chapter  18
12 Pages

Manga and anime: entertainment, big business, and art in Japan

BySusan Napier

Twenty years ago, any non-Japanese encountering the words “anime” or “manga” would have shaken their heads in puzzlement. Flash forward to the twenty-fi rst century, and we fi nd a world where anime and manga are ubiquitous, known and loved around the globe from South Africa to Latin America. While Japanese animation (anime) arose fi rst into global consciousness in the 1980s, in the last decade the thick graphic novels or comic books known as manga have developed an enormous following as well. Manga and anime are a true social and artistic phenomenon. Although manga and anime were initially known internationally in somewhat negative ways, from the addictive children’s cartoon Pokémon to the extravagant violence and sexuality of works such as Legend of the Overfi end ( Urotsukido¯ji ), the two media, like all art, encompass an enormous variety which ranges in quality from transient fl uff to enduring works of art.