I don't know about you, but I grew up on the standard fare of books and television. Big Bird and Junie B. Jones were about as exciting as it got in my young life, and I wasn't a big reader or cartoon watcher until recently. I discovered something that a lot of other people have known about for years – Anime
What is This Stuff?
This anime and manga stuff is great. I was okay with cartoons, but when I saw how much deeper cartoons were in the Japanese style, I was hooked. The kind of stories you find in teen shows and novels are now showing up in cartoons and comic books. (The comic books are officially called graphic novels if you want to impress your English teacher.)
Basically, the Japanese style of artwork has come to us with great stories, interesting illustrations and characters we can relate to. The artwork is anime, short for animation. This includes the cartoons, movies and video games. Manga is the style of written work from Japan. Manga is the Japanese word for comics. Manga and Anime are easily confused because they are actually so similar.
Why is anime and manga so Good?
In Japan, one week of manga sales beats out a full year of the United State's entire comic book industry. They sell more in a week than we do in a year. There must be a reason, and it didn't take fans of anime and manga long to find it. The stuff is just plain interesting and pretty easy to read.
Both manga and anime are produced in series. This means there is always something new coming up. Characters can be normal or have special powers. Most of them are a lot like normal human being with the same sort of feelings and experiences we have. Anime and manga are also like a grown-up picture book. Instead of having to visualize what a character looks like in your head, you can see him or her in every frame. The really great part is that the story the characters tell is something like you would never find in your little sister's books.
Give anime a Try
If you're not already into manga or anime
, you should really give it a try. Anime is the easiest way to get started. Most cartoons have subtitles or are dubbed in English if they are really from Japan. Others are created here in the Japanese style using English.
The same is true of Manga. True Manga comes from Japan and is written in Japanese. The books have been translated to English though so those of us over here can enjoy them, too. Some books are now written and published in the US or UK since the demand has grown so much in the last few years.
The books read from the back to the front, and don't be surprised if you are just getting into the story when it cuts off. Manga is highly addictive because you always have to read the next one to see what happens. And you'll want to know – believe me.
Anime is all over the television and internet. If you have a really good librarian in your school or neighborhood, you may be able to check some manga books out without having to buy them. One word of caution, though. Over in Japan, manga and anime include stories and pictures for all age groups. That means you might find something great for kids and teens, but you might also stumble on something that is made only for adults. Ask a friend for some good suggestions and you'll be well on your way to your very own Anime addiction.