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A Close Look at Japanese Culture

Manga is basically a kind of graphic comic, originally written in Japanese and then translated to English. Manga has found considerable popularity in the markets of America as they are quite different from our traditional American comics.

We being Americans usually perceive that comics are meant for children. But the trends are changing with the introduction of talented writers such as Alan Moore, Craig Thompson and Neil Gaiman. In Japan, Manga is read and enjoyed by all age groups, from school going children to proficient adults. Basically Manga can be related to animated movies and like movies Manga also comes in variety of subjects such as dramas, romance, horror, mystery, science fiction, sports, comedies, fantasies and action flicks.

During all these years, Manga has made its own space in the American markets. Manga existed from a long time but it was only in the last one or two decades that it gained such wide popularity. The very first one introduced to American was known as “Four immigrants” and this Manga was drawn by Yoshitaka Kiyama, a Japanese art student. The more popular collections of Manga include The Legend of Kamui, Mai the Psychic Girl, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z.

One of the most amazing things about Manga is that they are read in the direction opposite to our American Books. These books start from the back and are therefore read in reverse direction. Unlike American comic titles, the titles of Japanese Magna classically are drawn and written by one person. Therefore, these books are more art coherent than ours.

Each Manga contains a large variety of subjects covered. Many Manga contain adventurous stories in which teens encounter evil forces, whereas some historic Manga contain the details of various historic eras. Manga are also based on relationship stories and the stories related to parenting. In fact according to the taste of different readers Manga comes in countless themes.

Most Manga are much smaller in size as compared to American Comic Books but the length of each issue is about 150-200 pages than our 20-30. In Japan, these lengthy comic books are very popular and are generally put out each month. Some modern Manga are even influenced by popular Japanese arts like Yokai (Monsters and ghosts) and Shunga (the erotic art).

Osamu Tezuka is believed to be the father of Today’s Manga. His most famous creation was Astro Boy also known as Mighty Atom. Modern Manga are usually unpredictable and hence capture the interest of the readers for as very long time. The characters of Manga comics are drawn by using simple animated looks that gives them an energetic appearance. The stories are twisty and full of turns. Even superheroes die and sometimes also come back to life, the bad guys do not get defeated easily and the remarkable action keeps the readers hooked.

Manga are in fact a wonderful source of having a close look at Japanese culture, writing styles and literature. The most recent Manga Movie that has been scheduled to be released somewhere in 2009 is “The Watchmen”. The Manga characters have been so popular these days that kids simply love to put their posters on walls and wallpapers on their PCs. Some of the characters that have driven children crazy include Kakashi, Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke. There are countless ways for Americans to check out these comics and find a series that can capture their interest.

For more information on Manga, visit http://www.vmanga.com.

2012-04-22 Elf Fantasy Fair, edition Haarzuilens 2012, Steampunk
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Image by Qsimple, Memories For The Future Photography
Elf Fantasy Fair Haarzuilen 2012 sunday 22 april 2012

Every year in April since 2001, the substantial number of 25,000 people from all over Europe come to the largest Fantasy event on the European continent: the Elf Fantasy Fair.
Two-third of the visitors have transformed into orcs, magicians, dragons, knights, vampires, elves, unicorns, gothic lolita, manga comic hero or a combination of these. Every year the costumes are getting more resourceful and more artistic. In the midst of the budding nature of the Castle park which belongs to the largest castle of the Netherlands – Kasteel de Haar fantasy lovers indulge themselves in all that is offered and coveted: medieval music, dancing, lectures, theatre plays, and parades.

Sinds 2001 komen elk jaar in april een groeiend aantal mensen uit heel Europa op de Elf Fantasy Fair editie Haarzuilens naar het grootste fantasy evenement dat op het Europese continent georganiseerd wordt: de Elf Fantasy Fair.
Tweederde van deze bezoekers hebben zichzelf omgetoverd tot orc, tovenaar, draak, ridder, vampier, elf, eenhoorn, gothic lolita, manga stripheld of een combinatie daarvan. De kostuums worden elk jaar steeds vindingrijker en kunstzinniger. Temidden van de opbloeiende natuur van het kasteelpark, dat behoort tot het grootste kasteel van Nederland, Kasteel de Haar, dompelen de fantasy liefhebbers zich onder in een aangenaam bad van middeleeuwse muziek, dans, lezingen, theatervoorstellingen en optochten.

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