Saturday, 23 May 2009

Essay about Anime and Manga are reflective of Japanese Culture

In this essay It's about how Manga and Anime are reflective of Japanese culture or whether they are completely imaginary not relating to reality. My essay is too long for my blog. So I'll put in the main parts of what I've analyzed and written.

Manga and Anime originated in Japan and have been very popular within the country and worldwide. “All ages can be seen reading Manga during the course of the day in Japan. Therefore reading Manga and watching Anime have become a significant part of daily life for millions of Japanese” (Mark W Mac Williams 1984 page 3) He continues that Manga and Anime attract fans, both Japanese and Western because they are appealing as pleasure commodities inexpensive forms of entertainment to be enjoyed. (Mark W Mac Williams 1984 page 5).

History of Manga

“Manga is described by the Japanese language dictionary called the ‘Kojien’ as- simple, humorous and exaggerated drawing, caricature or social satire, a series of pictures telling a story, comic. The term manga was first coined by Houkusai who was a Japanese artist and print maker of the Edo period. (1603-1867) Edo is today’s Tokyo. He used manga to refer to a collection of drawings intended for art lovers generally and to serve as models for his pupils. In the 20th century it was then used in reference to comics.” (Koyoma Richard 2007 page 6-7). “It is considered to be the Japanese version of comic art. Manga has become a form of expression for the Japanese and has been considered as a popular form of entertainment for a large audience with stories aimed at a wide age range and taste e.g. action, romance, comedy, horror even hardcore erotica. This diversity has been a factor in the success in western countries.” Bill Sherman http://

Manga-Reflective of Japanese Culture

Ancient Scrolls

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 1-The depiction of animals replacing humans and reading from left to right are apparent. Also depicts animals having fun. Fig 2 show the animals with rosaries in a religious ceremony a monkey in a monastic habit praying to frog instead of Buddha.

Manga is aimed at every type of audience. Children as well as adults show a vibrant interest in them. It reflects the Japanese culture and way of life in that manga generally uses Japanese clothing, painting, cuisine, sports, calligraphy, landscape, religion, beliefs and myths.

Discovering Dinosaurs Fujiko Fujio Shogakukan

Fig 5

The educational aspect is demonstrated in this series wherein the historical and scientific information is provided with a fun element and is suitable for children. Calligraphy and the large eyes and animals are again evident

Brief History of Anime

Anime is the Japanese version of animation and is therefore known worldwide as Japanese animation. “Anime can be hand-drawn or computer animated. It is used in television series, films, video, video games, commercial, and internet-based releases, and represents most, if not all, genres of fiction.” “Anime began at the start of the 20th century, when Japanese filmmakers experimented with the animation techniques that were being explored in France, Germany, United States and Russia.” The oldest known anime in existence was screened in 1917- is a two minute clip of a samurai trying to test a sword on his target only to suffer defeat. http;// The source for the stories used in the majority of anime is manga. Manga’s wide diversity and respectable status in Japan is a very fertile source of stories that can be adapted into anime. The distinctive ‘Large eyes’ style of Japanese animation was invented by Tezuka who was considered as the Hero of Manga. His work can be seen in Astro Boy and Buddha.

Anime-Reflective of Japanese Culture

Astro Boy- Osamu Tezuka

ig 8

Buddha- Osamu Tezuka

Fig 9

Fig 8 - This shows the style of the Japanese drawings. This involves fantasy.

Fig 9-This series depicts the live of Buddha (A holy man’s life). The Japanese style with large eyes and calligraphy are shown.

Orphen- Hiroshi Watanabe

Fig 11

Another manga which was developed into anime was ‘Orphen’ by the Series director Hiroshi Watanabe. It involves fantasy and dragons that are representative of the Japanese folklore and magic. This again shows Japanese culture in the eyes, the dress, the landscape resembling the Fuji Mountains, the sword, the calligraphy towards the end of the picture.

Shin Chan- Usui Yoshito

Fig 12

Another manga into anime was Shin Chan- Usui Yoshito. Manga has been able to present the images to attract both children and adults. Though some of the images have been produced with the influence of the West. The Japanese style and characteristics are apparent. This is a very humorous series.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, Japanese culture is very creative I don't have doubt about it, so I've heard they get that inspiration because they Order Viagra everyday.