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5

Kanji: Lost in Translation

For most avid manga-readers, there have been times when a joke has gone right over our heads, or it has seemed like a character is speaking repetitively. The main culprit of this is the way that Kanji resists interpretation. Research and analyze how Kanji’s inability to be interpreted in a way that is universally accessible has affected art and pop culture as it relates to universal cultural understanding.

  • An excellent topic suggestion so you have my approval. As one who is presently learning Japanese I can certainly attest to how difficult Kanji can be to interpret, let alone translate (I use the term 'translate' advisedly). A small suggestion - it might also be worth noting that there are some young Japanese who have problems with interpreting Kanji. – Amyus 3 weeks ago
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What Makes My Hero Academia So Goshdarn Likeable?

My Hero Academia first garnered attention when it gained a surprising amount of momentum soon after its debut in Shounen Jump, often being heralded as a spiritual successor to highly successful and soon-after ended shounen titles like Naruto and Bleach. Now, with one completed anime season and a second one ongoing, MHA can be seen everywhere in otaku culture, particularly in the realm of visual essay analysis videos posted on Youtube and elsewhere. All this, despite the fact that, as many fans and critics have pointed out, there’s nothing particularly new or inventive about it. MHA takes almost every traditional shounen trope in the book and runs with them, using them to their greatest effects. It’d be interesting to pinpoint what some of those tropes are and how MHA uses them so effectively. The writer could also analyze how outside factors (like timing and anime adaptation) affected its popularity growth over the past 2-3 years.

  • I've heard extremely positive things said about this anime. I think I will begin watching it due to its use of these common tropes. In addition to this, being a spiritual successor to favourites such as Naruto and Bleach compel me even more. Great Topic! – AdilYoosuf 2 months ago
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Taken by Jiraiyan (PM) 2 months ago.
5

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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 10 months ago
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  • Your question itself is weird. Those "5 big" aren't in any way the most largest names in the manga industry. Except maybe on the US market. However, Dragonball is the most important manga of your list since he basically is the reason why all the others exist: Manga wouldn't even be a thing in western world without Dragonball. So to put it in an other way: "How much did Dragonball influence One piece, Naruto, Fairy tail and Bleach". Here is your answer: cinematographic sequences, pacing and editing of the scenes, power-ups, Nakama power, awesome Deus ex machina, tournaments, charismatic allies, bad guys who turn into friends, stylish battles, transformations, VEGETA and EXPLOSIONS. An interesting question would be: "Which other manga influenced them?": Kishimoto (writer of Naruto) took his inspiration from Dragon ball (DB), Jojo's bizarre adventure (JJBA), Japanese mythology, Ninku and Ghost in the Shell, and in turn inspired none except black clover and my hero academia maybe. Fairy tail is basically a cluster*** of everything that has ever been successful in pop-culture (#fanservice), which explains it's popularity. One piece is here thanks to western cartoons (Tex avery), JJBA and DB. Bleach was inspired by DB, Saint-seiya, samourai movies, Japanese folklore."What is the most influencable Shonen nekketsu manga ever?": Ashita no joe. A pioneer and a masterpiece – Tracel 7 months ago
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6

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 1 year 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 1 year ago
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  • Like the old saying goes, "sex sells." And, in my opinion, I believe that is why there is so much sexualization of characters in anime and manga. However, as stated in your point, it is questionable why there is sexualization of young, underage girls. Like what andreacr stated before, culture has some parts on why anime sexualizes teenage girls. In Japan, the age of consensual sex is at 13 years old, but there are laws that makes it illegal for an adult to be in a sexual relationship with girls under the age of 17. But that's a whole different topic that I will get in later. Sexualizing characters is basically fanservice. However, this type of fanservice is mainly directed to male viewers, particularly shown in shonen or seinen animes/mangas which are the two most read or watched genre inside and outside of Japan. So a lot creators or mangakas believe that in order to appeal to men even more, they tend to sexualize female characters. But why young girls? In some cases, the characters that look like a teenage girl is in fact a grown woman in her mid to late 20s. It's basically just the youth factor that plays a role in some cases; the age-old idea that a younger woman is more desirable than an older woman. If the girl is a teenager, then that's a different ball game. As stated before, the age of sexual consent in Japan is 13, but an adult cannot have sex with girls under 17. So, as wrong as this may sound, the loophole is that it is legal in a few parts of Japan where you can watch pornography with girls under the age of 17 so long as they are 13 or older. However, Japan is cracking down on this lately and it is illegal in many parts of the country today. In the West, 13 is considered to be much too young, and those who are 13 are still considered by law to be children or adolescents, so some Western viewers do get uncomfortable watching underage girls put in sexual situations. And if you think about it, in most of these situations in anime, the girl is sometime unaware of the implications of the situation they are put in, or they feel just as uncomfortable but this is downplayed as a comedic scene (ie tsundere). Now this would stem back to the whole idea that innocence is sexy. A video on YouTube titled "Born Sexy Yesterday" does tackle this issue much better than my explanation. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0thpEyEwi80)And I wholeheartedly agree with what you are saying. Oversexualization can kill, and it does diminish the quality of the character. But instead of seeing an actual person, they are portrayed as this sort of sexual fantasy. – themessenger151 6 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?

  • My Hero Academia is a popular anime that has been noticeably influenced by Western superheroes. One of the main protagonists even bears a striking resemblance to Captain America. – ees 3 months ago
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11

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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 1 year ago
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