Manga for kids


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Manga for kids

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okt 4, 2007, 6:41 am

My knowledge of manga is not what it should be, I'm afraid. I work as a librarian and I wonder if anyone could recommend good manga for children. Mainly in the ages 10-12.

Redigeret: okt 4, 2007, 10:23 am

Most translated manga have age ratings on them.

A/E = all ages
Y = 10+
T = 13+
OT = 16+
M = 18+

Here's some titles:

All ages
Angelic Layer
Astro Boy
Cardcaptor Sakura
Clamp School Detectives
Corrector Yui
Full Metal Alchemist
Hikaru No Go
Kat and Mouse
Kilala Princess
Kingdom Hearts
Miracle Girls
Saint Tail

Blazin' Barrels
Dream Saga
Et Cetera
G Gundam
Gundam Wing
Harlem Beat
Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts
Kamichara Karin
Magic Knight Rayearth
Shaolin Sisters
Tokyo Mew Mew

Whether any of them are any good I don't know. All the translated manga I read are for teenagers.

Please don't do what my local library does and order random titles, say, volume 2 of one series, volume 5 of another and volume 19 of a third. That's really annoying!

okt 4, 2007, 11:50 am

Thank you for your answer!
Since I don't read manga myself it's hard to know what's good and what's not. I have looked at the one's that we have bought to the library, but that doesn't give a very deep understanding. It's like a whole big world that I don't know very much about.

okt 4, 2007, 6:01 pm

If it's any help, Full Metal Alchemist is by far the most popular of those on LibraryThing, with Cardcaptor Sakura and Magic Knight Rayearth also being popular.

okt 4, 2007, 9:27 pm

Well, what constitutes good manga for children is going to vary depending on who you ask. Most of the publishing companies do have ratings that they use, but it isn't a standardized system by any means. Additionally, a number of the "all ages" titles have been going out of print, which doesn't help matters any.

Prince of Tennis is a long-running all ages title, and it seems to be equally popular between boys and girls. The art is sharp and clean, and the storyline is pretty fun. The publisher is Viz, and there are 21 volumes available currently, if memory serves

Hikaru no Go is another long-running all ages title, also published by Viz. I find it enjoyable, but mileage will vary depending on the readers' interest in games. It's a sports/tournament series based around Go, an ancient strategy game.

I would have to advise against getting Full Metal Alchemist for a children's collection. It is not an all ages title by any stretch of the imagination, and there are a lot of thematic elements that parents might deem offensive. The story is well told, and it's a popular series, but it's got a teen audience.

Your best bet in the decision-making process would probably be to find some sites with dedicated manga review sections to them. Read up on some series. Ask questions about them.

okt 4, 2007, 10:34 pm

I have to agree with poster 5 about FMA. Not so much because of the thematic elements (I don't believe in "ideas" being bad for children, no matter what they are, personally), but simply the graphic nature of a few of the scenes, particularly the ones involving Gluttony or Scar, and some of the flashbacks to Ed and Al's attempted resurrection of their mother.

Also, according to MY copies of FMA, it's rated "Teen," NOT "all-ages." Which sounds about right, to me.

okt 5, 2007, 2:50 am

Thank you all for your help.
I guess what I'm afraid of (apart from buying something that's simply poorly written) is that some of these series seem to involve unsuitable elements, like you said. Of course, ordinary books can also involve violence, sex and things like that. And I agree with lohengrin, I don't want to censor what they read. But I think it's a bit different when it comes to pictures.
I guess I will have to do what shadrach_anki suggested, look at some sites about manga and read up a bit.

okt 5, 2007, 11:03 am

Looking at the list posted above (and echoing the sentiments about FMA - too gory and depressing for kids!), I can definitely recommend Angelic Layer as extremely non-offensive.

I've also read Clamp School Detectives and don't have any particularly strong opinions about that one, and Cardcaptor Sakura, which I like very much, but some overprotective/crazy parent might object to because it has some homosexual themes (though admittedly not as much as their other titles).

Redigeret: okt 6, 2007, 9:38 am

Sorry about Full Metal Alchemist. I haven't read it myself, but I read a review that said it was classified as "all ages".

You are right to be concerned about unsuitable elements in manga. Some librarians shelve all manga in the children's sections (comics are for kids, of course!). And some of those manga shock me, and I'm an adult!

About Hikaru no Go. I became a devotee of the game, go, after finding a book about it in my school library. So if you do buy in this title, perhaps buy an introduction to the game too. Go is a more enjoyable game than chess!

okt 6, 2007, 5:42 pm

You might also look at Yotsuba or Beauty Pop for that age range. What the kids will want is things like Naruto, Pokemon, or Yu-gi-oh.

okt 11, 2007, 1:33 pm

I haven't read it yet (mostly because I'm afraid that it will drastically increase my reading list), but you may find Graphic Novels by Michael Pawuk to be a great resource. He discusses hundreds of series (American and Japanese) with the intention to inform librarians of what they may need to know. I expect that he discusses age appropriateness.

feb 3, 2008, 3:28 am

Sorry I'm a little late replying to this thread ;), but I'd highly recommend Jason Thompson's Manga: The Complete Guide. It's got reviews of just about every title published up to the point it was released (mid-2007). Most reviews have suggested age ratings (along with reasons for the rating - e.g., violence, nudity, sexual situations). Entertaining reading, too.

You may also want to check out Gilles Poitras's Librarian's Guide to Anime and Manga at

I'd also agree that Fullmetal Alchemist, while a great series in both anime and manga, is also probably a bit much for 10-12-year-olds; it can get pretty bloody at times. (Mr. Thompson's guide rates FMA 13+.)

feb 3, 2008, 2:25 pm

The list at the top is good, but I'd advise against both Fullmetal Alchemist and Cardcaptor Sakura. Sakura is a great series, but it does have a couple romantic relationships between children and adults, including a serious one between a 4th grader and her teacher. It's handled as tastefully as possible, but I can see some people objecting.

Astro Boy is a wonderful title for children. Each book is an unconnected series of short stories starring Astro, a robot. The violence is pretty tame (no blood, no humans dying, etc), it's got a lot of action, and there's usually a moral at the end of the story. You don't have to read them in order, especially since Astro and other characters have several origin stories throughout the course of the series, none of which are in volume 1.

Redigeret: mar 2, 2008, 7:52 pm

Fruits Basket is pretty good, but I can see why some parents might not approve of it. A few of the character's histories are pretty violent, and there are some language issues here and there. I can see why some overprotective parents would not approve of it.

Kitchen Princess is a really cute manga about a young girl trying to find her childhood crush. ^^ Fullmoon wo Sagashite, about a girl trying to fufill her life dream of becoming a singer, is great too.

Redigeret: jul 21, 2008, 4:22 am

In response to "Messaggio 5: shadrach_anki
(omissis) Hikaru no Go is another long-running all ages title, also published by Viz. I find it enjoyable, but mileage will vary depending on the readers' interest in games. It's a sports/tournament series based around Go, an ancient strategy game."

I find HnG is a great (maybe the greatest) NOTScary ghost story, and that could be an alternative way to present it. Knowing something of the Fashinating GO is NOT mandatory in the least, the story being absolutely enjoyable. In Italy more than one possible reader turned away from even giving this manga a try exactly for they feared it, not knowing what GO was about and self-assured they would never understand what was going on (that is a misconception, be sure of that).

...I love this spirit of go...

aug 17, 2008, 2:30 pm

My little sister has been into graphic novels recently and I want her to read some manga. She's 10 years old. My mom doesn't really want her reading anything with sex or gore/extreme violence in it, but occasional curse words are okay. So far we have decided against Cardcaptor Sakura. I read FMA, so I knew that definetly isn't appropriate. I also think that Fruits Basket is a little above her level and she wouldn't find Hikaro No Go very interesting. Any other suggestions that fall in those guidlines? I would appreciate anything you guys can come up with.

aug 17, 2008, 3:21 pm

I agree that Hikago probably would not hold a kid's interest. It won’t be released until 2009, but Otomen would be a good candidate.

Asuka is the cool, manly, athletic type, but his passion lies in more feminine pursuits, such as cooking, sewing, and cute things. At first, Asuka hides and denies this behavior due to family circumstances, but learns to open up once he becomes friends with Ryou. Ryou is Asuka's complement--she has no interest and can't do any feminine activities, but is strong and charming in her own right. For extra amusement, there's another male student who tails the two and bases his own popular shoujo manga (which Asuka loves!) off of their actions, except that he makes Asuka the female lead. It's a pretty simple story with a fuzzy "be yourself" message.

aug 19, 2008, 1:05 am

>16 mjrcatgirl:

Why did you decide against Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. 1? It would help me with recommendations since I would consider that to be a typical story type (magical girl) that has been translated for her age group.

For instance Tokyo Mew Mew and Wedding Peach are in that genre and age group; also Dream Saga Vol. 1 and Mink if you can find them in print.

My chart (not infallible) says that Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne is All Ages; Zodiac P.I., MAR, Beauty Pop, Kitchen Princess, Sugar Sugar Rune, Forbidden Dance, From Far Away Magical x Miracle, Rozen Maiden and Imadoki are for 13+.

I don't recall any sex/violence (well perhaps MAR and From Far Away on the violence, I can't judge for you) in them, but I will admit to reading for enjoyment and not for noting and remembering age appropriateness. Unfortunately, Graphic Novels doesn't have a handy age chart summary to consult.

aug 19, 2008, 3:06 pm

Well, we looked at other posts about Cardcaptor Sakura and my mom saw the thing about a relationship between a 4th grader and her teacher....that's why she didn't want my sister reading it yet. Thanks for the other suggestions though.

aug 19, 2008, 9:13 pm

I can see where that might be a problem. It is underplayed and is more innocently sweet than it sounds, however implausible IRL.

aug 24, 2008, 8:31 pm

Yeah...I think she would have been interested in the basic storyline though, since it's fantasy and about kids.

Redigeret: aug 24, 2008, 9:06 pm

I've gone through other message boards in this group and I found that Ultra Maniac, Tokyo Mew Mew, Prince of Tennis, Yotsuba&!, Full Moon O Sagashite, and +ANIMA have been recommended for younger readers. Do any of these fit my guidelines? Which ones would a 10 year old girl find interesting?

aug 24, 2008, 9:11 pm

Don't do Full Moon. It deals with death and suicide (including that of a 6 year old boy). Ultramaniac is a good idea.

aug 24, 2008, 10:35 pm

Re: 22

Well, not all ten-year-old girls are going to be the same, so it can be somewhat difficult to determine what your sister would enjoy. I know that my sister (who is twelve) really enjoyed Ultra Maniac, and she loves +Anima and Prince of Tennis. All three of these series would probably be just fine for your sister, and they fall within your guidelines.

I agree that Full Moon may not be the best choice (though my sister was fine with it) based on some of the thematic elements in the story. I think Tokyo Mew Mew would be okay, though. I can't say for sure, as I have not really read it myself, but what I have seen of the story seems pretty harmless.

Another one you may want to consider is Sugar Princess. The first volume was just released, and it's about a junior high school girl who is learning how to figure skate. It's cute, sweet, no violence, pretty art, and only two volumes long. The second volume will be out in November.

aug 25, 2008, 8:42 pm

Thanks for the critiques. I'm going to try to get my sister to read at least one of them! :)

aug 26, 2008, 2:59 pm

Miracle Girls is a cute manga envolving twin girls who sometimes switch places with each.

aug 30, 2008, 3:13 pm

Is Ultra Maniac a finished series? If so, how many volumes are there?

aug 30, 2008, 3:53 pm

Ultramaniac is completed at 5 volumes. Viz publishes it in the US.

aug 31, 2008, 12:29 pm

Thanks! I was wondering because my library only has the first three volumes.

sep 1, 2008, 1:34 pm

While it isn't Japanese, Mail Order Ninja is hilarious. Young Jimmy mail orders a ninja and convinces his parents to let him keep him. "Son, owning a ninja is a big responsibility. Remember what happened with the iguana?" "Please let me keep him. I promise I won't ask for anything ever again. Or at least until Christmas."

Jiro (the ninja) protects him from bullies and the school queen bee, and helps him win the class presidency. There's lots of ninja action, but no bloodshed.

sep 2, 2008, 2:51 pm

Sounds cool. I'll have to see if it's in at my library. My sister really liked Ultra Maniac and Prince of Tennis, and she just got the first volume of Yotsuba&!. It looks really cute.

okt 24, 2008, 9:10 pm

I'd also recommend against CardCaptor Sakura, since it has lesbian/gay themes.

I am extremely surprised that nobody mention Aishiteruze Baby!

It's a super cute series about a handsome high school kid taking care of his cute 4 years old niece.

How is it that nobody mentions Doraemon??!! The all time favorite kid manga for all Asian kids!

It's super kid friendly and fun.

jun 1, 2009, 10:18 pm

Death Note and MegaMan

jun 5, 2009, 3:15 pm

yeah i want to read death note but i don't think it's appropriate for my sister, right?

jun 5, 2009, 4:02 pm

Death Note is absolutely not appropriate for kids, no. x.x

Redigeret: jun 5, 2009, 4:21 pm

What's Michael? is a cute one about cats - kind of a cat autobiography manga

jun 5, 2009, 6:11 pm

Hikaru no Go is incredibly fun, even if you know absolutely nothing about the game, so I wouldn't worry about it not keeping anyone's interest.

I would worry that the series is incredibly epic and you may end up with thirty volumes living in your house.

Another good series for all ages (that is absurdly difficult to find nowadays) is Saint Tail. It also has an anime, which can be fun to watch as you read the books.

I'd say people who enjoy Magic Knight Rayearth also enjoy Saint Tail, but I'm not exactly sure why. It may be that they are both absurdly cute.

Although, if you wouldn't let a kid read Card Captor Sakura of all things, you'd probably want to stay away from anything by CLAMP.