Japan, the Promised Land of Manga Lovers
You may be familiar with the concept of manga. Manga is a style of comic books, but also graphic novels aimed at both adults and children. Many of the popular Japanese animations titles, like Akira, Dragon Ball, Ghost in the Shell, and others originally started as mangas. It is no wonder, therefore, that Japan provides a haven to manga lovers all over the world.
Akihabara is a part of Tokyo that deals mainly with electronics and you will find many electronic shops here. However, this part of Tokyo is also known for the Otaku culture, the cafes and bars aimed to welcome manga, anime, and video game lovers. True fans can buy many different products of these separate, yet overlapping industries, enjoy a drink served by one of their favorite characters, or cosplay as one.
Imagine a library that allows food and drinks. Now, imagine that the library is somewhat specialized and you get manga cafes, places where manga lovers can spend days on end reading their favorite comics. Additionally, there are many different genres and styles of manga and the selection is practically inconceivable. There are romance comics, adventure, action, comedy, slice of life, thriller, horror, supernatural, sci-fi and many others.
Manga cafes pride themselves on providing their patrons with a comfortable and quiet place where they can read comics, so there is a rule of being quiet, as well as the option of going into a private booth. manga cafes don’t usually charge by the title, but by the hour.
Workshops and Networking
If you have a good idea for a manga or a silly comic, you could take a few manga drawing classes and develop your own style. This is also a great networking opportunity where you meet other mangaka in the making and help each other out.
Why Do People Like Manga?
That’s a complex question. It’s the same as: Why do people like watching TV? Because there are so many different kinds of manga, it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason for the love of the style. Some people enjoy it as they would any other hobby – because they love fantasy, sci-fi, complex character development, comedy, and overall escapism. Others enjoy the good story, the drama, and the relationship between characters. There are also those that love the art style, which has influenced many of the western cartoons, like Avatar, the Last Airbender, Powerpuff Girls, and Samurai Jack.
The dramatic style of drawing, the absolute control of the time flow within the comic, where a mangaka can make quick actions like punching someone or opening a door last for a long time and make years go by in a second, and the nearly infinite number of ideas that make it to print is what makes manga so special. In fact, Japan spends more paper per capita to make manga than it does to make toilet paper. Let that sink in.