What is the Kodomo Genre?
Kodomo (children’s) manga are manga whose target audience are children, both male and female, who are between ages of six and eleven. Kodomo manga consist of basic children’s stories, often with child-friendly themes that put an emphasis on family and friends. Sometimes they also incorporate some violence, something which is accepted in Japan but often considered inappropriate in the West.

When did it all began?
The genre started in the late nineteenth century with the production of small, approximately fifteen page long cartoons in magazines, targeting both male and female children. These short manga stories were created as part of the Meiji era’s (1868-1912) attempt to encourage literacy among the Japanese youth.

Modern-day kodomo in magazines Today there are magazines such as KoroKoro Komikku (KoroKoro Comic), first published by Shogakukan, whose target audience are young boys, generally those who are still in elementary school. There is also Kodansha’s Comic Bonbon, which is another magazine dedicated to publishing Kodomo manga. Both of these magazines are released monthly within Japan. Kodomo manga that become popular are also almost always reinvented as anime and are accompanied by a plethora of merchandise.

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Today there are some very well known Kodomo manga, such as Doraemon, created by two manga-ka (the creators of the manga) who wrote under the penname Fujiko Fujio. Doraemon was first released in 1969 and made appearances in six different monthly children’s manga magazines at one time. Two years later, it also began to appear in two additional children’s magazines, all with different stories, as the creators of Doraemon consistently created new stories for each of the issues it was published in. Popular Kodomo manga such as Doraemon often retain its readers even as they approach adulthood.

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