Manga: Why These Japanese Comics Are All The Rage Now

Atmaj Vyas , 20 Mar 2018
Manga Collection (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Manga Collection (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

The comics created in Japan are popularly known as manga and were developed and adapted in the early 19th century. However, the history of the manga actually goes back to ancient times in Japanese culture and is quite complex. These popular comics which include a variety of genres, are read by people of all age groups and are actually one of the most popular forms of entertainment in Japan.

It’s important to note that when we use the word manga, it actually covers a huge variety of types. There are actually so many types of mangas that it’s hard to keep a track of them all. For example, you have Yōji which is for kids aged 1-4. Shōnen mangas are usually those that revolve around a male character and also involve a lot of action and fighting. Shōjo on the other involves mangas that talk about relations and human emotions and are mainly aimed at girls that are between 13-17. In total, there are about 11 types of manga, which also includes two types of ‘xxx’ content manga

The popularity of manga has risen so much that it is now being translated into other languages as well. Since 1950, the manga industry started becoming a major contributing factor to the Japanese publishing industry. The estimated earnings for the industry was at close to 5.5 billion dollars in 2009 and has only grown since. It has become a worldwide phenomenon now with markets that have expanded to the US, Canada and even France, each of which has reported an earning of over 200 million dollars.

Many large studios pour enormous amounts of money to develop these mangas into animes, which is another phenomenon in itself. Mangas have even been adapted into live-action movies, however, that market is still a developing one as they don’t seem to do that well. One such example is Death Note, which is still an extremely popular anime and manga, however, failed to translate into anything worthwhile when picked up by a Hollywood studio.

So, why has this become such a huge deal? As it turns out, mangas weren’t as popular or as known to the world. It was when they were finally adapted to animes and presented to the public, did more people start learning about the mangas. Since the anime has a limited time frame, often times publishers would have to cut out some of the stories. This resulted in people being confused as some major plotholes or character development went missing. So, to understand the whole story, people started going back to the mangas.

Now, people first prefer reading the manga and then watching the anime as the context is more relatable. With more than 5000 new mangas published almost every month, the avid manga readers are treated to an amazing and almost never-ending selection to choose from. After a slight decline, the manga industry saw a rise again in 2015 and the subsequent years. However, the decline never affected popular and long-running mangas like One Piece, Sword Art Online, KonoSuba, etc. each having sold more than 10 million or more copies.

In case you were looking for more popular manga adapted animes, we do recommend you check you Netflix! They have got themselves a pretty cool collection of some amazing names that are perfect for someone who’s new to the scene and wants to explore some more.

What do you think about this new cultural phenomenon and do you have a favourite manga? Let us know in the comments below.

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