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.
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 :
- Who/What introduced you to anime/manga ?
- What are your favourite genres ?
- What do you prefer more – Anime or Manga ? Why ?
First and foremost, I’ll give my answers to the above questions :
- 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.
- Shoujo, drama, romance, slice of life, comedy, occasionally action and supernatural fiction, gender benders.
- 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! 😍).
Now, I received varied responses to the above questions. This is the summary of the survey:
‘Other’ include seinen, josei, kodomomuke and gender bender.
Reasons cited for preferring Manga :
- Love reading
- More detailed
- Polished plot
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.
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..
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!