Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Plot Summary:
Ryoko is from a world that looks exactly like a Japanese Manga. Known as the government secret, Ryoko makes his debut and his peers are not sure what to think of him, especially when he comes to their Homecoming party with beautiful long hair. Marissa, who just broke up with her boyfriend, is very intrigued by the new guy; whether she wants to admit it or not, she is definitely a cosplayer. When Ryoko meets Marissa, he falls madly in love with her and will do anything to win her affection including fighting her ex-boyfriend (just like they do in Shonen). However, things in this reality are quite different, especially when it comes to expressing emotions; usually, when we are sad, we don't have a rain cloud raining above our heads, nor do we have expressions lines on our faces when we are super happy. Although Marissa is intrigued by Ryoko, there is something special about him that she cannot shake, especially when he shows her that the manga world and the real world are not as different as it seems. As Ryoko and Marissa get to know each other, Ryoko's time on this plane is running out. When he entered this world, he came through something called a Rip and the beings that cause this rip are trying to get through our world as well. With the help with Dr. Capeletti, Ryoko has been trying to re-build the machine that will open up the Rip to get him home; if he doesn't time his return trip carefully, he will be stuck here forever. However, after getting to know Marissa, staying her doesn't seem all that bad until all hell breaks lose and Chaz, Marissa's ex, comes after him with a vengeance.

Critical Evaluation:
All I can say about this graphic novel is BRILLIANT! Not only have Lyga and Doran managed to blend two very popular mediums together, they have done it in a way that is well-written, funny, and quite entertaining. Honestly, I don't know what I would do if a Mangaman shows up at the Library and how I would react. Depending on the character, I might fall in love or just laugh hysterically. This graphic novel combines everything from romance, mystery, science fiction, humor, and horror into one amazing story that readers will finish in about 40 minutes. The juxtaposition of both art forms is awesome because those who aren't familiar with Manga will get a pretty cool experience since Ryoko explains how it all really works. Also, veteran manga and comic books readers will appreciate the sarcasm when it comes to subtle things like the "sweat drop," the facial lines, the random highlighted words, the rain clouds, and manga references to hentai and what not. Also, the awkward moments (i.e., the kissing that almost leads to sex) that is found often in Shojo ends up being more comedic than sexy. I did like the ending because not everyone has the opportunity to see themselves in Manga form so Marissa probably got the better end of the deal. As a manga fan, I had a lot of fun dubbing the voices with all the voice actors I come across in anime so not only was I reading a graphic novel, I had an anime running through my head as well. I would love to see another blending of manga and comics again simply because it's just so much fun!   

Information about the Author:
According to their websites:
[Barry Lyga] [c]alled a “YA rebel-author” by Kirkus Reviews, Barry Lyga has published eleven novels in various genres in his seven-year career, including the New York Times bestselling I Hunt Killers. His books have been or are slated to be published in a dozen different languages in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.\
After graduating from Yale with a degree in English, Lyga worked in the comic book industry before quitting to pursue his lifelong love of writing. In 2006, his first young adult novel, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, was published to rave reviews, including starred reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal. Publisher’s Weekly named Lyga a “Flying Start” in December 2006 on the strength of the debut.
Lyga lives and writes in New York City. His comic book collection is a lot smaller than it used to be, but is still way too big.
[Colleen Doran] is a cartoonist, illustrator and film conceptual artist, she has illustrated the works of Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Warren Ellis, Anne Rice and J Michael Straczynski.

 A Distant Soil, Colleen’s epic science fiction/fantasy tale from Image Comics, is a complex space opera, among the first of its kind in the USA, and is ongoing as a webcomic and graphic novel series.
Colleen was one of the first American artists to discover the lure of Japanese comics, and later went on to work for various Japanese publishers as a consultant, teaching the American market to manga industry executives.


She won a grant from the Delphi Institute to study American popular culture, and was chosen to represent the United States at the Japan/America manga/comics seminar in Tokyo, Japan along with Eisner award-winning cartoonist Jeff Smith, Pulitzer Prize and Oscar award-winning creator Jules Ffeiffer, Denys Cowan, and Nicole Hollander. She also lectured at the Singapore Writers Festival in 2005.
, and was Artist in Residence at the Smithsonian. She has exhibited her work at shows and galleries in Milan, Vienna, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo.

Genre:
Teen Graphic Novels

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Mangaman:

Awards & Recognition:
From Amazon.com:

"An inventive offering, sure to please fans of both American and Japanese comics."—Kirkus, starred review
"Fantastic—in every sense of the word! Lyga and Doran have created an eye-popping fun-ride through the comics traditions of East and West. Fans of both comics and manga will love Mangaman. Colleen Doran’s encyclopedic, rapid-fire grasp of manga conventions blows my mind!" —Jeff Smith, author of Bone 
"This is a wonderful, funny, touching story about the ultimate outsider seeking adventure and love within the borders that surround us all.  There's some seriously innovative storytelling going on here, and the artwork is sensational.  If you're looking for a fun read, a romp, a rollicking good time...then seriously: buy this book."  —J. Michael Straczynski, New York Times Bestselling author of Superman: Earth One "This title will appeal to readers who are fans of both manga and Western comics or crossover titles such as Wolverine: Prodigal Son (2009) and X-men: Misfits (2009)."—Booklist "Esteemed artist Doran juggles manga and Western illustration styles effortlessly, capturing their defining characteristics with pitch-perfect accuracy." —School Library Journal, starred review
"Wonderfully quirky and subversive humor."--Bulletin

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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