Manga/Anime are not styles 2

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MaximoVLorenzo's avatar

Okay, so I'm still getting confusion over my statement Manga/Anime is not a style.

Some people think I'm out to get anime or I'm against it. Other people think I'm only for it, this is my problem in a nut shell. People think it's some kind of war where you pick sides and lob rocks at the other. Why I'm saying it's a medium and not a style is because you can generalize and dismiss a style. But a medium, you can't do that without looking foolish. Imagine someone says "I don't like rap music", well then you just concede the point they don't like it and move on. But if someone says "I don't like ANY music" you'd really wonder what was wrong with them. In this case comics are the same way, and so is manga as they mean the same thing. The only way I can justify using the word "Manga" is for a shorthand of "Japanese Comics". Considering it a style itself is too generalizing.
Maybe this picture will help clarify how countries do not determine style.
I will now post up some people's comments and address them here:

"That said I barely even consider Tezuka to be anime anymore, since the current mainstream stuff is so far from his."

-I wonder how Japanese people would react to that. See this is a big problem when one of that countries culture founders is considered not of that country's style.

"Anime/manga USED to have a style, now is the same generic sht. "

-So you would consider moe to be the same as Hajime no ippo?

I asked "So an artstyle is determined by its most generic factor?" And the answer was "Yeah, and frequently used /copied by other people."

-So by that logic Cubism is defined by everyone who uses it besides Picasso, and his thought process and methods behind it.

"Same as comic art and cartoon not being a style but being used as descriptors. They ain't exactly the most accurate of descriptions, but they're decent umbrella terms. Would be pedantic to ask people if they were emulating more Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks or Chuck Jones if they're drawing cartoon art, same goes if you want someone to proclaim that they are of the Tezuka or Ghibli styles. Is there are more succinct way of labeling a loose but still vaguely connected art-style influenced by the comic and animation of Japan?"

-people sure do love throwing that word "pedantic" out there. To imply that is the only way to classify art by individual personal styles is ridiculous. Scott McCloud showed 2 very fair ways of describing style. The pyramid that consists of realistic, to symbolic, to isometric and the combination of each. The second describes the goal of the artist classical, animist, iconoclast, and   formalist. These are very fair terms that cover all styles from any country. As far as publishers are concerned, stick to genres like horror, action, adventure, romance, etc. when it comes to comics story supersedes art.

"1) speed and movement being displayed differently. example: where as western style comics would have something like....repeat images of a person running or lines behind the moving character to convey the motion, manga used things like the speed lines and blurred backgrounds, or a fast moving leg that fades into crosshatching. They both do the same thing but convey it differently."

Jack Kirby used speedlines

"2) setting and environment. Manga frequently uses lots of background shots and different angles of a setting to bring the mood into play.

-Many western comics do that, off the top of my head, Blankets by Craig Thompson.

"anatomical focus. Most major western comics place a lot of focus on size, height, and at least some degree of anatomical display. In manga these elements are frequently distorted giving it a unique charm."

-You mean like looney tunes? Vagabond certainly does not meet this requirement.

"While no, it can't be nailed down to always having certain specific stylistic traits, there are a number of stylistic conventions that go along with anime/manga in my opinion."

-I think there are repeating styles yes, but it ultimately trying to generalize these leads to contradictions and prejudice.

"So I ask you -- why do you "certainly not" see anime/manga as a style?"

-Because I think it does more harm than good, The only reason to refer to anime/manga as a style is because you generalize all the styles as one, but the problems this causes with people assuming anime is all one style are too many. This is when you get uneducated quotes like "All anime is the same"," I don't need to know anatomy if I'm drawing anime" "I used to be a bad artist then I quit drawing anime" "anime is not real art" "anime is superior blah blah blah"....I shit you not people actually say this garbage and they are all equally ignorant, and their problem is all the same, they think anime/manga is a tangible style that adheres to certain rules, when this is not even close to true.

"The first thought that comes to mind is: "Who Cares?"

-Same reason a biologist would care if people said "Rabbits are of the turtle species, biologists are veterinarians"

"I personally don't like anime/manga "styles". I would consider it a style as it is a copy of someone else's way of drawing/painting/etc. I also have a hard time believing someone is an artist that is only capable of drawing cartoons. It reminds me of when I was 12 and tried to draw Trigun screenshots. Was I an artist? No, I was merely someone that liked to draw."

So you consider Vagabond, Crayon Shin Chan, Naruto, and Peach Girl all the same style and you have equal disdain for each? An artist isn't some lofty glorious title only achieved by years of hard work. Anyone can be an artist if they express themselves through craft, no certain skill level is required.

"And don't get me started on digital art. :P It's just too easy and lacks emotion, and adding an alien faced character to it just makes it even more distant and cold to me."

Easy or Hard does not mean good or bad, just because you doodled something does not make it bad, just because you spent 3 years on something does not make it good. Digital art is plenty capable of emotion, I think you are mistaking that for digital art's ability to ( not always ) produce work without errors or little flaws that promote humanity. But with this in mind a digital work is still capable of capturing that. All digital art is, is another tool to the arsenal.

"LASTLY, people that draw anime/manga generally have so many mistakes in their work that they don't even give a fuck about.
A background? Who cares! It's a kawaii girl isn't she so kawaii? ^__^ "

-This is exactly the kind of thinking generalizing a entire countries culture into one style promotes. I guarantee you artists like
Tsulala Can draw cute girls and
draw killer backgrounds.

"But Japan, through comics (and later cartoons), inarguably developed its own national style"

-And yet Tezuka "God of manga" was heavily inspired by Popeye and Disney. And other mangas today derive inspiration from other sources not just other manga such as noir, graffiti, and superheros. The first mecha was actually designed for spiderman. So it's not an isolated style as you think, it didn't start out that way it won't end that way.

"If you know the fundamentals of art, have a strong groundwork in working from life, understand proportion- then by all means, draw however you want. But my biggest pet peeve is when people say that they're only interested in drawing anime/manga and therefore do not need to understand the basics."

-The problem lies in the artist, not manga/anime so stop blaming it. Blaming manga/anime for the artist's mistake only appeals to the shallowest of hipsters.
"It's just like how I say "I do Karate" all the time.

I never actually did any Karate, brodog... I did some other asian kicking/punching thing. But specifying with Kung-Fu or Ninjutsu or MMA or whatever specific thing that requires moderate to in-depth knowledge makes you sound like a toootal nerd.

....Well in martial arts talk, it kinda makes you sound like a stupid prick or a showoff. But the principle is the same I think."

-I rather look like a prick showoff for knowing something than an ignorant ass. Being ashamed of knowledge is a very very bad thing.

"Make less posts, do more studies."

I'll quote my friend for this one. "Ya know, being an artist is about more than tweaking the angle of a foot or going through a hundred thumbnails to get a composition right or studying the way cool light reflects off a pair of Beadazzled speedos to illuminate the underside of an erect penis. Being an artist is also about participating in current art culture - arguing and debating and raising awareness of issues relevant to one's craft and career. If you ignore that you're just masturbating onto a canvas.

I'm sorry this response contains so many allusions to the phallus, it's just you remind me of a dick."

I may add more arguments to this page but what I want to know now is, really can you think of ever benefit to considering "manga" a style and every disadvantage...Is it really that helpful to consider it a style? or is it just easier to let the status quo remain?

Additional comment by :iconteben-the-every:
"The fact is, "anime/manga" are marketed as something distinct from western comics because it is convenient for the publishers of these products. To put it another way, they have brainwashed their audiences into being antagonistic to non-Japanese content because it is a great way to defend against competition in the marketplace. By subtly convincing readers that they are taking part in something completely different and superior to "western comics," they essentially prevent the loss of sales to other companies.

It's not just anime/manga publishers allowing this to occur, either; there is a similar attitude of disdain among western comic fans which is allowed to persist.

This is why you see different sections for "comics" and "manga" in stores, or an "anime" section and a "family" section for animation. You will almost invariably find the American animated series Avatar lumped in with the anime. It is not uncommon to find Scott Pilgrim in the manga section as well. There is a reason these things are located there and not in their "correct" sections. It isn't because the people putting them up don't know any better, either.

It may be convenient to breed this attitude in the short term, but in the long run it is damaging to the artists that produce these things and fosters stagnation in content. When the audiences stop going along with this sort of thinking, publishers will be forced to embrace a wider variety of styles and talents in order to keep producing things people are willing to read and watch.

The long and short of it: if you believe that anime/manga is a style, you are incorrectly being led to believe so and it is ultimately bad for comics from any country."

Another commenter says: "One of the best sources of ammunition for this debate, I think, is Sazae-san. The forty-year-running anime is the most popular anime EVERY week, with the highest viewship rates by far (totally outstripping Naruto), and yet it looks nothing like "typical" anime."


No kidding!


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Finally someone put into words how I feel. Putting anime/manga in a box keeps out newcomers . Plus it forces all Japanese cartoonist to comfort.  Like people don't say they want to make Japanese style film or be a filmgaka. 

So I hate when people say I want to work in the manga/anime genre. I'm sorry but your work isn't manga cause manga are JAPANESE comics. Pretty sure Japanese kids into doing westren stlye comics don't call their stuff Western comics.  Manga can look anything from realistic Lone wolf and cub,to middle Narutou,DBZ and highly cartoony ShinChan.