What is Manga?
The literal translation of the word manga is humorous pictures. The popularity of Manga rose in the 20th century when the Japanese government lifted a ban that had recently prohibited the publication of any Manga. Since then, the writers and artist of Manga’s have been well respected like famous literature writers of America. Manga’s will more often than not be created into an Anime.
The History of Manga
There are two main views that are responsible for shaping the ‘Modern Manga.’ The first view comes from the U.S. Occupation from 1945 -1952. This view stresses the idea that the U.S. caused a cultural influence on Japan through comics, films, and mainly Disney. The second view was the mass post-war artistic creativity. One artist was Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy. It was definitely a combination of the two that was responsible of ‘Modern Manga.’
Since then, many artists have paved ways for the generation. The major artists of recent Manga’s include CLAMP, Takeuchi Naoko, Tite Kubo, Akira Toriyama, and so many more. They are the creator of major Manga series such as (name corresponds to artist order) Chobits, Sailor Moon, Bleach, and Dragonball. Without the many artists that paved the way for Manga today, there wouldn’t be the major Manga works to inspire the new artists.
The Manga Style
The art of manga is generally the traditional Anime/Manga style: the proportions, the eyes, and the hair. There is really no surprise when it comes to the Manga art style except its exceptionally beautiful characters (seriously, they are sometimes insanely beautiful!). The character can either look normal or abnormal in a Manga. Some manga artists choose to use a normal style to create a more welcoming atmosphere for the reader. Others will create very different character styles.
When it comes to reading manga, many people have to get used to it due to how the Japanese red. Manga’s are generally read right to left. When Manga’s are published in the U.S., sometimes they will be read left to right. Many Manga artists will ‘protest’ (so to speak) publishing it left to right.
- Shonen Jump Cover
Another major difference from the way they are published in Japan. A Manga will first be published little by little in a magazine. When the story is finally finished the Manga is published into a volume set. The original Japanese Manga will be in a thinner volume and will resemble the small Soap Opera books you see in the grocery store.
The 10 Major Works of Manga
2. Ghost in the Shell
3. Oh! My Goddess
4. Death Note
7. Sailor Moon
8. Lone Wolf & Cub
10. Astro Boy
What is this Dōjinshi stuff?
Dōjinshi is manga that is created and published onto the mainstream market of the Manga world. Dōjinshi can be a certain character’s view in the part of a major Manga series. It can also be an artist’s/writers parody view of a major Manga series. There are also artists whom will create Dōjinshi to show their thoughts on the relationship of two characters, either the opposite or same sex. If a person feels the story was not quite finished or the series is not complete yet, they will create a Dōjinshi to ‘finish’ it up.
(Note: Not all Dōjinshi is done by professional artists, but also by amateurs. Some Dōjinshi done by these amateurs are actually really good though.)