Animations have been around for a while, educating, inspiring, and entertaining people worldwide. They have since found a way to blend exceptional storytelling abilities with aesthetics rivaling other popular content, including those on TV.
Manga is a type of Japanese anime that continues to excel. With the Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon being some of the most notable publications, we can’t dispute their role in world entertainment. But how did Manga start? What is unique about it? Here are some manga facts to keep you updated.
1. Japanese Manga Is Different from the Rest of The World’s
Manga is a general term for a range of Japanese graphic novels and comic books. Even though it can be regarded as an equivalent of the United States or Western World’s comic books and anime, Manga has some significant differences.
For instance, while most European and North Americans read their comic books from left to right, Japanese Manga starts from right to left. Another telling difference is that Manga’s characters are usually in black and white. In contrast, the rest of the world’s publication characters can appear in color.
2. Different Manga Genres, Types, and Themes Are Available
Like anime from most parts of the world, Manga has subgenres that include adventure, horror, detective, action, and drama, among others. It also has content suitable for children, adults (Seinen Manga), teenage girls (Shojo Manga), and teenage boys (Shonen Manga).
As a result of the different themes and genres, Manga has greatly impacted the community within which it is popular. From entertainment to educational and philosophical teachings, the anime genre continues to inspire both readers and writers around the globe.
3. One Piece Is The Most Popular Manga Publication
Given how popular the Dragon Ball manga series by Akira Toriyama is, many people often think that it is the best-selling. However, the best it can be is second, considering that Aiichiro Oda’s One Piece sold more than 454 million copies worldwide as of 2019.
One Piece, specializing in fantasy, adventure, and pirate tales, has published over 96 volumes. The prediction is with its continued regular publications, the Manga will be here to defend its place and set new records for the foreseeable future.
There is no debate that Japan contributes a lot to the animation industry. Apart from One Piece, the Asian country usually sells millions of other manga copies yearly to keep up with the ever-growing industry demands. It is believed that more paper is used to print Manga than to make toilet paper in Japan.
4. Manga Has Existed from As Early As the 12th Century
Evidence shows that Manga has existed in Japan since the 12th and 13th centuries. Enthusiasts have found scrolls believed to belong to Japanese monks displaying sequences of specific animals with human-like behavior.
However, it was until the Edo era that the concept of Manga fully developed and shaped the path to what it is today. It was during this period that the famous Toba Ehon drawings were released. In the 18th century, Manga’s revolution and popularity hit an all-time high with the release of Shiji no Yukikai.
From there, the ground was set for publishing other manga pieces, including Hokusai and Manga Hyakujo in the 19th century and Astro Boy and Dragon Ball Z in the 20th century. Today, Manga is a force to reckon with – it has evolved into video games while maintaining originality.
5. Manga Was A Japanese Propaganda Tool in WWII
Many people usually dismiss Manga as a publication for children, but this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, the pieces were so popular among adults in the 20th century that it was partly used as a propaganda tool during World War 2.
Anime lovers widely believe Astro Boy was the genre’s first-ever TV series. However, it turns out that there was another 74-minute presentation before it, known as Momotaro: Sacred Sailors. Funded by the Japanese Navy, the anime was characterized by wartime production, dark undertones, and patriotic plots.
Its prequel was released in 1943 and used for the sole purpose of spreading propaganda. Every aspect of the film was directed and filmed to show what the Navy wanted, and they were largely successful at that. Manga pieces were so influential that, at some point, the authorities sought to regulate their circulation.
6. Manga Characters Have Special Traits
Manga has other unique characteristics besides publishing their characters in black and white and reading from right to left. For instance, their characters have humongous eyes and ears. Their hairstyles are usually off the mark, and their images are very detailed.
This is understandable, considering Manga relies mainly on visual representations to relay information without much dialogue. There is also a gaping difference between male and female character representations.
Boys have jagged straight lines, while girls are represented with a flowery style and generally easy on the eye. Other than that, the characters mostly have Japanese-style school uniforms and operate in arguably realistic settings.
Besides character details, Manga’s plot techniques, setting, and dialogue differ from what the West and the USA have.