Anime/Manga culture

Anime and Manga are ones of the most famous culture from Japan, and those cultures are spreading all over the world.

Anime is the abbreviation of “Animation.” Manga is a Japanese word meaning “comic book.”

As Vanesaa mentions in her blog, Anime and Manga is not the same. Manga is comic book, basically black and white, and some bonus pages and the jacket of the book are usually colored. Contexts of the story move from right to left, and  when you turn the page, the next line starts from the top of the page.

Around World War II, Anime and Manga industries significantly developed and many companies for artists and cartoonists are established.

Osamu Tezuka, called “Farther of Manga,” is regarded as a pioneer of the animation culture in Japan.

Astro Boy (called Tetsuwan Atomu in Japan) is one of his ultimate works, and he achieved success at winning fame in animation and establishing the culture in Japan.

Another famous anime producer is Hayao Miyazaki, who works for the famous animation film company, Studio Ghibli, since 1985. They have released  some popular films known over the border, such as Kiki’s Delivery Servise, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke.

Some Miyazaki’s works are based on stories from manga, which means the manga is the original work of his film. And then, he rearranges the story and creates his own world using animation. Therefore, Manga plays a very important role in producing Animation film even before Manga becomes popular like today.

Now, people’s value toward Animation and Manga has been more significant and passionate than before.

There is a fact that most Japanese people would agree with: Anime and Manga is no longer for children. It is not the same as American cartoons, which are only directed to children. Japanese teens and adults are enthusiastic for both Anime and Manga today. Most of adults always cry while reading a manga ONE PIECE, which is the most popular manga in Japan. Every one of ONE PIECE lovers rushes to bookstore when the new episode released. It may sound funny for people in the other country that most people in Japan are fascinated by a comic book about pirate and they are moved and shed tears by the story, regardless of men, women or their ages.

In my personal opinion as one of the Japanese people living in the United States, most American people who love Japanese culture always talk about Japanese Anime and Manga rather than Japanese pop musician or sports. And they enjoy to learn Japanese language through watching those stuffs.

Not all Anime and Manga are categorized in the same genre. If you want to learn Japanese languages, it can be a better way to study the language with watching Anime or reading Manga rather than reading thick study guide books because you would be able to learn not only the language but also the culture and the natural language use in real life.However, you should choose the genre carefully, vocabulary in some genres is more advanced. I chose noticeable six genres out of eight from this link. You will know how each one of them works depending on the level.

  1. Action:

A lot of characters movement, interjection, less dialogues and more shouting and battle cries. It’s a good way to learn onomatopoeic words in Japanese through Action manga, because Japanese people often tend to express some situation with onomatopia. (For example, when it’s pouring rain, Japanese people would express the situation saying “za-za-” uttering the sound of rain.)

  1. Comedy

If you want to have friends from the other country, it would be funny for them if you say jokes or puns in their language. Japanese anime classifies as comedy is known as verbose genre and characterized by clean jokes and dirty jokes. Clean jokes would be seen in the other genres and help improve your language skills. You also can remember the same words and expressions in different ways. However, it’s better not to use dirty joke when you are unsure if you use it correctly. It can be taboo especially when you are with the opposite gender or senior. And dirty jokes wouldn’t greatly help enhance your language ability. But if you could make friends who you and the friends really trust each other, it would be fun making some dirty jokes in Japanese.

  1. Drama/Tragedy

In Drama and Tragedy genre of amine, characters speak intensely and passionately. You can learn how to convey your feeling using the extreme way of speaking Japanese. However, the expressions are sometimes too much emphasis in real life.

  1. Psychological

The Psychological genre includes horror, philosophical and mystery as sub-genres. This area of anime is mostly related to the mind of each character. This category of anime sounds sort of difficult to understand because of the vocabulary. Difficult idioms and set-phrases are often used, so it is good way to expand the advanced vocabulary for the Japanese language learners who complete the basic level of the language.

  1. History

History may sound boring but it is also one of the advanced levels in anime genres. Thus it would lead to improvement of your ability to understand not only language but also the historical background and culture of Japan. And you would be more adaptable for the language.

  1. Romance

Generally this genre focuses on the character’s daily life, school, friendship and love in more comical way than serious. Because this genre is the closest to our real life comparing to the other ones, you must be able to learn the most natural language use and vocabulary. When you watch romantic anime series, you will find the easiness to understand the story itself and practice the expressions rearranging in your way in the real world. You can easily try to pretend the characters. This genre has most effect to develop your skills of the language.


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