Who reads more than 100 manga
The beginnings in the monastery
Manga, that's what comics are commonly called in Japan. Regardless of whether they were produced there or abroad.
In the West, "Manga" is primarily the name for comics from Japan. In the meantime, the term is also increasingly used for comics from other countries that are based on the style from Japan.
The history of the manga begins as early as the 8th century, when Buddhist monks drew animals on scrolls, the emakimono, that behave like humans.
Until the end of the 19th century, when Japan opened up to the West, the works had little in common with today's manga.
The term was first used in 1814 by the woodcut artist Katsushika Hokusai, who drew a series of sketches for the first time under the name Manga (Japanese for: mixed or motley pictures).
These show snapshots of Japanese society and culture from the Edo period.
Censorship and war determine the manga
The influence from the west on the land of the rising sun increased. So it came to the establishment of numerous magazines like Charles Wirgman's The Japan Punch.
The story of the Mangaka (comic artist) Rakuten Kitazawa is considered the first forerunner of Manga as we know it today Tagosakus and Mokubes tour of Tokyo by 1902.
The artists initially drew the manga in black and white. The most obvious difference to the comics from the west is probably the way in which you read the comic:
The reader does not start on the left, but on the right, i.e. with the supposedly last page and reads from back to front.
The manga were strictly censored until the 1950s. The authors mainly dealt with the subjects desired by the state.
The stories should promote values such as loyalty, bravery and strength in the population. In the 1940s in particular, the government used the manga for propaganda purposes.
After the censorship the breakthrough
After World War II, many people in Japan longed for distraction.
The Americans recognized the potential of the manga and used it for their own purposes. The goal: the re-education and democratization of the Japanese population.
In return, they supported the manga industry by providing paper and drawing utensils to monitor the content.
In order to achieve high circulation figures, most publishers switched their production to single-color cheap copies without artistic aspirations.
Since they had a red envelope, the inexpensive, thin booklets were named Akahon known red book.
Osamu Tezuka: founder of the modern manga
The triumphant advance of the manga after the Second World War is particularly linked to one name: Osamu Tezuka.
The most important mangaka, as comic artists are called in Japan, is considered to be the founder of the modern manga and anime industry.
He created the essential foundations for today's manga style, including the characters' particularly large eyes.
Inspired by the first Disney films, his works were aimed directly at children for the first time.
By founding his animation studio, he also laid the foundations for the anime industry and initiated the transition from gagstrip to "story manga", in which stories spanned several anthologies.
In the course of his life, Osamu Tezuka drew about 150,000 pages, published 700 mangas and created 60 cartoons.
When he died of cancer in 1989, he was mourned more than the recently deceased Kaiser. In Japan he is also known as "Manga no Kami sama" (Japanese for: God of Manga).
Genres for everyone
Characteristic of the manga culture is the range of readership and the subdivision of the manga into diverse genres that do not exist in western comics.
The biggest genres are the manga for teenagers up to 18 years of age: the Shonen Manga for boys and the Shojo Manga for girls.
The Shonen Manga for the boys mainly deal with action, science fiction, horror, erotic, but also everyday problems.
Often a young man is the protagonist who has to face increasingly strong opponents in battles and adventures and thus develops himself further.
Shonen Manga: for boys and men
Here less emphasis is placed on a detailed representation of the people than on battle scenes and the backgrounds.
As a result, the characters are often drawn very simply. Overall, the mangaka focus more on the environment in which the protagonists move than on the main characters themselves.
For example, they were internationally successful Dragon ball (1984) by Akira Toriyama or Akira (1982) by Katsuhiro Otomō.
Shonen Manga are not only read by boys, but also by older men and girls, which is why they form the division with the highest circulation figures in Japan.
Shōjo Manga: for girls and women
Shōjo Manga are mainly about romance, mystery or everyday life. They stand out mainly through a different style of drawing from Shōnen Mangas.
There is no longer any clear limitation of the panels. Often the individual images simply merge into one another without any external limitation.
There are also symbols such as flowers, feathers or leaves, which give the drawings a romantic, dreamy effect.
In contrast to the Shōnen Mangas, the focus here is more on the main characters, who are drawn in more detail.
Hair, eyes and clothes - the draftsmen pay close attention to the subtleties.
The Shōjo Manga celebrated great success with Riyoko Ikedas The Versailles roses or Yumiko Igarashis Candy candy.
The biggest success so far, however, was NaokoTakeuchis Sailor Moon, which was exported to 23 countries in the mid-1990s as a comic and, above all, animated series.
Economy and cultural asset number one
The high status that manga culture has in Japanese society cannot be compared with the importance of comics in western countries.
Comics are recognized as a medium and art form in Japan and are consumed by people from all social groups.
Manga are also important for business. Almost 40 percent of the printed matter in Japan is manga. The publishers generate around four billion euros in sales per year.
Statistically, every Japanese person buys 15 manga a year. This is probably one of the reasons why the rumor persists that Japan needs more paper for manga than for toilet paper.
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