Expecting Fridays

June 27, 2008

Friday is my favorite day of the week, not because it’s the premature start of the weekend or because less people are in the office. But it’s when translations of the weekly mangas (Japanese comics) are posted to the internet. Most people outside of Japan have no understanding or interest in manga. I really can’t blame them, why would they spend time reading comics when they can watch Tila Tequila search for a man/woman or Jason Taylor dance his little heart out wearing a leotard.

Surprisingly, the popularity of manga (and anime) has been growing at a rapid rate. I would probably contribute this fact to the Pokemon generation but that saddens me. I’d like to think that the cultural mish-mash of America has alleviated the taboos and misconceptions alleviated with manga (and anime). Either way, it’s a great trend, and I’m a full supporter of it.

What many people don’t know, and are beginning to realize, is that  manga (and anime) is not for children in Japan. Granted there are titles that target children, but a majority of manga targets the older age group, i.e. 16-30 year olds. Beneath the black and white drawings are themes that relate to morality, love, loyalty, friendship, etc. If taken to heart, a person can definitely learn from the lessons taught in each chapter and story arc.

Anyways, if you’re interested there are definitely some great series that are ongoing right now. I’ve spent some time reading Naruto, Bleach, Full Metal Alchemist, One Piece, and Eyeshield 21. I would say that either FMA or One Piece is so far my favorite. Feel free to check them out at Onemanga while you still can.

By the way, sorry for the lack of posts this week. Spent all week painting an apartment.

Doraemon

April 23, 2008

As a child, I was always entertained by cartoons and comics, be it Transformers, GI Joes, Ninja Turtles, etc. This trend has continued through adolescence and into adulthood. The content, however, has changed away from the sappy Saturday morning cartoons, and into the darker and more insightful realm of Japanese comics, aka manga. Anyways, as I finished reading my most current manga series I was shocked to find a comic from my childhood, Doraemon.

This manga follows a young Japanese boy named Nobita, who is destined for a life of misery and failure, and his robotic cat Doraemon. Doraemon was sent by Nobita’s relatives in the future to change his gloomy destiny of an unhappy marriage and professional collapse. Armed with Doraemon’s weekly assortment of gadgets, Nobita gains the upper hand against his bullies, overbearing mother, and life as a mediocre student.

The entire manga spans 45 volumes. Currently, you can view volumes 1-33 on www.onemanga.com. Definitely worth taking a look…