The word "manga"
today is becoming a common term for comic book or style of film
in many western cultures. In reality, it's origin as Japanese
cartoon drawings come from as far as 800 years in history begining
Early in the
13th century illutrations of animals and the afterlife began to
appear on temple walls. These crude and exagerrated representations
bare a similar look to manga today. These practices carried over
centuries cover many subjects, yet the style remained intact.
In the 1600's
these illustrations moved from temple walls and onto woodblocks
in a medium known as Edo. Because of this the work became more
of a centered interest and attraction for the first time. The
subjects were less religious and often became graphically erotic,
and moved on the various subjects such as satire. Around this
time the first use of the word manga arose to describe the artistic
style. The pictures were generally monochromatic with simple outlines
and blocks of color to represent shading. The subject took lead
over the method of representation.
Shumboko Ono, an early celebrity manga artist, made a book out
of prints of these pictures with captions, although it was a collection
of pictures rather than a progressive story." The method
of creating books of visual prints evolved over hindreds of years
in which paragraphs and illustrations combined to tell stories.
Th art became just as sequential as the narrative to compse a
story. "The tradtion of Toba-e, as these comics were called,
grew over the next century until the were the main form of literature
for most of Japanese society."
began to grown in Eurpoe and in the Unitd States in the 20th century,
but after 1940, over 40% of Japan's film output was in the form
of manga films, or more commonly known as "anime". "I
the Western worl cartoons have always (primarily) been seen as
a child's phenomenon, but in Japan, manga has always been the
method of art for all age groups.
of manga often come directed towrds children or in target audience
anime films, but in Japan printed manga id often the most primary
form. Not all manga is for entertainment either. Often times educational
roles such as econmics and science are used. The popular manga
and now animated series by Ken Aramatsu called Love Hina (targeted
at college age readers) had been re-printed as graphic-novels
(100 or so page comics in volumes) in Japanese and English to
help the avergae Japanese citizen learn English.
films like the classic Akira, which are aimed at an older audience,
have a very different style, using intricate backgrounds to set
the story, and complex animation to give the illusion of reality
while being able to manipulate characters and physics more easily
than would be possible on real film, while retaining the empathy
with characters. The most significant difference tends to be in
the shading, while western animation uses two tones per surface
and keeps the movement of colour consistent with the general stillness
of the animation, manga animation tends to be shaded with three
tones which contrast more with each other, and to allow this shading
to fluctuate between frames, giving an illusion of constant movement
and realistic unpredictability both in the light and the actions
of the characters it illuminates. "
manga become more popular everyday with gain exposure all over
of modern manga/anime:
click to view large
Card Captor Sakura by CLAMP
Peach Girl by Miwa Ueda
Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo
Princess Kushinata (illustration) by Masamune Shirow