Manga, Japanese graphic novels, is a wonderful way to encourage a love of reading for anyone! But if you're new to manga, it can be quite daunting to figure out what's appropriate since the cover art is often so pretty and super cute. Because it's a cartoon-style of cover, many people often assume that all manga is for children which couldn't be further from the truth.
The good news is manga publishers often label their manga titles into different categories like video games and movies do which makes it easy to find something you feel comfortable reading for yourself or your child.
Manga is generally divided into four different ratings-- All Ages, Teen, Older Teen, and Mature Audiences.
All Ages (AA or A) is exactly as the name implies. The content in the manga is appropriate for any age level and these are the manga we generally recommend for young readers who are into manga.
Teen (T) is probably the most common rating for manga. As a matter of fact, if you find a manga without a rating on the back, it's safe to assume it's Teen. Teen content is considered appropriate for readers 13 and up. It's similar to a PG-13 movie in that you may find some violence, some language, and/or sexual content.
Older Teen (OT) is another very common rating for manga. Older Teen manga can vary on minimum ages from 16 to 17 but, in general, you'll want to consider these manga to be similar to an R-rated movie. Sex, nudity, violence, and/or vulgar language are to be expected. Some of the spicier titles may come shrink-wrapped in plastic.
Mature (MA) titles are exclusively for adult manga readers. This content often contains extreme violence/gore, sex scenes, nudity, vulgar language, and more. Most places will require you present an ID in order to purchase a Mature manga title and are almost always shrink-wrapped in plastic.
Manga, with its beautiful art and right-to-left format, can be a really fun way to read. Don't let the ratings dissuade you, or your child, from enjoying this awesome literary genre. Just take a quick peek at the back cover of your manga pick, and take a look at the rating!
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