Posts Tagged ‘Manga’

If you haven’t heard yet, we have a really fun Manga program for kids ages 10-12!  Manga are Japanese comic books that are characterized by very distinctive and highly stylized illustrations.  If you enjoy comic books and graphic novels and are interested in improving your drawing skills, come join us!  Karen Luk, a professional illustrator and comic artist, will be teaching you the secrets of drawing Manga faces, expressions and characters.  Karen’s work was on display just a few short months ago at the Cartoon Art Museum.  I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of her art and I’m definitely looking forward to this program at my library branch.  Here are the upcoming dates and locations.

Niles Library – Tuesday, May 15th @ 3:15 p.m.

San Lorenzo Library – Wednesday, May 16th @ 3:30 p.m.

Centerville Library – Thursday, May 17th @ 3:30 p.m.

Fremont Main Library – Tuesday, May 22nd @ 4 p.m.

Irvington Library – Wednesday, May 23rd @ 3:15 p.m.

Call your library branch for registration information.

Check out Karen Luk in action below:


If you are unable to come to one of our manga programs you might want to take a look at the manga drawing books the library has here.

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Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya is my all-time favorite manga series. It is an excellent example of a Shoujo series (comics marketed towards females) and it is rated T (age 13+.) Tohru Honda is a high school girl with a serious case of optimism. This is actually quite a good thing, as it gets her through all of the trials she encounters. Well, her extreme friendliness helps, too. After her mother dies and she is left on her own, Tohru encounters the mysterious Sohma family who have a strange connection with the Chinese zodiac. The Sohmas offer Tohru a place to stay in exchange for household chores (which they are terrible at, and she is really good at.) How exactly are their fates intertwined? Only time will tell, but there seems to be a romantic triangle developing already in book one.

The quality and style of art can vary from manga artist to manga artist. Natsuki Takaya’s art is just the kind that I love to see. It can go from being incredibly detailed in one panel to much simpler for fight scenes, and it still looks great. The storyline is already full of magic, mystery, and a bit of romance here in book one. I have read most of the series before, but having just re-read book 1, I’m thinking that I should go back and read the rest. In case you are interested, this very popular series has also been made into an anime. I’ve seen several episodes of that anime, and I really enjoyed it. One of these days, I’ll actually get around to buying the whole thing.

So, have you read Fruits Basket? Do you like it as much as I do?

Haven’t read this manga? Why not place a hold on a copy?

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Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story by Nobuhiro Watsuki is a Japanese graphic novel (or manga) which takes place during the Meiji era of Japan (in the mid 1800s). Rurouni Kenshin is a story filled with sword fighting, even though the main character would prefer not to fight at all. This first volume introduces many of the characters that will remain throughout the entire 28 book series. Rated for older teens (16+) though it may be, this series isn’t anywhere near as bad in the violence department as some that I’ve seen. The art is very well drawn, and even the action sequences are easy to follow. I really enjoy the storyline. The first section really sucked me in. I had a lot of trouble putting the book down. Luckily, manga reads faster that traditional books. Unluckily, one must go in search of book two if one wants to find out what happens next.

The author helpfully includes some historical notes to explain where some of the ideas for his characters came from. My favorite character is the title character, Himura Kenshin. On the one hand he is a seemingly relaxed mellow guy, on the other hand he is a very scary warrior. So, it’s advised not to try and hurt his friends. (Just so you know.) With the possibility for romance in the future, and ever more dangerous foes appearing (and a few new friends), I have a feeling that I will be reading each new volume as soon as I can get my hands on it.

(Place a hold on Rurouni Kenshin to see if you agree with my review.)

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