Finding the Right Manga

  • Post category:Adults / Teens

For those unfamiliar, anime (American usually pronounce “a-nuh-may”) is the wild and wonderful world of graphic novels and animated series from Japan, often for adult audiences. Printed Japanese comics are referred to as manga (American usually pronounce “maang-guh”). People sometimes use these terms interchangeably, but by definition anime is animated and manga is printed. Unlike American comic books, manga is read top right to bottom left, with the whole book being read right to left.

Manga is usually released in volumes of consolidated comics, especially if the series is older or complete. Additionally, there can be separately titled spinoffs in the same universe that usually has a subtitle to differentiate it. A great example of this is the popular manga My Hero Academia (MHA), which has many different volumes and spinoffs. Here are the Sierra results Sierra when you search “My Hero Academia”:

So, someone comes in looking for MHA, you would have to ask what the title or volume is. Now, they’re looking for Volume 23 of the original MHA… where’s Volume 23?

For multi-volume manga, you need to drill down further into the item because volumes are only listed as separate individual items, not entries in Sierra. Additionally, no uniform call number system exists across all libraries, so here is a smattering of Volume 23s I found for MHA:

The last entry is not V23, but you get the gist.

Just remember to drill down into the manga series, select the correct volume at the item level, and hold selected item!

Another fun (aggravating) twist of searching for manga can be the art’s three different names. I’m getting a little tired of MHA, so let’s go to another manga mainstay, One Piece (the typical English/Anglicanized name) . There is, of course, the original Japanese name/characters: ワンピース (which I had to copy from Wikipedia). Fortunately, we do not have to worry about this, but we may have to worry about the second version, the romanized name Wan Pisu. Some entries in Sierra can be under this romanized version, or the patron could ask for it by this name, as well. Be on the lookout!

So as you can see, finding the right manga can be a bit of a chore, but better to be more familiar with it now than when you have a crowd of patrons and all they want is volume 23 of My Hero Academia!

Any comments, questions, concerns, please drop me a line at

Cameron R.S. Smith | Cooper-Siegel Community Library