Author Archives: Rosemary Curtis

The Miracle called Manga

Japanese Manga moved in by the late 1980s and simply took the world by storm, it also became the most popular export in Japan’s export. The origins of the global miracle were recently traced by the Japanese Office WIPO, while it also explored the economic significance.

Manga Origin

Manga, like most comics, can be described as whimsical pictures, an art form rooted in the sequential form of art, the narrative made up of different images presented in a specific sequence. The earliest examples of the sequential Japanese art form dates to the twelve century and animal scrolls called Chōjū Jinbutsu.

Manga, the term was first used back in the 16th century by the renowned woodblock print ukiyo-e artist, Katsushika Hokusai. Together ukiyo-e and Chōjū Giga had a massive influence on the production of low-cost kibyōshi or yellow-backed illustrations used in late 18th century novels, which was the start of the modern manga. What massively increased the popularity of the emerging art called manga was the contributions of Kitazawa Yasuji’s contributions to the Jiji Manga, in the early 20th century the weekly comic page in the newspaper Jiji Shimpo.

Amongst adults, the low-cost red books or akabon became popular during the mid-1940s. One of the popular authors of the akabon was Osamu Tezuka, became known as the grandfather of manga due to his implementation of sound effects, cinematic techniques, the development of deep characters and long story arcs across several different genres of manga. What fuelled the expansion during the 1950s was the appearance of manga gekiga volumes and by the 1970s it grew into quickly into the mass media industry.

Cultural and Economic Significance of Manga

Manga plays a major role in the publishing industry of Japan, it accounts for more than 25 % of the country’s printed materials. Manga offers something for everyone and is available for purchase from a wide selection of online and retail stores. Manga has a huge fan base according to the former Director of the Public Diplomacy Planning Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan and Public Diplomacy Department, Mr Teiji Hayashi, it is enjoyed by young children as well as senior citizens due to the clear storylines and the rich in human characters. Manga is often used for entertainment while it also offers an uncomplicated explanation regarding complicated matters such as social issues, natural science and history.

Manga due to its popularity has a far-reaching influence and while many features in books, they also became collectable figures, are used in video games, television shows and anime2. Almost, every aspect of this popular cultural Japanese production can be traced to the industrial complex into which manga has spread into in the culture and economy of Japan.
Japan’s economy cultural Pillar

Manga’s thematic and striking artistic styles transcended all cultural barriers making a lasting impression on global audiences while it is also unlocked a gateway into the Japanese culture. It remains one of the most profitable exports both socially and economically and has assisted Japan in becoming the largest exporters in the world of cultural products.

What is Cosplay?

If you happened to be visiting New York City over the weekend, you might have been privy to many characters standing in line at Starbucks or other eateries in the city. You may also have seen an increase of pictures on Twitter or Instagram – all thanks to Cosplay.

While not all have heard the word “cosplay” before. It is the combination of play and costume – hence the term “Cosplay”. It sees those engaging in it dressing up as characters from their favourite video games, comics, movies, manga television or anime.

The story on this is that the writer and founder of Studio Hard, Nov Takahashi had been assigned to attend the 1984 World-Con science fiction convention and was impressed by those attending who were dressed up in elaborate costumes. Upon his return to Japan, Takahashi coined the word “cosplay” based on what he had observed.

Fans of Comic Con love Cosplay

Many who attend Comic Con are fans of cosplay, and this weekend’s expo in New York was no exception. There were literally dozens of people dressed up as Iron Man, Wonder Women and Batman, let alone others such as Japanese amine characters and even some from the 90’s such as Hey Arnold.

The design and quality of the costume differed in intensity. Some are more resourceful than others and use props within their costumes. Others however simply went with over the shelf costumes versus those that went to extremes.

There are many costumes you can purchase that will not break the bank. This includes Her Dragonball Z, it retails for a mere $21 online. Yet, others often will go to online stores such as Cosplay House or Milanoo. The Dragonball Z jumpsuit was on clearance this weekend for just under $200, a small investment that can be used multiple times.

Those wishing to take it up a notch will hire others who are costume specialists to create unique one of a kind costumes. Many of those offering that type of service sell their wares on Etsy and all you need to do is send in measurements, pictures of the character you like and any special instructions.

Remember, buying costumes can become an expensive hobby. What is most important is to remember that you need to factor in the cost, the time and the quality of the costumes you want. If you want to look good, then it is going to cost you to do so and as many are only allowed one costume per event, putting thought into this is critical.

A recent panel that was put together to talk about Cosplay included Lindsey Celak. She describes to those attending the sticker price shock she felt several years ago when wanting a Giselle costume from the animated Disney movie “Enchanted. After requesting a quote, she learned it would set her back over $850. Commenting, Celak stated, “If you’re going for accuracy of the character, you’re going to pay for it. Close enough usually suffices.”