How has Manga influenced the Western World and how has Manga been influenced by Western Culture?

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.


How do we (U.S.) compare?

A brief comparative chart 


United States

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 gender stereotypes
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.,9565,232659,00.html      

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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