Manga are cartoons that originated in Japan. While there are similarities with cartoon-styles from other parts of the world, Japanese cartoons have certain characteristics that set them apart from the rest. One of the most striking differences is the way the characters are drawn. Very large eyes and out-of-this-world outfits set them apart from the rest. How did manga originate? And who played a role in the prolific popularity of Japanese cartoons?
A Short History of Manga
In the late 1940s, Tezuka Osamu, the father of modern manga, began working on cinematic effects learned from European movies into his cartoons. He pioneered multilane movements, perspectives that pulled the reader into the action. For example, close-ups, curious angels, and a host of other film techniques created a new medium resembling nothing less than a feature-length film rendered on paper.
As a result of Tezuka’s innovations, Japanese comics are wildly popular and rarely come in slender volumes. Certain drawing styles specific to Japanese manga like the greatly enhanced facial features have been copied all around the world.
More recent artists who have made their name within the genre are Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon-ball, and Toru Fujisawa, creator of Great Teacher Onizuka. Eiichiro Oda whose odd character sketches are the centerpiece of the One Piece action series is also popular. Locally, these artists are considered heroes and are seen as being closer to God than rock stars.
Manga after 2015 ~
Now almost everybody has a smartphone, sellers offer manga by app instead of by hard copy. You can buy manga at a reasonable price these days. Moreover, all manga that has been officially published can be found on apps these days. There used to be many book stores all over Japan. Since the internet took off, however, people started buying digital manga the number of book stores is shrinking.
This does, however, not mean that book stores have completely disappeared just yet. There is just something to holding that new volume in your hands and storing it on your bookshelf after you have read it for reading it again one day.
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