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3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  479 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Nighttime. Castleton.

It's dark and murky out when "the Rip" tears open the fabric of reality--and it's even darker when Ryoko Kiyama falls through it and into a strange and unusual world.

But Ryoko soon finds that he's the strange and unusual one.

This Mangaman is indefinitely stuck in our "real" world until...if Dr. Capeletti (a scientist working for the f...more
Hardcover, 126 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
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Kirkus Best Teen Books of 2011
19th out of 42 books — 26 voters
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Best Mangas
202nd out of 212 books — 110 voters

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Community Reviews

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Actual rating: 3.5 stars. Four stars for the initial premise and the hilarious and clever parody of manga techniques, 2 stars for the wispy plot and minimal resolution.

Yo, man, this book is so awesomely meta.

Ryoko, a bishonen (beautiful boy), is from a typical manga world, where the norm is demon attacks, high school rumbles, and dudes dressed as girls because they magically change sexes. He accidentally falls through a Rip and ends up in our world, where he’s baffled by the different (Western)...more
I went into Mangaman not expecting much and finished with those expectations of not-much-ness having basically been met.

The basic premise is that a guy named Ryoko falls through a rip (in time? in a page?) into the “real” world, which unbeknownst to its inhabitants is actually just a Western-style comic. Real World People are familiar with manga, recognize Ryoko as a comic book character come to life, and for the most part seem to be torn between kicking his ass and making out with him. (“I did...more
I'm going to be up front with you, the reader. This is worth reading but I'd check it out from the library rather than purchasing it sight unseen. There's some great jokes in here but like others have said, the story is very thin.

Let's start off with what I liked. I enjoyed the art style & I loved the little jokes here & there about how various manga antics would be portrayed in the real world. The art really is wonderful to look at. The manga does tend to suffer from "Drawn by an Ameri...more
I really didn't like this. I am honestly surprised by how much this just missed every mark it was aiming for.

We start off with an interesting concept. Creating a story about a manga style teenage boy in a comic book style world after he accidentally crosses a dimensional gateway. But the execution of this concept fell flat on its face.

When I read graphic novels, manga, or comics the first thing I judge the book by is the art, then the characters, then the plot. In Mangaman none of these aspect...more
The premise sounded fascinating, but the execution left me cold and uninterested. Perhaps I am entirely the wrong audience, and is better suited for newcomers to the world of manga, rather than someone who's been involved since the 90s and is no longer amused by wacky manga conventions.

I've followed Colleen Doran's blog for some time, and while I admire her work ethic and knowledge garnered from years of experience, I don't particularly like her attempts to play chameleon with her art style. I...more
Rachel Nabors
This is why I don't read American comics.

The good: Clever premise and interesting idea about "the world between the panels."

The bad: There is so much yellow face in here. While some of this is all in good fun, like Mar wearing a kimono in the beginning, mostly it felt like out of touch pandering from creators who only understand manga and Japan on a surface level. I have never read a Japanese comic where all these motifs were used together (or at all) or the character talked like that. The windo...more
Oh, now this is clever: take a manga character and drop him into an American comic world. Said character not only looks like he's ripped straight out of a manga, he even embodies many of the conventions used in the manga format. He's referred to as an "extra-scientific event" by scientists, viewed as a threat to his fellow male high-schoolers, and simply can't seem to find a way to fit in. I suppose that's to be expected when giant drops of sweat appear on your forehead when you're embarrassed o...more
Jessica Fure
This was my own fault - the audience for this book is obviously younger than me, and I don't mean that as a derogatory comment. I think this would be a real delight for someone who is new to the Japanse comics genre or to the idea of metafiction; unfortunately, I am neither. Actually, given Doran's old school manga influence - the Mangaman character's design stems from the pre-1990 romance manga style - it might even be a nice hit of nostalgia for some readers who are quite familiar with that hi...more
A scifi/manga retelling of Romeo and Juliet? With a nod to Flat Stanley? If you are a manga fan, try to imaginge a manga character rocketed into our world from the two dimensional pages of a comic book world. Every thought bubble actually appears beside his head. Motion lines appear when he runs, then fall to the ground. And that thing they do with their eyes! Clever, fun, and beautifully drawn.
Sam Frankenstein
Let me say first that this is a very creative idea. I mean, a manga character falling into a western style comic through a dimensional portal? Awesome! I like how the two styles, though VERY different, actually worked together in a weird way, and the manga jokes were funny (leaving physical speed lines lying around). The two main characters were also interesting, quirky, and fun to read about. However, despite all of this I really would have liked to have seen more. The ending was sort of anticl...more
Jenn Estepp
Okay - it definitely didn't go where I was expecting it to. Mostly though it made me want to dig out my old "Distant Soil"s and catch up on the ones that came out after I stopped collecting comics.
This was fun and imaginative. The story was very YA, very fast faced, a little superficial, but good. The art is great. Yay, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for putting out a graphic novel!

I see what the author was going for with this, but ultimately this book fell flat for me. What should have been hilarious, exciting, and fun is dark, boring, and disappointing.

C'mon! A manga/real world crossover almost writes itself. This book missed the mark completely.

The female lead, in particular, is probably one of the book's weakest points. She's a bored, beautiful, popular white girl with no problems other than that she's...bored? Too many people love her? Ho hum.

"Mangaman" himself is...more
Very entertaining. Will definitely be buying this one for the library.
Adorable, just adorable.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What would happen if a manga character--complete with speed lines, chibi forms, visible mental imaging, and of course big eyes and long hair--appeared in our world? Ryoko isn't sure how he got there, but it has something to do with a rip in reality, possibly caused by the kaiju creatures who live in the white space between panels--and realities. While the government tries to figure out how to send him back, he goes to high school and falls for the beautiful Marissa, who's trying to get over a dr...more
Okay first off this is very cute. It is one of those things that masters honoring and yet making of a genre all at once.

The description of the book really is the whole plot - Ryoko falls through a rip landing in the western world. Being a high school kid in American high school is tough enough. Being a high school kid in an American high school when your thoughts show up over your head, your eyes turn to your hearts if you like a girl, and your actions create visible lines that get left behind...more
Brian Williams
This book fell into the very small group of books that I have ever given five stars to. That means I believe it accomplished everything it set out to do in story, characters, and artwork.
Going into reading this I was torn because to be honest the last few Barry Lyga books I didn't care much for but on the other side of the road Colleen Doran is one of my favorite artists and I want to read everything she is involved with. Honestly I thought I'd end up enjoying the art but skipping through the...more
I wanted to like it, but Mangaman was as flat as its main character.

Cool premise, right? Manga character falls into the "real world" (AKA an American-style comic book), and hilarity ensues at all the differences between styles. What manga fan hasn't thought of that at some point?

And the storyline was kinda contrived, but we can live with that, right? You have some interdimensional alien/boy fall into your world and determine he's not a threat, so in case you can't send him back, let's introduce...more
When Ryoko, an attractive young man with a blend of feminine and masculine features, falls through a rip in time and space and lands in our world, he is shunned by many of those he encounters. After all, he is truly an outsider in the high school pecking order because he is so very different. But he catches the eye of Marissa Montaigne, a popular, beautiful high schooler who is bored with her current life and her on again, off again relationship with a football player who spends more time drinki...more
Deborah Takahashi
Ryoko is from a world that looks exactly like a Japanese Manga. Known as the government secret, Ryoko makes his debut and his peers are not sure what to think of him, especially when he comes to their Homecoming party with beautiful long hair. Marissa, who just broke up with her boyfriend, is very intrigued by the new guy; whether she wants to admit it or not, she is definitely a cosplayer. When Ryoko meets Marissa, he falls madly in love with her and will do anything to win her affection includ...more
Sinai C.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
East meets West, comics that is. Manga and Comic worlds collide when a tear in reality shoves Ryoko into another dimension, one where giant sweat drops appearing on one's forehead and going 'chibi' are not regular occurrences. Will he be an outcast for the rest of his life?

Enter Marissa, a high school girl who has got it all, cool jock boyfriend, prom queen...but is that all life is? When she spots Ryoko at a party it's love at first read.

Will circumstances keep them apart? Will the world be ren...more
Book 41 Bibliographic Citation:
Lyga, B. (2011). Mangaman. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Age/Grade Level: (Ages 15+, Grades 10–12+)

A rip in the fabric of the universe has trapped Mangaman Ryoko Kiyama into a new world, our world. Allowed by the feds to attend regular high school, Ryoka meets and falls for Marissa. Battling both her ex-boyfriend and the Kaiju monsters, Ryoka and Marissa seek a universe where they can be togther.

Awards/Reviewing Sources:
2011 The Best New Young Adult...more
Shazza Maddog
This story is both very intriguing and somewhat disturbing. The intriguing idea is that a character from what appears to be a manga shows up in the real world. He doesn't exactly fit in (no surprise), as the typical rules for manga apply to him (he has typical manga sound effects, and speed lines, among other things). He also sparkles...but that's another manga bit. Ryoko immediately falls in love with one of the queen bees of the school, Marissa, who had the typical ex-boyfriend, captain of the...more
Kate Tilton
This review will be a short one but I did want to share this book with you all. Mangaman is a mix between a Eastern manga and a Western comic, done quite well. Because this is more of a graphic novel it was a quick read (and that's why I do not have so much to say). However once I got used to the style of illustration (I am more used to manga then the graphic novels) it was a joy to read. Literally only took me an hour or two at most. I personally am a huge fan of all comic forms so this was of...more
Steven R. McEvoy
Even though I am a huge fan of Barry Lyga's writing, this story took me by surprise. The philosophical underpinnings will keep your mind working long after you finish the book. In fact, I read it through twice in one sitting and know I will be going back and reading it again in the near future. It is the story of two teenagers. Ryoko and Marissa meet at a party. But Ryoko is from an alternate world that resembles out manga. He comes from a two dimensional world where the marks of the illustrator...more
Ryoko falls through a "rip" from his manga world to a realistic world. He does not fit in to school or life because he is so different than the "normal" kids. He changes form when struck by a strong emotion, sweat drops appear on his head, when he moves too fast lines appear in the air around him and many other manga style things happen. He falls in love with popular girl Marissa and wants to teach her that her world is not that different than his. He teaches her how to move between the panels....more
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Barry Lyga is a recovering comic book geek. According to Kirkus, he's also a "YA rebel-author." Somehow, the two just don't seem to go together to him.

When he was a kid, everyone told him that comic books were garbage and would rot his brain, but he had the last laugh. Raised on a steady diet of comics, he worked in the comic book industry for ten years, but now writes full-time because, well, wou...more
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