A Look At Manga and Anime

I've been investigating the history of manga and manga artists (more like dabbling at it, really) and I've started putting together a series of pages that will probably never be completed to my satisfaction simply because of the amount of time and material involved.  But, I am getting enough pages amassed that it's time to create a central index for them.

--- Curtis Hoffmann
ThreeStepsOverJapan

  

History of Manga
I ran a series of blog entries discussing the growth of various manga artists in magazines and newspapers, that I called "The History of Manga".  They didn't flow together well as a whole, I so created a set of HTML pages to put things in a more chronological order, with links to the appropriate blog entries.  This then is a brief description of how Japanese illustration went from woodblock printing in the 700's to "manga as we know it" today.

Tokiwa Manor , Tokiwa Playback
These pages are lists of the assistants that worked for Osamu Tezuka when he was based in an apartment building in Tokyo from 1953 to 1954, people that lived in the building but didn't assist Tezuka, and some of the manga artists that would consistently drop by and visit.  Many of these people went on to become major figures in manga and anime in their own right.  Tokiwa Playback was a collection of manga originally run in COM magazine in 1969-1970, reminiscing about time spent in Tokiwa, and reprinted in one volume in 1987.  The copyrights to Playback belong to their owners and are reprinted here for review purposes only.

Anime and Manga Museums
Because anime and manga figure so prominently in modern Japanese culture, it's understandable that various museums and galleries would open up in tribute to the bigger names in these fields.  This page lists some of the museums, and gives links to their websites where possible.

Anime- and Manga-Related Sightseeing Spots
There are a number of places in Japan that have artwork, statues or painted trains, intended to either commemorate a specific artist or character, or to attract tourists.  This page lists the sights that I know about, and includes google maps of the ones I've been to.

Japan's Top Anime People
Yeah, I could have come up with a better title for this page.  Actually, it's a list of recipients of the Tokyo International Anime Fair's (TAF) Award of Merit since 2005 to the present. The Award of Merit is given to people that were deemed to have contributed significantly to the anime industry and includes directors, artists, supply companies, voice actors and studio heads.

Shonen Sunday and Shonen Magazine 50th Anniversary List
Weekly Shonen Sunday and Weekly Shonen Magazine both began publication in 1959.  To celebrate their 50th anniversaries, Kodansha and Shueisha worked together with the Kawasaki Museum to create the "DNA" exhibit.  This page includes the history of the two magazines within the context of weekly boys magazines as a whole, and also has the list of the 100 titles that were featured in the "DNA" exhibit as selected by the curator.  One of the important things to note here, from a historical viewpoint, is that both magazines signed on Tezuka and the Tokiwa Manor crew early on, and their contributions influenced the growth of both magazines at the time.

Listing of Early Magazines
Initially, "manga" was used as part of the title of certain Ukiyo-e style woodblock prints, in the commonly-understood sense of "whimsical pictures".  From around 1870, it was modified to mean "caricature" in the sense of political and social cartoons ala "Puck" and "Punch" from the west.  In 1900, the first girl's/women's magazine, Myojo, was launched, starting up the whole new trend of shojo magazines.  In the shojo mags, illustrators drew pictures to fill up blank space and to accompany the stories and articles.  Along the way, manga was added for humor, in the yonkoma (or 4-panel) format.  Eventually, shojo magazines became the primary source of what we know today as "manga as Japanese comics".  The listing here contains the start and stop dates of various shojo, women's, boy's and children's magazines starting from 1900.

Garo Index
Garo was a monthly gekiga (realistic drama) magazine that ran in Japan from 1964 until 2002.  Actually, it pretty much ended in the 1990's when readership dropped off, and it was bought up by a video game publisher.  I've been reviewing the manga that ran in Garo starting with the July 1966 issue, where the used price per copy at the Mandarake bookstore got down to 400 to 600 yen.  Even then, some of the issues can get up to 1500 yen ($18 USD).  My plan is to cover the period from July 1966 to July 1971, which was when the long-running series Kamui-den (Legend of Kamui) came to an end.  Later, I may decide to continue the reviews depending on the feedback I get on them.  The link here will take you to an author index, and links to my review blogs.

Mugen Shinshi Story, by Yousuke Takahashi
I discovered the works of Yousuke Takahahsi in 2010. While he's something of an all-round writer, working in horror, fantasy, adventure, etc., I specifically like his "Gentleman Mugen" stories from vol. 1 of the "Boken series" reprints in 2006, from Hayakawa.  At the end of the book, there's a short illustrated story that I decided to translate to give you a taste of his sense of humor.  I highly recommend "Mugen Shinshi" and hope that you will buy a copy as an import.

Area 51, 8 Good Legs chapter, by Masato Hisa
I found this chapter of Area 51 in Monthly Comic Birz. It's funny, so I hope that more people start liking this manga, too.

Fujiko F Fujio Museum Countdown Page
A new museum dedicated to the creator of "Doraemon" went up in Noborito, just a little ways outside of Kawasaki City, next door to the Taro Okamoto and Kawasaki City Museums.  This page was an occasonal update showing photos of the progress of the construction up until Mar., 2011.  The FFF museum opened on Sept. 3, 2011.

Moyashimon Database
A collection of images and information regarding the greatest manga to ever feature microbes in the main cast in search of the perfect beer recipe!

Geobreeders Database
A collection of images and information for Akihiro Itou's "Geobreeders" series.

Gakken Kits
Get the feeling that this page is just a mishmash of random links? It is, because I need a way to index all the stuff I write. Here's the index page into the Gakken kits, and how to use the Japanino.

Shopping Guides

Ok, granted that a list of places to buy manga from doesn't actually belong in an index of famous manga and anime artists.  But I figure that if you like these people, and you are in Japan to visit their galleries and such, that you may also be inclined to buy their works.  The three major shopping districts in and around Tokyo are: Akihabara, Ikebukuro and Nakano .  I've created shopping guides for the last two places.  Akihabara is big and complex enough to have caused many people on the net to make their own guides, and there are a few companies that provide tours for a fee. However, if I get enough comments here requesting a dedicated shopping guide to Akihabara, I may be persuaded to write one after all.

 

Old Files Archives

I first came to Japan from 1992 to 1995. In 1996 and '97 I came back on a short-term technical writing contract. During those times, I did a lot of reading and watching of TV. This was back before the internet and I didn't have access to any of the online BBS systems. I would write up comments or reviews of anime and manga, and Hitoshi Doi would take my files and upload them to one of the BBS systems for me. When I finally returned to the U.S., Peter offered to host the old files on the manga.org server, which I really appreciate. However, there was never a master index listing for them to make finding them on the server easier, and the contact e-mail addresses were all out of date. So I finally went back through all the files and tried to fix the broken links. If I missed something, let me know. In any event, I'm adding them here.


Databases:
Akira Toriyama Super Database
Kotaro Magaritooru Database
Early Akihiro Itoh Database
Early Monkey Punch/Lupin III Database
Ryuusuke Mita Database
Ken'ichi Sonoda Database
Naoki Urasawa Database (partial)

Reviews:
Evangelion Death and Rebirth movie review
Ghost in the Shell movie review
1995 DBZ/Slam Dunk Anime Fest Reviews
1997 Nuubee/Kitarou Anime Fest Reviews

Various Pages:
Project A-Ko FAQ
Miscellaneous scripts and summaries
Photos of various manga artists
Various cat logos in manga
Old TV listings for Tokyo, 1995

Zipped Files:
The Care and Handling of Anime Cels
Cliches in manga and anime
Living in Japan
Life in Japan
Surviving in Japan
Full TV listing from 1963 to 1995

Other Text Files:
A Guide to etchi manga
Food in anime and manga
Ghost in the Shell Super Live and Preview event
Neko-jin list
Ponpoko cultural references
Rotoscoping in anime
A guide to drinking Sake
A comment on tentacle porn