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By Mark W. MacWilliams

Explorations on this planet of Manga and Anime

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The rest of this book covers a selection of major artists, genres, and themes in manga and anime studies. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on the towering figure in the world of Japanimation, “the god of comics” Osamu Tezuka. In Chapter 3, “Characters, Themes, and Narrative Patterns in the Manga of Osamu Tezuka,” Susanne Phillips surveys Tezuka’s career, which confirms that he was one of the most prolific and important Japanese artists of the twentieth century. In particular, she shows how Tezuka evolved as an artist, changing his narrative and pictorial styles to meet the new needs of his readership as well as to suit his own maturing aesthetic tastes.

Akatsuka’s gags often entail such total nonsense with clever wordplay and include ridiculous scenes that are humorous because they go against conventional wisdom. That is, of course, Akatsuka’s major point. Baka-bon’s papa, who tries to be normal 38 Kinko Ito but is totally irrational, shows how silly ordinary people’s common-sense view of things really is. ), an episode of Tensai Baka-bon that first appeared in K÷odansha’s Sh÷ukan sh÷onen magajin (Weekly Boy’s magazine) before it was published as part of a collected anthology of his work (tank÷obon) in 1969.

A second approach analyzes how manga and anime “move from one social arena to another, and circulate in and across cultures . ” (Sturken and Cartwright 2001, 6). Mizuki Takahashi, for example, in “Opening the Closed World of Sh÷ojo Manga,” traces the history of generic conventions of girls’ manga as they developed over time from the pre- to postwar periods. Lee Makela’s chapter “From Metropolis to Metoroporisu: The Changing Role of the Robot in Japanese and Western Cinema,” also examines the circulation of images cross-culturally, in particular, how the robot image moves from Fritz Lang’s famous 1927 movie masterpiece to the manga world of Osamu Tezuka and, finally, to the 2001 anime version of those stories by Rintaro and Katsuhiro ×Otomo.

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