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About Anime & Manga

Anime (pronounced “ani-may”) originated at the start of the 20th century in Japan, typically known to the world as Japanese Animation. It was made popular by Osamu Tezuka, who was, at least in part, inspired by Walt Disney feature films, pushing Tezuka to adapt and simplify Disney techniques in order to reduce production costs of animations. Before long, Japanese animation separated from Western roots and created a genre all its own, especially with its history in distinct cartoonish art. This is important to remember, as some might mistakenly credit Western vision for Japan’s innovation. In reality, Japan’s history presents us with ancient art displaying simple lines and stylized features very similar to today’s anime and manga. Manga (pronounced “mon-ga”) are comics in black and white, with similar characteristics to that of anime.

What makes anime and manga especially interesting is its perception in the West versus its perception in Asia, where it has spread outside of Japan and associated itself with outlying countries. While “cartoons” in the US are firmly associated with children rather than teens or adults; in Asia, manga and anime target all ages and audiences. In fact, children may oftentimes be cautioned with exposure to anime, as mature themes crop up in various storylines. TEC’s teachers help select appropriate anime and manga to present to their classes, and are flexible if children have their own requests as well, as long as the content is appropriate as determined by our teachers.

What is Anime?

Like typical animations, anime involves storyboards, voice acting, character designs, and computer animations. Anime is not the simple act of drawing typical anime features on a piece of paper, although it is often described as such.

However, one of the essential and basic components is the proper drawing of characters and settings.

Anime typically utilizes the big round eyes, flowing hair, and often rather unrealistic or idealized body proportions. There are also conventional images such as the mallet that a character may summon from nowhere for the sake of humor, or the sweat drop that is almost universally recognized now as a sign of stress or embarrassment in anime characters.

Male characters also tend to nose-bleed around attractive females, while anger produces a bulge of veins in the forehead for both genders.

Exaggeration is what Anime is all about but that’s what constitutes much of the fun of making and reading it.

What is Manga?

As stated above, manga are comics in black and white, with similar characteristics to that of anime. Their style consists of print cartoons, some in color, that find a reading audience of all ages in Japan.

Outside the country, “manga” is used to refer to comics originally published in Japan. So why is it often associated with anime? Manga often either results in an anime, if it finds a wide audience, or is based on existing films.

Interestingly, the term manga literally translates to “whimsical pictures,” a fitting description for what both anime and manga represent. In terms of characteristics, manga and anime follow each other quite closely, sharing most, if not all, of the typical pictorials

The differentiations found within either manga or anime tend to present themselves more in various artists’ unique styles rather than in the two different production pieces (anime vs. manga) themselves.
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