mary P. Key Cultural Diversity Inquiry Resident Librarian. Covering our activities at this event was student journalist, Aaron Lien, who in turn published the following video article about our work: 

 

Thank you so much, Aaron!

Ohio State Manga Collection at Ohayocon

A Brief Introduction to Manga for Teachers, Part 2

Written by Guest Contributor Kapil Vasudev, Education Librarian

This is the second in a series of posts introducing teachers to manga. The previous post covered the origins of manga and the manga publishing industry. This week’s post will explain how to read manga and manga visual shorthand. It will conclude with a classroom activity inspired by manga’s visual style.

A Brief Introduction to Manga for Teachers, Part 2

How to Read Manga

Manga translated and published in English was originally flipped in orientation so that it could be read from left to right. However, due to production costs, a desire to reduce the length of translation from Japanese to English, and an interest in creating a reading experience more akin to reading manga in Japan, manga in English is mostly published right to left. This creates an obstacle for English readers who are not used to reading in that direction.

A guide depicting the proper order for reading panels on a manga page.
(Source: Wikihow)

In general, manga will be read from right to left and then top to bottom. This applies to reading both the panels in a page as well as the speech bubbles within each panel.

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A Brief Introduction to Manga for Teachers, Part 1

Written by Kapil Vasudev, Education Librarian, with intro by Ann Marie L. Davis

Happy New Year! This week we are preparing an interactive exhibit table and special panel on our world-class manga collection for the annual 2020 Oyahocon!  More to come on that later, but for now, it’s time for this very helpful, two-part, guest blog, written by Kapil Vasudev, Education Librarian at OSU Kapil wrote this blog after delivering a well-received half-day workshop on Japanese and Korean comics as part of the 2019 National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).  Together with Dr. Kay Clopton, Mary P. Key Resident for Cultural Diversity Inquiry,  he offered an informative presentation on “Teaching, Manga, and Manga Clubs.”   What follows is a summary article:

An issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, the most popular manga magazine, featuring characters from Dragonball. (Source: Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A Brief Introduction to Manga for Teachers, Part 1

Manga – the Japanese style of cartoons, comics, and graphic novels – has become a fixture in American culture. While it was once rare to find even American comics in libraries, it is now common to see entire library sections devoted just to English translations of manga. This series of blog posts aim to provide an introduction to manga for teachers seeking to engage with this popular art form and incorporate it into classroom activities. This week’s post discusses the origins of manga and the manga publishing industry.

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Night Parade of One Hundred Demons: Kyōsai’s Hyakki Gadan Now at OSU Libraries

By Nick Castle

As Halloween draws nearer, so does our fanatical obsession with all things spooky and scary, peeking their heads around the corner like ghosts behind a gravestone. Why not indulge in some vintage scares at the OSU Libraries?

Japanese Studies invites you to learn about the mythology and artistic culture of Meiji Japan (1868-1912) through the newly acquired Kyōsai Hyakki Gadan (暁斎百鬼画談), a color woodblock print by eccentric painter and manga forerunner, Kawanabe Kyōsai (河鍋 暁斎, 1831-1889). The long, accordion book (orihon) depicts a parade of all manner of weird and wicked yōkai (妖怪), spirits and demons from Japanese mythology. This particular scene is evocative of the hyakki yagyō (百鬼夜行) idiom, a historic theme in Japanese visual representation wherein a procession of legendary creatures sets foot upon the communities of mortal men and women.

A view of the book’s cover with title
Kyōsai hyakki gadan

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New in the Collection: Rare Taishō-Period Life Insurance Pamphlet by Okamoto Ippei

By Justine Kang (kang.231@osu.edu)

Recently, the Japanese Studies section at OSU Libraries acquired an advertisement manga illustrated by the early manga artist Okamoto Ippei (岡本 一平, 1886-1948), one of the most influential writers and illustrators of the Taisho era (1912-1926).  Okamoto combined cartoon books and comic strips and produced cartoons and serial comics in prominent newspapers including the Asahi Shinbun (朝日新聞).

Entitled On Brightening the Home! (Katei wo akarumi he, or 家庭を明るみへ!), the new acquisition is unusual as a pre-war advertisement for life insurance that featured colorful comics.  Okamoto was commissioned to develop a manga story as the central focal point of this pamphlet advertising the products of the Nisshin Life Insurance Company (Nisshin Seimei, or 日淸生命保險株式會社).

With no date on the document itself, there is no evidence as to when the advertisement was published.  However, we can find some clues about it through the well-known Nisshin Life Insurance Building, featured on the back of the pamphlet.  Constructed in 1932, this building was located in Chiyoda ward, near the Imperial Palace, in central Tokyo. Because the company was eventually absorbed by the Nomura Life Insurance Company in 1941 (and the building was later known as the Marunouchi Nomura Building), we know that the booklet must have been made in the 1930s.

During the tumultuous Taishō and early Show (1926-1989) eras, many Japanese people must have felt a need for life and health insurances.  Above are some pictures from the pages of the pamphlet with illustrations by Okamoto Ippei.  In the bottom right corner is an image of the iconic Nisshin Seimei building, featured on the last page of the pamphlet.

To learn more about Okamoto Ippei and discover some of his original work, please check out these OSU Library resources:

Okamoto, Ippei. Ippei Manga. Tōkyō: Monkkōsha, 1924.

Okamoto, Ippei. Ippei Manga Kōza. Tōkyō: Sōshisha, 1981.

Okamoto, Ippei, and Yukio Sugiura. Ippei Zenshū. Tōkyō: Ōzorasha, 1990.

Okamoto, Ippei, and Isao Shimizu. Okamoto Ippei Manga Manbunshū. Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, 1995.

Okamoto, Ippei, Kanoko Okamoto, and Tarō Okamoto. Okamoto Ippei Ten: Botsugo 50-Nen : Gendai Manga No Paio’nia. Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha Bunka Kikakukyoku, 1997.

Okamoto, Ippei. Tesei No Ningen. Tōkyō: Gendai Yūmoa Zenshū Kankōkai, 1928.

Shimizu, Isao, and Kōichi Yumoto. Manga to Shōsetsu No Hazama De: Gendai Manga No Chichi Okamoto Ippei. Tōkyō: Bungei Shunjū, 1994.

For even more resources on these and related topics on the world wide web, please check out the following:

Honjo, Eijiro. “The Development of the Study of the Economic History of Japan Subsequent to the Meiji Restoration.” The Kyoto University economic review 16.1 (1941): 18-31.

McCarthy, Helen. 2010. “The Attraction of Ippei Okamoto.”

ja.wikipedia.org. “丸ノ内野村ビルディング” (Marunouchi Nomura Building).