Japanese comics - where did the manga come from

Only one country in the world does not equate comics with entertainment for children and teenagers. What makes manga so special? I invite you for a short trip through the history of Japanese comics. It's not quite like there aren't any adult comics being made outside of Japan. After all, probably everyone, even a man who is little interested in this area of ​​literature, can name a few series definitely not aimed at children, such as "The Walking Dead", "Thorgal" or "Aliens". To understand the manga phenomenon, however, you need to start with how the comic is perceived in a given society. Apart from fans of this form, the average Pole, French or American views comics as a frivolous entertainment, chosen by outsiders, immature individuals, and big kids. It's a terribly damaging stereotype, but I don't think it will change any time soon. We are brought up in the cult of belles-lettres. We've been told since childhood that the form of a book is the most valuable. That movies are always worse, that series are mental mush, and games, olaboga, are all evil.

That is why we so rarely see people reading comics in trams, trains or parks. It is completely different in Japan. When I was in Tokyo, I was struck by the fact that the manga showed itself everywhere. You could buy it at metro stations, in neighborhood grocery stores, and basically in any gadget shop. In fact, I saw more bookstores devoted exclusively to comics than to ordinary books.

And by no means were they lying on the shelves. They were read by serious businessmen on their way to work, mothers driving their children to kindergarten, students in uniforms, pensioners. Nobody looked at them askance, because reading comic books in Japan is as normal and everyday as browsing a newspaper.

Manga characters advertise everything from washing powders to credit cards to local food services. Nowhere else in the world has part of pop culture so strongly penetrated into ordinary life. To answer the question why this is so, it would be necessary to analyze the complicated mentality of the Japanese. This is definitely a topic for a separate article, so let me focus on where the Japanese comics come from for now.

If you saw frames from unknown American, Polish or British comics, you probably would not be able to say what country their illustrators come from. Japanese comics can be identified immediately. Triangular faces, redrawn big eyes, bouncy breasts, long legs, crazy hairstyles and those fangs delicately overlapping the lips while smiling. Where did the idea for this style come from?

The Japanese draw what they love. And the image of the ideal woman there is completely different from the Western one. In Japan, the most popular are ladies who look like teenagers (and with their genetic makeup, it is not that difficult) - the more "silly" the creature, the more innocent it seems, the stronger it arouses desire. And it's not about some kind of pedophilia, no. It's just that the Japanese are very small by nature and in order not to doubt their masculinity, they look for women who they could take care of just like a mother takes care of her children. Everything related to childhood, such as huge eyes, a chuckle, school uniform or finally teeth that do not fit in the jaw (a symbol of youth) is kawaii, something sweet.

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