Manga Vision: Cultural and Communicative Perspectives is an exciting exploration of manga (Japanese comics) from academic and artistic perspectives, edited by Sarah Pasfield-Neofitou and Cathy Sell, and published by Monash University Publishing.
The book is an enriched research volume, in that, in addition to scholarly articles, it contains a number of multimedia enhancements designed to supplement the reader’s experience many of which you will find here as online supplements including music files and a bilingual terminology database.Manga Vision also features specially commissioned cover art and single-page manga prefacing each section by Australian manga artist Queenie Chan.
||Manga SFX Glossary
Manga character designs are a key source of inspiration for cosplay (kosupure), a fan practice centering on the construction and wearing of character costumes. Driven by an affinity for the character or its source text, an admiration for the aesthetics of the character design, or the desire to create a costume that is valued by the cosplay community, cosplayers can spend considerable time, money and effort in recreating manga character designs in the form of wearable costumes. Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork, this chapter will explore the processes of (re)creation of manga cosplays, charting the cosplayer’s transformation of an illustration into a costume. It will examine the particular ways cosplayers “read” manga during cosplay construction: as a source of creative inspiration, as “research” materials, and as a style guide for achieving accuracy in both costume and the performance of a character.
The chapter demonstrates how in the contexts of convention competitions and photo-shoots, the costumed cosplayer attempts to recreate the manga character through physical and/or verbal performance. In these contexts, cosplayers may draw more heavily upon the narrative of the manga as scenarios, poses and catch-phrases may be incorporated to create an “accurate” and entertaining performance of the character.
ADDITIONAL ONLINE CONTENT: Cosplay Photo Gallery SHOW
In addition to fan practices like cosplay, some manga fans outside of Japan are interested in creating their own manga as a career path. In North America, the comics they create are called “Original English Language” (OEL) manga. These manga attempt to resemble Japanese manga aesthetically, by imitating the linework, panel layouts, manga-specific symbols, pictograms and onomatopoeia, as well as the use of monochrome and shading tools such as screentones, typical of Japanese manga. OEL artists use what they know as fans as guides for creating their own manga.
The exploding popularity of manga in North American quickly saw the appearance of local manga making and, riding on this wave of popularity, publishers were quick to commercialize OEL manga as another avenue for profit. Perhaps because of its hasty beginnings, OEL’s recent appearance in the arena of comics makes it difficult to determine what constitutes a work that can be deemed representative of the style and narrative within the abundant, yet multi-faceted examples of original manga or manga-style comics. This chapter proposes the possibility of identifying original characteristics that go beyond simulacrum and imitation of “Japaneseness”, and as an example, proposes professional OEL manga artist Svetlana Chmakova’s best-known work, Dramacon, as a case study for examining the creative and representative qualities of OEL manga.
Just as anime has its origins in manga, Japanese anime magazines developed from children’s publications and manga magazines such as Manga Shōnen which featured special content related to television animation. In the 1970s, anime “journalists” comprised hardcore fans, following a similar path to dōjinshi artists, turning professional by starting with fan-circle publications and proceeding to create professional outlets. As content began to deviate from that previously featured in manga magazines, publications such as Animage, Gekkan Out, Animec were born – commercial, yet retaining a distinct dōjin flavour common to original manga and anime video creations.
This chapter will plot the development of the anime magazine from manga magazines in Japan against the development of the anime industry, to give insight into the overall changes in the content of said magazines, and the ways in which fan/consumer and publication/production industry interaction was fostered and evolved through this dynamic transformation. It will consider the anime boom and decline of anime in manga magazines, manga-based anime, and anime’s turning point, and finally, anime journalism and the relationship between manga and anime today.
This chapter discusses the link between not only manga and anime, but other media such as film, via the specific example of the cinematic adaptation of the manga and anime series Death Note. The chapter focuses on Death Note’s representation of the pernicious social and moral effects of the Japanese media’s influence on attitudes towards the justice system. Three levels of discourse are identified: a) social commentary, focusing on calls for more punitive judicial action against criminals, b) psychological analysis, focused on ‘victimhood,’ and c) moral philosophy, focusing on ‘cosmic justice’ in an ostensibly post-religious society.
In examining these discourses, the chapter addresses the need to enrich and diversify moral discourse approaches to manga/anime (and their adaptations) to better reflect their status, functions and methodological possibilities as important media for social commentary in contemporary Japan.
Critical reading of manga can not only tell us about Japan in terms of how it is depicted, but explorations of fan communities’ perceptions of Japan based on these depictions provides valuable insight into the ways in which Japan is perceived globally. Most yaoi fans are unified by a common interest in Japan, and this chapter contributes to the relatively new debate regarding the diversity of yaoi fan practices, examining the relationships between yaoi and learning about Japan. To date, gender and sexuality have been a major focus of yaoi research, but online discussions do not always centre on fans’ identifications with sexuality. This paper proposes that Japanese culture is one key element underlying yaoi fans’ participation in the yaoi fan community.
Based on analysis of fan discussions and interviews, this chapter presents fan understandings and interpretations of Japan in five stages. Japan becomes known to yaoi fans through interpretation and discussions of yaoi manga content. As a result, fans filter what they know through stereotypes found in yaoi manga, their own beliefs, and the information given to them by others. The fandom’s interpretation is, on the whole, distinct from a reading of Japan as a complex identity or place without any single authentic narrative. Rather, Japan is found in a process of interaction and explanation amongst fans.
Although numerous studies have examined the discourses of masculinity and sexuality in homoerotic manga marketed towards young girls/women known as yaoi or Boys Love, there has been little attention paid to the genre of bara, marketed towards homosexual men, despite the fact that various studies of Japanese homosexualities have highlighted the important role bara play within Japanese media, and particularly gay magazines, which represent ‘gateways’ to knowledge about male homosexual desires in Japan.
This chapter examines how various stereotypes of gay subjectivity are discursively constructed within the bara published in Bádi, a Japanese gay magazine. Analysis suggests that bara appearing in Bádi can be divided into three thematic clusters: Slice-of-Life, Humorous, and Erotic. Each is argued to present different discourses of gay subjectivity. Furthermore, subjectivities were found to be constructed through both linguistic and stylistic means, and this chapter argues that language and physicality act as socially salient semiotics which index various tropes of stereotypical subjectivity.
Manga has a unique aesthetic, a visual language of its own. Manga, and its sister medium, anime, have inspired artists from a variety of disciplines including sculpture and film. But how might a composer respond to anime? When the dominant visual aesthetic of manga is used to inform and inspire a different sensory art world, what is created and what is explored? This chapter draws upon the composition of a piece of piano music , Tides of Falling Leaves, which responds to material within the yaoi manga genre. It details the way manga informed this creative process and how the music acts as a way of remediating the visual gestures unique to manga.
As an example of practice-related research, the compositional process described in this chapter highlights a number of questions relating to inter-media relationships. Providing the theoretical framework for this research are the complimentary concepts of 'ekphrasis' and 'translation' – tools for examining works that straddle disparate media. Accompanying these is a move away from representational thought. When manga disconnected from an expected form of representation, its artistic vibrancy takes on a number of new roles, inviting a rethinking of the potential for intermedia dialogue, between languages and artists.
ADDITIONAL ONLINE CONTENT: Audio Files and Music Score Images SHOW
Nodame Cantabile depicts the story of Noda Megumi, portrayed as an eccentric, weak student, despite her special gift for music. She neither fits in the world of institutionalised music education nor follows socio-cultural norms in daily life. Although the main themes are Nodame’s development as a musician, and her relationships with others, especially love interest, Shin’ichi, there are three interesting episodes of language learning. First, Nodame has to pass a German examination. What can she, or Shin’ichi, as reluctant tutor, do in just one night? The second and third examples occur in Paris, where she is to study piano. After a failed attempt to learn everyday French expressions via a book, Nodame discovers a perfect method.
This chapter considers what insights Nodame’s language learning offers teachers and learners. The overall experience certainly reflects the gender and socio-economic differences between the two characters. Shin’ichi, with his privileged background, seems able - always and already – to speak and perform fluently. Nodame, rather, must learn, in accordance with the shōjo convention of finding one’s position (ibasho). Finally, we argue that the meta-learning and intertextuality of Nodame take us beyond stereotypes, even though the film/anime versions may not necessarily have the same effect.
While numerous studies have noted extensive flexibility within written Japanese, the use of this potential in representations of non-native speakers’ (NNSs) Japanese has rarely been examined. Despite a significant increase in the number of foreigners achieving high levels of fluency and visibility, little data exists regarding how modern authors balance Japan’s tendency to demarcate foreign speech with the nation’s increasing diversification.
This chapter attempts to shed light on these issues by looking at some ways in which two manga authors use the medium’s flexible nature to portray foreigners’ speech through departure from orthographic norms. This appears to be a part of manga’s particular tendancy to use visual resources to portray conversation, given the medium’s lack of grammatical scaffolding. Like bolding or font, changes to script appear to be used to mark registers or tones with adjustments intended to elicit certain feelings or serve as guides for interpretation. Viewed in context, the handling of scripts can therefore provide a glimpse into the viewpoints of an author based on their cross-cultural experiences, as well as those they assume of their audience.
Manga often present a challenge for non-native speakers (NNSs) of Japanese unaccustomed with reading from right-to-left, vertically. This chapter examines the manga reading behaviours of learners with different levels of Japanese language experience. One group was enrolled in an advanced Japanese language course in which they read manga, the other was enrolled in a Spanish language course. Some had studied Japanese, and some indicated they had read manga in English. The purpose of examining these groups was to gain an understanding of non-native readers’ initial knowledge state for reading Japanese manga, and the distance second language learners must travel in becoming more proficient readers of Japanese manga.
One important aspect of reading manga is to move from panel to panel or to sequence the panels right to left and top to bottom. We asked non-native readers to sequence panels in three conditions: 1) empty manga panels (koma); 2) koma with visuals (no text); and, 3) full manga, that is, koma with visuals and text present. This chapter compares and contrasts the two groups’ performance and documents learners’ strategies for sequencing manga according to the direction in which they sequenced panels and the continuity of how they enumerated panels.
Manga have long been a form of recreation but in recent years they have been used in many language classrooms around the world, especially for Japanese language learners. However, as manga is increasingly translated into other languages, it is now being used in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom also.
In an elective language course at a private university in Japan, students studied manga in English and through critical thinking considered the different aspects within the manga, such as visual, linguistic and cultural elements, character development and also the story. Students were then given opportunities to compare and contrast Japanese manga and English language comics in order to identify the different elements as above and also to examine language. This chapter will discuss and show examples of how manga can be used not only to study Japanese, but how EFL students used manga as a tool to study English and also to investigate and understand popular culture in both Japan and abroad.
ADDITIONAL ONLINE CONTENT: Manga EFL Classroom Worksheet SHOW
Available for download as a portable document format (pdf) file.
EFL Worksheet © 2016 Lara Promnitz-Hayashi.
The ‘naturalness’ of manga dialogues and variety of language presented in manga has attracted much attention in reent years, not only from educators, but also linguistic researcers. Manga dialogues include pragmatic elements such as relationships, context and narrative (e.g. Chinami, 2003, 2007; Takahashi, 2009), which make them an ideal source for linguistic data. Linguistic research in the past decade has emphasized the use of ‘authentic’ data. This has functioned to increase the understanding of communication in Japanese. However, such research has generally focused on polite encounters, and not much is known about ‘impolite’ language in situations like fights or arguments. The lack of studies in this area might be related to the difficulty in obtaining data on ‘impolite’ encounters.
Manga dialogues provide an alternative to authentic exchanges in the case of situations for which recordings are not possible or are difficult to obtain. They depict a variety of interactions where we know the characters’ relationships and additional factors that affect their language. This chapter explores Japanese linguistic impoliteness using manga as data, aiming to discern the type of strategies used and the situations in which impoliteness occurs.
Having explored the use of language in manga to depict insiders and outsiders, and the power of language in manga, this chapter turns to examine manga-based narratives relating to Japan and Korea. Relations between Korea and Japan have an unsettled history, leading to a 'love-hate' relationship. Events often attributed to the rise of 'anti-Korea' and 'anti-Japan' sentiments in Japan and South Korea range from Japanese invasions of the Korean peninsula in the 16th century, the 35 years of occupation in the 20th century, and post-wrar events such as Japan's alleged 'lack of historical recognition', to South Korean claims to Japanese intellectual property (Lee Y, 1998), and the ongoing 'Takeshima/Dokdo Island problem'.
In the 21st century, a boom in Korean pop culture in Japan has provoked anti-Korean sentiment in some circles, as illustrated by the controversial manga 'Hate Korean Wave' (Kenkanryū), by Yamano Sharin. The comic led to a response from South Korean comic artist Byeong-seol Yang, who produced 'Hate Japanese Wave' (Hyeomillyu). These comics, their use as propaganda, and their effect on relations between the countries have been widely discussed in Japan and, to some extent, Korea. However, scholars without knowledge of the source language cannot fully participate in such a debate, hence the need for impartial translations. Drawing upon the process of translating both comics into English, this chapter discusses strategies for dealing with controversial material, in the visual context of manga.
A major issue in the translation of manga is the matter of onomatopoeia and mimesis, due to aesthetic, textual and linguistic complexities. These ‘sound effects’ are used to great effect in order to convey an aural environment visually, and are more often than not part of the artwork aestheticly, in the way that the page is constructed, and the fact that they are usually hand drawn. Stylized onomatopoeia and mimesis illustrate well the interrelated nature of images and text in the medium, as, in a sense, they are both image and text. The disparity in the sheer number of onomatopoeic and mimetic expressions in Japanese and English makes the translation of these words difficult. Often, equivalent vocabulary in English simply does not exist, and so translators have developed various strategies by which to fill the void.
This chapter examines the challenges of manga translation by introducing the aesthetic difficulties created by the script-artwork integration, in tandem with page layout complexities owing to the difference between textual conventions. It concludes by analysisng strategies employed by manga translators to deal with the linguistic disparity of onomatopoeia and mimesis between the source and target languages, and typographic strategies to address aesthetic concerns.
ADDITIONAL ONLINE CONTENT:
Manga SFX Glossary VISIT PAGE»
University of Queensland
Tomoko Aoyama is an associate professor of Japanese language and literature at the University of Queensland. Her research focuses on parody, intertexutality, gender and humour in modern and contemporary Japanese literature. She is the author of Reading Food in Modern Japanese Literature (University of Hawaii Press, 2008) and the co-editor of Girl Reading Girl in Japan (Routledge, 2010) and Configurations of Family in Contemporary Japan (Routledge, 2015). She has also edited special issues of Japanese Studies (2003), Asian Studies Review (2006, 2008), and US-Japan Women’s Journal (2010) and co-translated Kanai Mieko's novels, Indian Summer and Oh, Tama!.
William S. ARMOUR
University of New South Wales
William S. Armour is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Languages where he taught Japanese as an additional language for over two decades. His research interests include the history of Japanese popular culture in Australia and the relationship between the practices of Japanese language pedagogy and curriculum construction. From 2005 until 2013, he used manga as the medium for teaching the Japanese language.
Thomas Baudinette received his PhD in Japanese Studies from the School of Social Sciences, Monash University. His research focus on how engagement with media and space influences young Japanese gay men’s understandings of their gay desires and identities. Thomas has a strong interest in queer studies, critical race and gender theory, and the study of Japanese popular culture. He is currently preparing a monograph, based on his thesis, on the contemporary Japanese gay media landscape.
University of Melbourne
Corey Bell is a sessional teacher at the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute. His primary research interests include the proselytic and pastoral uses of secular literary/popular culture genres in Zen Buddhism, and moral discourse in contemporary East Asian popular culture, particularly in Hong Kong and Japan.
Professional Manga Artist
Queenie Chan was born in 1980, and is an artist who specialises in OEL manga. In 2004, she began drawing a 3-volume mystery-horror series called The Dreaming for LA-based manga publisher TOKYOPOP. Since then, she has collaborated on several single-volume manga with best-selling author Dean Koontz, with the books reaching the New York Times best-seller list. After that, she worked on Small Shen, a prequel to Kylie Chan's best-selling White Tiger fantasy series, which was published in late 2012. Queenie's website is www.queeniechan.com
University of Queensland
Belinda Kennett is a lecturer in Japanese at the University of Queensland. Her research interests focus on language education and language teacher education, particularly in relation to Japanese as a Foreign Language (JFL) education and English language education in Japan. She is currently analysing various forms of language edutainment on Japanese television and on mobile devices and investigating the topic of swearing and bad language by Second Language Learners.
University of Adelaide
Claire Langsford is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Adelaide’s Department of Anthropology and Development Studies. Drawing on a material culture approach, her Ph.D thesis explored the concept of transformation within the Australian cosplay community of practice, examining the transformations between textual and material, digital and physical, local and global.
James F. LEE
University of New South Wales
James F. Lee is Deputy Head of the School of Humanities and Languages. His main interest is in cognitive factors in instructed second language acquisition. His research interests include input processing, reading comprehension and the relationship between the two. He has published extensively on processing strategy training.
Angela MORENO ACOSTA
Kyoto Seika University
Angela Moreno Acosta is a Venezuelan manga and anime influenced illustrator, who has a specialisation in story manga and has conducted research on OEL Manga. She holds a B.F.A in Illustration from Ringling School of Art and Design (2003), an M.A in Story Manga from Kyoto Seika University (2011) and a PhD in Art from Kyoto Seika University (2014).
Sarah Pasfield-Neofitou is a lecturer in Japanese Studies at Monash University. She holds a PhD in Japanese applied linguistics, has authored a number of articles in this area, and the book Online Communication in a Second Language (Multilingual Matters, 2012). She has previously worked with Cathy Sell on the translation of an art exhibition catalogue, and contributed a title on manga for the MWorld app.
Lara Promnitz-Hayashi is a lecturer at Juntendo University in Tokyo, Japan. She has completed an MA in applied linguistics and an MEd in TESOL. She is currently completing a doctorate of education at the University of Southern Queensland. Her research interests include language teaching pedagogy and methodology, bilingualism, Australian English, CALL, code-switching and popular culture.
Renato RIVERA RUSCA
Renato Rivera Rusca, is a graduate of Japanese studies at Stirling University in Scotland and conducted his masters and doctoral research in Sociology on Japanese popular culture at Osaka University and Kyoto University. He is Assistant Professor in the Organization for International Collaboration at Meiji University, where he teaches Manga Culture and Animation Culture in the School of Global Japanese Studies and coordinates the Cool Japan Summer Program.
Wes Robertson is currently a PhD candidate in Monash University’s School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, where he also tutors Japanese. His research is focused on the use of script to create meaning, specifically within Japanese writing. He received his bachelor’s degree from Macalester College, USA, in 2008, and completed an MA in applied Japanese linguistics at Monash in 2013.
Cathy Sell holds a PhD from Monash University where she currently teaches translation and Japanese. She is a NAATI accredited professional translator specialising in fine arts and popular culture. Her primary research interests relate to multimodal communication, including translation and semiotics in Japanese art museums, manga as an intercultural medium, and sign language teaching and learning.
University of Western Sydney
Paul holds an honours degree in composition from the University of Western Sydney and is currently completing a Doctorate of Creative Arts exploring Japanese visual culture and music. He works as a casual lecturer/tutor at UWS and the University of New England and as a freelance singer in the greater Sydney area. His recent Kawaii Suite was featured on an album of contemporary piano music by Antonietta Lofreddo.
La Trobe University
Lidia Tanaka has taught in the Japanese Program of La Trobe University for more than 20 years and is currently an Honorary Associate in the Languages and Linguistics Department at the same institution. She is the author of Gender, Language and Culture (John Benjamins 2004) on the factors of age and gender in Japanese television interviews. Her research interests are in Japanese communicative interaction, gender and language, ‘institutional’ language, and ‘impoliteness’ in the media.
Simon Turner is an associate professor of Cultural Studies at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. His principle research interest lies in the field of Queer Studies, Affect Theory, Japanese Cultural Studies, and New Media Studies. He is currently researching cross-cultural reception of Japanese yaoi manga amongst users of yaoi fan websites using a multidisciplinary approach as well as the queer and affective practices of fandom.
Adam Antoni ZULAWNIK
Adam Antoni Zulawnik graduated from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where he completed a BA in Japanese and Korean Studies. In 2012, Adam completed combined Honours (First Class) in Japanese and Korean Studies at Monash University, Australia. Adam is currently a PhD (translation) candidate at Monash University where he is continuing research focusing on risk and ethics in the translation of ‘controversial’ texts.
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