Japanese Cartoons as a Cultural Product Essay example

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The cultural product that I will be focusing on is Japanese cartoons. A more colloquial term “Manga” is used when referring to such comic books. I hereby focus on Manga because of its popularity and ubiquitous nature in Japan. About 35 per cent (Allen & Sakamoto, 2006) of all publications are in serial and paperback formats and they are read by people of all age groups and class (Craig. J, 2000). The prevalence and popularity of such manga suggest that it may be an accurate indicator of social norms and values in the Japanese society. This realm of the fantastic, albeit not to be taken literally in many instances, serve as metaphors for culture itself and speak about the world we live in today (Craig. J, 2000). Hence, this sophistication …show more content…
Naturally, storytelling became a mainstream for manga and many popular works were animated. Like many literary genres, there is a unique intertextuality when reading manga. This is because readers need to know and be aware of a variety of visual codes as a form of manga literacy. Without which, reading would be almost incomprehensible. Such conventions are not only physical, but pictorial and cinematic. Hence, story manga provides limitless fictional arenas for artists to explore any subject which literary forms had been dealing with (Bryce & Davis, n.d.). Because of the existential nature of manga and the cultural ramifications it poses to society, manga as a cultural product has sheer power as discursive tools within society and provides deep insights into what is otherwise, inaccessible.

Manga production involves a number of social actors such as artists, writers, publishers, editors, assistants, commercial planners and readers. However, editorial influences often dominate the production, and such a production requires teamwork within an environment of different and conflicting ideas. Manga is a form of social agency and requires not only interactivity but interdependency between creators and readers/audiences.

Active fan cultures, ranging from publishing and trading Dōjinshi (fans’ private journal publications),