Max K

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics


    What makes an anime/manga popular? How does it get into the mainstream?

    With so many different anime and manga available in the world, there are bound to be many that grow in popularity much more than others. For instance, series like Demon Slayer/Kimetsu no Yaiba absolutely blew up in popularity in late 2019. Other series like One Piece and Naruto have stayed relevant ever since they began in the late 1990s, and it seems just about everyone knows what Attack on Titan is even if they never watched/read anime/manga. But what is it that makes these series so popular? The characters, themes, accessibility, plot, or something else completely?

    • A degree of familiarity within innovation and a high-quality storyline tend to be the two main variables. – J.D. Jankowski 3 years ago
    • I feel like it'd be good to note that all of the ones you've mentioned here are generally classed as shonen (marketed at young/teen boys), and I believe they all (or most) were originally featured in the very popular Shonen Jump magazine in Japan. I'd imagine that having such a big audience as teen boys, and coming from such an established publisher, would help the ones you've mentioned. – AnnieEM 2 years ago
    • It will be very important do differentiate between what makes a manga popular in the Japan, the west, and globally. – LukePatitsas 2 years ago
    • The anime/manga could be recommended by someone and then it could get reviews if the person likes it. – Khrista 2 years ago
    • With regards to manga popularity, there's something to be said about a successful anime adaptation skyrocketing it to mainstream notoriety; particularly in the west, the average person who doesn't consider themselves an animanga fan has still likely seen a handful of anime episodes at some point, but is far less likely to have read manga casually. Subsequently, there's a definite trend in shonen and seinen manga getting full-length, multi-season anime adaptations; for shoujo and josei series, if they are adapted into anime series at all, they often are left incomplete after only 1-2 seasons, which prevents them from becoming household names or becoming truly mainstream (notable exceptions would be Fruits Basket and Sailor Moon, which were fully animated). A series like Naruto stays relevant even today in part due to sequel material like Shippuden and Boruto. One Piece is still currently running and has had nearly 1000 manga chapters to build such an active fanbase and sense of recognition. Many series that don't run that long, and therefore don't have such continued advertising, never have much of a chance to break into the mainstream. – Zoe L 1 year ago

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    Latest Comments

    I definitely agree with Wano’s emotional scenes. For example, Yasuie’s death did not hit me too hard when I first read it, but I was bawling when I watched it in the anime.

    The 5 Saddest Moments in One Piece

    Even after reading dozens of manga and watching tens of different anime, One Piece still sits at the top of my favorites. I think one its strongest attributes is definitely these emotional moments that do not even need to kill a character to make them so effective. I remember crying about three times in a span of a couple episodes when I first watched Chopper’s backstory, as well as tearing up seeing Ace’s smiling body on the ground after his death. However, I must say I was not very sad for the great Whitebeard’s death. I struggle to put in words, but I was more impressed with the pure raw power that Whitebeard held, as made especially apparent when he died while standing up, without a single scar inflicted on his back, or a “coward’s wound” as Oda put it.

    The 5 Saddest Moments in One Piece

    I definitely agree with you that tutorials can be a big hit or miss with some games, all based on their executions. A game with the best tutorials, or rather lack there of, was Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight (later renamed to Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove). In this 2014 8-bit 2D platformer, the controls come naturally to the player, even if they never played a game of that genre. Or Mega Man X’s subtle flow of how it teaches its player the basics (Egoraptor did a very nice video on that game:

    However, a game I think fails in its tutorials is Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which released on the Switch in late 2017. This is without a doubt one of my favorite games of all time, but I cannot praise its tutorials that much. They are fairly confusing and do not do a great job at explaining mechanics, even I failed to understand a key combat mechanic until very late in the game.

    Video Games And—Wait, Another Darn Tutorial?

    As a big fan of the anime and manga and someone who’s reread and rewatches the series a few times, this is a pretty interesting view of the events and characters present throughout. I think some things like Reg showing off his masculinity in the form of mentions of his penis to being constantly shirtless may be also due to Tsukushi’s (the mangaka) rather odd fetishes when it comes to those subjects.

    In terms of Bondrewd, I think it should have also been noted that he genuinely does care for the children that he leads to death. Even Prushka, a girl who he raised until her tragic death, was someone who he truly did love (

    I would have liked if you went more into more of the Sixth Layer and its many horrors, primarily Irumyuui’s obsession with becoming a mother.

    Made in Abyss: Gender Politics