Anime and Manga in India

Yeah…I knew I will end up writing this one day. I just didn’t know which day. But then, the manga freak in me has been  going crazy day by day, constantly nagging me to do this (like how we were nagged to do homework back in school:'() . Don’t get me wrong. I’m not unwilling to write this. It’s just that the perfectionist in me has been procrastinating the idea for a long time, because she wanted this to be PERFECT!.

Anyways..that was just some ramblings on my part.

Now back to business.

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This guy is cute! If anyone knows who he is, please tell me!

I’m here to discuss about the state of anime and manga in India. I see that a lot of young Indians are into the Japanese animation lately. This makes me excited. Ten years ago, when I first started my serious stride into this amazing world of manga and anime, I hardly knew anyone who had heard of it. But today, I know quite a number of people who not only know what anime and manga are, but are also nearly obsessed with them. I have/had a few such people as friends in the past few years, and every time I discover someone who shares that craze, I literally start jumping up and down with excitement…It’s like finally finding an oasis in a seemingly infinite hot, dry desert.

I was curious as to know how Indians generally get introduced into the anime/manga culture. Hence, I took a survey, starting from the handful of manga-maniacs I know personally. From there, through a friend who has friends who have friends..I got more inputs. The total number of people who participated in the survey is just 14 (yeah, some of you might have started to remark that this does not qualify to be a survey) , but this number is still considerable. I’m sure that there are so many others out there whom I couldn’t reach. Nevertheless, I’m hopeful that the kind inputs of these 14 participants will help me shed some light on the topic of our concern.

The survey questions I raised are as follows :

  1. Who/What introduced you to anime/manga ?
  2. What are your favourite genres ?
  3. What do you prefer more – Anime or Manga ? Why ?

First and foremost, I’ll give my answers to the above questions :

  1. Cartoon Network. Though Pokemon was the very first anime I watched, back when I was in my kindergarten, I’m not counting it as I didn’t realize that it was a Japanese anime until much later. Same goes for ‘Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli’ that aired in Sahara T.V. But it was Beyblade (that aired in CN during my fifth and sixth grade ), and my inexplicable fascination with that, that compelled me to explore anime. By my seventh grade, I had started reading manga extensively.
  2. Shoujo, drama, romance, slice of life, comedy, occasionally action and supernatural fiction, gender benders.
  3. Manga, as it is more detailed and gives more insight into the psychology of the characters. We can literally ‘read’ their thoughts. Exceptions are those animes which have much better artwork than their manga.  A good artwork is extremely important (yep! cute girls and guys..fan squeals! 😍).

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Now, I received varied responses to the above questions. This is the summary of the survey:

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‘Other’ include seinen, josei, kodomomuke and gender bender.

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Reasons cited for preferring Manga :

  • Love reading
  • More detailed
  • Polished plot

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Reasons cited for preferring Anime :

  • Movement of characters
  • Background Music

There are certain other observations I made :

  • There are more boys than girls who are familiar with anime/manga. This is mainly because Animax and CN mostly feature shounen anime, especially popular ones like Bleach.
  • Unfortunately, most of the shows airing in Animax involve gory, violent, and even nude and slightly perverted content, making the channel a bit infamous in certain households. I myself do not watch Animax, mainly because I find such content to be repulsive.
  • There are two extreme views on anime/manga in India. On one hand, there is an innocent attitude towards it, with some people considering such shows to be kiddish. They are the ones who had probably seen only shows like Doremon and Pokemon…(coincidentally, in my native tongue, ‘mon’ means little boy). On the other hand, there are people who consider anime to be nearly pornographic and highly gory. They are  probably the ones who have watched only the worst types. I personally feel that shounen animes can be perverse..but then again someone once told me that that’s why they are meant for boys (:o😨)..
  • However, the truth is that contrary to the popular outsider views, most of the shoujo or shounen anime/manga are neither kiddish nor too violent/adult. Like books and movies, manga and anime too have separate ‘mature’ or ‘adult’ categories (which are known by different names, depending on the level of maturity), and it is always upto the person whether to explore them or not. However, most good anime and manga do not belong there (I can say this confidently for girl or woman-centric anime/manga). Neverthless, most of the shoujo and shounen are meant for teenage and above.
  • There are plenty of manga, especially of shoujo genre, that are so good but were never made into anime.
  • By the way, Naruto, FMA:B and Death Note are especially famous in India.

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Well, people…That is the situation of anime and manga in India. The culture has more prominence in cities like Hyderabad and Delhi, while they are relatively unknown in majority of India. I don’t know if the Japanese know anything about India apart from curry, Gandhi and yogi..but I’m sure that there is a young India that is keen and aware about the Japanese culture and lifestyle. ‘Konnichiwa’ and ‘sayonara’ are becoming common terms among the youth. Along with K-dramas and K-pop, J-pop and Japanese live actions are also becoming popular, especially among the girls.

I hope this post was informative. This will be the first among many of my posts on anime/manga. I’d like to write reviews of shoujo anime and manga in the future. So if any shoujo fan, or anyone wanting to explore good shoujo, happens to read this, then keep in touch with me!:)

I hope that one day, we’ll have manga bookstores in our locality, and more people to discuss the latest chapters, and even manga that have Indian flavor..

Love,

Surya:)

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Hey there! Are you a fellow anime/manga fan who stumbled upon this post? Then please help to create a better survey by participating in the following poll (no registration or any such business required. Just click and press Vote! ). 

Thank you! Don’t forget to share this post with your anime/manga buddies!

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27 thoughts on “Anime and Manga in India

  1. You are just right about the survey. I m an Indian teenager, an 18( will be this August) year old girl, and my family believes anime and cartoons are childish for a grown up me! I started watching animax back in 2OO7, but currently I m obsessed with manga ( not to mention my favorite genre is Shoujo🖤🖤🖤).
    My friends don’t agree with me reading them, but believe me only those who haven’t read them yet. Some are crazily addicted to it including my own elder sister( by the way, I recommended them). I remember a boy asked me- why there are too adult costumes Japanese anime woman characters are displayed with?( For example all the female characters in fairy tail except Wendy) It doesn’t look good at all, moreover that looks vulgar. hence he is incapable of watching them. Mind it he is a boy of good conscience and in India these things are very mindful and unrespectful.
    Whatever, I m a hardcore fan of anime and manga( good ones though). I appreciate your survey. Mostly all the facts are stated there.👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this with us dear..Yeah..Some of the mainstream shonen anime tend to objectify women too much that they can be a little too vulgar, especially to women and men who are not used to indecency.
      I’m glad you liked this post..Happy Blogging!😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Summer Reads – Anime/Manga : Gender Bender – The peepal

  3. Great article, Surya! Glad to see you represent and investigate the anime & manga community in India. Yeah, I suffer from procrastination too, haha. When you have a good article idea in mind and you want it to be great, you keep delaying it. Hehe.

    Just answered the survey too. Maybe in the future you could add male/female & age group questions in the survey too. Would help you understand the demographics more.

    Nice insights about the trends. Yeah, the anime you see on TV is usually Shounen. My introduction to anime is a bit complicated. Was brought up in Kuwait. There used to be this German channel there where they would have anime. Classics like Detective Conan, Inuyasha, Ranma 1/2, Beyblade etc. Not sure if I recognised it as anime, but learnt a bit of German in the process too.

    I think a proper exposure to anime started with Naruto for me (“proper” as in where I got to know that it’s anime and started checking out stuff beyond TV). On TV, I used to watch stuff like Dragon Ball Z & Pokemon but didn’t see them as anime (I probably didn’t know about anime itself). So yeah, a friend of mine used to talk to me about this series called “Naruto” which intrigued me. Then she gave me some episodes to check out and that’s where I discovered anime. 😀

    Yeah, I agree. People don’t have the right notion of anime. They see one limited anime and think all of anime is like that. People assume that just because something is animated, it has to be for kids. I mean, even beyond anime, there are shows like Family Guy & The Simpsons which are not really for kids. And yeah, they either think it’s kiddish or too gory/adult. Some may even equate it to hentai xD (I don’t know if that’s one of the trends in India, but outside at least, I suppose so).

    Thanks for the article. Was an interesting read. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah and I personally prefer anime over manga. Main reason being that I don’t like reading as much (which is in line with your observation about manga lovers). Have friends who prefer manga though. So I can understand.

      I mean, if I get myself to read it, I can get a bit absorbed. But it’s easier for me to just watch the anime version. Yeah, the movement accompanied with the atmosphere provided by the music is just fab. Adds a new dimension to just looking at still images.

      But yeah, manga has its own appeal. When it comes to reading over watching in general, reading allows you to imagine scenes and action in your own way. There’s room for interpretation. Of course with manga, there is picturisation which limits that a bit. But it does aid your imagination & having some art is always aesthetically appealing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right about the perks of watching an anime and about reading manga.I enjoy both, so I understand why someone enjoys an anime or a manga. The only sad part is that there are plenty of great manga, especially in shoujo genre, which are not made into anime yet. Thus, a lot of fans who enjoy anime probably lose out on them.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you..I’m really glad that you shared your thoughts and experience with us. Thank you for answering the survey too. Yes, you are right about the demographics. I had overlooked that. I’ll make sure to add that in my survey in the future.
      Naruto is spectacularly famous and seems to be the main intro (along with Death Note, perhaps) to anime for most Indian fans, especially for those living in India. And yes, there is a tendency to equate anime with hentai, here in India too. But most people consider anime to be too kiddish and of lacking any substance.

      Also, you have a point there about animated sitcoms like The Simpsons. I hope people start seeing anime in a new light, and not consider it as an immature form of entertainment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Surya
    That’s a really awesome post. So true.
    I have not found many people who love anime. There are few but I hope more people get into it, or at least appreciate it, instead of calling it immature (which irritates me so much).
    I had seen Pokemon, Beyblade and Cardcaptor Sakura on Cartoon Network. Apart from Pokemon , when I saw the other two, I was pretty much convinced that these are not some regular cartoon, there is something special about them 😀 But it was some time later when I stumbled on channel Animax and saw anime like ‘Princess Sarah’, ‘La corda’, ‘Samurai X’, ‘Princess Tutu’ ( I have a post only my blog on ‘Princess Tutu’ on my blog, one post related to anime is a must for an otaku 🙂 but that post is not that good)
    But the anime I see is purely based on luck and mercy of my few friends that are into anime.
    Don’t worry even though your survey was of 14 people, it’s a pretty big number in my opinion ( if only I could find this many anime/manga fans)
    That was a really awesome post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Nayana! I’m so glad you like it. Yes! Beyblade and Cardcaptor Sakura are my early favourites too! And I’ve watched a few episodes of Samurai X..Absolutely adore Kenshin😍😊..Hopefully, I’ll get to watch more..
      I’ve heard of Princess Tutu, but never actually watched it. I’d like to read your post on it. Could you send me the link? I’d like to watch it someday, if possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Princess Tutu was a really sweet anime 🙂 You should watch it 🙂
        It is better to not read the post I have written though 🙂 for two reasons: 1) it is not anything I have written, just collection of articles, links and reviews about this show 2) in that post you will see the whole story, and I don’t want to spoil the story for you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. OH MY GOD… this was so awesome and wonderful. I loved everything about this post. U did an incredible job, surya. Well, naturally, i participated and voted in the polls. I am a die hard crazy maniac for anime and manga. hahaha. I am so glad i found another person who shares the same views. I am waiting for more of your works in this category. thank u sooooooo much, dear,,,
    your new tomodachi…varun. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Arigato!😀😄 Makes me absolutely happy…Thank you for voting!
      Me too…I’m so glad that I found Tama-san and you! That’s so sweet of you, considering me as a tomodachi, Varun-kun! (if you don’t mind). Arigato, again!
      Sure…I’ll post more some time..😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE ANIME/MANGA!!! I started watching it on Animax, about 10 years ago. At that time Animax was brilliant. I don’t watch mainstream anime like Naruto, Death note, One piece etc. I usually watch drama, like Nodame Cantabile or Honey and clover. I fell in love with an anime character named ‘Tamahome’ a decade ago and I still have his name as my pen name for my blog. Japanese anime changed my life. I loved this piece by you. A good survey!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Arigato! It’s a joy discovering fellow bloggers who share anime/manga craze. Yeah! There are so many amazing anime apart from the mainstream, popular ones. Unfortunately, they don’t get broadcasted on T.V. I’ve heard that Honey and Clover is a lovely story. I’d like to watch it someday.😊

      I’ll be really glad if you participate in the poll.

      By the way, can I call you Tama-san?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah..Some of the stuff can be a little ‘mature’ for kids. But there are good stuff too. Just like choosing a good book or a good movie that suits one’s age and taste, a good manga or anime should be chosen with care from among the lot.

      Liked by 1 person

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