What Are the Age Ratings in Manga?

Publishers' Rating Labels for Manga & Graphic Novels

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Manga has something for everyone, but not all manga is suitable for all ages. Some manga is absolutely not for children. However, it can often be hard for parents and guardians to tell which titles are suitable for children and young adults just by looking at the cover. Thankfully, there's a handy rating system which can help parents separate what titles are right for their child. Here’s a breakdown of the U.S. publishers’ content rating system for English language comics, plus examples of manga.

Manga Rating Meanings

  • E – Everyone / A – All Ages
    Like a G movie rating, the E – Everyone or A – All Ages rating means that the comic is suitable for readers from age 6 and up.
  • Y – Youth, Age 10+
    Similar to a PG movie rating, the Y – Youth, Age 10+ rating means that the title may contain mild violence and/or cursing. While these titles can sometimes be suitable for younger children, it's up to parents to know the maturity of their child.
  • T – Teens, Age 13+
    The manga rating equivalent of a PG-13, T – Teen indicates that the comic's content may include some sexual innuendo and/or violent action scenes. Teen titles (just like Youth titles) should be carefully reviewed by parents to ensure that their child is mature enough for the material.
  • OT – Older Teens, Age 16+
    OT – Older Teen rated manga may contain more explicit sexual situations and some violent scenes, including blood and gore. Manga is known for its graphic and violent tales, parents are encouraged to review these titles before giving them to teens. These are the equivalent of an "NC-17" or "R" rating.
  • M – Mature, Age 18+
    Manga rated M – Mature" is strictly for adults. You can expect to find explicit sexual situations, strong language, and/or bloody battles and mayhem. This rating is equivalent to NC-17 or R. Parents are strongly advised not to give these titles to children due to their very graphic content. 

Should Parents Use The Rating System?

When it comes to deciding if a book or movie is suitable for a child, really only a parent or guardian can decide. Children mature at different rates; some are ready for heavier material before others. However, not every older teen is ready for certain mature topics, either. Parents really need to know their children in order to help choose the right media for them. Parents should always be aware of what entertainment their child chooses to consume. While children can often be very good at knowing what media they're ready for, every parent has probably had to deal with nightmares caused by a movie that was just a little too scary.