A Brief History of Manga Review

brief history manga

A Brief History of Manga is a wonderful and insightful book. Helen McCarthy shows the evolution of manga from its beginning through today. Like many I was familiar with the history of manga as an art form, but there was an even richer history I did not know.

The chapters in the table of contents not only show the pages, but the years that important events happened. This gives us not only a table of contents, but a timeline. Here is a sample:


Each section is a two-page spread, talking about the years of each milestone while adding in illustrations and photos. Text bubbles also include milestones.

Ninjas Versus Pirates from A Brief History of Manga

In a fashion befitting a manga series, there are side stories which tell of unique and interesting developments (some I think even more important to the story of manga than the main section). It begins with the surprising beginnings of manga, continuing through outside foreign influences which were very surprising and very enlightening.

Reading through the book I was very pleased to find so much rich history on manga I knew and many that I did not. I learned of manga pre-Osamu Tezuka, more on the manga of Osamu Tezuka, and many others who followed him through today. It was a true pleasure to read through each year and see how manga evolved, learning the fascinating facts of many things. The visual journey through the ages was a most enjoyable read, and those who read it will find many manga and manga creators they may know and many they do not.

Now, I was curious that I did not see a few manga such as Lupin III discussed, but this title has its influence more in anime. This is also why you do not see things like the Gundam meta-series, Cowboy Bebop and etc. whose influence was in the popularization of anime.

I recommend picking up this now and enjoying it while you enjoy the summer convention season. This is a perfect book for an introduction into the history of manga.

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