Manga For Girls

My son and I, I mean my son, loves reading manga. We currrently collect the Naruto and Megaman NT series. I have a friend who is trying to get her daughter interested in reading more and I thought manga because of its unique format (right to left reading), gripping story lines and different art style might fit the bill. Problem is I don’t know the specific titles that cater to girls. Any reccomendations? The little girl is 10 so no mature rated titles. Thanks in advance.

Fruits Basket is very popular, and doesn’t have anything that would be unsuitable to a 10-year-old girl, IMHO.

Yotsuba& (“Yotsuba and”) is not specifically targeted at girls, per se, but it’s a perfect all-ages manga that ought to appeal to a 10 year old female.

As for other titles, Tokyo Mew Mew ought to be okay (it’s standard magical girl stuff).

Aishiteruze Baby, too, about a high school boy unwillingly roped into becoming the primary caregiver for his 5 year old cousin…though it does obliquely address more adult topics (like a potential teenage pregnancy), it doesn’t really SHOW anything.

Carcaptor Sakura, another magical-girl type manga, but with more of a down-to-earth plot and heroine.

Given the different level of assumptions between Japan and the US as to what’s “appropriate” for a given age group, I’d definitely recommend that this girl’s parent(s) check over any manga that is bought for her, just to be on the safe side. But the above is a pretty good start.

This may be the wrong thread to hijack to ask this general question, but I’m curious and I don’t necessarily think it’s worth a thread of it’s own…

Why are people here (USA) getting so into japanese comics/cartoons? (or Jpop for that matter) I’ve tried to see what the hubbub was about, but I find the graphics offputting (somebody teach them how to draw eyes, please!) and the dialogue / storylines to not be all that earth-shatteringly creative. Yes, I know some geek is gonna come in and and say “obviously, you’ve never checked out the Sushi Bukkake series…it’s like pure art, man!”

I have a suspicion that a large part of the appeal is just taking the piss out of Japanese weirdness. Is that it, or is there something I’m missing?

Sorry for the hijack…I just figured maybe someone who is into all that stuff might have an explanation for this phenomena.

I’d also recommend ‘Azumanga Daioh’ (this is the same artist/writer as Yotsuba) and ‘Saint Tail’. ‘Saint Tail’ is a magical-girl title in the same lines as ‘Tokyo Mew Mew’ and ‘Card Captor Sakura’. ‘Azumanga’ is a good title about life at a Japanese school and focuses on the female characters. There is some VERY slightly questionable content in the form of a teacher (a minor character) who’s a bit obsessed with his female students, but it’s not graphic. Preview it first and decide.

‘Angelic Layer’ might be good, too - the best way to describe this is ‘Pokemon but with dolls’ or ‘Battle Barbies’. It’s a girl-aimed title. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, so please check it out yourself first.

There are anime out for most of these, as well. My daughter particularly likes ‘Kaleidostar’, which apparently doesn’t come in manga format. It’s an anime about girls at a gymnastic/circus - imagine the Japanese doing Cirque de Soleil.

Probably because they often cover plots/characters/events/concepts that just aren’t IN American comics or animation. There’s no equivalent to Azumanga Daioh, or Revolutionary Girl Utena, or Evangelion, or Chobits, or Fullmetal Alchemist, or Paranoia Agent.

Now, not everyone WANTS those particular things that are in anime/manga, but they’re there for those who do. And while there is some appeal in the inherent weirdness of it all, that’s not the sole source of attraction.

As for the eyes, you might want to send your angry letters to the Walt Disney corporation and whoever currently owns the rights to Betty Boop, since the trend of huge-eyed anime characters started with Osamu Tezuka swiping the design from Disney and Fleischer cartoons.

And if you’re gonna threadjack to ask a question, you might wanna ease up on the condescension there.

First of all, an American comic book is going to run me what, $3? It has an average of 32 pages and a ton of advertising in it. A manga book is $8 and has an average of 134 pages. That right there is more bang for the buck.

Also, DC and Marvel superheroes are so overdone. I’ve grown up on many of them and I’m just tired and want something new. Currently the only American comic books I am reading are The Walking Dead and Invincible, both by Robert Kirkman.

Unlike American comics, you tend to get a whole story within the pages of those little manga books. This means you get the gratification of completing a story without having to wait months for new issues to come out and in the long run it cost less money. I’m not a big manga fan myself, though I do own one Gunsmith Cats book (and it ends on a cliffhanger), but those are the reasons I suspect manga is popular. Also, they tend to attract a lot more female readers than American comic books.


OK, I can see from a little looking around that the Japanese have a more developed graphic lit scene, and therefore have more to offer someone who’s looking for more than a comic book. That explains it some.

I’m not sure where the “condescension” remark comes from…is it because they draw eyes weirdly? OK, I’m sorry that they draw eyes weirdly and that they stole it from Disney, et al; how insensitive of me to comment on it…please forgive me for not displaying proper fanboy reverence :smiley:

I don’t think it’s fair to compare a single monthly issue to a manga book. A more apt comparison would be to an American trade paperback, where you’re getting around the same number of pages with no advertising. Even so, yeah, the trade is going to be more expensive, by like 1.5 times or whatever. American publishers could get down to manga prices, but they’d have to publish in black and white like the manga books do. That wouldn’t appeal to me, 'cause I like the color art. YMMV.

I used to be a junior high school (ages 12-15) teacher in Japan, and boys manga such as Naruto was quite popular with my female students. In fact, I’d say they talked about boys manga more than they did girls manga. So consider giving that a try.

It’s also an unfortunate truth that manga aimed at girls tends to have more inappropriate (from an American perspective) elements than that aimed at boys, but such things are usually censored out by the American publishers.

Wow. I had no idea translated manga had such a mark-up. They cost $3.50 here, and even buying them imported in Seattle they were only like $5.

Yeah, it’s a complete mystery as to why I pegged you as condescending.

I would personally say that part of it is that there’s more of an acceptance over there that comics/cartoons don’t just have to be for or aimed at kids, and that they can tell a serious story. Over here, your average comic would be compared badly when judged against a book, and a cartoon badly against a live action TV show or film. Anime, manga and so on have a higher (IMHO) level of both credibility and acceptance. Of course there’s still dreck and a higher tolerance for blatant fanservice, but hey, swings and roundabouts. :slight_smile:

Back on topic, i’d also recommend Azumanga Daioh. I have (female) friends who like Fruits Basket, but I’ve never read any myself.

TheKingdom Hearts adaptations are cute and should be in her age range.

That’s okay, they got even with the Lion King. And it isn’t as if Disney hasn’t, you know, ‘stolen’ classic fairy tales or anything.

My stock answer for anyone is to pick up You Higuri’s Cantarella and tell me the art isn’t bloody well gorgeous. It’s a rather enjoyable version of the story of the Borgia family.

I recommend the Babymouse series of graphic novels (made in the USA, not Japan). They’re perfect for girls in grades 2-6, and, at less than $6 per 100-page book, they’re quite a bargain.

Oh. And they’re made by a Doper. (cough)