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The Influence of the Big 5 in Manga

Any manga reader as well as many other people could name you the names of the 5 largest names in the manga industry. Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach. But how much of what we read is influenced by these iconic mangas and the elements they include? Just how much have these action packed, butt-kicking mangas warped the world of modern manga?

  • There's a lot to be said with a topic like this. You could even narrow the scope and just analyze how Dragon Ball has had an influence on all the others, because each of the other manga has drawn influence from Dragon Ball as the precursor. Manga and anime in later years have put more emphasis on the fighting aspect, but you still have big-breasted women, fan-service chapters/episodes, the main character frequently deus ex's themselves to stronger abilities, etc. – Nayr1230 9 months ago
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  • I agree that you need to narrow down your topic. There has been many influential mangas for different genres, so it would be important to limit the scope. I think you are focusing on the battle manga, such as Dragon Ball, which may require examination of other classics like The Fist of Northern Stars, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Sakigake Otokojuku, and others. – idleric 9 months ago
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  • Narrow your topic. For example, the tournament preparation and event theme in Dragon Ball is something mimicked in other popular anime's targeted towards a similar audience (for me, HunterxHunter). – JMIWrites 9 months ago
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  • It can easily be said that most of modern manga was inspired off of Dragon Ball, HunterxHunter and Yu Yu Hakasho. Super power manga as followed the same formula for almost 2 decades, perhaps longer, and I can say that a lot overlaps. However with the new manga, for example Boku no hero Academia, there are some traits that add a rejuvenated feel to it. – Khaotix 1 month ago
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Over-sexualizing of girls in Japanese Pop Culture

Something that I have noticed in all of my time watching anime, reading manga, and learning about popular culture in Japan, is that girls are extremely over-sexualized. You get this in the "jiggle physics" phenomenon that has struck anime, or the fact that many clothes that are sort of pop-cultre-y in Japan are like sexy versions of what little girls would wear (at least from what I see about Harajuku culture anyway), or even how animes or mangas that are supposed to have characters that are little girls get into really inappropriate situations, such as the little movie for Sword Art Online when they have the older girls grabbing Suguha’s boobs at the pool when she’s like 13-14 just because they are big (or, to use No Game, No Life as an example, show really inappropriate panty shots of what is supposed to be a little girl). I think examining how pop culture really over-sexualizes girls and women could point to how things need to change to create more of an equality in the culture that relies less on sex and boobs and more on women as people.

  • It would be good to look at things from a cultural point of view. What is it about the cultural that encourages the sexualization of young girls? Is it certain standards of girls that people find enticing, or is it just because it sells? – andreacr 9 months ago
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  • I think there is absolutely a place for obnoxious over-sexualization of characters. But I also believe there should be just as much selection for women as characters that aren't just jiggle objects. – bluishcatbag 4 months ago
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When Western Style Superheroes Appear in Manga

It’s a truism that in manga that there are manga suited to every topic and influence, from playing on a basketball team to the biography of Buddha or Adolf Hitler to manga about preparing food and drinking wine. But one subject area that doesn’t seem to thrive in manga is Western style superheroes, at least not in the translated market. The closest analogue to Western superhero comics is the comic MAIL, which was a pretty successful iteration of the supernatural-mystery format seen variously in books like Dr Strange or Constantine. But the book didn’t last very long, concluding after just three volumes. A manga like One-Punch Man feels more like a satire of conventional Western superhero comics. Is it that these comics don’t exist in either country, or is it that they simply don’t succeed in the US direct market because of competition from existing superhero properties? Or is there another, less obvious reason why Japanese superhero comics haven’t succeeded in the US market?

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    Death Note: The Positive Effects of Kira's Global Genocide

    Explore the ways in which Light Yagami’s plan for the human race was effective. With the sheer number of criminals dying, what were some of the positive changes that the world saw? In what way could these changes have been sustained if Light was able to maintain sanity through the transition? Find the good in Yagami’s fall from grace.

    • I believe the title Deathnote is generally written as "Death Note." Otherwise great topic (though possibly controversial) about a great show! – Connor Gregorich-Trevor 9 months ago
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    • I think the show was pretty clear about how Kira's work created change. Known criminals were removed and future criminals deterred but in the long run it was doing all this through fear. There will always be bad people and with Kira's influence around they would just learn to be smarter about their actions: do crime in secret and not get televised. I think the real question is, would this world have been sustainable? Would it just create worse "villains"? I personally wonder whether Light would have started adding bias to his selections (politicians etc.) and how that would be received by the populace? – Slaidey 9 months ago
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    • It was pretty clear that Light was not entirely sane from the beginning, the very first episode of the anime has him declaring himself God. There might be something to be said about the benefits of Light's approach, but that's a very subjective topic. – BoomBap 9 months ago
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    • If you want to argue in favour of Light's plan, it might be worth looking at real-world information on the effects of the death penalty and/or vigilantism on crime rates, since that's essentially what the Death Note was. It's one thing to argue that something was helpful in a fictional world, but drawing real-world parallels could make for a more full analysis. – ElijahBassett 9 months ago
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    How Manga Length and Narrative Quality Interact

    Manga length varies depending on the series, but some of the most popular manga series of all time are extremely long, but some say the quality does not remain consistent throughout.

    My curiosity is how manga length can improve or detract from the strength of the overall narrative ( e.g. comparing one piece with naruto) and whether some types of narratives are better suited to a longer run.

    • I know some series are expanded so that the producers can make more money off of it, leading to filler episodes and why there are extra movies, OVAs, and side stories for anime/manga. A great example of this is Dragon Ball, which will never end at this point.Some manga, like Bleach, have little narrative per a page so it takes a long time for the story to move forward and the corresponding anime needs fillers in order to not get ahead of the manga. – LaRose 10 months ago
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    • I'd say that this is an article that mostly relates to shounen. Long-running seinen such as Vagabond and Berserk are highly regarded and make good use of their length to provide different arcs and give the story an epic feel. With shounen, I feel that it's more about making the manga last as long as possible than a good story, due to the way shounen magazines operate. – BoomBap 10 months ago
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    Gay/bi men's opinions on yaoi (or other works that center around M/M relationships yet are produced primarily by and for women)?

    Do you feel this genre often fetishizes/objectifies the males depicted? – moreover: do you feel objectified yourself? Offended? How accurate are the portrayals in these manga/anime? Is this true LGBT representation or does it actually serve to hinder promotion of LGBT rights in some ways? Would you feel uncomfortable around someone who self-identifies as a "fujoshi?"
    Also: What about shounen-ai?

    • I think this is incredibly interesting, and I'd love to know more about it. But it feels very much like a direct question as opposed to a topic. My recommendations would be to rephrase it so that an article could be written about it, and define some of the words which people may not know. – Connor Gregorich-Trevor 1 year ago
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    • Agreeing with Connor, rephrasing this would help the future writer to be guided into NOT writing commentary. Topic title should be like Yaoi a representation of gay relationships or romanticized fantasy... and are we talking about yaoi and sexual content? – Jill 1 year ago
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    • I think women objectify men in gay fetish porn the same way men objectify women in porn. And I agree that people in these portrayals are rarely true to how people actually are. This can set LGBT rights back in same ways, especially when gay men are always sexy with six packs and not just regular, ordinary men. I don't know much else about what you are asking, so I can't help much with this, but those are my thoughts on the objectification of gay people. I am not really offended by it, but I think it's detrimental to peoples' self-esteem and LGBT rights to a degree. – Robyn McComb 1 year ago
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    • I'm wondering if men who are into M/M works truly appreciate yaoi or shounen-ai, due to how characters are represented in these works. Or if they also appreciate bara more, which is produced primarily by gay men for a gay audience. Personally, as someone who identifies as male and queer, I am into yaoi, shounen-ai, and bara, but I find it problematic in how some characters and relationships are portrayed. I think that a certain type of body is being objectified in each genre, but that is how these genres cater to their respective audience. It can be damaging to those readers/viewers who identify as LGBT, and may not fit that specific portrayal. Some shounen-ai works I have read/watched do a decent job in showing how gay relationships form, and touch upon the struggle that gay or bisexual people face in coming to terms with their sexuality and identity. – Sean Navat Balanon 1 year ago
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    • I think it's helpful, as someone who likes shounen-ai, to reflect on how these young women came to like genres like yaoi. I'd argue that it's due to the popularity of shounen manga and the intense male relationships within them (take NaruSasuNaru, or Light x L). Because these relationships never become romances, fans find other series to fill in for their characters. Popular male on male romances adhere to many tropes, many of which can be traced back to the original shounen manga the characters are derived from. – ChristelleMarie 1 year ago
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    • perhaps it would be best done as a comparison piece between the portrayal of gay men and other fetish images of both men and women. Classic daydreams of both men and women that stereotype others. – Jutor 9 months ago
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    4

    One Piece: The World Government and Justice

    The World Government in One Piece is considered the primary antagonist of the series. Monkey D. Luffy is proud to proclaim that he wants to become the Pirate King and we applaud him as he tries. We consider pirates to be the heroes. Why? One Piece has managed to confuse the idea of justice and who delivers it. Is the World Government too harsh? Are they corrupt? Who are true wielders of justice? Have the lines between who is or isn’t just been blurred too much to declare who’s good? Why do we believe that the world government are the bad guy and are we right when we do so?

    • I like the angle you're approaching the narrative in One Piece. There is a lot of room to talk about a lot of things here. Like , we as the readers view Luffy and his crew as the heroes, the protagonists fighting against the Navy and other Pirates as antagonists. But time and time again, the main characters, often Luffy, proclaim that they aren't heroes. They're pirates. But time and time again he and his crew do heroic things. They have saved countries from civil war, stopped arms dealers, and trashed the laboratories of people doing experiments on children. If he was a Marine these acts would have him lauded as a hero, but since he's a pirate we are conflicted and unsure what to call him. He also often clashes with the Marines, who in our experiences are the bad guys trying to stop Luffy from advancing forward and doing basically whatever he feels like. But when you examine the way marines are spoken of and treated outside of the pirates perspective they are often well respected and their presence is a comfort to common people. Now there are exceptions on both sides of the coin, the Blackbeard pirates on the one hand and the CP9 on the other. To understand what this means for our heroes, we need to look at the motivations of the characters to do what they do. Akianu the leader of the Marines is driven by his desire to uphold the law, he has a twisted sense of what justice is and enforces it with an iron fist. On the other hand most pirates want to be Pirate King, meaning they want to find One Piece, Roger's treasure. We have met multiple pirates with different reasons for wanting this. Buggy wants money, Crocodile wants power, Donflamingo wanted revenge, and Luffy wants freedom. He wants to be able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants. He wants to be Pirate King because that is the most free person in the world. Luckily for most people who encounter him, what Luffy wants is to eat, sleep, eat and sleep, and help his Nakama (friends). Almost all of the heroic things he's done is because of his sense of morals. Whether a Nakama asked him to help them or someone did something that pissed him off, all of the good things he wanted to do were simply because he felt he was free to stop them. Regardless of if they were Marines, Pirates, or the Shichibukai. He has stood up to them all because he wanted to. We gravitate towards Luffy for the same reason that the characters in the manga/anime do. He is capable of doing what he wants and often what he wants to do is what we want him to do. – joncarlos3rd 1 year ago
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    Homosexuality in Naruto

    It’s often been joked about about fandom regarding the relationship between Sasuke and Naruto. However, does this perception within the fandom have any relevance. Yes or no? What’s the impact for the overall narrative and themes of the series if any. Furthermore, how do cultural perceptions regarding controversial matters such as these influence the series.

    • There are a lot of fandoms out there that "ship" or imagine relationships between two characters of the same sex, particularly in anime and manga. It could be interesting to frame these questions within an exploration of "slash" fiction as a whole and its relevance, impact, and place in today's culture. – Nicole Williams 12 months ago
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