"Joho manga" literally means "information manga". Originally the term was used to described educational comics for adults, such as Japan Inc., many of which deal with business, economics or politics. Most of the genre's readers, naturally, were salarymen, who had grown up reading manga. Now that they were adults, they wanted manga heroes they could identify with. The joho manga, manga set in the world of business with salaryman heroes, was born.
Joho manga has given us several very different salaryman protagonists (as well as a few salarywomen). Kosaku Shima loves his job and is cheerfully workaholic. Fishing Fool Nisshi is an unrepentant underachiever who would rather fish than work. Kintaro, perhaps the most popular salaryman hero, is a reformed gang member who never hesitates to blow his top and tell his superiors off.
I love manga and anime about giant robots and miniskirted schoolgirls with magical powers, but more realistic settings and conflicts are good too. Also, a pro-business genre of fiction is sorely needed. Let's hope joho manga continues to thrive and expand!
Hiro Nakamura of Heroes: a salaryman hero on a Western TV show!
Joho Manga Books & Movies
Joho Manga Links