Anime and Manga
A lot of people ask me what I think about anime and manga (mostly my nerdy, Japan-obsessed friends and my students), so I think now is a good time for me to admit something: I HATE them both. Well, maybe "hate" is too strong a word. They're both extremely grating on my nerves. I really can't stand either form of "entertainment." I'd much rather wash dishes than watch anime. I'd much rather read the back of a cereal box than read manga. Hopefully that shows you the fine line I dance between and loathing and hate for these two Japanese-born media.

As for anime, I don't like the way the mouths of the characters are only, as Strongbad puts it, "real tiny when they're closed, ridiculously huge when they're open." I just don't like the animation style. And the voices! The stupid high-pitched voices of the female characters DRIVE ME INSANE. It's bad enough that I have to hear the whiny, nasal-y voices every time I walk into any store. I don't want to hear it in my cartoons. And the male characters always sound like they're talking while having a big bowel movement. You know, the sort of pinched, really intense, forced sort of voice they have? I always think of pooping when I hear that voice. And there's always all the weird "shaSHINNNNN!" sound effects like a sword coming out of it's scabbard and the jumping in the air with the lines in the background indicating motion... I just can't stand the style. I much prefer Disney.

With manga, the problem is slightly different. Some of the drawings are cool, but, like Western-style comic books, my eyes can't focus with all those images and words and text garbled together on one page. I don't know where to look! I can deal with the Sunday funny pages, because there I'm just looking at one strip of three images or so. But with manga, there are all the lines indicating movement and close-ups next to longer shots and all the little sound effects written on the side of the page. And the sweating! What's with all the drops of sweat all over these characters?! Who sweats like that in real life? It's not just the manga form of comics that I don't like, actually. I've never like Western-style comics, either. I'm just not a visual person. If I'm going to read a story, I want to imagine what the characters look like. The artist's renderings often don't live up to my imagination's expectations.

Really, the problem with both forms of "entertainment" is that there is simply too much stimuli. I'd rather things be a bit simpler, not as frenetic. And I'd rather things look a bit more natural, not so exaggerated. Anybody out there feel me? Or would you like to change my mind by giving me your opinion of these two forms of visual stimulus?
written by Ruthie @ 8:51 PM  
3 thoughts:
  • At 4/06/2008 1:00 PM, Blogger Amanda said…

    Manga is like, FREAKISHLY popular in France. The store where I buy my textbooks and pencils has almost an entire floor devoted just to these books...and it's all adults browsing. I had never even heard of it before coming to Paris. Guess I was out of the loop!

  • At 4/06/2008 4:13 PM, Blogger JIFF said…

    I did not know Stronghead, thak you for that.

    As for anime, I agree with you, the characters may luke cute in cartoons but if we were to see some girls with freakish huge eyes it would not moe or kawai anymore.

    There is also some kind of anime mainly based on fan service, you know miniskirts and undies all the time

  • At 4/08/2008 9:19 AM, Blogger Christine said…

    Hooray for sanity! My sentiments exactly. You go girl.

    What gets me is how people can get into Manga Hentai porn, knowing it means "perverted", and still go there.

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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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