Now while developing my craft as a manga reviewer I decided to take what I’ve learned and share with anyone else who have/will want to review manga. How many of us pick up manga and just get so inspired to write/talk about it. But to be fair, I was just sitting at home, browsing through my book collection and realized that I had a collection of manga. So I decided to start reviewing them. Honestly, brutal honesty is the only way I give my reviews and I highly recommend that others do the same. It definitely makes reviews a lot more personal while keeping it interesting. Note: this is a guide and does state sections of manga that probably should be considered when reviewing it.
What is the title? Does it have a subtitle? Be sure to include the issue number. Typically the basic information will probably include whether the illustrations are in color or black-and-white, the binding, and probably the page count. Be sure to give a brief description of the manga.
- Manga title? Subtitle? Issue number?
- Who is the writer? What other works have they worked on?
- Who is the artist? What other works have they worked on?
- Who is the publisher?
Give a brief plot summary without giving away any key details about the manga. What is the story about? Readers want to know enough about what happens in a manga to know whether they’ll find it interesting. Does the plot make sense? Is the story line logical? Is it original? How complex is it? Is the story predictable or full of surprises? Is the story exciting or is it dull? What themes or motifs stand out? Is there a sub-plot and how is it related to the main plot? Is the plot primary or secondary to some of the other essential elements of the story? Other questions to be considered are:
- Does the story unravel gradually or is it quickly revealing?
- Is the story exciting or is it dull?
- How good is the pacing?
- How are the various elements of plot handled?
- Did the story grip you and keep you playing?
- What other devices of plot complication and resolution are employed?
Characters are just as important as story. Who are the main characters and are they credible? Could you relate/empathize to any of the characters in the story? Does the writer make you believe in them as people? Why or why not? As you learn about the characters, use examples of things they’ve said or done to give a sense of their personalities. Also, include the character development arcs as well as any stereotypes. Other questions to be considered are:
- Are the characters flat or three dimensional?
- What did the main characters do in the game?
- How well do the characters develop?
- Who are your favorite character(s)? Why?
- Is character delineation direct or indirect?
The visuals focus on the manga’s art style. This will consist of characters and environment, lighting and shade detail. Some manga will require more heavily detailed graphics than others. Think about how the words and pictures work together to create the story.
- What type of animation style? Realistic? Cell-Shaded?
- How does the animation style hold up?
- What style does it resemble?
- Are the colors vibrant? Dull?
- How do the panels flow and how do they support the story?
- Is the reader’s eye led in the right direction by the layout (which is particularly tricky to some readers who aren’t familiar with the typical manga format)?
- Do the word balloons fit into the composition?
This area focuses on the manga’s writing style (usually the story). This is a great way of establishing another relationship with the writer. Writing is artistic; both through the writer’s presentation and through the reader’s interpretation. Were certain types of scenes written particularly well (action scenes, emotional scenes, scary scenes, etc.)?
- How effective is dialogue?
- How well is the overall script written?
- Is the writing simplistic or complex?
- Does it contain humor, wit, satire?
- Does the writing have rhythm?
- Does the writing style utilize symbolism?
Likes/Dislikes and Commentary
What was your favorite part of the manga? Why? What was your least favorite part of the manga? Why? If you could change something, what would it be? What do you like or dislike about the manga’s writing style?
Your conclusion should summarize, perhaps include a final assessment. What type of person would like this manga? Would you recommend this manga to another person? Would you read more by this author? Why or why not?
Thanks for checking out this post. For any ideas or comments on how to write manga reviews, leave them in the comment section below.