Manga is a Japanese word that is generally used to refer to comics or cartoons while Anime is a term used to refer to animation, also originating from Japan. The origin of manga can be traced to the 18th century.
The word was used for the first time in 1798 in Japan to describe Shiji no yukikai, a picture book. The term resurfaced again in 1814 when it was used as the title of books written by Akinwai Minwa; Hokusai Manga and Manga Hyakujo. These books contained drawings that had been made by Hokusai, a famous Japanese woodlock print artist.The above facts dispel and clarify the popularised myth that manga was invented by Hokusai (McCloud 79). Schodta (152) explains that one millennium prior to the time Hokusai applied the term manga to a collection of his works, there already existed cartoonist drawings in Japan.
However, it is questionable if the styles used in these drawings qualified them to be described as manga. The definition of Will Eisner, an American cartoonist, of comics as sequential art provides a basis of making judgement.The picture scrolls that were found in medieval Japan are good examples of sequential art. Generally, they combine text and pictures to convey stories or describe events. The similarities between these scrolls and modern manga are how they look and work. The significant difference lies in the fact that modern-day manga are produced chiefly for mass consumption whereas picture scrolls were produced for an elite audience, and thus they were produced as singular works of art.
The production of Manga-like medium designed for popular consumption can be traced to the late 18th century.During this time, there was a growing group of middle class merchants which came up with a vibrant consumer culture. They produced storybooks called kibyoshi meaning "yellow covers" which were printed using wood block technology. The story books were meant for adults and one characteristic of the books is that dialogue and narration were placed in and around illustrations of ink brush. This was done creatively in a way that blurred the distinction between pictures and text (Kern 96). However, some people deny that kibyoshi is a direct ancestor of modern Japanese manga.
However, it became extinct by mid-19th century. The development of modern Japanese manga became more pronounced around the mid-20th century, and many art critics state that this is the actual period of the development of modern Japanese manga. Wood (1) explains that in the period 1945-1952, the US occupied Japan. During this time, there was an explosion of artistic creativity and the US troops introduced to Japan American cartoons and comics like Mickey Mouse, Bambi and Betty Boop.
These inspired the Japanese artists to come up with their own style of comics.Osamu Tezuka, a Japanese cartoonist invented the large distinctive eyes that are prominent in both anime and manga. For this reason, Tezuka is also referred to as the Godfather of anime and the God of manga. Tezuka’s popular works called Mighty Atom which was produced as a series called Astro Boy became the first Japanese TV series to embody the aesthetic characteristic that came to be known as anime worldwide. The TV series Astro Boy was broadcast in Japan for the first time in 1963(Schodtb 109). According to Schodtb (111), Tezuka’s manga was quite different from other manga producers that came before him.
For example, most prior manga were produced in the style of a stage play and from a two dimensional perspective. In addition, interactions of actors appearing from the left side of the stage and those appearing from the right side of the stage were composed as if from the viewpoint of someone who was part of the audience. Tezuka realised that such an approach could not allow him to produce psychological descriptions or power. Because of this, he started introducing cinematic techniques into his manga compositions, using the French and German movies he saw in high school as his models.Tezuka managed to manipulate the angles and close-ups as a way of capturing well the movements and facial expressions of the characters. To accomplish this, he had to use a lot of panels and as many as hundreds to thousands of pages.
In addition to the unique feature of his manga, Tezuka also perceived the manga as having the potential not only to get people laugh but also to pass other messages/themes. Because of this, he produced stories some of which did not have happy endings using the themes of anger and hatred and, tears and sorrow.Thorn (1) explains that Tezaku printed many four-panel comic strips after the war and in 1947 he printed a comic book entitled Debut carrying a story called the New Treasure Island. This book changed the comic market overnight and many publishers responded enthusiastically and immediately.
Young artist ready to emulate this revolutionary style were found easily leading to a radical restructuring of the comic market. The work of Tezuka can, therefore, be said to be the single most powerful thing in the creation of modern Japanese manga and anime.Conclusion The development of manga can be traced to the 18th century when the word was used to describe a cartoon picture book. From then on, several artists produced several works that can be said to resemble the modern Japanese manga and these are thought to be the ancestors of the modern Japanese manga and anime. However, some of them (artists) were denied strongly by art critics as the direct ancestors of modern Japanese manga because of some characteristics they possessed which were contrary to Will’s definition of manga as a sequential art.Kibyoshi is a good example of this.
In overall, Tezuka, a Japanese cartoonist can be said to be the chief contributor to the development of Japanese manga and anime. Unlike the works of other artists that came before him, his revolutionary technique generated a lot of public interest including the media, and it was quickly adopted by young eager artists. This radically changed the comic market and phased out older versions of manga. Unlike manga, anime can be said to have developed more recently with the 1960s Astro Boy as its first series.