Resource Guide for Japanese Language Students: Japanese and English

This is a guide for teachers and students who are interested in finding reading/visual materials appropriate for their language level in Japanese available in the Univ. of Kansas Libraries..

About this page

The KU library collection includes both the Japanese and English versions of these mangas. They are shelved in different locations, so please check the call number and location when looking for these works.

Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン)

An ordinary middle-school student, Tsukino Usagi, meets a talking black cat named Luna. Luna gives her a magical broach which turns Usagi into Sailor Moon, a superhero, to save the Earth from the evil. With her fellow friends and superheroes, they are in a quest to find the princess and the "Legendary Silver Crystal." (Fantasy, Romance, Adventure)

Ranma 1/2 (らんま1/2)

The main character, Saotome Ranma, was training martial arts in China since he was young, when one day, as a result of an accident, was cursed. He changed into a girl when splashed with cold water, and returns a boy when splashed with hot water. The story follows Ranma trying to get rid of his curse in Japan with his friends and fiancé. (Comedy, Romance, Adventure)

Pluto (プルートゥ)

Originally this plot was created by Osamu Tezuka for his Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム). The episode, known as "The Greatest Robot on Earth," is reinterpreted by Naoki Urasawa. An European robot detective Gesicht is trying to solve a string of robot and human murder cases (Mystery, Action, Drama).


In NYC, the main character, Ash Lynx, was given a vial of mysterious substance from a dying man called "banana fish." With Ash as the leader of the teen gang, they fight against organized crime and find out the mystery of the "banana fish." (Action, Friendship)

Barefoot Gen (はだしのゲン)

 An all-new, unabridged translation of Keiji Nakazawa's account of the Hiroshima bombing and its aftermath, drawn from his own experiences. Through the eyes of protagonist Gen, this story describes the struggles of Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors.

Adofl (アドルフに告ぐ)

Written by the "father of manga," Tezuka Osamu illustrates the story about three men all named "Adolf" before WWII. The story follows two friends, Adolf Kamil, a Jew living in Japan, Adolf Kaufmann, a Japanese and German decent, and it also follows the infamous, Adolf Hitler. The two friends help their journalist friend, Sohei Toge, to solve the mystery of his brother's murder by the German government to conceal the secret of Adolf Hitler. (Drama, Historical)

Toward the Terra (地球へ...)

"Toward the Terra" takes place in the 31st millennium where supercomputers and carefully selected human elites are the rulers of the whole human race. The story takes place in a distant star because Earth became unsustainable due to the political turmoil and pollution. The supercomputers control the humans by brainwashing, however, a race called Mu, evolved with psionic abilities that the supercomputers deems a threat to the order of society. Mus have only one wish and that is to go back to Terra or Earth and for that to happen they must fight the supercomputers. (Science Fiction, Action)

AKIRA (アキラ)

One of the most famous cyberpunk comis by Katsuhiro Otomo. A powerful psychic force known only as Akira resurfaces in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo. Tetsuo, a young and weakhearted boy, driven beyond the boundaries of sanity by the power of Akira, is forced to conjure up demons laying dormant within his subconscious (Action, Sci-fi, Drama)