Retro or vintage manga can mean many things. Is it manga from the 1950's? Or even the 1990's? In our project we focus on the distinct style of manga seen between roughly 1970-1985, but this doesn't completely encompass everything that can be defined as vintage manga.


However, there's question about that there's a very distinct style of manga that belongs to the 1970's in particular. Manga as a commercial product is still quite young at this stage, but is experiencing increasingly rising popularity and respect among the Japanese people. Anime is more and more available on TV along with the popularity of the TV itself. While the manga-boom in the 1990's is comparatively much bigger, the 70's was an important foundation for the manga that we know and love today.

What defines the style?

In the 1970's, manga was mostly divided into the categories shounen, shoujo, kodomo and gag manga. Categories such as josei, seinen, BL and yuri were non-existent or not as widespread. 

Every mangaka (manga artist) has their own style, and often the manga's genre is defined by what magazine it runs in and what target group that magazine has, which is somewhat true today as well. Therefore, distinguishing the styles can be somewhat difficult, but there are factors that can be taken into consideration.

Seeing is believing


The easiest way to know what the differences is to see for yourself. Therefore, we've made a comprehensive Powerpoint-style presentation here with many examples from real, old vintage mangas, click here to view it.