• Anusha

Creative wholesome manga with good art

Updated: Aug 17

About manga and what it is

The word "manga" comes from the Japanese word 漫画 composed of the two kanji 漫 (man) meaning "whimsical or impromptu" and 画 (ga) meaning "pictures.

In Japan, the word manga refers broadly to the art form we know in English as comics. But as used in the West, it is a collection of comic and art styles with distinctive aesthetic with storytelling conventions in the 12th century.

Invention of manga

In 1951 Osamu Tezuka created the milestone manga, Tetsuwan Atom or Astro Boy, as it was known in the US. Later he became a pioneer in anime and was the man responsible for the success of anime and manga worldwide

The invention of manga art

The term manga was created by the artist Hokusai, a prolific artist who lived from 1760-1849 and leftover 30,000 works. He was the creator of the woodblock The Great Wave, his most famous picture and the one most closely identified with traditional Japanese art.

The Very first manga

Even though manga from the late 18th century has been lost or not correctly recognized, the first manga ever to be serialized was Machiko Hasegawa's Sazae-san which began in 1946 and Osamu Tezuka’s Mighty Atom (Astro Boy in the United States; begun in 1951).

Longest ever manga return

“Kochira Katsushika-Ku Kameari Kōen Mae Hashutsujo”, often shortened to “Kochikame” is a manga series which is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running serial comic.

Oldest manga

The 12th and 13th-century scrolls known as Choju Jinbutsu Giga, (or Scrolls of Frolicking Animals in English), are thought to be the oldest example of sequential storytelling in Japanese art, leading them to be dubbed the world's first-ever manga.

Which is better manga or anime?

Manga is also the source content of many series. Anime however is more enjoyable overall. Easier to understand, fight scenes are x10 better in anime. Anime has voice acting, music, and all that. It's also in color, though in terms of art, manga tends to look better.

First manga comic

In 1935 New Fun comic the first comic book with all original material. Manga originated in Japan during the post-war occupation, with Tezuka's New Treasure Island appearing in 1947.

Which came first manga or anime

The earliest animated work from Japan (anime) is dated to 1907, which means manga came first. Many times the anime is based on existing work, often a manga, sometimes a novel or game instead. Other times the anime comes first and gets a manga, novel, or game adaption.

Difference between anime and manga art

Anime and manga are both equally important to Japanese culture and entertainment, the two are not the same thing. manga is the term given to Japanese comic books and graphic novels, whereas anime is the name given to Japanese animation.

Although both tend to be considered genres in the West, in reality, they are a description of how the content is produced. They share many similarities and the creation of both has been credited to Osamu Tezuka, sometimes referred to as ‘the godfather of Manga’ and the ‘Japanese Walt Disney’.

The two can be very closely linked as many manga get made into anime, including Black Butler, Attack on Titan, and Dragon Ball which spawned the anime series Dragon Ball Z.

About kawaii art

Giant eyes, rounded shapes, and simplistic features are hallmarks of one of the cutest forms of art. It's known as "kawaii", coming from the Japanese word for cute, and has been adopted into a subculture that can be found worldwide. Scalable graphics lend themselves perfectly to the style being graphic and bold.

Kawaii Art: One of the Most Popular

There are several Anime styles such as Kawaii, Realistic, Chibi, and Moe. There is often a thin line between reality and animation. A balance between both is what brings out the creativity and beauty of the work done. In other words, when there is too much realistic style in it, it ceases to be an animation.

Several Anime has shown what a superb intro of realistic style could do in animation such as Black Lagoon, Ergo Proxy, Nodame Cantabile, and several others. Chibi is another style that speaks of the power of diversity of the Japanese. Chibi interpreted as short and cute. The characters in chibi are identified with their body modifications which are distinct.

Characters in chibi have small bodies has the name is derived from the verb chibiru which means to become shorter. Chibi characters also have big heads and wide eyes. Moe in a similar manner is used to show expression of love and affection to characters shown in Manga or Anime.

Popular Kawaii drawing characters include Bad Badtz-Maru, Charmmy kitty, Cactus Friend, Afro Ken, Awawa Chan, and several others. One common characteristic existing in all these characters is the huge simplicity with which it is made. Making a kawaii character as it requires a minimal number of lines to be drawn. In most cases, the characters are without a nose; another common characteristic of kawaii characters.

The image attached below is an example of kawaii arts that could inspire you to try drawing your own characters. The picture is well detailed and shows step by step methods via which you can draw Kawaii anime. It should be however noted that the beauty of Kawaii art is in simplicity and creativity.

How to draw a cute kawaii

About some Manga Drawing Styles

Manga drawing styles range from characters with “enormous, expressive eyes and wacky hairstyles,” to figures made up of a handful of squiggles to highly detailed, realistic images. “The cinematic style of presentation” explains Richmond, “is common along with graphic ‘sound effects’ and speed lines to emphasize action.” Boys are characterized by jagged straight lines and girls are presented in a more flowing and flowery style.

Manga stories are also slower in pace than Western-style comics are, with artists often “lingering over particular incidents or details to create mood, stress a plot point or highlight a particular action or emotion.” Finally, manga often features multi-layered storytelling, long-running plots, and complex, emotionally realistic characters.

Manga drawing styles range from characters with “enormous, expressive eyes and wacky hairstyles,” to figures made up of a handful of squiggles to highly detailed, realistic images. “The cinematic style of presentation” explains Richmond, “is common along with graphic ‘sound effects’ and speed lines to emphasize action.” Boys are characterized by jagged straight lines and girls are presented in a more flowing and flowery style.

Manga stories are also slower in pace than Western-style comics are, with artists often “lingering over particular incidents or details to create mood, stress a plot point or highlight a particular action or emotion.” Finally, manga often features multi-layered storytelling, long-running plots, and complex, emotionally realistic characters.

Examples of Manga

Examples of manga include Dragon Ball, Full Metal Alchemist, Princess Knight, Lone Wolf and Cub, and Hello Kitty. These titles may sound familiar because you’ve probably seen the anime versions. According to Simon Richmond’s The Rough Guide to Anime, around sixty percent of anime (Japanese animation) are adaptations of already successful manga.

Is Manga More Popular Than Anime?

Though anime is increasing in popularity in the U.S. (and it's huge in Japan), the manga is even bigger and it has always been. In fact, manga has been used to describe comical drawings for at least two centuries in Japan. The “man” in manga can be read as meaning “in spite of oneself” or “lax,” while “ga” means “picture,” explains Richmond. “The word’s invention has typically been ascribed to the great Katshusika Hokusai (1760-1849), whose fifteen-volume collection of four thousand humorous sketches entitled Hokusai Manga was published in 1814.”

However, explains Richmond, “Adam Kern, an associate professor of Japanese literature at Harvard University, links manga’s coinage to Santo Kyoden, a Kiyoshi artist who used the word in print in 1798.”

During this time, manga became a mainstay of those “chunky” monthly magazines such as Shonen Club. Popular strips, such as Norakuro by Suiho Tagawa, about a puppy who signs up for the army, were compiled into hardback books selling over a million copies. It is mentioned as the most manga which is adapted into anime series or films, and many even become live-action movies.

About the Future Hold for Manga

Though manga has a longer history than anime and it’s larger in Japan, both mediums have been adopted as Japan’s pop-culture ambassadors. Japan’s Agency of Cultural Affairs has also held the Japan Media Arts Festival every year since 1997. The festival focuses on the Japanese contemporary art scene and awards prizes in four categories. Among them are anime (both long and short form) and manga.

Difference between manga and comics

Selecting from American comics or Japanese comics, AKA manga, and stating that one is better from the other on the basis of art, story-telling, etc. are completely subjective. But one thing is for sure - Japanese and American comics are not the same. As a matter of fact, there are a considerable number of differences between the two.

People who enjoy American comics generally do not like Japanese manga and vice versa. Because they are different! While it is generally believed that they are both the same and just comics, let’s have a look at some of the striking dissimilarities between the two:

  • Cultural Difference

It is not difficult to see that the culture of Japan and America is very different and so this is comics. For instance, while American comics are generally published independently as a monthly issue, mangas are generally published in several anthology titles. It is very common for a manga to just have a single chapter in a comic and the next chapter is published in another comic.

As a result, manga comics are generally slow when it comes to storytelling as compared to American comics. But this doesn’t mean that these comics are short on entertainment or action. A lot happens between the pages but overall, the story moves at a slower pace.

  • Information Flow

The next major difference between the two is the flow of information. American comics are generally read from left to right and from top to bottom of the page. However, manga requires the readers to follow art and the speech bubbles before following a right to left, top to bottom rule. This is the biggest difference between American comics and Japanese comics.

American comics have a pretty direct approach and generally provide information at the very beginning of the end of the page, followed by the image. But manga generally tries to guide the readers throughout the pages and effectively guides them to where they should look. This is the reason due to which reading a manga backward often seems very natural. However, this is not possible with American comics.

  • Cinematic Approach

Comics generally are very direct and majorly have panels full of action. While manga too can have several action-filled panels, they also have many other types of panels which are generally not found in other types of comics. For instance, aspect-to-aspect panels which mostly focus on different elements of the same surrounding or different emotions at a given instance.

It is also very common in the manga that the subject-to-subject and aspect-to-aspect panels have little or no dialogs at all. This is generally done to prevent crowding when a lot of things are happening simultaneously.

As you can see, there are several obvious differences between comics and manga arts. Both types of comics require different types of art along with the excellent art of storytelling. Preferring one over the other just depends on the personal opinion of the readers.

How manga is used in animation

It is a medium that has taken the world by storm, spreading giant robot fights, kaiju, magical girls, and body pillows to every corner of the was anime already is, there are a few golden series out there that go even further, using anime as a platform to advocate for other forms of art, using the same cadences and tones unique to anime to give a special energy to anything and everything, from music to drawing.

These series not only inspire people to look at these art forms but also inform and educate as to their greater subtleties, giving greater depth to the aspiring imagination. This list will be looking through those special few anime series, as we run down some of the best anime that any aspiring artist should look out for.

  • Hibike! Euphonium

Kyoto Animation has been responsible for a variety of heartwarming, charming stories. Standing on top for perfectly capturing the confusing and blurred notions of an important transitional period in life is Hibike! Euphonium an anime that zeros in on the little lives of a high school band.

Few anime have done music the kind of justice that this series has, as it not only gives emotional depth but also clear growth and change within the developing paths of its main characters, displaying a transformative period in more ways than just animation and writing.

  • Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

Japanese comedy and storytelling have always seemed to have a charm and tone of its own, and Descending Stories provides an incredibly clearer view on why. The art of rakugo is all about the performance, encouraging its actors to do more than just tell a story, but create an entire display through facial expression, volume, and a few props as possible.

In anime form, the slightest movement is exaggerated and detailed to its emotional height, with surreal imagery and deep backstories providing greater weight to each subtlety's value. Carrying its art and complimenting it with a variety of complex character stories, as well as the changing tides of Japanese culture within the mid-1900s, Descending Stories really is a performance of its own.

  • Bakuman

Treading into meta territory, Bakuman is a series about the development process and careers behind manga, specifically the Shonen Jump series. It displays the craft as this entire discussion between generating original content and following what has been time tested and marketable for the magazine, showing a sense of industry skills and competition that near tears down all the walls of what one might've thought the industry looked like.

To add even more meta depth to Bakuman, the series itself is a bit of a self-reflection on creator Tsugumi Ohba's own experiences with creating their own Shonen standout, Death Note. Things get really really really fast.

  • Carole & Tuesday

Shinichiro Watanabe is an anime director acclaimed and beloved for his incorporation of Western-inspired music within his series. It was only until Kids on the Slope when he would fully dive into his nostalgic indulgences and just make an anime about music. This series focuses on a group of high school kids living within mid-century Japan, as a new wave of jazz music begins to flood its youth.

  • The Garden Of Words

While not directly about making art, one of Makoto Shinkai's most beloved works is about how art and ambition have touched and connected two very different people. A teacher shamed and bullied from her school hides away in a faraway gazebo, spending her days drinking, eating junk food, and reciting to herself a piece of Japanese poetry.

Meeting her during her escapades on the gazebo during rainy days is a lonely high school boy who dreams of making shoes, spending his days sketching different designs in his notebook. The friendship between the two sees them share bits of their art to not only connect with but also alleviate the other, making a movie about making shoes into one about helping people "learn to walk."

  • Welcome To The Ballroom

For anyone getting sick of all the art and music entries, this list ventures back to the more directly performance-based arts, reaching one of anime's most expressive and dynamic examples of it. Welcome to the Ballroom is an anime about, surprisingly, ballroom dancing.

Using the animated form at its heights, this series uses wide movement and exaggerated character designs to capture all the power and subtlety of the fancy little activity middle school kids are too embarrassed to take. Such shame is challenged and absent here, as all the pride in the world goes into these characters improving their movement and form.





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