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Collage of Anime and Manga Covers with knockout text reading Anime and Manga

This article is a companion piece to HCPL's Using Our Library Voices podcast. You will find many of the books and videos we talked about in our May episode celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month below.

Like many millennials, I grew up on anime back in the 90s and early 2000s. Series like Pokémon, Sailor Moon, and Dragon Ball are some of the most universal cultural touchstones tying my generation together.

The Godfather of Modern Manga

They were certainly my introduction to the world of Japanese animation and comics, but they didn’t invent the medium. Osamu Tezuka, the author behind seminal works like Astro Boy, is often credited as being the “godfather” of manga, beginning his career in the 1940s and drawing inspiration from the early animated films of Walt Disney. However,

The Breakthrough

Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime film Akira is often seen as anime’s big break into the English-speaking market, particularly with its more mature storytelling and adult audience. Stateside, anime and manga remained fairly niche throughout the 1980s, but that would quickly change. Anime-themed programming blocks like Toonami on Cartoon Network brought anime into the 90s, and into the cultural conversation, with iconic series like Gundam Wing and Tenchi Muyo, and the market has only grown from there.

The Streaming Explosion

Anime streaming services Crunchyroll and Funimation, as well as robust anime selections on major streaming platforms like Netflix, have firmly brought anime into the twenty-first century. In 2021, anime has never been more popular or more mainstream, with the recent Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba anime film being the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time, animated or otherwise. Anime and manga are big business these days and are beloved by plenty of people who would not fit the old definition of “otaku,” or anime super-fan. But some things have definitely stayed the same: gorgeous art, innovative storytelling, and a healthy love of giant robots are still fixtures of the medium today and are just some of the reasons why people love it.

Manga on OverDrive: Click or tap on a cover to download

Astro Boy Volume 1 Cover

 

Attack on Titan Volume 1

 

Black Jack Vol 1 cover

 

Bleach Vol 1 cover

 

Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus Vol 1 cover

 

Chainsaw Man Volume 1 cover

 

Crow Boy Cover

 

Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba Vol 1 Cover

 

Dr Stone Vol 1 cover

 

Dragon Ball Vol 1 Cover

 

Dragon Ball Super Vol 1 cover

 

Dragon Ball Z Vol 1 cover

 

JuJutsu Kaisen Vol 1 cover

 

Komi Can't Communicate Vol 1 cover

 

My Hero Academia cover

 

Nana Volume 1

 

Naruto Vol 1

 

One Piece Volume 1 cover

 

Ouran High School Host Club Vol 1 cover

 

Sailor Moon volume 1

 

Spy x Family Vol 1 cover

 

Ghost in the Shell Vol 1 cover

 

The Way of the Househusband Vol 1 Cover

 

Umbrella cover

 

Anime on DVD: Click or Tap on cover to place hold

akira cover

 

attack on titan cover

 

barefoot gen cover

 

boruto cover

 

cowboy bebop cover

 

demon slayer kimetsu cover

 

cover

 

dragon ball cover

 

Dragon Ball Super Vol 1 cover

 

dragon ball z

 

fruits baskets

 

full metal alchemist season 1

 

ghost in the shell cover

 

My Hero Academia cover

 

nausicaa

 

sailor moon cover

 

speed racer complete cover

 

spirited away

 

trigun

 

your name

 

       

Manga in Print: Click or tap cover to place hold

akira cover

 

beastars cover

 

chobits

 

fruits baskets

 

fullmetal

 

horimaya

 

is it wrong

 

mobile suit gundam wing

 

so i'm a spider

 

trigun maximum

 

vinland

 

your name

 

           

 

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