Loosely, the word “anime” is the Japanese word for “animation” and “manga” is the Japanese word for “comic book.” This article is intended to be a basic guide to anime and manga for parents or other people who are not necessarily familiar with either but may have children, friends or significant others who are. Most of the information is based off of personal experience, information from acquaintances and reading various information sites. In this article, we are going to be addressing genre, discussing some basic terminology and exploring the interrelationships between various the forms of media a series might take.
A Few Basic Terms (in no particular order)
Otaku: An otaku is a very fervent sort of fan. The term is somewhat derogatory or mocking (or ironic).
Fansub: This is an anime or manga that has been translated from Japanese by a fan. This is something that came about mostly because early official translations were horrible. Due to this, there is cultural pressure to assume that all fan-translations are inherently better than all official translations even when this is not necessarily true.
Doujinshi: This is self-published manga based on the works of other writers. May take the story line in a completely different direction or parody the original work. (Compare with “fan fiction” which is stories based off of the original work of a writer or other creator.)
Mangaka: A manga artist.
Seiyuu: Professional voice actor or actress, some of them end up being pretty famous.
Tankoubon: These are short, square and fat comic books that consist of a collection of episodes from the serial run of a manga story originally appearing in a magazine.
Light novel: These are generally short often illustrated novels aimed at the young adult market.Continue Reading