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Anime and Manga Genres and Tezuka Osamu’s Input Term Paper

Genre and demographic classification function in manga and anime

Manga and anime as the art forms have several genre and demographic classifications. Thinking about the ways how to increase the audience, the industry created the special gangers devoted to particular demographic groups. Obviously, people of different genders and ages have different interests; therefore, they need various types, genres of their favorite arts.

According to Schodt, the most popular comic magazines in Japan are shōnen manga for boys and shojo manga for girls. Their audience is a wide range of teenagers and children around the world. Those magazines are thick and can contain 350 pages, including dozens of serialized stories. In general, the magazines for boys and girls have the same characteristics and basic format; they differ only in types of stories, main characters, and plots. Usually, the characters of those stories tend to be finishing schools; they have complicated relationships with coevals. Shojo manga is based on the stories about romantic relations and sexually explicit scenes.

Komodo manga target child audience, those stories are based on moralistic themes and, obviously, do not contain sexual scenes or remarks. Such stories describe the adventures of different super-heroes, their power and abilities. The most popular examples of komodo are Doraemon, Avengers, Hamtaro.

Adults of 18-30 years have their own magazines. For instance, seinen, young men’s magazines, are printed in the same fashion as those for children but contain fewer pages (about 200-300) and fewer stories. They are rather stapled than glued. Schodt indicates that young women got their own magazines recently and before they had no choice as to read those for children, teenagers, or men. Now they have josei manga. The stories for adults have deeper psychological drama, adult humor, etc. Their plot can be based on philosophical or religious reflections. They can depict more dreadful scenes or contain erotic or pornographic scenes (hentai). For instance, Akira, Gantz, comedy series Chobits, 20th Century Boys, and many others.

The major difference between those types of anime and manga concludes in characters and plots of the stories. While teenagers are interested in reading the stories about their coevals who have unusual situations, fictions, and fantasies, adults like to read more about the romantic side of the life of the characters and their relationships with each other. Girls are interested in romantic plots, while boys prefer to read about super-heroes, their power, etc. Mostly, they chose such genres as science fiction manga and anime, action, space-age adventures, fantasy, horror, while girls prefer romance, drama, and comedy. However, at the same time, such genres as action, adventure, and mystery manga and anime can be interesting for both genders.

At the same time, various types of the manga have typical characteristics that are still universal such as the emphasis on visual language, drawing style, iconographical method of expressing emotion, expressive dialogue bubbles, speed lines. Facial features also play a significant role, making this kind of art original. Thus, eyes, mouths, noses of characters are always drawn in the same style. Those characteristics are universal for every kind and genre of manga and anime. Besides, such characteristic as a way of narration is also similar for each genre. Although plots, psychological aspects within the relations between characters, depth, and openness of sexual scenes may vary, the traditional lines that emphasize the confrontation between good and evil, relations between coevals, girls, and boys are always present in the stories.

Wester culture represented in manga and anime

Manga as a part of Japanese culture usually depicts the characters and circumstances typical for Japan. Thus, most of the time, all heroes have Japanese names and live in this country. However, since this art become popular around the globe, the writers and directors started to think about the methods of making manga and anime more globalized and interesting for the global society and profitable in western countries. This aspect led to the creation of such genre as western anime and mange which is based on the description of the American Old West. At the same time, this genre still includes the typical characteristics of this kind of art; only circumstances had been changed. According to Levi, the popularity of manga caused a phenomenal growth of comics’ fandoms in the United States and the rise of the industry, making comic books one of the key features of modern culture which is regularly present in the American life. On the other hand, Levi indicates that although those fandoms are based on Japanese traditions, they have a new hybrid form. One of the typical features of those fandoms is co-called “cosplay”, performance with dressing as the favorite characters. Video games also play a significant role in the representation of manga and anime traditions in Western countries. Interacting with the stories, the American fans personalized this art and adapted according to their own vision.

Such adaptation made possible certain kinds of narration such as western anime, but not only this genre. Every writer decodes the meanings and characteristics of amine and manga according to one’s own tradition, cultural background, and social rules. Thus, for the United States, the most popular plots are those which describe the adventured of super-heroes. For the US tradition, human relations, romantic sides, and feelings of the characters are not so important. The emphasis of the American comics concludes in the confrontation between good and bad heroes and their super-power. As well as Hollywood movies, American comics describe how heroes can save the planet and how they win over evil.

Another difference between the traditional Japanese manga and their Western adaptations lies in the speed of reading. If the traditional manga can be read fast and the readers have to seek actively out the clues on the page and interpret them during the seconds. On the other hand, American comics should be read slowly and carefully in order to notice every detail.

The western industry is interested to develop its own product than translate the Japanese one. Producing anime and manga, the American writers pay more attention to the target audience and, therefore, use more cultural features peculiar to their native background. For instance, the American boys and girls who live in a cultural environment different from Asians would not accept the traditional features of Asian culture. They require more actions and fewer reflections. However, although the process of Americanization of the Japanese manga and anime is significant, many fans try to save the tradition spirit of this art, keeping it as “Japanese” as possible. Nevertheless, the most popular genres in Western countries are science fiction and fantasy anime that is dominated on television and market. Therefore, one can conclude that such genres are more appropriate for the certain cultural background and, thereby, they are more profitable within the American industry.

Tezuka Osamu’s role in the development of manga and anime

The “God of manga”, Tezuka considered the pictures as the hieroglyphics, the unique symbols that contain deepest meanings, perhaps, thereby, he created the great comics and become popular around the world. He was a small and skinny child who always seemed odd for coevals. His mother told him not to give up and always smile, preparing her son to be determined and strong in the future. Mother told him the stories about fantastic worlds and heroes. Being fascinated in science and nature, Tezuka liked to observe animals and insects. Probably, he was looking to the world with the wide-open eyes that lately become the specific feature of the “large eyes” style in animation. Besides, his family members loved to watch movies and to read comic books, therefore, there were always a lot of comics in Tezuka’s house. Thereby, he started to draw comics when was a young boy. Young Tezuka had the competitions with his sisters, drawing comics and cartoons. This childhood experience formed his steadfast character and vivid imagination. Even the terrible impressions of World War II could not destroy his will to draw and create the fantastic images. Tezuka used those magic fairy-tales for his comics, creating a number of characters which are still famous and popular. He began his career being a student. Today, Tezuka is one of the most respected Japanese figures.

Osamu Tezuka played the key role in development of manga in post-war period. McCarthy compares Tezuka with Disney, Stan Lee, Tim Burton and other and says that he was an incredibly prolific creator. Altought many people call him “Disney of Japan”, in fact, he improved Disney’s style and many other writers creted their cartoons being influenced by Tezuka’s way of narration and methods of drawing. Tezuka adapted many Western stories and stylized them according to the Japanese traditions. In his early work, he often used works of Disney, making their manga version, for instance, Bambi. Although some of Tezuka’s works seems violent and gritty, he tried to avoid graphic violence, making stories more appropriate for the younger audience. Thus, one of the most famous his works, Astro Boy, does not contain violent or sexual scenes and absolutely appropriate for children. On the other hand, the author also created many interesting works for adults such as Black Jack or Cleopatra: Queen of Sex.

It is difficult to overestimate Tezuka’s role in the process of manga’s development. He invented the “large eyes” style which today is one of the key characteristics of anime and manga. Tezuka’s Astro Boy, the story about boy-robot with 100,000 horsepower, influenced many generations of writers and many genres of manga existed today. Tezuka did not concentrate his attention on the particular genre or age-group, his work had been directed to the wide audience and had been touched every style and genre. Obviously, this writer who created about 150,000 pages of manga in his life absolutely changed the way of development of this kind of art, its way of narration, genres and characters. Moreover, Tezuka’s works influenced many world famous directors such as Stanley Kubrick. There is evident similarity between Tezuka’s Kimba the White Lion (1966) and The Lion King (1994). His animation production studio Mushi Production helped developing animation in the country that later had been spread around the globe.

Reference List

Levi, A. (2006). The Americanization of Anime and Manga: Negotiating Popular Culture. In S. T. Brown “Cinema Anime: Critical engagements with Japanese animation”. US: Palgrave Macmillan.

McCarthy, H. (2009). The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga. US: Abrams ComicArts.

Schodt, F. (1983). A Thousand Million Manga. In Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics (pp. 12-27). Japan: Kodansha Limited.

Tezuka In English. (n.d.) Web.

(n.d.). Web.

Welker, J. (2011). 002 A Specific Asian Literature in Translation Week 3 Lecture: Osamu Tezuka. Web.

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1. IvyPanda. "Anime and Manga Genres and Tezuka Osamu’s Input." September 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/anime-and-manga-genres-and-tezuka-osamus-input/.


IvyPanda. "Anime and Manga Genres and Tezuka Osamu’s Input." September 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/anime-and-manga-genres-and-tezuka-osamus-input/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Anime and Manga Genres and Tezuka Osamu’s Input." September 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/anime-and-manga-genres-and-tezuka-osamus-input/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Anime and Manga Genres and Tezuka Osamu’s Input'. 4 September.

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