Manga: The Comic Art

Maya the Bee, Pinnochio, Wickie, and the strong men – you know at least one of these series, right? Good old cartoon. But did you know that these series are actually also referred to as anime? Sounds surprising, because when you think of anime and manga, you usually have a very specific style in mind like those you see in KakalotManga. According to the cliché, this includes above all figures with colorful hair and oversized eyes. And manga? It’s pretty much the same, isn’t it? Time to clear up the ambiguity, below you will find the difference between anime and manga simply explained with examples.


What is Manga?


For the Japanese, manga is any kind of comic book or illustrated novel, whether it’s a booklet or a book. You can leaf through manga, but not in an anime, as we will soon see.


Nowadays, the term manga has established itself for comics with a specific Japanese drawing style. This usually includes a particularly pronounced facial expression and (if drawn in color) bright colors. So when we talk about manga today, we’re talking about comics from Japan. A very typical manga, for example, would be a booklet in which black and white “panels”, i.e. small boxes with drawings in them, are lined up next to each other. Traditionally, manga is read from top right to bottom left. This also means that you open the magazine on the last page, so to speak, and then turn the pages backward. Of course, there is also manga with our “normal” reading direction.


It’s also important to keep in mind that the typical Japanese style is not a must for manga. Not every manga has a protagonist with pink hair and huge eyes!


Manga and Anime – What’s The Difference?


To put it simply, the difference lies in the medium. Manga appears as booklets or as books. Anime comes in the form of series and films. In theory, both can embody the story or plot.


Well-known Anime and Mange characters


  • Sailor Moon
  • Totoro
  • Son Goku
  • Doraemon
  • Ash Ketchum
  • Pikachu


Cliches Of Anime and Manga


Animes and mangas are not very popular in Germany, even if that is slowly changing. Anyone who comes out as a fan will encounter a few prejudices themselves. “Anime is only for children” and “anime are all sexist”. The first one can definitely be denied, manga and anime are available for almost all age groups, some of the plots are very profound and certainly not for children. When it comes to sexism in anime, it has to be said that it depends heavily on the genre. In fact, so-called ecchi and harem anime do not paint a realistic picture of women and men. Women in particular are often objectified in it.


Read also: Pop Art’s Classic and Modern Artworks


There are also stereotypes about the content of anime and manga. And honestly, most of them have at least a grain of truth about them.


The main character has colorful hair or at least an unusual hairstyle. Yep, quite right. pink hair? This character has a main role.


Women wear super short skirts and school uniforms. Mostly correct in the anime, but they have very little to do with real Japanese school uniforms.


Almost every anime character has a difficult childhood or tragedy. This cliche is true. Loss of parents or a best friend is at the top here.


Women in anime have unrealistically large breasts. This cliché cannot be dismissed out of hand either. It’s not always true, but on average these “body standards” aren’t exactly realistic.


Why do anime characters scream all the time?


If you look at the Japanese original without dubbing, you will notice that the volume of the conversations is usually a bit higher. Even the confession of love is shouted out. It’s not “typically Japanese” at all, at least when compared to the respectful and quiet Japanese people in real life.