Manga from the 1990’s

Manga is perhaps Japan’s most famous cultural product and one with an incredibly rich history as well. Although it might seem like a very modern art form, in actuality, manga can trace its roots back to the 12th and 13th centuries, where illustrated scrolls formed the very first basis of the art. In the Edo period in the 17th century, the art form continued its development in the form of a book called Toba Ehon. Finally, in 1798, the first recorded use of the word “manga” appeared as a way to describe the art form of sequential illustrated art.

In the 19th century, manga continued to develop as an art form. Books such as “Hokusai Manga”, a collection of ukiyo-e (i.e. Japanese woodblock prints) was one such example. However, it was the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, with the increase in communication with the western world, that manga began to embody more of what we know it to be today. In that time period, Japan was introduced to western-style comics, and some of them even began appearing regularly in Japanese print media. In 1902, Japan saw its first native comic strip, created by the artist Kitazawa Rakuten, which was serialized in the Jiji Shinpo newspaper. By the time the 1930s rolled around, manga was well-established as an art form; it was serialized in many places and often collected in volumes. 

World War 2 and its aftermath further changed and modernized manga. After World War 2, due to numerous treaties and laws, censorship was effectively banned in Japan, which led to a proliferation of creativity in manga. During this time period, manga such as Astro Boy and Sazae-san expanded the boundaries of what manga could be and set new standards and tropes for the art form. During this time, manga found itself separating into two major genres, Shonen (aimed at boys) and Shojo (aimed at girls.) Through the decades up to the 1970s, most manga was Shojo manga, such as popular titles like Princess Knight. During this time, manga developed and established its own unique art style, which lay somewhere between imported western comics and manga’s cultural basis in traditional Japanese art. 

In the 1970s and 80s, manga thematically changed to encompass more mature themes and shift away from being primarily female-focused. In tandem with anime, which was also developing at the same time, manga began to develop many common tropes and genres still popular in manga today, such as mecha and character archetypes found in many different series. In addition, during this time period, it became more commonly exported to other countries rather than being a specifically Japanese-consumed art form.  

By the time the 90s rolled around, manga was solidified as a globally popular Japanese art form. It was—and still is—distinguished from western comics in that western comics focus primarily on superheroes, but manga’s subject matter is extremely broad and targeted towards many different demographics, male and female, young and old. Popular series such as Sailor Moon, Naruto, and One Piece—which started in the 1990s and were adapted into anime series as well—became huge phenomena worldwide. Even today, manga created in the 1990s still captures the public imagination and influences manga that continues to be created today. 

To get a full list of manga created in the 1990s, take a look below. All links lead to their respective Wikipedia articles where you can learn more about a specific title! 











Larthian & Syanka

Afar Anime is a co-managed site operated by a husband and wife anime-loving team. Since an early age, they have both shared a love for all things anime. Some of their favorite titles include Naruto, Sailor Moon, and Hunter X Hunter. Post are published weekly and old articles are updated accordingly. If you are interested in collaborations, feel free to reach out at

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