• Manga and anime are seen as the equivalent of Western comic books or graphic novels. But are very different in theme and style.
  • In Japan manga is or has been a big influence on Japanese culture. It is estimated that 40% of material published in Japan is in the form of manga.
  • Manga writers have a different approach when creating stories. The character roles are not set in stone but develop, have relations ships, change job roles and even have characters not know each other when they have previous.
  • Manga has a specific visual style. extremely large eyes, lipless mouths and heart-shaped faces. many time has it been pointed out that these anime/manga characters are obviously not japanese in their ethnicity. It has been expressed by animation director Mamoru Oshii and by Hayao Miyazaki that they want there readers to experience an alternative world. Although these characters do not resemble Japanese ethnicity, the style of illustration and animation represent the Japanese.
  • The term anime means japanese animation and is closely related to manga in it stylistic features. Before it was named anime it was commonly refered to as senga eiga, which means drawn line pictures.
  • “Anime film shots are filled with tracking shots, long-view establishing shots, fancy pans unusual point of view camera angles and extreme close-ups.. in contrast with most american produced animations which tends to thrive  in an action obsessed middle distance” Ledoux and Ranney 1997 p.3
  • despite the wide variety of anime they are classifiable in three main categories;
  1. Catastrophic anime; reflections on the legacy of the atomic bomb and its aftermath, urban alienation, Japans record-breaking suicide rates and economic problems.
  2. Carnivalesque anime; this embodies the spirit of Matsuri, a key component of Japans social and ceremonial existence. Pain, ecstasy, sex, death, worship, fear, purity and pollution are all vital elements in the japanese festival.
  3. Nostalgic anime; this conveys a sense of melancholy inspired by a deep awareness of the briefness of life and pleasure. this mournful concept is encapsulated by the japanese notion of mono no aware the ‘sadness of things’.
  • Japanese anime has become the major way in which non-japanese are exposed to japanese culture.
  • anime clearly builds upon high cultural traditions. traditions like Kabuki (dominant form of theatre) and woodblock print and can even be tracked back to the mediaeval Zen cartoons. they also has reference to Bakumatsu and Meiji periods (1868-1912) in depicting supernatural themes.
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