What’s anime and manga? Manga means comic in Japanese. He was also the first person to use the term manga when he referred to his comic drawings as careless drawings. He drew a series of sketchbooks in 1814, called the Hokusai manga. The sketches were based on numerous topics including gods, monsters, mountains, flowers and birds. They were loosely, if not at all, related to one another. Nevertheless, the images in the Hokusai manga were not representative of the manga we see today. The Hokusai manga style was that of sketchings, and it wasn’t until later, when the influence of the civilized world set in, that we started to see the design style we see in manga today.
This was known as Ponchi-e, when Japanese artists started to concentrate on efficiently using thick lines, colors, and forms. The era of Ponchi-e also went hand in hand with animated films, and in the 20th century we saw the first appearance of manga animation – known today as anime. While available through the beginning of the twentieth century, manga wasn’t very popular until after World War II. Starting in the 50’s, manga, followed by anime, became a popular way for writers and artists to cope with the devastation of the war. From then on, anime and manga became a prominent part of the Japanese society.
Japan had somewhat of an under developed live entertainment industry back then. Due to this, anime rapidly became very popular in Japan. How it’s created – While styles might vary from artist to artist, there are several features that all anime has in common. Exaggerated physical features are the most typical form of anime drawings, like large eyes, big hair and elongated limbs. Speed lines, dramatically shaped speech bubbles and onomatopoeic, exclamatory typography is also used. The linear qualities of the anime style are usually influenced by Japanese calligraphy and painting. The round ink brush traditionally used to write kanji and for painting, produces sections of widely varying thickness.
Anime also tend to borrow a lot of elements from manga, like text in the background, to tell the story or emphasize a point. Character designs are mainly the same in a lot of anime. Many anime and manga characters have large eyes. The first person to use this method was Osamu Tezuka. He was inspired by American cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Bambi. He found that large eyes allowed the characters to show emotions distinctly.