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Monday, 2 February 2015

Manga

While talking about anime, manga cannot be left far behind. Actually, you can't talk about anime without talking about manga, since the source of most anime is a manga. Hence, they are inseparable.

Manga is the Japanese version of a comic, which has illustrations and is usually printed on cheap newsprint. Anybody in Japan can afford a manga. It's as cheap as a newspaper. It is said that in Japan, if a person is done reading a manga, they leave it anywhere, and another person will pick it up to read it. Cool right?

I'm even considering visiting Japan just to buy manga. Well, sadly, we won't find the English translations of the manga. So, just like everyone else, I'll have to wait for the manga updates.

I love manga, simply because it is a balance between pictures and words. A manga is not your average American comic, neither is not a novel, it combines the best of the two. But the best part is, its available online, for free!!

The amazing aspect of a manga is the artwork. Anything that cannot be described in words, is explained through art work. The hilarious expressions, the deep embarrassment, the anger and the thought process is entertaining.

That dark blush, those lovely irises, those long bangs and the amazing school uniforms, are the physical characteristics of our favourite characters. We all recognize them. We know them, and we love them. Manga is special. It tells us a story. A beautiful/ boring story. But its a story. You know what your characters look like. You see what they're feeling.

You know what they're experiencing right now. You see their facial expression. That's the beauty of it all. You don't have to imagine it. It's all right there. That's why its better than a novel. For those who aren't good at imagining things, manga is right up your alley.

Teachers say kids learn better without pictures, but actually pictures help explain a lot of things. If its the right picture that is. And manga is the right picture. Every page you turn, tells you a story. From the front cover to the back cover, the art work is amazing. The most arrogant man to the sweet, shy girl, we can see it all.

We don't know what to expect, or we anticipate what may happen in the next chapter, and we can't wait. The agonizing 7 day, (in our case, the agonizing one month) wait is worth it. The wait is killing us, but we still want to live. Just to read it. That's the power of the author. Their ability to tell a story doesn't end in the first chapter. 

My only complaint - it's printed on low quality paper. The colour of the paper is awful. It's like they've printed on a 10 year old newspaper. This ruins the whole experience. I agree white paper is expensive, but if you want better readers, print it on white paper. But since most of us read online and we get fine quality, it's not a problem.

But for those who buy the original manga, it must be hard if you aren't used to reading low quality print. Sometimes, the words are hardly legible, because of the awful paper colour.

The manga websites host the best quality images, and their translations are excellent. However, some manga are rarely updated, so it gets annoying. Unlike the weekly update in Japan, manga websites do not update on a regular basis. They just update whenever they feel like it.

The problem is, there are very few translators who are fluent in Kanji and English. Hence, it takes a while to get the job done. However, if the manga is great, then it's worth the wait. Sometimes, many amazing mangas are left abandoned, due to lack of translators. This is one of the hurdles which we manga lovers have to overcome.

Some manga like One piece, Naruto or Dragon Ball Z are too long to read, so I prefer to watch the anime. In sports or action manga, I prefer to watch everything happen 'live in action', rather than wait for it. To me, action on a page is different from the fast pacing action on screen. But for those who can't wait for the next anime update, manga is your next best option.

I know its not the same, but its worth it. Something is better than waiting!

Just as I am writing this, I'm eagerly waiting for a manga update!

Happy reading!

Manga forever!

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