Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kid's Interest In Japanese Art Puts Dad On Defensive

I just know this is something Japanese.

I supposed I should know more about manga, generally a style of comics created in Japan. My daughter is quite taken with them and has read several.

I understand that manga come in all flavors and are read by everybody. I have my own issues with manga as I associate overworked salarymen reading them on the subway. I suspect manga might contribute to Karōshi (過労), or death from over work.

In the light of day I realize that such fears are misplaced and am generally glad my daughter wants to study Japanese so she can eventually travel to Japan, a place that takes comics and video games more seriously than this one.

I just realized that the above image might be “anime” a word that describes Japanese animation.

I will catch hell (in a playful way) from the daughter for confusing manga with anime. I often felt my parents were out of touch with the details of my life when I was growing up. I may not achieve mastery of these elusive Japanese art forms, but at least I’m self-aware enough to know my limitations.

I’m hoping for a simple answer: manga are comics (or graphic novels as fashion now dictates); anime is animation (it moves!)

If everything could be so simple.

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