Japan's New Export
Monday, August 23, 2004 Posted: 07:08 PM JST [PHOTOS]
To call manga 'Japanese comics' is like calling a painting by Michelangelo a picture. Both are true statements and both are utterly insufficient and degrading. Unlike Western comics, Japanese manga have a history that stretch back many hundreds of years. In ancient scrolls you can discover ink drawings that look disturbingly modern. This has greatly helped to make manga generally accepted as an art form in Japan, whereas in the West comics are even today often seen as books for kids.
Japanese manga cover an amazing range. There are manga for all age levels and interests. The Japanese manga world is actually highly structured with clearly defined markets that range from love-starved women to sex-starved perverts.
As a result of the great demand from a varied public there is high competition among manga artists who are pressured to churn out high quality generally realistic stories featuring believable characters who develop intelligently, and plots that grab you by the neck.
They are really like visual novels. Some are like a movie on paper. No wonder there is a silent manga boom taking place in the West.
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