Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A brief history of manga


Wired has released a nice potted history of manga. Interestingly enough, the text itself has generated interesting discussions about its reading path (which follows the traditional Japanese format of left-to-right and starting at what English speakers would refer to as the "back" of the book/comic), with some people arguing it's a needless affectation for a text written right from the start in English (i.e., not translated from Japanese) and produced for an English-speaking audience. Others argue that reading manga left-to-right and starting at the "back" is now so automatic for them that anything else would be strange. So interesting to see reading paths themselves being so hotly debated!

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That's really interesting about the manga. I've been trying to get into it (for entertainment and pseudo-academic reasons). I recently stumbled upon a really interesting one called "Death Note" that's given me lots of think about regarding rules, authority, surveillance, anti-panoptic practices, power, etc. It's amazing!
 
I'll have to check out "Death Note"; I agree with you about the trick being finding something that really resonates (I can only read so much of "One Piece" the semi-pirate manga before wnating to poke my eyes out with a stick), but love, love reading Hikaru-No-go."Doll" is prhaps the most challenging manga I've read--very much about humans' relationships with robots (th "dolls" of the titles). Raises all sorts of ontological and existential issues to ponder!!
 
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