One of the few things we can all agree on is that manga is awesome, a wonderful doorway into another world filled with action, adventure and high emotions that we can visit any time we have a few spare minutes. While anime is amazing to watch, all too often we learn that the original manga tells a better and more involved story which can be more satisfying to experience. Best of all, manga can make us more aware of the importance of password security — keep reading to see how!
Here are some random facts about manga…
- The term manga (漫画) means “whimsical pictures,” a term coined by ukiyo-e artist Hokusai, who is also responsible for pretty much every famous image of the Edo Period you’ve seen. Oh, and he also invented hentai…
- The Father of Manga is Tezuka Osamu, who created the first series to become famous around the world. Although he’s known for approachable stories like Astro Boy and Jungle Emperor Leo, he also created works with great depth, such as a manga about the life of Buddha.
- The second most important person in the history of manga is Rumiko Takahashi, sometimes called the J.K. Rowling of Japan. The explosive popularity of her works in the 1980s, especially Urusei Yatsura, paved the way for the worldwide manga and anime industry we have today.
- While we use the term manga to refer to printed comics, Japanese above the age of 35 or so grew up calling animation on TV “manga” too, before the term anime arose around 1985. Frustratingly, the Japanese use the term anime for all animation, even Disney, which makes some of us facepalm.
- I’m of a certain vintage that I remember the first three manga published in the U.S. in English, which were Area 88, Mai the Psychic Girl and The Legend of Kamui Comics, back in 1987. They were published in American style comic book formats with reversed pages, and many conventions we now take for granted (such as “……” to denote silence) were totally alien to early readers. Also, people predictably freaked out about even tiny amounts of casual nudity in manga back then.
- Manga is best when it packs an emotional punch, and I still have fond memories of reading vol. 18 of Orange Road in history class back in college. As I read, I realized I was holding the final volume which resolved the long-running emotional love triangle between the three main characters. I was enthralled, totally unable to stop reading even though I was in the middle of history class learning about the Ottoman Empire or something.
The emotional aspect of manga can be good for capturing people’s attention, too. In 2016, a group promoting good information technology practices in Japan posted a series of 16 billboards in Tokyo’s hip Harajuku district that highlighted the importance of proper password by presenting the subject as romantic manga. The project caused a splash online and raised awareness of the importance of following good password practices in our modern world. I translated the billboards into English so you can enjoy them too…and hopefully upgrade your passwords!
Do you love gorgeous artbooks from Japan? Then we’ve got good news: we posted a ton of new artbooks to the stie, loaded with sexy illustrations and amazing art by Japan’s top artists. We also have “doujin artbooks” which are glossy color illustration books published as doujinshi. Browse all the new items now!