Are Made-in-Japan Manga and Animation About to Be Blindsided?
Japan’s animation and games have made their mark all over the world. Her shojo manga have captured the hearts of America’s young girls. But how much power do they actually have when it comes to the contents industry? Let’s explore the real staying power of Japanese contents, backed by the Japanese government as a national growth industry.
There is a district in Paris known as the Comic Zone. In the student neighborhood Latin Quarter and downtown Rue Keller near the Bastille are streets lined with small shops selling Japanese manga. Recognized enough in France that Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal can criticize them as “just books with scenes of sexual violence,” as a clear departure from the traditional French “bande dessinée” (comic strip), Japanese manga have many passionate fans, mainly among the young.
“French comics are limited. They’re boring. They’re for little kids,” tells a 15-year-old French youth who has come to Tokyo Eye, one of the three manga shops on Rue Keller, in search of new issues. That was his explanation of why Japanese manga are so attractive.