anime primer of the day
This sidebar to a Honolulu Advertiser story on the growing popularity of manga (Japanese comic books, which are popular among readers of all ages and both genders in the Land of the Rising Sun) has a pretty good couple of definitions for those new to the anime/manga scene:
• What is manga? Manga is the Japanese word for a comic book. Most manga are published weekly, with serial storylines. To Western eyes, manga illustrations can take some getting used to. The genre is characterized by visual ironies and playful contradictions between art and text. Often, the grotesque and the cartoonish co-exist. External chaos is reflected in steely, stoic eyes. Internal tension explodes outwardly with motion lines, flying sweat and mouths misshapen by rage, joy or confusion. The manga format has been traced back as far as the year 900, to Buddhist scrolls depicting life after death. Sizes and formats vary from pocket-sized novels and weekly, magazine sized publications to massive anthologies thick as telephone books. Manga books cost $3 to $20, or more.
• What is anime? Anime is an umbrella term for Japanese animation, though people from Japan will typically refer to any animation as anime. Like manga, the genre encompasses many themes and styles.
...Anime programming has enjoyed sporadic popularity in the United States, from Astro-Boy in the 1960s to the Transformers in the 1980s. But it's hit mainstream in a big way over the past few years with offerings as diverse as Pokemon, Cowboy Bebop and Gundam Wing.
The article also notes that in Japan, manga is a $4 billion business that accounts for about 40 percent of all printed material.
(via Destroy All Monsters)