In the beginning, there was complete abstinence for the manga and anime world, which was unknown to the world outside Japan and elsewhere. In the recent era, however, Manga and anime have become an essential and integral thing of Japan’s life and culture, and there is no escaping their influence wherever you go in Japan! Without Manga, Japan’s culture would not have been bright and intriguing that it is today. Manga refers to comics of Japanese origin. Anime can be the onscreen definition of Manga. The themes and stories range from comedy, romance, fiction, action, adventure, and eroticism for adults. The most popular ones are Doraemon, AstroBoy, Dragon ball Z, and Pokémon. In the past few decades, Japanese animation or anime, in short, has become popular across the globe with global fandom or fan base followers who are intrigued by its influence.
Awakening of Anime
During the silent film era, Japanese animation was done through trial and error drawings based on France, and USA cut-out animation techniques were being practiced. On the whole, it kept people talking about high quality Japanese “manga films.” But Japanese anime was more challenging to produce and make than western animations because of Disney’s popularity and impact. They faced an uphill battle from the start. Through publicity campaigns, things kept going as the anime production began. Local anime took off in small output but with a good base, but then the capital city Tokyo and the surrounding area suffered natural disaster from the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923. Resulting in chaos within the industry, and they had to start from scratch, meaning they had to begin again.
Since then, many other promising anime artists appeared one after another. Soon the world war broke, resulting in a shortage of goods, making Japan’s artistic mood turn militaristic. Even the film was not easy to get a hold on. During this, a first-ever full-length theatrical film in the history of Japanese animation was released, namely Momotarō’s Divine Sea Warriors, B&W, 74 minutes, produced by the Japanese navy then came out just before the end of the war. In recent times, news came as mangastream is dead, and then many alternatives began to grow.
Manga and its role in Japanese Art
Manga means “whimsical or impromptu characters.” Manga relates to otaku “nerdy” culture. But it has a more profound and rich history in Japanese Art that plays a significant role in its culture today. There are shreds of evidence that suggest that Manga originated back in the 12th century.
Origination of Manga
The Manga was first coined by Santō Kyōden’s Shiki no Yukikai (Seasonal Passers-by) in 1798. Still, artist Katsushika Hokusai in 1814 was the first to use the word “manga” as the title for his sketchbooks, namely “Hokusai Manga.” The Manga was propagated during the rise of Japanese Imperialism. It was used for spreading about the benefits of Japanese leadership under Imperialism. But after the war, the course of things began to change, write for us.
The course of changes in the Manga industry
World War II, the country was at war, and propaganda was restrictive on Japanese militarism by allies. This means that Japanese manga artists had room to explore their artistic styles on their way. Simultaneously, the United States of America had a good economy, which brought their comics and cartoons at ease. It influenced the style and creativity of Manga during that period. This allowed Tezuka Osamu (the God of Manga and Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney) to create one of the best Japanese mangas of the most iconic and influential characters, namely the Astro Boy.
Another famous innovative creator was Machiko Hasegawa, the creator of Sazae-san , which was in yonkoma format, four-panel comic usually found in newspapers. Both artists Osamu Tezuka and Machiko Hasegawa’s innovative techniques contributed towards shōnen, which was content for young boys, and shōjo, which was made for young girls in the field of Manga. It made it the most popular manga genre today. And so, Manga’s popularity exploded and was destined to create otaku culture in the 21st century.
Manga in today’s time
Heavily influenced by American comics and deeply scarring post-war depression, Manga pivoted from its confident, serious tone to the “kawaii” (cute) style. Thankfully, it gave us One Piece, Dragon Ball, Pokemon, and many other titles with millions of people around the world to fandom. And the beauty of it all. It’s still evolving and continues to be an influential part of Japanese culture and heritage, attracting many people towards its characters bringing in life and essence.
With Manga a billion-dollar industry in Japan and a steadily growing fan base worldwide, it’s no wonder there will be manga film adaptations to look forward to in the future, such as:
As the Death God Dictates (Kami-sama no Iutoori) – a horror genre manga series by Fujimura Akeji initially published in 2011. This story depicts the life of high school student Shun Takahata and his classmates. They are forced to play children’s games with deadly consequences, and the story unravels from there. The film is to be released in Japan in autumn 2014.
Hot Road is Taku Tsumugi’s popular mid- 1980s manga series about Kazuki Miyaichi’s love story with a hot motorcycle gang member, Hiroshi Haruyama. The film was released in Japan in the summer of 2014.