Manga is a term that loosely refers to a Japanese cartooning style. They are usually published in installments and can be hundreds of pages long, depending on the format. Because there are so many different genres to choose from, they appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. These well-respected works, known for their intricate plots and characters, have been drawn for hundreds of years, though the modern version emerged in the mid-twentieth century.
It’s a little debatable how people define manga. Outside of Japan, the term usually refers to a Japanese cartoon or comic, and in particular, drawings a Japanese mangaka (cartoon/comic artist). People from other countries have begun to work in this style in recent decades, and the Japanese have traditionally used the term to refer to any cartoon or comic, regardless of who created it or where he or she lives. For this reason, some experts argue that it is preferable to categorize these works based on the specific characteristics found in the drawings.
Length and Form
Manga is frequently published in magazines with a page count of no more than 40 pages. The average length of a comic book is 150 to 200 pages. Graphic novels can be hundreds of pages long, differing from regular comics and comic books in that they tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end. The comics are typically published serially or in installments, with the exception of this long form and collections of previously published works, because the publisher wants to keep the reader interested and coming back for the next piece of the story.
Manga, regardless of length, follows the traditional Japanese language flow, which means it is read from top to bottom and right to left. This appears “backward” to an English reader because it necessitates starting from the back of the book. For overseas sales, some publishers use a technique known as flipping to convert the story into a format that is more familiar to non-Japanese fans.
Groups of people
Manga is usually divided into several categories publishers and general readers. Shoujo (“young girl”) is aimed at females under the age of 18 and usually contains romantic themes, while shonen (“boy”) is aimed at males and usually has a more action- or sports-oriented theme. Kodomo (“child”) refers to works for young children, particularly those who are just learning to read. Women’s publications are called josei (“woman,” “feminine”), while men’s publications are called seinen (“man,” “masculine”). Many of the adult stories contain violence or sex that are inappropriate for children. In fact, erotic themes are the focus of an entire subgroup known as hentai (“perverted”).
Shoujo-ai (“girl love,” also known as GL) or Yuri (“Lily”) are also noteworthy. This category is for female-female relationships. The version for guys, Shonen-ai (“boy love,” or BL), deals with male-male relationships. It’s also known as Yaoi, which stands for yama nashi, ochi nashi, and imi nashi (“no climax, no punch line, no meaning”).
Another popular category is Gegika (“dramatic pictures”). These works, which were started primarily Yoshihiro Tatsumi, are intended to be bolder and more experimental, not only in terms of art style, but also in terms of general content. They’ve been described as having a more realistic and less cartoonish storytelling style. The majority of them started out as underground publications and are aimed at adults.
Because of the popularity of this art form, a new subgroup has emerged: doujinshi (“fan art”). Individuals create it to show how much they enjoy a story that has already been published, or to use their imaginations and artistic abilities to take a story in a new or different direction. Although they are often dismissed as amateur, some of them are remarkably good and of exceptional quality. Some artists can even sell their doujinshi as simple bound books, posters, or even buttons and magnets. In addition to well-known, professional artists, fan conferences frequently host these vendors.
Characteristics of Art
Although each artist has their own style, most drawings are done in pen and ink, in black and white, and with a focus on clean lines. Except in highly realistic series, most characters have large, almond-shaped eyes, and their other body parts are frequently out of proportion in a humorous way. Hair can be long and spiky, especially on heroes and heroines, but if an artist chooses a shorter style, it tends to be spiky.
Characters in all but the most serious stories express their emotions quite openly. Artists frequently use special devices to amplify feelings in their characters, in addition to manipulating their characters’ facial expressions. One of the most common is a sweat drop on the brow, which indicates that a character is uncomfortable, worried, embarrassed, or tired. Shock, surprise, or being dumbfounded are usually expressed with exclamation points above the head, whereas anger or frustration is expressed with steam from the ears. At these points, it’s not uncommon for an artist to draw the eyes differently than usual, such as leaving them completely white, which is usually associated with being stunned in some way.
Mangaka will occasionally change a character’s style to emphasize what the character wants or is going through. When a hero who is normally muscular and tall throws a tantrum or refuses to do something, he may appear as an infant or child. The artist’s choice of how to change the character is heavily influenced the connotations he or she wants to convey, such as immaturity or infatuation. The shift is usually very brief, appearing in only one frame in some cases.
Characteristics of the Story
Manga is known for having plots that are complex, in-depth, and emotional, and that draw readers in with their drama. Some argue that this is what sets it apart from other cartoons and comics, making it appealing to people of all ages. Regardless, depending on the genre, certain stereotypes emerge. In shonen, for example, a girlfriend usually appears out of nowhere, kicking off the main plot. Oh My Goddess! is one of the most popular stories in which the main character requests pizza but instead receives a goddess hotline.
Mangaka (Japanese: )
Mangaka typically apprentice with someone who has experience in the field before branching out on their own. Many students attend a formal art or manga school. In a few rare cases, people get their start winning contests or catching the attention of a professional artist or publisher with their doujinshi.
Manga and anime, or Japanese animation, are closely related. Some series are remakes of popular anime TV shows or films, and vice versa. Because the adaptation does not always stay true to the original storyline in these cases, a person may develop a preference for one form over the other, even if the concept and artistic style in both versions are roughly the same. Because the same title can refer to both still and moving cartoons, fans must be clear about which one they’re talking about, especially when leaving reviews or selling merchandise.
Acceptance is a state of mind.
Cartoons and comics are usually thought of as something for children in the United States, so they don’t get much respect as art or literature outside of a devoted fan base. The graphic novel is an exception, which people tend to take more seriously. They are, however, extremely popular in Japan among men and women of all ages and walks of life. The annual expenditure on manga is in the billions of dollars. Kodomo, in particular, is praised for its role in assisting children in becoming literate.
History is a fascinating subject.
Manga is thought to have begun centuries ago with Kakuyu’s Chojugiga (“Animal Scrolls”), but it wasn’t until Hokusai Katsushika’s work that it really began to develop as a full narrative form (1760 – 1849). The real boom began after World War II ended.