Tag Archives: manga mom

Ask Manga Mom: The “Are These Safe?” Edition

A Mom writes:

Hello, I have learned that my daughter is getting on a site and reading manga when she is on the computer. She is almost 13, and I need to please know that the manga that she is reading is not sexually explicit. I just really want to know how far they go and I have a list for you. Legendary Kang Do Gekkano Kimi Innocent World Kindai Renai Mahou Sensei Wegima! The Prince Who Fell In Love Full Contact Psychic Academy Mucha Kucha Daisuki Prism Palette She was on some of these for many pages, and others just for one or two. Please let me know if there are specific ones she should not be reading. Thanks so very much. Mom.

Thanks for the question Mom! A cursory glance at the list of titles says that most of these are not officially licensed, but that these are scanlations, fan created scans that your daughter is reading. These have been a gray-area for a long time, but are not technically legal in the US. But, information about these titles can be found online.

Legendary Kang Do-Young – This is a Korean manhwa. It’s a romantic comedy about a boy and girl who both want to be the leader of their school, where for the boy, it’s love at first sight, but not for the girl.

Gekka no Kimi – This is a seven volume romantic comedy with supernatural and historical elements. The son of an Emperor want his father’s newest wife. He searches for a woman to replace her, ends up committing a terrible sin and is reborn 1000 years later, now afraid of women.

Innocent World – This is a one volume slice of life. All the students in a classroom are dealing with issues such as divorce, complexes and kissing, but they still manage to shine.

Kindai Renai – This is a collection of short stories that touch on romance, drama and the supernatural. These stories are on the older teen to mature side.

Mahou Sensei Negima! – This series is available in the US from Del Rey Manga/Kodansha. It’s a fantasy, action-adventure harem (one boy surrounded by lots of girls). Negi is the youngest graduate from magic academy and is sent to Japan to teach at an all-girls school. Much hilarity ensues.

The Prince Who Fell In Love – This is another collection of short stories. These are mostly drama and romance.

Full Contact – This is a six volume sports manga. A fifteen-year-old boy decides to train in karate after a girl who says she likes strong guys dumps him.

Psychic Academy – This is an eleven volume series that ha been licensed by Tokyopop, but is also out of print.  It is a supernatural action-adventure title. Ai Shiomi is the younger brother of Zero, “The Man Who Stopped the Demon Lord”. Now attending Psychic Academy, it is believed that he too is destined for greatness, a belief he doesn’t really share.

Mucha Kucha Daisuke – This is a 4 volume high school romance. Aoi’s parents are moving to Tokyo, and she has to got with them. A chance meeting with playboy-type Tokyoite Tsuyoshi results in a kiss that carries unexpected meaning for both of them.

Prism Palette – This is the first publication of popular mangaka Peach Pitt and is based on a ero-game. It’s a harem comedy about a boy who spends his days at school surrounded by beautiful girls.

Most of these titles are appropriate for a 13-year-old girl. There is no explicit content from what I can tell from the descriptions. A few of the titles might be a little old for her though. Gekka no Kimi might have some questionable content at the beginning. Kindai Renai was written for young adults and might be too mature for her, and Prism Palette was based on a dating sim game, so the manga probably reflects that in the art and characters. Mahou Sensei Negima! is a border line title with an Older Teen rating from Del Rey, but it’s more suggestive than anything actually happening. This is typical of harem manga, as much of the humor comes from the uncomfortable situations. The rest of the titles I think are fine. Keep in mind, I haven’t read any of them, and my standards as a parent might be different from yours. I wouldn’t object to my daughter reading most of these titles, only to the ones I mentioned here.

Depending on which titles your daughter spent a lot of time on, which she only gave a few pages should give you an idea of her reading habits. I see a definite trend toward the drama and romance that are found in most stories written for girls, with some action thrown in for variety. I would suggest discouraging the reading of licensed manga online from a questionable source, such as sites like Mangafox, which has continued to put up scanlations even after promising to take them all down. There are places online where manga can be read legally or for a modest price, such as Shonen Sunday from Viz. The manga there is free. NetComics has Korean manhwa of different genres and chapters only cost .10-.25 each. There is also promise of more on the way with Square Enix launching a new site soon as well a manga portal from 37 different publishers in the Spring of next year.

I hope this helps!

Ask Manga Mom: The Raw Edition

Labo asks:

I’ve been wondering for a while now, but you say that you are learning Japanese characters to read more Japanese manga not yet translated for the public audience and I was wondering, that is you achieve that goal exactly how or where would you get the Japanese manga to put your skills to use. Seeing as few internet sites like Jbox.com offer a limited selection that are usually popular series, that have their own animes already.

Well Labo, I’m fortunate to live in an area of the US where I’m 45 minutes more or less to several Japanese bookstores, including, but not limited to, Kinokuniya and used bookstore Book Off. But as you note, their selection will be mostly for newer titles, and used bookstores inventory is always fluctuating. So to find some specific titles, I will have to go online.

There are several online bookstores, the most obvious being Amazon.co.jp, the Japanese arm of Amazon.com. A query of the hive mind that is Twitter got me several other suggestions. Kinokuniya also has an online book store. It has stores in both the US and Japan. The Japanese store probably has a better selection.  BK1 is an online store that sells manga, cds and dvds and is located in Japan.  Yesasia came up as an option as well, as did Yahoo Actions using a proxy, but those can get expensive. I used one once, and that was just to replace a CD that had been stolen from my brother, and I couldn’t get it anywhere else. I wouldn’t recommend those. Ebay can also be a source, but like used bookstores, the selection is hit or miss. beNippon seems to be a new online store that has lots of Japanese manga, though I don’t know anyone who’s tried it.

Another option that will be growing (hopefully) is reading manga online, in Japanese. CDJapan has an e-book rental section that allows you to read manga online, all in Japanese. I think this would be the ideal version for me. I just don’t have room for more manga! They already have quite a selection in all demographics, and even one title I really want to read! And it’s just a $1.00 for 48 hours for 1 volume. Now that’s a deal!

Ask Manga Mom: The Taboo Edition

Static writes:

Is Taboo considered a genre that should be used as a general description for manga sites that contained taboo typed manga books?

Also, could you give me a perfect but brief (short) definition of the “TABOO” that I cold use to describe the genre if it were to be used as a general – common – genre type.

This isn’t  my area of expertise, but I thought I’d weigh in anyway.  A taboo is a strong social prohibition on activities or customs that are considered sacred or forbidden.  The term comes from Polynesia where it’s context was religious.  Most taboos have a religious connotations, they can affect dietary restrictions, sexual activities and/or relations, bodily functions, exposure of body parts or offensive language.  Taboos are not universal, but many cultures may share some, such as cannibalism and incest.  Taboos can change over time, as a society or culture changes.

Continue reading Ask Manga Mom: The Taboo Edition

Ask Manga Mom: The “Just Say No” Edition

This question came in from Kyle just this week:

where can i download manga directly and for free xcept for (stoptazmo & animea)….. where can i download pig bride manhwa & captive heart for free????
pls. help me

Um…no Kyle.  Just….no.

Pig Bride and Captive Hearts are licensed titles in the US.  If you can not find scanalations to download, that is a good thing.  If you want to read these titles you need to either buy the books, or borrow them from a friend or the library.  Many public and even school libraries are adding and building up collections of manga and graphic novels.  The value of these books is finally being recognized, not just for stories, but because they also help encourage reading.  If your local library doesn’t have the books you want, ask about inter-library loan.  Get your friends to ask too.  The more interest librarians see in a type of book, the more likely they are to add them.

If you want to read manga online, then check out Viz’s Shonen Sunday website, where new chapters of mang are put up weekly.  Or you can read some new titles straight from Japan with Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump, which has some old favorites as well as new titles.  The more we show these sites to be successful, the more likely it will be that we get manga online legitimately.

Ask Manga Mom: Manga as Literature

Nikkita asks:

I am Nikkita Bechdel and a senior at Bald Eagle Area high School in Central Pennsylvania. For the final in my Advanced Placement English class, I must write a research paper on any topic relating to literature. I chose to prove the literacy value of manga. I am having difficulties finding sources on sections such as why Japan considers it literature. If you could please help me, it would mean a lot to me.

Wow, this is a tough one.  A bit of a lofty goal, but a worthwhile one.   When I was in Jr. College, I did a sociology study on anime fans, so I can relate on the difficulty in finding sources.

There hasn’t been a lot of analysis of manga in english, but there are a few books you can look at that may have the information you’re looking for.

These books should give you a good foundation for your paper.  You should be able to find these books at a library or use interlibrary loan to get them.  The amazon links have the ISBN numbers.

I invite the much more knowledgable mangasphere to weigh in other books or links that might help Nikkita out.  If you know of something that might be a good resource, please post it in the comments.

Ask Manga Mom: Romance Complex

Stacymay asks:

Do manga have to have a complex plot? If someone is trying to write a romance manga, does there have to be fantasy and stuff in it or can it just be a love story?

Thanks! That’s a great question!

When looking at shojo or romance manga, there does seem to be a lot of fantasy themed stories.  But they aren’t all like that.  There are plenty of titles that are based in reality.  Nana, Sand Chronicles, and Honey and Clover for older readers and Monkey High and High School Debut for teens are some examples.  A well written love story is a perfect theme for a manga.

As for how complex the plot is, well, that up to the writer and the plot.  A story can have several twists and turns to keep the reader engaged, but if there are too many, the story can become too confusing.  A frustrated reader will not continue reading the story.  It’s best to keep the story relatively simple with just a twist or turn here and there to keep the reader interested enough to read the end.

Keep those questions coming!

Ask Manga Mom – Peach Fuzz Edition

Jay Karlson writes:

First, a comment: THANK YOU for adding an “All Ages” section. My 8 year old daughter loves Manga, but they can get really dirty.

Would she like “Peach Fuzz”? She already has read Sugar Princess and Cardcaptor Sakura. She LOVED Suihilibe.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks for the words of encouragement Jay!  I found it frustrating trying to find appropriate manga for my girls, so I decided to make the page myself!  Though I do have to update it for all the new titles coming out lately.  But, that’s a good thing!


Peach Fuzz, one of the first OEL manga Tokyopop published, is definitely written for a girl about your daughter’s age.  Amanda, the lead character is in the 4th grade.  Her new pet, Peach the ferret, thinks she is a princess, royalty among ferrets.  Most of the conflicts come from Amanda and Peach learning to get along and live with each other.  I think it’s definitely something an 8 year old girl would like, and a parent would have no problem with their daughter reading.

If you’re still not sure though, you and she can go here to read the first three chapters of the first volume.  The Tokyopop Manga Viewer is easy to use, and it’s free.  You don’t have to join the website to use it.

Thanks for the question.  I hope this helps!