“Stop! You’re reading the wrong way!” - Every issue of Shonen Jump
Japanese culture has a tremendous influence in the entertainment industry in terms of their artistic style and way of storytelling. If you were to ask anyone who watches animation, many of them will mostly likely be familiar with anime-style “cartoons” with popular titles being Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, and Pokémon.
Disney Star Wars is starting to dip their toes into the Japanese-made phenomenon by releasing books called “manga” which feature the signature art style.
These manga titles serve as a wonderful outlet for Star Wars fans who love anime, even those who are mainly familiar with American-made shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender. Although we have yet to see a Star Wars program fully dedicated to the anime style (at least at the time of writing this) we can still indulge in these beautiful manga adaptations of our favorite stories whether you’re in the mood for stunning action sequences or saucy romance.
Even if you are unfamiliar with anime and manga, the Star Wars titles featured below are excellent introductions to the medium. Some of these volumes are even printed as they are out in Japan to really give you the complete experience.
If you purchase one of these titles you may notice that the cover is featured on the side of the book that you wouldn’t normally consider the “front.” That’s because traditional manga is read from back to front, right to left. Now don’t feel overwhelmed! Reading the panels backward is not as hard as it sounds. It’s actually kind of fun!
The Star Wars franchise is better known for their films, novels, games, and various shows and less so for their ability to produce manga. Even so, the few titles that they have released are made with such exceptional quality that they could even stand up to popular names in the manga realm. The artists do not hold back on the impeccable drawing techniques and soulful character expressions when crafting each panel.
The fact that these books exist show that the Star Wars franchise is not one to avoid taking risks. Those involved in the publishing side of content creation had decided to step out of their comfort zone to formulate something that more niche fans can enjoy and the result of their efforts is absolutely spectacular. Now enthusiasts of both Star Wars and anime can indulge in an even greater out-of-this-world experience.
When it comes to animation, one of the closest examples of Star Wars material to date that closely resembles the anime art style is the Galaxy of Adventures miniseries featured on YouTube. Although it is a fantastic and beautiful project, we have yet to achieve the full experience set in the Star Wars universe. With the success of these manga adaptations, we will hopefully see a full anime series complete with a flashy opening sequence paired with a catchy musical number sometime in the near future. Until then, lose yourself in the manga volumes featured in the collection below.
Our team is hard at work building out this collection. Stay tuned!