Conclusion to this blog research and onto more extensive reading

Currently this is where I have come to a stop on my research but there will be more materials and deeper thoughts that will be filtered and reorganised to be presented on my essay paper. For now I  to conclude this blog research with the following.

Manga have adjusted the course of the comic book industry, by making it an imperative column in each economy. Likewise these sharp plots and drawings have changed the general way to deal with comic book story composing and plan until the end of time.

Having entertained various eras throughout the years, Manga considerably affects the worldwide group in different viewpoints. These funnies helped in forming our identities, building up our creative abilities, widening our points of view, upgrading our imagination, enhancing our general learning and refining our qualities, morals, ethics and standards. Manga is genuinely one of humanity’s most prominent manifestations and the pride of each Japanese and the entire world.

For the case on is manga superior to anything of it’s foreign counterparts? This is clearly, an inquiry which is altogether subjective, notwithstanding I am of the feeling that they all  have their qualities and shortcomings. It can’t be said for beyond any doubt which is better, in light of the fact that inside the speculations. Both play the same role of inspiring ,entertaining and teaching the next generation while keeping the tradition alive. Today in modern society it can be seen as a medium of vast communication to establish bonds between nations where everyone is not limited to the language of their mother tongue as illustrated figures will solve that issue.



Conclusion to this blog research and onto more extensive reading

Whats the difference?


So how are manga and foreign comics different?

Some differences have been noted earlier in the previous post but there’s more that the denotes the differences between these different form of comics. Starting from it’s Asian adaptations.



Japanese manga

  • Originates from Japan
  • Japanese mythology for background and stories
  • Multi-panel format is read from right to left
  • Almost always black and white




Korean Manhwa

  • Originates from Korea, mostly South-Korea. (Cause North Korea is busy doing propaganda art)
  • influenced by the dramatic modern history of Korea and mythology.
  • Format is horizontal, left to right and can be vertical, right to left and top from bottom.




Chinese Manhua

  • Originates from China and is exclusive for China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Historic tradition of Chinese cartooning
  • A third way manhua is utilized is to depict Chinese types of visual story which are like funnies yet are have not generally been portrayed all things considered(Stember,2014).
  • Format is in Full colour and single issue
  • Another form of Chinese visual narrative
  • Comic story based of Chinese mythology and cultural practices and emphasises on it strongly.
  • ‘Influences’ from western and manga or much rather copies.(reference to picture above)


Finally we come to examine the difference between western comic and manga.

There is a major contrast in craftsmanship styles between Manga, which is more adapted (misrepresented) and American funnies, which have a tendency to be more “practical”(Russell, 2006) . There are likewise a significant number genuine contrasts between the two sorts of funnies. A portion of the distinctions, just to specify a couple of them are the cost, creation, assorted crowd and classifications, presentation and even size.


American/Western Comic


  • Western comics are aimed more towards children and teenagers in mind while manga is approached by a much wider audience due to its large demographic and genres.
  • Western comics are driven in dedicating a full-page spreads to action while manga tends to dedicate towards full-page spreads to emotional reactions.
  • The panel layout is also different in manga, with panels that read from right to left.
  • Darker topics and concepts are the main subject to be explored by western artist, thou more commonly known for its family-friendly superhero genre. Manga, however, is more comfortable exploring suggestive material due to their culture which allows them to be more liberal in exploring sexuality than most Americans.
  • The establishing shot for western comics is centered to occupy the first scene in the comic unlike manga. Also western comics don’t portray their characters in dramatic angles like how they do it in films unlike Manga which is known for its cinematic storytelling and format.
  • Western comics are graphic novels where the stories and visuals don’t necessarily sync with the dialogue and visual action. Manga opposes all that.



Nick Stember, 2014.DON’T CALL IT ‘MANGA’: A SHORT INTRO TO CHINESE COMICS AND MANHUA. [ONLINE]. Available at [Accessed on 24 June 2016].

Michael Russell , 2006.Comic Books – Japanese Manga vs American Comics [ONLINE]. Available at—Japanese-Manga-vs-American-Comics&id=206944. [Accessed on 23 June 2016].

Whats the difference?

What makes a Manga a Manga?

Characteristic of a Japanese manga 

As mention earlier from Osamu Tezuka section, one of many the things that signifies Manga from other comic book types is that it follows a very creative and extremely unorthodox approach to story telling as well as a profound unique style in character and setting design. The other characteristics that make Manga is very distinctive from other comic book styles are such as:

  • Artwork “Character and Setting Design”
  • Storytelling
  • Panel Order
  • Visual Language or Iconography

Iconography plays a huge role in illustrating the significance of Manga. Manga artists use realistic yet cartoonish iconography for expressing emotion and other internal character status.

With regards to appearances, Manga fine art demonstrates characters that just about come to have exegerated eyes size, little mouths, different physical make-ups, and anomalous hairdo and shading. The characters feelings and outward appearances are flawlessly outlined by a one of a kind style in iconography where this style has helped with molding the one of a kind aesthetic traditions that aided in forming the personality of Manga.



Characters in Manga are usually known to show over exaggerated emotions.

Examples when characters cry, they usually pour out in buckets, when they laugh, their faces seems engulfed by the size of their mouths and their eyes become slits. An angry character will have a popping vein, rosy cheeks and steam rolling from around its body. Sometimes these expressions are accompanied with impressionistic backgrounds that best suit the expression they display at that particular scene.



Examples of manga iconography 


Here are some examples of the most common artistic conventions that are used in modern Manga:

  • Pain is denoted with a white cross-shaped bandage symbol.
  • When fighting or glaring at one another, sparks literally fly between the
  • Intense joy or sadness is indicated with tear drops everywhere or forming a fountain.
  • A comical representation of depression or mortification is with a wavy ghost coming out of the mouth.
  • Sleeping people may be indicated by having a bubble coming out of the nose indicates a person sleeping at an inappropriate moment (e.g. during class, at work, outside, in public, in an unusual pose or location, etc.).



Super Deformed Style or Chibi

Further distortion of a character is done in a style known as the Super Deformed Style or Chibi. This style showcases exaggeratedly drawn characters, more often than not with little, tubby, thickset appendages and larger than usual heads. Usually utilized as a part of Manga to sum things up additions to demonstrate an overstated feeling that would be hard to depict or unfitting for that specific character if communicated on a more reasonable face. Intended to be adorable and are frequently utilized as a part of clever redirections from the storyline.


Manga has dependably to a great extent concentrate on character advancement while remote story funnies have a tendency to be subject driven. The perusers can encounter the subject through a procedure of mental recognizable proof with the heroes as in Japanese manga the topic is made clear through the words and activities of the characters.



Japanese Manga is uniquely known to be read from right to left, opposite of Western. This is due to the traditional Japanese writing method which is read and written from right to left. The pages aren’t the only thing to be read from right to left, but you also read the panels and sequences too.

Abroad in foreign countries, the pages are mirrored horizontally before printing the translation, changing the reading direction to a more “Western” left to right, so as not to confuse foreign readers.

Unlike western comics, Manga is usually much smaller in size and are collected in small volumes. In Japan, Manga is first published in Manga magazines that collect different stories. If certain ones get really popular, then the stories are collected and published in a new volume which can be serialized over several years and run into hundreds of chapters when they are released as a standalone book or series or in Japanese term Tankōbons.

Another significant difference between Manga and foreign comics is that manga is mainly printed in black and white due to the reason that printing in colour costs too much and also the fact that Manga issues are published on a weekly basis, thus making it impossible to release a full colour issue in time and maintaining the standard of work. Manga artists usually work in small groups or even alone thus the production rate depends on how fast they can finish their work and the addition of colour would take up a lot of time to meet the weekly basis where in the US, comics are released monthly. Also US comics are known to be graphic novels rather than comics where more emphasis on the art is given attention to.



Examples of Japanese Manga layouts

Layouts in terms of panel structure and order, Japanese Manga layouts has differ significantly from other comic book.



While in foreign countries comic are usually aimed towards a specific target audience, Manga is very different in the sense of them being one of the most diverse in the world of comics where they cover all genres possible and available. Some of these manga are as the following:


Shōnen (少年)


  • Shōnen is the most popular type of Manga in the world.
  • Targeted towards boys between 10 to 18 but is read by all ages and gender.
  • Stories come with a great deal of action and humour.


Shōjo (少女)


  • Shōjo is the sister to Shōnen.
  • Aimed towards girls between 10 and 18.
  • Opposite of Shōnen Manga which tends to be boisterous and action packed.
  • Shōjo is a little slower, tending to focus more on relationships.
  • Have a distinct style that differs from shonen manga such as finer pen lines and complex screen tones.


Seinen (青年)


  • Aimed towards older, more mature audiences and directed towards men.
  • Features characters and story lines that have more realistic properties.


Josei (女性)


  • Aimed towards older, more mature audiences and directed towards women.
  • Josei tend to be more realistic than Shōjo, portraying less idealized romance and more to the day to day life of women.


Kodomomuke “Kodomo” (子供向け)


  • Aimed towards children between 7 to 10.
  • The stories that are often moralistic in order to teach children on how to behave while helping them to stay on the right path in life.




Different Genres of manga

Along with the demographics, genres can easily help you to decide what Manga one would desire. Some of the most common Genres in Japanese manga are Mecha where it involves robots and futuristic settings, Yuri and Yaoi which is the same gender relationship-themed story. As we more forward in time, more genres are introduced to meet the ever demanding demands of manga readers.

Reference and further reading:

Richard Eisenbeis, 2014.How to Identify Anime and Manga Genres. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 June 2016].


What makes a Manga a Manga?

How did he do it?

How did these works influence the world


Osamu Tezuka and his manga work

Although today a variation of styles can be seen in mangas, the main characteristics that still remains till today is the exaggerated eyes which Tezuka was responsible for.

Another key characteristic of mangas are the cinematic action to manga again made famous by Tezuka where he though the previous comics were very limited as if they the story was told in a stage play setting where actors emerge from hidden areas of the stage and to the centre to perform.

Tezuka found that this made it difficult to portray a dramatic or psychological effects thus he began to experimenting with cinematic techniques such as close-ups and different angles rather of only using only one frame for an action scene or the climax which was customary at screen play back then.

Incorporations of emotions where another key point in his method of storytelling through manga. Comic abroad has always been themed to motivate and entertain it’s audience but Tezuka believed that they were capable of more than just making people laugh. Thus the wide range of emotions incorporated in his work which he portrayed through the facial expressions of his drawn characters and the theme of his story. It was not un natural where his work will end in a way that would not satisfy the audience, unlike western comics where the endings are predictable.

Along the way, the unique characteristics of a Japanese manga grew with the help of other local artist and influences of foreign sources. (See in next post on characteristics of a manga)

Thou he is no longer with us today, his influences carries on  to artists such as Hayao Miyazaki, Akira Toriyama who are the current powerhouse in the manga/anime field where they have brought it to the next level of globalisation of this Japanese culture. Hayao Miyazaki company Studio Ghibli produced animes like ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ and ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ won major international awards, and ‘Spirited Away’ received an Oscar in 2003 (Maktoob, 2012). This went on to inspire the world in story telling through illustrations and animation. In China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Manga-influenced comics exist and they are called “manhua”( Wong, 2002), and in south korea they are called “Manhwa” On the European side like France, manga inspired work are called manfra and la nouvelle manga which are developed as forms of bande dessinee or also know as Franco-Belgian comics. Renouned US comic writer Frank Miller has used manga as his base for his work such as his book titled ‘Ronin’.Besides comics, manga influences can be seen on films like ‘The Matrix’ trilogy, ‘Avatar’ and ‘Kill Bill’. Manga inspired artists skyrocket across the globe and today it is seen as a field in the entertainment industry where studios are emerging and new contents are being created.

Noted above I did mention the term anime which is a Japanese word for animation that have been recognised all over the globe. Main source of inspiration and stories of anime usually originate from manga where manga plays the role of story boarding material. Manga fans were certainly delighted to experience their favourite Manga in animation. Later manga would influence the existence for video games and life action films where the original storyline would be adopted.


Wong Wendy Siuyi, 2002. Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua. [PDF] Available at: .[Accessed 19 June 2016]

Maktoob, 2012. The phenomenon of Japanese manga and its influence around the world. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 18 June 2016].


How did he do it?

The Man who Spearheaded Manga and the work that inspired the World

Tezuka and how has his work influenced the world.


Osamu Tezuka

Osamu Tezuka was born in 1928 Japan. During his second year of elementary school, he started his own manga and he had a collection of Walt Disney (mickey mouse) and Max Fleischer (superman cartoons) productions which was responsible for influencing him into drawing his own manga and for the path he will lead later in life.

During his teenager year, Tezuka almost lost his arms to an infection which drove him to decision of studying medicine in order to help others as his doctor helped him. During his time in medical school he sold his first manga, a four-panel series called ‘Diary of Ma-chan’ to a newspaper company known as Osaka children’s newspaper. That was his first step into the manga industry.

Graduating from medical school, he did not follow through the path of a doctor but rather he devoted himself to manga after consulting his parents but his medical knowledge was not wasted as it became the inspiration and material for his work ‘Blackjack’.

Tezuka’s greatest works

Osamu Tezuka has created a lot of manga series. Sources say his complete composition includes over 700 volumes with more than 150,000 pages (Wikipedia,2016). Some of his notable works are as the following.

*Note that what you are about to see are anime intros but relevant to the fact that they are manga adaptations before being produced as an animated series.



First published in 1952 and later an anime adaptation while keeping the same classic art style as the original manga but was modernized with smoother animation and visuals. Astro Boy follows the adventures of a robot by the same name and a handful of other characters.



The Black Jack manga was first published in 1973 where it was mostly influenced from his own past (stated in his brief history) where a injured child was rescued from near death by a doctor, Black Jack decides to become a doctor himself and later became an unlicensed surgeon who has miraculous talent. The story involves the main character doing some good deed, often without recognition, curing the poor for free, or putting down some life lessons.


The Kimba manga was first published in 1950 and later the anime was produced in 1965. Known as the “Japanese Lion King” as it was heavily influenced with Disney’s Lion King.



Published in 1967 the Phoenix was a story of life and death that he began in the 1950s and continued until his death. It was Tezuka’s life work which consisted of 12 books, each of which tells a separate, self-contained story and takes place in a different era where the plots go back and forth from a remote sci-fi future to prehistoric times.



John, 2013. GODFATHER OF ANIME, OSAMU TEZUKA. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 14 June 2016].

tezukaproductions, 2013. 鉄腕アトム(1963)-Youtube. [ONLINE VIDEO] Available at: [ Accessed 14 June 2016].

himeno kyoushiro, 2014. Black Jack TV OP -ブラックジャック--Youtube. [ONLINE VIDEO] Available at: [ Accessed 14 June 2016].

A. Lewliet Yagami S., 2013. Kimba The white Lion-Youtube. [ONLINE VIDEO] Available at: [ Accessed 14 June 2016].


The Man who Spearheaded Manga and the work that inspired the World

1 Artifact to conquer them all

In the 2000s another flood of Japonisme has hurried over the world with an inundation of anime, manga, “Harujuku” design, kawaii toys, ramen-interests, cosplay, import auto culture, the blast of Japanese neo-pop craftsmen, and the ascent of computer games among numerous others. But for this time, we will discuss upon how Japanese comic, also known as manga has Influence and been adapted across different countries.

Japanese manga has taken the world by storm to become Japan’s most popular cultural export. The term “manga” is believed to have been first used by the renowned 16th ukiyo-e artist, Katsushika Hokusai and became commonly used in the late 18th century (Prohl & Nelson, 2012) when the production of the low-cost illustrated kibyōshi (yellow-backed) novels where modern manga first appeared.

The word “manga” originates from the Japanese word 漫画 in kanji. 漫 (man) meaning “whimsical or impromptu” and 画 (ga) meaning “pictures” (Basically a narrative made up of images and presented in an arrangement.

The history of manga and it’s progress towards a modern approach have described by many historians and researchers as two broad and complementary processes where they attributed to the role of cultural and historical events following World War II against the role of pre-war events, the Meiji and pre-Meiji period of Japanese culture and art.


Regardless of its source, an explosion of artistic creativity certainly occurred in the post-war period as writer Frederik L. Schodt stated. The people from japan had more materials and new influences to work on from the Americans at that time rather than concentrating on the war effort and the country was in a recovery state. Many artist started creating mangas again but one stood out the most. The renowned Osamu Tezuka made the impact in the field of manga which is impossible to overstate as his influence has driven the industry to where it is today. Tezuka has made Japanese manga what it is today and popularized it internationally with his great success while still inspiring many others and continues to do so even today even after his death (John, 2013).


tktkboon, 2016. Manga’s History-Youtube. [ONLINE VIDEO] Available at: [ Accessed 13 June 2016].

Inken Prohl, John K. Nelson, 2012.Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Religions. [PDF] Available at:  [Accessed 9 June 2016].

John, 2013. GODFATHER OF ANIME, OSAMU TEZUKA. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 14 January 2016].


Robert S. Petersen, 2011. Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels: A History of Graphic Narratives. [PDF] Available at [Accessed 8 June 2016].

1 Artifact to conquer them all

Japonisme Today

During the opening decade of the twenty–first century, the interest in Japonisme increased while it being acknowledged throughout the world. Exhibitions were held all over the world to widespread the appeal of Japanese materials where it was not only something to be admired and adapted by painters i.e., high art, but also designers, architects, decorative art, and graphic artists and also people of different levels in society in different countries but as a subject matter of potential exploration to further expand the field and uncover new perspectives which in return provide an emergent of new methodologies.

Earlier I showcased some Japonisme influenced work from back in time, here are some modern day artist’s work also inspired by Japonisme.


Contemporary street artist Copyright used the tiger as the main subject in his work and palletes that were inspired by the Japanese culture. The tiger has been a favourite subject for Japanese painters since the beginning of the seventeenth century which are usually found Buddhist temple carvings.




Urban artist Pure Evil was inspired by Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ to create his print ‘Hokusai Tsunami print for Japan’. The waves in his work are interpreted as the power of the crashing waves of the tsunami disaster that occurred to Japan where back then the images of waves were interpreted as a symbol of strength. In the print he unites the considerable nineteenth century imagery with a “LIVE” logo in the base left hand corner, doubtlessly suggesting the expansive interchanges extent of the tsunami amid the tidal wave episode and conceivably to Japan’s unmistakable position at the bleeding edge of innovation.




Geishas as well as anime and manga-style characters are feature heavily in Hush’s work while he explores the contrasting depictions and constructions of women in Japan and Japanese culture by confronting both historic geishas and the contemporary female characters in Japanese animation.



Kozyndan are amazing a couple specialists who work cooperatively to make profoundly definite compositions and delineations. Their work is exceptionally individual as in it’s particularly about the interests and values they share together as a few, one of these being Kozy’s Japanese background.  Their bunny filled wave inspired by the famous Japanese work ‘The Great Wave’. In their lastest print in the series ‘Gray Hares (Winter Bunnies)’ inspiration was taken from ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshge’s ‘Evening Shnow Kanbara’.



Gabriel P. Weisberg quoted as this phenomenon also influenced the arts of literature, music, photography and film, soon there will be no corner of the world that has not been touched by Japonisme. Also it will continue to influence those areas as well into our own era, the 21st Century.



Art Republic, 2013. Contemporary Japonism: The Influence of Japan on Art. [ONLINE]  Available at: . [Accessed 11 June 2016].

Weisberg, Gabriel P, 1975. Aspects of Japonisme. [PDF] Available at [Accessed 7 June 2016].

Japonisme Today