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Arts & Culture

Manga Has Crossover Appeal

Popular crossover manga includes Bleach, Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist (Viz Media)

Shojo -- or, the style of manga for young girls -- may be dominating the market , but don't discount the influence boys have on the manga market. Just because manga focus more on character development doesn't mean they don't have any action at all. You just have to look at the success of series like Naruto , Bleach , or Fullmetal Alchemist to see that isn't true.

All three of these series have the fighting, weaponry, and snappy banter readers find in American comics. The difference is that both boys and girls are reading Naruto, Bleach , and Fullmetal Alchemist , and it's that crossover appeal that makes the difference. Most girls -- at least in my library -- aren't picking up Spider-Man, Batman, or the Fantastic Four . But they are reading Fruits Basket , Hikaru no Go , Her Majesty's Dog , Land of the Blindfolded , Sugar Sugar Rune , Death Note , Kingdom Hearts , Yotsuba&! , and on, and on. They're also reading Bone , Oddly Normal , Kat and Mouse , Runaways , Sidescrollers , and other American comics that have a clear beginning, strong characters, and complex storytelling -- all things they've come to expect from comics by reading manga.

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NOTE: Bleach creator Tite Kubo will be at the Con Saturday at 1:15 pm in Room 7AB, and then Viz Media will host a Shojo Beat Panel at 3:30 pm in Room 10.