Friday, October 7, 2011

The difference between MANGA & ANIME or Is there a difference to the viewer???

What is the difference between Manga & Anime?

Manga is a comic book or cartoon from Japan.  It was developed in Japan in the late 19th century.  It had a resurgence after World War II (1945), and is now an international media art form. 

The Japanese word, manga, means whimsical pictures.  Traditionally, it is directly linked to the Japanese artist, Hokusai.  Artistically, Manga may be studied in two periods: pre-World War II, and post World War II.  The original manga were printed in black and white; now, manga is often printed in color.  A casual reader looking at a manga publication might characterize manga as a graphic novel.  From my perspective, as an American reader, I would call the manga books graphic novels, though not everyone would agree with me.  These books are compilations of smaller manga creations.

Within manga there are many genres designed for specific audiences, male and female The topics are often dark, and may be sexually explicit within the male genres.  Originally, only males were the heroes of manga, and females were given traditional, subservient roles.  This is no longer true in manga.  Over the years, manga has evolved regarding the dropping of stereotypes for females.

One example of female manga creations in the shojo genre.  This art form was developed by the Magnificent 23, a group of Japanese female artists, and continues to the present time. There are many sub-genres inshojo manga: romance, super heroines and 'Ladies Genre'.

In the U.S. and Canada, anime became widely popular before manga, but now both are an enlarging media market.  The growing manga industry now has a specific market label: Amerimanga meaning manga created in the U.S.  The top English language manga producer is the company, Tokyo Pop.


Anime is an animated cartoon often based upon original manga stories, or a cartoon using the manga art style.  In the U.S., anime has had more appeal than manga, though manga is fast catching up.  The characteristic anime style was created in the 1960's by the Japanese artist, Osamu Tezuku.  Anime has different definitions in Japanese and English.  In English, the U.S. definition of anime is that it is a Japanese style of animated motion picture.  Much discussion is given to the etymology of this word.  Though some people argue that it is taken from the French, it is a word in the Japanese language, which the Japanese MAY have borrowed from France.  Within the U.S., POKEMON is an example of an extremely popular form of anime.  (Internet definition)

Do you have an interest in anime/manga?   Are you a manga artist?  Manga as an art form is an important part of today's culture.  What are your thoughts?  Do you have a favorite character?

Dr. CW 


  1. My oldest son is so into this. He must have at least 30 notebooks 100 pages each about this subject. He draws he writes. I have tried to instill careers related to this subject to no avail. Whenever he has free time, like waiting to pickup a sibling at school, he draws and writes. He tried taking courses at college related to this subject but evidently they did not keep his spark alive.

  2. Coming from a Japanese family, I do have interest in Manga. I unfortunately don't have the drawing skills to create drawings. I do enjoy watching Anime with my friends and family. It has become a big part of me being who I am today. I believe that as far as being apart of todays culture, it has had a big impact. There are so many people who enjoy drawing, watching, and reading that it is hard to imagine what out society would be like today if we didn't have Manga or Anime.