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Manga Reading

Today I’m going to talk about comics, What is Manga Reading.  If you have no idea what these are, don’t worry. If you’re not a big fan of manga and anime and probably haven’t traveled to Japan or the United States, which means you’ll bypass your local bookstore. It is in these countries that manga are widely available.

They have different names in different countries. They are mostly black and white, but sometimes in color as well.

Manga – Japan.

Manhua – Taiwan, China, Hong Kong

Manhwa – South Korea

American commix – United States.

Let’s talk about Japanese comics, manga.  The term Manga stands for comics, ” fancy sketches.”, a story in pictures…

What is Manga Reading?

Black and white drawing.

The drawing is primary, the text is a secondary addition.

The main emphasis is on the line of the drawing, not the form.

Manga is read from right to left, with drawings viewed from the upper right corner to the lower left. Manga texts are written in hieroglyphics, and characters look like cartoon characters. There is a difference between manga and anime, and it is similar to the difference between a novel and a movie based on that novel.  The distinction exists and is an inherent characteristic of both definitions.

But both manga and anime, closely related, are characteristic examples of Japanese culture. It could be said that Manga is the foundation on which anime is built. They are closely related to each other, there is no anime without manga, but not all Japanese comics turn into vivid animation. Nevertheless, they are two separate works of art. You could say that manga are comics, and anime is animation.

The birth and development of manga should be seen in two major periods: before World War II and after World War II. Before the war, manga was closely tied to the historical and cultural values of Japan. While in the second period it developed under the influence of the cultures of America and Europe.

Interestingly, the history of manga goes back to the distant past. For the first time a semblance of manga appeared in Japan in the 12th century. It refers to the pictures drawn on the scrolls, by the Buddhist monk Toba.  They’re fun pictures with illustrations of animals, actually depicting the everyday life of 12th century Japanese society. But already on these scrolls are pictures of fast-moving figures. A monk drew in ink 4 scrolls of stories that are still preserved in the museum.

A Bit of Manga History.

Further Elements of manga could be traced back in the course of history when satirical pictures with captions appeared as elements of folk art and then ukiyo-e, the visual art, played an important role.  The artist Katsushika Hokusai invented the term and created a work called Hokusai manga, which had 15 volumes.

In this “manga” the author expressed his understanding of the world, his philosophy and the secrets of creativity, and other things, through a huge number of drawings. In addition, there were many images with scenes of city life and pictures that the artist observed while traveling in Japan.

But this is not yet modern manga although a number of researchers believe that the origins of manga lie in the art of ukiyo-e. In 1902, artist Rakutina Kitazawa created the first serial comic strip similar to Western comics.

Modern Japanese comics began to emerge in the years 1945-1952 and beyond amidst the ongoing restructuring of political economic, cultural social life in the country after the military occupation. Since the Japanese constitution forbade censorship, there began a period of creative activity in Japanese cultural life.  It was during this period that Japanese society was actively exposed to the cultural values of the United States, to television and film productions.

The films of Walt Disney were very popular. The images and themes of American cinema had a great influence on Japanese artists, the creators of manga. It was at this time that manga similar to American comics began to appear and at the same time they were inextricably linked to the historical and cultural values of Japan.

Japanese comics.

It is impossible not to mention the first creator, the English cartoonist, the father of newspaper cartoons, Thomas Rowlandson. His stories about Dr. Syntax were very popular with the public. P America’s first comic strip printed on October 18, 1896 tells the story of Yellow Boy. The drawings told the story and the text was part of the image. Newspaper circulation skyrocketed, and the boy in the yellow hoodie became incredibly popular.

So popular, in fact, that his image was branded on candy and cigarettes. Of course, American publications picked up on this trend and began to publish various humorous stories in their publications on a mass scale. And this is also where the term “yellow press” came from.

The manga genre began to develop rapidly after World War II. Manga became very much in demand and their production increased every year.

Terrific success had Osamu Tezuka manga “New Treasure Island,” which sold a huge circulation of 400,000 copies. When writing the artist used techniques, without which no modern mangaka. He is considered one of the founders of modern manga. The manga series, invented by Osamu Tezuka and Machiko Hasegawa, which had a significant influence on the entire future history of manga.

The Main Manga Features.

A manga is a story in pictures, usually in black and white. Color is used only for the cover, sometimes for the main scenes. The story is drawn from beginning to end by one person, the mangaka. The bubbles are shaped to have a certain content and meaning. For the text, the usual fonts are used, the layout of the text is very compact and economical. Symbolic elements are often used for the background, with many details characterizing the characters. The characters’ faces, unlike in western comics, are similar to each other, reflecting their feelings, and change little throughout the manga.

There are a lot of drawings in Japanese comics that have a certain meaning, reflecting the dynamics of the movements. The emotions of the characters are of great importance. These are expressed in the language of symbols, depicting the most widespread emotions. Whereas in western comics the content is determined by the text and the explanations, in manga it is the drawing that does the talking. As a rule, the manga are small but very long, with hundreds of pages and many volumes, such as the Naruto manga, which has over 70 volumes.

The art style remains unchanged, in accordance with the tradition of Japanese art. But nowadays manga has become more versatile, and modern mangakas make drawings according to their concepts and in their drawing style. Nowadays mangakas create not only drawings, but also the story. So it is not an easy job, apart from the desire to compose it, it requires persistence and concentration, and of course it requires good luck. These are important elements of success for a mangaka.

Manga Reading Genres.

Nowadays, manga  reading have become one of the popular branches of literature with audiences of different ages. The variety of themes, issues, and situations in manga has determined the variety of genres. This type of literature is divided into many genres. There are about 30 of them.  This is a whole system, which reflects the cultural values, issues of concern to society, traditions and stereotypes, everyday life and fantasy.

And the range of genres is so great that within the framework of this article we can only mention those that are of most interest to fans of Japanese comics. There are manga that are loved by women, these are manga  reading about love, romantic relationships, friendship. And there are manga for a male audience, about superheroes, battles, sports, male friendship. Everyone is interested in manga about fantastic and mystical heroes, monsters and demons, transmigration of souls and life on other planets. Manga for adults always contain action and are often humorous in nature Each genre has its own age and gender audience.

One interesting area of manga creativity is children’s, kodomo for children under the age of 12. This is a children’s, entertaining genre, usually has a characteristic, understandable to children drawing, easy entertaining themes without any special ideas. There are no displays of rudeness and cruelty, there are a number of instructive and educational aspects that children understand. An example of such a manga  reading is ” Maya Bee.”

Rules for manga panels.

For boys 12-16 there are special manga of the Shounen genre. A peculiarity of the stories is the rapid development of the plot, active change of events and scenes.  Themes are dominated by sports, technology, strong male friendships, martial arts, first love and rivalry.  The stories contain a lot of humorous and funny scenes, the girls are made super beautiful to emphasize the masculinity of the guys. Dragon Ball Z manga reading, for example.

A variation of this genre is Sentai, where a small group of teenagers, united into a team, perform feats in sports, winning in martial arts, raising the will to win, fighting for justice.

For high school and college students, there is a separate shounen genre with themes more suitable for their age, serious characters, social orientation, and discussion of acute problems and life situations.

Josei Manga Reading.

Josei manga are stories for girls between the ages of 12-16.  The main focus of the story is directed at issues of friendship, love relationships. Beautiful drawings, beautiful characters create a sophisticated atmosphere and appropriate mood.

For girls over the age of 18 there is the genre Josei, the manga describes the issues of their adult life. The authors show realistic situations and discuss the issues that most concern girls.

Still, Japanese comics are stories for adults. Family manga (kazoku manga) is a manga genre dedicated to families and children. Their problems and difficulties, loyalty and love, upbringing and everyday life, traditions and family stories. These manga are about ordinary Japanese people, their lives, hopes and dreams. The characters in the manga are mostly ordinary people in situations typical of normal people.

The heroes of the manga, who overcome difficulties, instill optimism and hope in the average Japanese person. The aim of such works is to appeal to the viewer by comparing the events of the protagonists with their own life experiences.

Comedy Genre.

Comedy is everyone’s favorite subject, it’s good to laugh and relax, but otherwise do not exclude the raising of serious, life issues.  And although comedy is a separate topic, most often it is seen as a complement to other genres (eg, comedy thrillers. Comedies are very diverse, ranging from light jokes, mockumentaries, and funny situations to witty satirical scenes.

Romance Genre.

Romance is about feelings and emotions, about reconciliation and quarrels, about love and separation. It is a special part of human relationships. The main characters are, as a rule, young people overcoming love conflicts, complicated experiences and mental torment, and the main emphasis of the work is on the disclosure of their inner world.

Harem Genre.

Harem – by chance, the male character finds himself surrounded by a large number of girls (three or more,) Very often the girls’ struggle for the attention of a single man is comedic in nature without practical results. The situation does not move and everything remains in the same framework. Harem exists peacefully…

Drama Genre.

Drama is probably the most touching kind, it always touches the deepest feelings of people. The stories are characterized by tragedy, deep emotional contradictions, conflicts, and intractable problems. The main aesthetic of drama-emotional and volitional reactions of man, expressed in his actions, conscious and unconscious, sometimes with unpleasant consequences.

History Genre.

History – the action of the work is connected to a particular historical event or a particular era. Most often these are episodes from the history of Japan. Fictional places and events or real they allow the reader to learn interesting facts about the life of the country.

Psychology Genre.

Psychology – shows unhurried analysis of the hero’s inner world, analysis of his feelings and actions. The main characters are usually witty, clever and sometimes eccentric. In this case, the viewer becomes captivated by the battle of wits, where the ability to anticipate the actions of the opponent determines the winner. A psychological thriller is a manga depicting the “tribulations of the human soul”.

Faced with difficult situations, changes itself. Para psychological stories involve hyper-psychic powers (telepathy, telekinesis, hypnosis). This also includes manga with portrayals of characters with unnatural behavior: anxious and frightening, or deliberately humorous and grotesquely insane.

Geeks are works about people who are obsessed with something. Obsessions can be very different, but it’s the passion for the manga itself or the games that counts. Stories can be centered around the lives of the otaku or just include otaku characters for flavor.

Adventures are exciting events, unexpected happenings and feats. The protagonist (alone or with friends) is usually a positive character, is in the thick of things, overcoming difficulties and trials, saving loved ones and defeating enemies.

Action-pictures with high narrative dynamics. Plots are usually very simple and uncomplicated, despite the strong emotional tension, with the main emphasis on the visuals. This is a fantasy story about a world which is not governed by the laws of the Earth and man. But by the rules laid down by force and magic. There are often elements of Japanese tales and elements of Japanese and Chinese mythology. In such magical stories, it is necessary to understand the meaning of magical forces and to know how to use them in harmony with nature.

Most Viewed Manga Reading Genre.

Magic – works about magicians and wizards. They act in different places, in different situations, but the result is always the same – they are always successful. Magicians help warriors win, help people solve social and domestic problems. And of course magic is an integral part of the protagonist, which contributes to his victories.

Mysticism – рroducts of this genre are imbued with mystery and mysteriousness Strange events, unexplained phenomena, supernatural forces, unknown worlds, scary creatures of unknown origin. Good mysticism does not let go and at the same time keeps the reader in suspense… Heroes and characters are rather strange creatures with paranormal powers.

The Supernatural – reality portrayed in this genre is fundamentally different from what we are used to. Spirits, demons, and other representatives of Shinto-Buddhist syncretism, characters with psychic abilities (telepathy, telekinesis, hypnosis). The genre is closer to mysticism in spirit, but the actions of these beings take place within the framework people understand, and cause adequate response.

Vampires. These mythical creatures are often found in the manga  reading, in various situations.And can act as positive or negative characters. The reason may lie in the Japanese legends..Readers love stories with these creatures, making them a genre in their own right.

The Devil. The syncretism of original Japanese mythology and religion led to the formation of an unusual but very interesting culture. Thanks to it, spirits, demons and gods – familiar characters to the Japanese from an early age – live alongside them. Mythological characters, dwelling near a person, can help him in his affairs, can save or destroy the world.

Superpowers– For characters endowed with superpowers, either by accident or as an innate trait, are characterized by the possession of unusual powers. The nature of their powers can be different, and the hero understands and develops them throughout their lives. Superpowers are found in both positive and negative characters. They can introduce an element of conflict into the story.

Manga – Thrillers-For those who like to tickle their nerves. The reader is constantly in suspense from the twisted plot peripeteia and hiding the true state of affairs, and the emotional involvement comes at the expense of enjoyment.

Horror – murders, fights, displays of mutilated bodies and blood, gruesome scenes and apparitions. They are designed not so much to heighten the emotional impact as simply to frighten. Monsters, colorful depictions of brutality and violence will satisfy thrill-seekers.

Isekai is about “Hitmen” in other worlds. Different time periods, fictional or real countries and cities, the world of computer games.A variety of plots, where the author sends the characters to other worlds, in a different environment, and even to meet unfamiliar creatures. The protagonist discovers new abilities, with which he will try to survive in a new place…

Fantasy is next to fantasy, mysticism, magic and sorcery where fiction is not just fiction, but fiction is plausible, often based on some scientific theories and incomprehensible facts. You have to understand that what is depicted may become reality in the future. Space fiction is a kind of science fiction, which focuses on military action, which involved space ships and missiles. This also includes stories about the far corners of our universe. Events take place in an open universe, and the details of the hero’s adventures depend only on the will of the author.

Sport  and  School What is Manga Reading Genre.

Sports are manga about sports and everything related to it. Rivalry, Hard grueling training if you want to win, building willpower and overcoming yourself… At the heart of a story can be individual characters or groups of athletes, paving the way to victory. Often the central part of the story can be an important tournament, the results of which determine the future of the characters.

Sentai-work, a youth manga about a group of guys doing heroic deeds, (traditionally five, rarely three), confronting evil and saving humanity. The stories are more interesting to a male youth audience for whom superheroes become role models.

And girls will be interested in Maho-shoujo, the adventures of magical girls.  Girls usually gain access to magic after reincarnation, which uses certain manipulations with magical objects. They can conjure on their own or together with other wizards. Sometimes a girl sorcerer keeps her talent a secret and lives a School – stories about schoolchildren and teachers, about school life and everything associated with this wonderful time: lessons and extracurricular activities and sports, acquaintance with classmates, friendship and first love. The main issues are character education, awareness of their place in the world around them double life.