Manga in the united states
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Tracing factors leading to the rise of manga in the US. Manga in the United States. Anime/ manga in the U.S. The popularity of anime/ manga in the U.S. today. Unpromising beginnings. WWII, negative preconceptions, and the difficulty of marketing manga in the West.

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Manga in the United States

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Tracing factors leading to the rise of manga in the US.

Manga in the United States


  • Anime/manga in the U.S.

    • The popularity of anime/manga in the U.S. today.

  • Unpromising beginnings.

    • WWII, negative preconceptions, and the difficulty of marketing manga in the West.

  • The rise of manga.

    • Factors contributing to the rise of manga in the U.S.

  • A mutual relationship.

    • How the popularity of manga in the U.S. has affected the literature produced.

  • Overview


    anime/manga in the U.S.


    In what state is the largest anime convention in the United States held?

    QUESTION!


    Anime conventions

    • 1990: Project A-Kon (Dallas, TX)

      • 2011 Attendance: 18,447

    • 1992: Anime Expo(Los Angeles, CA)

      • 2011 Attendance: 47,000

    • 1994: Otakon (Baltimore, MD)

      • 2011 Attendance: 31,348

    • 1998: Sakura-Con (Seattle, WA)

      • 2011 Attendance: 19,040

    Comparative Number: UW has around 42,000 students (graduate and undergraduate).


    Comic-book Convention

    • 1970: San Diego Comic-Con International (San Diego, CA)

      • 2010 Attendance: 130,000

    • 2006: New York Comic Con

      • 2010 attendance: 96,000

    Compare to 47,000 for Anime Expo.


    MangasaleS

    • In the “…Diamond Comic Distributors back list, about 43% are manga.”

      • "ICv2 Graphic Novel White Paper" by Mikhail Koulikov (2-5-2009) http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/convention/2009/new-york-comic-con/icv2

    • "Overall, manga still makes up the majority of the North American graphic novel releases“

      • "ICv2 Estimates U.S. Manga Sales Were Down 17% in 2008" (2-5-2009) http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-02-05/icv2-estimates-u.s-manga-sales-were-down-17-percent-in-2008


    In 2011, what was the top selling manga in Japan? In the US?

    QUESTION!


    2011 Top Selling Mangas

    Japan United States


    Unpromising beginnings


    World war ii: Anti-Japanese sentiments


    (But to be fair…)

    • To compete with the “gung-ho patriotism” in American comics…

      • “Perhaps the earliest manga to appear in English were the bilingual colour comic-strip leaflets issued during World War II by the Japanese military to undermine enemy morale. One example showed a Western soldier’s wife back home enjoying the advances of a leering stranger after being informed that her husband would never return…”

        • Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics by Paul Gravett


    Negative Preconceptions

    • “Westerners often have … preconceptions about [manga]: ‘All the characters have big, Bambi-like eyes’; ‘The magazines are as thick as phone directories’; ‘Businessmen devour them in public on trans’; ‘They are full of sex and violence’…’tits and tentacles’…”

      • Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics by Paul Gravett


    Negative Preconceptions

    • “Otaku is extremely negative in meaning as it is used to refer to someone who stays at home all the time and doesn't have a life…they pass the time by watching anime, playing videogames, surfing the internet.”

      • Urbandictionary.com

    • 1989: Tsutomu Miyazaki “The Otaku Murderer”


    • “weebo: Someone not of the oriental race that tries impersonate or emulate the japanese or japanime culture.”

      • Urbandictionary.com

    • Saturday Night Live skit: “J-Pop America Fun Time Now”

      • http://www.aoltv.com/2011/10/17/j-pop-america-fun-time-now-funny-or-racist-snl-video/

      • http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2011/12/11-1/video-j-pop-america-fun-time-now-episode-2

    Negative Preconceptions


    Difficulty of marketing

    • Xenophobia

    • Trade protectionism

    • Difficulty of page layout (flipping) and translation.


    The rise of manga


    TV & Economic considerations

    • Rise of television.

    • Considerably less costly and uncomplicated to import Japanese animated cartoons.

    • “…anime broadcasts…primed viewers for eventual manga consumption…”

      • Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics by Paul Gravett

    • "Manga made their way only gradually into U.S. markets, first in association with anime and then independently“

      • Wikipedia.com


    Decline of the American comic

    • Slim profit margins on comic books.

    • Censorship.

    • Subject considered juvenile.

    • Disconnect with youth culture.

      • “The early 1960s saw a major reevaluation of youth culture…[that] most comic books…had not kept up with…[they] failed to speak to the social and emotional disorientation of young people.”


    The Female Audience

    • Shojo, Josei, Shojo-Ai, Shonen-Ai, Yuri, Yaoi.

    • “Teen anguish was once a staple of many 1970s British girls’ weeklies that have now completely vanished. In contrast, girls’ manga thrive because authors are not prevented from confronting difficult issues…”

      • Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics by Paul Gravett


    Ideological theories: The Cold War

    • Re-imagination of Asian figures driven by economic considerations…

      • The rehabilitation of Japan in the US helped paved the way for economic exchange.

    • …and Cold War politics.

      • “During the…Cold War, the United States distinguished itself from Communist nations…by emphasizing its democratic impulse towards” cultural difference.

      • “…interest in Japanese style became an expression of the principle of freedom of choice, helping to distinguish American democracy from its Soviet counterpart.”

        • Virtual Orientialism: Asia Religions and American Popular Culture by Jane Naomi Iwamura


    A Mutual Relationship


    Avatar (2005-2008) & Heroman (2010)


    Tiger & Bunny (2011)


    What do you notice about the main characters of Japanese manga/anime over time?

    Question!


    Pre-1990


    Early 1990s


    Late 1990s


    2000s


    2005 and on


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