WHAT IS MANGA? Manga is the Japanese word for comics. It is used in the English-speaking world as a generic term for allcomic books and graphic novels that were originally published in Japan. Manga is often considered an artistic andstorytelling style that can also encompass non-Japanese works, however. The term "AmeriManga" is sometimesused to refer to comics created by American artists in a manga style. Manwha is the Korean equivalent of that idea. In Japan, manga is either read in serialized form in monthly magazines or comic books, or in graphic novels,which are book-length comics. All formats exist in translation, but graphic novels are much more common andcan fill a number of shelves at the local comic shop or bookstore. The word itself was popularized by the famous woodblock print artist Hokusai, but, contrary to a popularmyth, it was not invented by him. The word is composed of two Chinese characters—the first meaning "in spiteof oneself" or "lax" and the second meaning "picture"—and has been used to describe various comical images forat least two centuries.
N A R R AT I V E , S T Y L E A N D A RT OF MANGA Supposed Eastern iconophilia surfaces in the reception of western comics. The Japanese public and manga artists often describeEuropean and American comics as too wordy or literary. Sometimes, Western comic strip authors themselves criticize some of theseiconoclastic tendencies. French artist Baudoin for instance, who made some work for the Japanese publishing house Kodansha states thathe has "never worked with a Japanese scriptwriter, because in Japan, they do use a lot of images without text. European scriptwriters act as ifa page is valuable, as if it has to contain as much as possible. Publishers too think its abnormal when you draw three pages of clouds alone,while that may actually be necessary sometimes" (Meesters 1997, my translation). The amount of wordless passages in any volume of manga may be striking to the Western eye. To read manga is to read images - therhythm is determined by the sequence of images. Of course, western comics also have a genre known as sourds - wordless comics. A scene that would normally (at least, from a western point of view) be captured in a single pane - with the necessary (or if you willredundant) descriptive information - is now cut up over different frames. The isolated frames, with alternating camera-angles, are puttogether in a visual continuum. Especially fighting scenes provide excellent illustrative material to this technique. For instance, the narrativein Crying Freeman (Koike & Ikegami 1994) proceeds through a rapid succession of images in the visual chain. Sometimes only subtle details such as hair color or clothing mark the difference between characters, making it necessary for the readerto be acquainted with the manga reading code in order to keep up with the story. Realistic artists such as Otomo or Shirato are exceptionaland their approach fits more closely within the western paradigm of individual style.
EASTERN AND WESTERN CHARACTERS Manga characters tend to look more unrealistic. They have verylarge eyes and are very cartoon like rather than actually looking like areal person. Western characters tend to look more realistic, like a real person.Their faces tend to be able more detailed so they look convincing.None of their features tend to be exaggerated.
NARRATIVE Manga, unlike a lot of western comics, covers a really wide range of audiences. western comics tendto be stereotypically superhero-ey. Mangas have a more dynamic narrative, every panel is filled with action lines and stuff like that, theyare also very technical, they put a mind blowing attention to perspective and every other detail. Graphic novels tend to be more slow passed and have more text, and these days they tend to be very"artsy“.
ANALYSIS Japanese manga comics want to introduce cinematics into their manga;. Te wholeseries of the above manga, the girl was looking up in the sky, feeling lovelorn. She was justrejected by the male lead character, and on the next page the top panel shows only the stars(she was looking at the sky), while could only softly whisper the name of her lover in hereyes. That’s the beauty of manga comics; it tries to make the reader imagine thecinematics behind the whole panel of pictures. It’s almost like watching a romanticmovie and the lovelorn person was just staring into space, wishing to be with the person heor she loves. And if you notice every manga comic, rather it be Bleach, Naruto, or One Piece, thereare occasions where you just see one character taking up a whole page, looking cool, andother occasions where very small panels are made to reveal small & deliberate movements. The manga comic artist tries to bring out the perspective of the panel, making it lookdynamic and engaging, just like a movie.