Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Reading and Writing Manga
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Creative Writing Portfolio  (2500 words): 1500 words/10 pages of a manga script and a critical commentary (1000 words)  50%
Semester Assessment ​Critical essay  (2500 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit Creative Writing Portfolio  (2500 words): 2000 words of a manga script and an abstract (50 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit Critical essay  (2500 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

​1. Demonstrate, via scripting a manga story, a detailed working knowledge of the tropes and conventions of the manga medium.

2. Demonstrate, via a critical commentary, a solid understanding of manga’s history and form and an ability to apply that knowledge to students’ own creative work.

3. Demonstrate, via a critical essay, a scholarly ability to analyse and discuss the themes of manga in relation to a set question.

4. Demonstrate an ability to revise their work in response to peer and tutor criticism.

5. Have a clear and academic understanding of the international influence of manga.

Brief description

This module aims to introduce students to the rich medium of Japanese manga and its effect on the wider comics industry. Students will learn about manga's early roots in picture scrolls such as the 13th-century Choju-jinbutsu-giga, and will discuss influential series from manga’s post-war boom to its modern global readership. In undertaking this module, students will explore an international creative industry and its reception around the world. This module will provide students with the opportunity both to create a manga script and to produce a critical essay on one of the set texts in the second half of the module.


1. Introduction

This introductory session will provide students with a timeline of manga, from its 13th-century origins, to the medium-defining influence of Osamu Tezuka in the 1960s, to the vast culture that now surrounds manga. Students will learn how to read manga, as well as how to script a manga page according to industry standards.

2. Shoujo ('girls') Manga

Shojo manga is one of the most experimental and diverse sub-genres, covering stories from high school romances to supernatural adventures. It has long been a space for the expression of its women creators, encouraging bravery and teamwork in their young readers. Students will examine the themes of shojo manga alongside CLAMP’s influential Cardcaptor Sakura series.

3. Shonen ('boys') Manga

Shonen manga follows the mythical hero's journey: an underdog protagonist defies their odds in order to be the best at something. It is a pattern that recurs in manga over and over again, but with undiminishing popularity. Students will look at the origins of shōnen manga to one of its most popular iterations, Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia.

4. Manga Techniques

Students will examine the different techniques of manga, from the expressive eyes of shojo manga to the subjective motion of sports manga. It will inform students on manga tropes and conventions, as well as introducing students to some of manga's more experimental series.

5. Workshop

In this session, students will workshop their assignment pieces in order to gain valuable feedback before submission.

6. Manga & the body

The body is a malleable object in manga, subject to transformations from the magical to the monstrous. In this session, students will consider the way the human form is represented in manga, and what that might reveal about the anxieties of its readers.

7. Case Study: Attack on Titan

Since it began publication in 2011, Hajime Isayama’s series about humanity’s struggle against man-eating giants has taken the international comics industry by storm. In this session, students will discuss Isayama’s portrayal of the human anatomy in relation to the wider bodily themes of manga.

8. Manga & Sexuality

Manga has long been a medium in which artists present themes of sexuality, love, marriage, and gender identity. With an emphasis on LGBT+ representation, this session will highlight some of the most crucial series in diversifying the portrayal of relationships in manga.

9. Case Study: My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness

Kabi Nagata’s autobiographical manga essay has received critical acclaim for its presentation of a woman struggling with her sexual identity. Students will examine this text closely in relation to the themes discussed in Week 8.

10. Manga & Adaptation

​The final week of the module will examine the translation and adaptation of manga. Students will discuss the relationship between manga and the anime industry, as well as the problems and successes of English-language manga translation.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Ability to work as part of a class and to give feedback and receive feedback on work. Students will be required to participate in class discussions, particularly in the second half of the module.
Improving own Learning and Performance Responding to feedback of peers and to work successfully independently and as part of a class. Students will understand the international manga industry and be able to situate their writing and professional skills within the medium. Students will need to work as part of a class.
Information Technology Word-processing and digital presentation tools will be required for workshop tasks and assignments, as well as digital resources for research.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will reflect on feedback given by peers and the tutor, as well as on assessment feedback.
Problem solving Analysing and employing the skills needed to script a manga series as well as write critically in response to a set question.
Research skills Students will be required to analyse manga throughout, but especially in the second assignment.
Subject Specific Skills Practical proficiency in creative writing as well as a keen ability to analyse and discuss manga in an academic context.
Team work Students will be required to give feedback and to respond to feedback appropriately.


This module is at CQFW Level 6