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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

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
    anime/manga in the U.S.

    Anime conventions
    Anime conventions States held?

    • 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
    Comic-book Convention States held?

    • 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.

    Manga sales
    Manga States held?saleS

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

      • "ICv2 Graphic Novel White Paper" by Mikhail Koulikov (2-5-2009)

    • "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)

    2011 top selling mangas
    2011 Top Selling States held?Mangas

    Japan United States

    But to be fair
    (But to be fair…) States held?

    • 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
    Negative Preconceptions States held?

    • “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 preconceptions1
    Negative Preconceptions States held?

    • “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.”


    • 1989: Tsutomu Miyazaki “The Otaku Murderer”

    Negative preconceptions2

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


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



    Negative Preconceptions

    Difficulty of marketing
    Difficulty of marketing States held?

    • Xenophobia

    • Trade protectionism

    • Difficulty of page layout (flipping) and translation.

    The rise of manga
    The rise of States held?manga

    Tv economic considerations
    TV & Economic considerations States held?

    • 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“


    Decline of the american comic
    Decline of the American comic States held?

    • 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
    The Female Audience States held?

    • 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
    Ideological theories: The Cold War States held?

    • 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
    A Mutual Relationship States held?

    Avatar 2005 2008 heroman 2010
    Avatar States held? (2005-2008) & Heroman (2010)

    Tiger bunny 2011
    Tiger & Bunny (2011) States held?

    Pre 1990
    Pre-1990 manga/anime over time?

    Early 1990s
    Early 1990s manga/anime over time?

    Late 1990s
    Late 1990s manga/anime over time?

    2000s manga/anime over time?

    2005 and on
    2005 and on manga/anime over time?