The age rating system for North American manga releases is an accepted set of four ratings used by all major publishers.
- All Ages: Recommended for readers of any age. According to Viz's ratings guidelines, an All Ages title "may contain mild language or fantasy violence but no swearing or nudity." Equivalent to a G/light PG MPAA rating. Examples include Yokai Watch (Viz Media) and Yotsuba&! (Yen Press).
- Teen (13+): Recommended for readers ages 13 and up. Equivalent to a hard PG/light PG-13 MPAA rating. Examples include Naruto (Viz Media), Fairy Tail (Kodansha Comics), and Barakamon (Yen Press).
- Older Teen (16+): Recommended for readers ages 16 and up. Equivalent to a hard PG-13/light R MPAA rating. Some titles are shrinkwrapped at this rating, especially those with explicit nudity. Examples include Death Note (Viz Media), Durarara!! (Yen Press), and Monster Musume (Seven Seas Entertainment). Digital Manga Publishing uses an alteration of this rating with "Young Adult (16+)".
- Mature (18+): Recommended for readers ages 18 and up. Equivalent to a hard R/NC-17 MPAA rating. Most titles are shrinkwrapped at this rating, though it varies by store. Some stores may ask for ID, though it is not legally required to restrict these titles to adults only unless they are pornographic in nature. Examples include Berserk (Dark Horse Comics), Black Lagoon (Viz Media), and Velvet Kiss (Project-H).
Defunct Tokyopop ratings system Edit
Tokyopop took things further in terms of their ratings system, particularly because of local controversies over the mature content in some of their titles such as Peach Girl. At one point, there were five different ratings for manga, as well as content advisories that would appear below the rating.
- A - All Ages. Possible content advisories included "Cartoon Violence", "Potty Humor", and "Slapstick Humor".
- Youth - 7+. Was removed from Tokyopop's ratings before content advisories were introduced.
- Youth - 10+. Possible content advisories included "Mild Language", "Fantasy Violence", and "Bullying".
- T- Teens 13+. Possible content advisories included "Moderate Language", "Aggression", "Mild Violence", "Mild Gore", "Crude Humor", "Sexual Innuendo", "Mild Sexual Language", "Non-sexual Nondescript Nudity", "Mild Sexuality/Sexual Themes", "Mild Fanservice", "Tobacco Use/Reference", "Alcohol Reference", "Illegal Drug Reference", and "Occultism".
- OT - Older Teens 16+. Possible content advisories included "Strong Language", "Moderate Sexual Language", "Moderate Violence", "Moderate Sexual Violence", "Moderate Gore", "Non-sexual Partial Nudity", "Non-sexual Full Body Nudity", "Sexual Partial Nudity", "Sexual Nondescript Nudity", "Sexual Humor", "Representation of Pornography", "Moderate Sexuality/Sexual Themes", "Moderate Fanservice", "Alcohol Use", and "Illegal Drug Use".
- M - Mature 18+. Possible content advisories included "Excessive Language", "Explicit Sexual Language", "Intense Violence", "Explicit Sexual Violence", "Excessive Gore", "Sexual Full Body Nudity", "Explicit Sexuality/Sexual Themes", "Incest", and "Explicit Fanservice".
- Ratings can change for manga based off later volumes. Examples of this include Claymore (went from Teen to Older Teen by Viz Media due to mature content) and Rave Master (went from Tokyopop's defunct Youth rating to a Teen rating in later volumes).
- Some notable exceptions to the MPAA equivalent rating are I''s (rated Mature upon digital censored rerelease, would be rated PG-13 by the MPAA) and Hellsing (rated Teen in print, would be rated R by the MPAA).