What is manga? Essentially, manga are Japanese comic books (as opposed to anime, which are Japanese cartoons). Much like anime, manga has a very specific drawing style: Just like Western comics, manga can be about anything from historical, fantasy, to superheroes. So though manga does have a very unique style to it, manga isn’t really a genre as much as it is a format. Just like there are tons of different genres within comics, there are just as many genres of manga.