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!


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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