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How to: Build a Manga Collection

Category: Blog, Branches and Groups, SLG Scotland

Welcome to the latest in our How To series, where CILIPS SLG highlights useful digital tools to our members. Please email us at  or tweet @SLGScotland  for any additional support, or to suggest a tool for us to feature.

by Amanda Green, School Librarian at the High School of Glasgow

Manga: you either know everything about it or nothing about it.  Unfortunately for my Manga-loving pupils, I fall into the latter category.  Recognising the need to expand our manga collection, I reached out to the manager (Blair Fraser) of TokyoToys Glasgow. Blair was kind enough to provide the following primer for school librarians.

School Libraries Beginners Guide to Manga 

Manga is a form of pictorial storytelling similar to traditional western comic books, however Manga originates in the country of Japan, giving it a number of noticeable differences from what us in the west would be used to.

Most notable of these differences is the fact that the Manga books are read in what we would consider being back to front in a book sense. This is due to the way the Japanese language is written and most western publishers will not alter the artwork during translation in order to preserve the original art order.

There are several Genres within Manga titles and each have a demographic that they cater to.

Shonen – Shonen titles are aimed at early to late teen boys with a focus on action and fantasy, content ranges from slapstick humour and action to more adult content for those in late teens. A number of key Shonen titles are as follows.

Dragonball (Z, Super) 10+

Naruto 10+

Bleach 12+

Demon Slayer 12+

JoJo’s Bizarre adventure 16+

Tokyo Ghoul 16+

One Piece 10+

Death Note 14+

Shojo– Shojo titles are aimed at early to late teen girls with a focus on romance and slice of life stories. These mainly focus on school life and teen romance and are suitable for most ages. Key Shojo titles are as follows

Ouran High School Host Club 12+

Vampire Knight 14+

Kiss Him Not Me 16+

Beastars 16+

Komi Cant Communicate 12+

Kaguya Sama Love is War 14+

Sinen – Sinen titles are aimed at late teens with titles that include more horror and adult elements, a lot of titles in this range may be unsuitable however the following should be very good.

Anything by the creator Junji Ito 16+

Anything By the creator Naoki Urasawa 16+

Anything by the creator Makoto Shinkai 15+

Visiting ToykoToys

I accompanied a group of our pupils to TokyoToys to celebrate Libraries Week Scotland. As in building all collections, it is important to ensure the user voice is heard and the collection reflects their needs. It was a useful opportunity for the pupils to teach me more about manga, and what titles they enjoy. Blair was also helpful in pointing out what titles would be best suited for the library.

Even though I still get my Shonen, Shojo and Sinen confused, the addition of new manga to our collection has been a success and our loan statistics have reflected their popularity; I have witnessed their ability to engage readers.  Having conquered my fear of Manga, I look forward to exploring the genre and adding more titles over time.





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