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The Manga and Anime Club meets on the first Tuesday of every month starting in October.

Join us in Hunneman Hall, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM.

The Anime and Manga Club is for Brookline’s teen patrons to gather and discuss two popular media: manga, or Japanese print comics, and anime, or Japanese animation. Together we will explore these formats, talking about everything from the art form, cultural context, mythology, history, and to pop culture.

So join us! Watch your favorite anime, talk about and preview new manga, create your own art and comics, and treat yourself to Japanese snacks. If you’re a first-time attendee, just come to a meeting (no need to register). You can also sign up for text reminders of our upcoming meetings below.

Check out our recent news about the manga & anime club here!

Frequently Asked Questions | Especially for Parents | Resources about Manga and Anime

Frequently Asked Questions About the Anime and Manga Club

What in this club all about?
Who are the club’s members?
Who is the club’s moderator?
When and where does the club meet?
Why would I want to join this club?
What is sequential art?
What is manga?
What is anime?
Why a club about anime and manga?
How do you decide what to read and show?
Can my younger friend come to the club too?
When is the next meeting?
How can I join?

Especially for Parents


What would my teen gain from joining the club?
What kinds of anime and manga will you be showing and reading?
How do you decide what to read and show?
Why is the club limited to only 7th to 12th graders?
I’ve heard that anime and manga are full of schoolgirls, revealing outfits, and swordfights— is this true?
How can I find out more about anime and manga?
Print Resources
Web Resources

Frequently Asked Questions About the Anime and Manga Club

What in this club all about?
The Anime and Manga Club is for Brookline’s teen patrons to gather and discuss two popular media: manga, or Japanese print comics, and anime, or Japanese animation. Each meeting will focus on specific titles or genres. The aim of the club is both to create a forum for teens to discuss these increasingly popular formats as well as encourage discussion about the sequential art format, cultural variations, mythology, and history as represented in these media.

Who are the club’s members?
The Manga and Anime club is open to teens in 7th to 12th grade.

Who is the club’s moderator?
The club is moderated by Teen Librarian Robin Brenner. During her professional career, she has become a graphic novel expert and enthusiast. No Flying, No Tights (http://www.noflyingnotights.com), her website reviewing graphic novels for teens, kids, and adults is a nationally recognized resource. She has served as a member of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee for the American Library Association. She has written a guide to manga and anime for librarians and parents, Understanding Manga and Anime, and has been quoted in the New York Times Book Review on the topic. On top of all of these official credentials, she is certainly a fan herself!

When and where does the club meet?
The manga and anime club meets on the first Tuesday of every month from 5:00-6:30pm at the Main Library in Hunneman Hall, on the second floor.

Why would I want to join this club?
If you like manga and anime, then this club is the place for you! You can meet and discuss with other teens who share your interests. If you’re just curious about graphic novels, Japan, or just looking for a way to spend an afternoon, you are welcome to join the club. Discussions range from the titles themselves to visual literacy, Japan and Western history, culture, and pop culture.

The group provides invaluable advice to the library on what to buy in these formats – so you can make your voice heard in terms of what to buy when.

What is sequential art?
Sequential art is the term for stories presented in the traditional comic art format — so, anything from the newspaper comic strips to comic books to graphic novels use sequential art to tell their tales. Sequential art is most often marked by the use of panels and text bubbles.

What is manga?
Manga (pronounced mahn-guh with a hard “g”) is the general term for Japanese print comics, the equivalent of comic books and graphic novels in the U.S. You may also hear the related term, manhwa (mahn-hwah), which refers to Korean print comics.

What is anime?
Anime (pronounced ah-nee-may) is the general term for Japanese animated work, including television shows, movies, and direct-to-video releases.

Why a club about anime and manga?
Both anime and manga have a rich, distinct visual storytelling style. Anime is often related to manga – the two industries inspire each other and often create related titles together. Both are also much more common in Japan than their counterparts in the U.S, as well as cover a more diverse array of subjects. Manga is used for everything from titles on how to do your job to biographies of famous figures to bestselling fiction. Both formats are great fun – not to mention fascinating in terms of looking at different cultures, translation methods, history, pop culture, and language.

How do you decide what to read and show?
In terms of anime, our fearless leader (i.e. Robin) will choose titles for each month in keeping with suggestions from the group. All anime shown will be at the PG to PG-13 level (or TV14, if a TV series), as ranked by the production company as well as a number of other resources including the Parent’s Guide to Anime.

Manga titles will be chosen with the same eye for popularity, requests from the group, and age appropriateness.

Can my younger friend come to the club too?
If your friend is in grades 7 to 12, sure! Unfortunately, though, if your friend is younger than 6th grade, we can’t allow them to join the club. This club is for teens, and the manga and anime chosen are appropriate for teenagers (rated PG or PG-13, or TV14), and may not be appropriate for younger people.

When is the next meeting?
The club usually meets the first Tuesday of every month. You can check the Library Calendar, and upcoming meetings are announced on here on our blog for teens.

How can I join?
If you are interested in becoming a member of the club, just show up at a meeting! See the Teen Librarian Robin Brenner for more information.

Especially for parents

What would my teen gain from joining the club?
As with other media, graphic novels require a different kind of literacy than traditional text, and in this world where TV, the Internet, and multimedia are increasingly the mode by which information is distributed, visual literacy is a vital tool for teens to master. More specifically, manga presents not only a different way of telling a story, but also a window into a different and rich culture. Reading manga and watching anime frequently inspires fans to read Japanese mythology, learn to speak Japanese, and investigate the country’s history, which in turns broadens their sense of global culture and national differences.

Members of the club will also be invited to share their enthusiasm and expertise with the library community by producing recommended title lists as well as producing their own member articles, reviews, and artwork.

What kinds of anime and manga will you be showing and reading?
As all genres are represented, we will be reading and watching a variety of titles, featuring realistic dramas, science fiction epics, historical fiction, and fantasy adventure, just to name a few common genres. The aim is to experience the breadth and depth of the media as well as discover the kinds of stories told, both familiar and unique, in Japan.

How do you decide what to read and show?
In terms of anime, the moderator will choose titles for each month in keeping with suggestions from the group. All anime shown will be at the PG to PG-13 level, or TV14 for television series, as ranked by the production company as well as a number of other resources including The Parent’s Guide to Anime. The moderator will preview each title to ensure it’s age appropriateness.

Manga titles will be chosen with the same eye for popularity, requests from the group, and age appropriateness.

Why is the club limited to only 7th to 12th graders?
This club is for teens, and the manga and anime chosen are interesting to and appropriate for teenagers (rated PG or PG-13 or TV14). Thus, these titles may not be appropriate for younger participants, and as the club is intended to be for our teen patrons, older patrons are also not allowed to join.

I’ve heard that anime and manga are full of schoolgirls, revealing outfits, and swordfights— is this true?
While schoolgirls and samurai are traditional characters, the way they are represented depends on the intended audience. Unlike in the U.S. where many comics and animated films are aimed at and are appropriate for younger readers and viewers, both manga and anime are produced for a variety of audiences and age ranges, from girls to boys, toddlers to adults. In fact, a much wider variety of titles are produced in Japan than in the U.S. The variety of titles can be compared to the productions on U.S. television or films: yes, there are titles produced which contain sensuality and violence, but these are intended for an adult audience. By no means do all or even most anime and manga titles fall into this category.

How can I find out more about anime and manga?
There are a number of great resources both in print and on the web. Here are a few titles and websites to get you started, all available either at the Brookline Library or within our network.

Print Resources

Understanding Manga and Anime
by Robin Brenner
The Teen Librarian’s guide to the ins and outs of manga and anime: why it’s popular, why it’s quality, where it comes from, and how to understand it.

Anime Explosion: The What? Why? And Wow! Of Japanese Animation
by Patrick Drazen
An enlightening book which covers the trends and common stories in anime, explaining in detail the links between anime and Japanese culture.

Anime Essentials: Everything a Fan Needs to Know
by Gilles Poitras
A short guide to all of the ins and outs of anime, from the films themselves to the fan communities.

The Anime Companion: What’s Japanese in Japanese Animation?
By Gilles Poitras
An encyclopedia of anything and everything you might see in anime, from gestures to food — a whole lot of fun to browse through, not to mention informative.

Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics
By Frederick L. Schodt
One of the first books to thoroughly explore manga, covering everything from its history to common motifs — again, there is some adult content as Mr. Schodt addresses manga for all age ranges including adults.

Web Resources
The Librarian’s Guide to Anime and Manga
http://www.koyagi.com/Libguide.html
A great place to start, full of vocabulary, definitions, frequently asked questions, and recommended titles.

No Flying, No Tights
http://www.noflyingnotights.com
Moderator Robin Brenner’s site — to find out a bit more about graphic novels in general as well as reviews of new manga series.

The Parent’s Guide to Anime
http://www.abcb.com/parents/
A useful list titles with short reviews, commentary, and ratings according to the MPAA standards.

The Anime Companion Online Supplement
http://www.koyagi.com/ACPages/ACmain.html
The supplement to Mr. Poitras’ above book.

Please don’t hesitate to contact club moderator Robin Brenner by phone at 617-730-2370 or email at teenlibrarian@brooklinelibrary.org
She’ll be happy to answer all questions about the club.