Children's anime and manga

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Children's manga (子供向け漫画 Kodomomuke manga?) and children's anime (子供向けアニメ kodomomuke anime?), are Japanese terms which literally mean "manga (or "anime", respectively) directed towards children". Children's manga are also known by the word "Kodomo", or "child".[1] These works are noted for stories that are often very moralistic, teaching children how to behave as good and considerate people and helping them to stay on the right path in life. The shows are generally stand-alone, or non-episodic. Doraemon by Fujiko F. Fujio is one of the most notable examples for this manga/anime genre.[2]

Specifics and examples[edit]

The first genre of anime started in the late 19th century with the production of small comics[clarification needed], approximately 15 pages long, printed in magazines, targeted towards both boys and girls. These short manga were created as a part of the Meiji era's attempt to encourage literacy amongst Japanese youth. A major milestone in the popularity of Japanese animation was the creation of Astro Boy, by Osamu Tezuka, who is often considered the father of Japanese animation. [3]

Children's anime and manga can be divided into four categories. The first category is the anime and manga adaptations of Western legends, tales etc. One example is World Masterpiece Theater. Most of them are TV series. Despite being popular, they are less representative of traditional Japanese anime. Instead, they are more so modeled after classical American or Soviet cartoons.

The second category is unique to Japan. These are manga adaptations and original works. They use linguistic gags and contain references to Japanese society, and may be harder to understand for non-Japanese viewers. They are in some ways similar to American animation like South Park or The Simpsons. An example is Chibi Maruko-chan. Within the storyline, these works contain shounen elements.

The third category is cute anime, popular amongst girls. Examples include Hello Kitty and Bottle Fairy. Another category that is closer to shounen includes Pokémon. These shows have a connection with popular video game and toy markets, and have the best commercial success.[4]

Today there are magazines such as CoroCoro Comic, first published by Shogakukan, which primarily target young boys, especially those in elementary school. There is also Kodansha's Comic Bonbon, which also published children's manga. Both of these magazines are released monthly in Japan. Popular children's manga is also reinvented as anime and is accompanied by a plethora of merchandise. Despite it being aimed at children, children's anime and manga is also popular amongst an older audience. Similarly shōjo anime, like Tokyo Mew Mew or Shugo Chara, are also popular amongst the "tween" audience.[5]

Other Japanese works for children[edit]

There are also non-anime things aimed at children in Japan. For example, Inai Inai Baa! or Okaasan to Issho.


The annual Shogakukan Manga Award and Kodansha Manga Award each include a category for children's manga.[6][7] The Shogakukan Manga awards first included a category for children's manga in 1981, while the Kodansha Manga awards first included a children's category in 2003.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kodomo". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ Thompson, Jason. Manga: The Complete Guide. Del Rey Manga. 
  3. ^ Zagzoug, Marwah. "The History of Anime & Manga". nova online. C.T. Evans. Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ "10.3 — Кодомо-аниме" (in Russian). Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Kodomo Genere". Jappleng University. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ "57th Shogakukan Manga Awards". Shogakukan. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ "36th Kodansha Manga Award". Kodansha. Retrieved September 2, 2012.