Japan has had a significant influence on the way the rest of the world sees and draws cartoons. Not only has it raised the standards of animation and comic sketching worldwide, it has also become a widely accepted part of American culture. It would be extremely difficult to find an American child, or adult for that matter, that does not know or has not heard of Pokemon.
In retrospect Japanese manga has also been influenced by the world around it. The heroes of today’s manga tend to have exaggerated physical characteristics that embody their gender. Historically, manga was known for overlooking the importance of being in top phyical form. However, the characters we find in magna today, are less “normal” and have some distinguishing characteristics which makes them stand out in a crowd.
A brief comparative chart
|Read by young and old||Comics are for kids|
|Sometimes depict death||Rarely depicts death|
|Less emphasis on the "superhero"||More emphasis on the "superhero"|
|Allows readers to sympathize with protagonist||Allows readers to worship protagonists|
|Extensive portrayal of technology||Simple portrayal of technology|
|Men and women aren't exaggerated extremes of their gender stereotypes|| Men and women are exaggerated extremes of their
|Usually the vision of a single writer||Usually the vision of many writers|
|Like novels (complete and detailed worlds)||Varying plots and stories|
|The characters remain consistent, and they are allowed to grow and develop||The characters are not consistent|
|Spiritual awareness – redemption||Good Vs. Evil|
|Actions have consequences||In general, a hero can do no wrong|
|Have a tendency to end||To be Continued…|
Links on Manga & Anime Influence
This is a site that is kid oriented. It compares manga and animation in both the U.S. and in Japan in a child-friendly way.
This site discusses manga influence on Japanese culture and contains links to several different books that discuss manga influence.
Time article on the influence of Japanese manga on American society.
Seeing Japan’s society and culture through the comics.
Influence of manga and anime on Japanese culture.
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