Profound reason beyond manga and anime popularity


QUEZON City, Philippines (September 23) – We find manga and anime interesting and entertaining because of its popularity probably because of its unique styles which makes them interesting, distinctive and easy to recognize – the combination results in us  being hooked up with manga and anime. It’s not all about the graphics and the colors that makes us stick and choose manga and anime more than any cartoon shows all over the world. The major supplement of a show [whether cartoons or telenovelas] is the story [of course!] and it will be judged based either on the story line or on the flow of the story. But one thing is for sure that one of the reason why many are liking manga and anime is because their stories are undeniably rich and compelling.

But before we further talk about why manga and anime are popular, let us first talk about some fact and differences between manga and anime. [It is a must that we should always have ideas with the things that we want to talk about before we proceed with the talking.]

“Manga” is a term used outside Japan that refers specifically to comics originally published in Japan while “Anime”, pronounced as “ani-may,” refers to animation originating in Japan and during the 1960’s, Astro Boy became the first anime series to be broadcast outside Japan.

What is the difference of manga and anime?

 As to what an article about manga and anime stated, many people might say “Manga are Japanese comics, and Anime is the Japanese version of animation. Anime is usually, but not always, the animated version of popular manga.” That’s partially true, but it can be misleading. (Note that “anime” in Japan technically means any animated film, and “manga” is any printed cartoon, but people in the rest of the world take them to mean animated films or comics from Japan.)

Usually the manga or anime have a book of it and a show. Both were made by the Japanese but they have a lot of differences besides the fact that one is a show and one is a book. Anime is animation of a cartoonish show and manga is book of pictures or comics (also graphic novels)

Since we already have some ideas about the difference between manga and anime let’s go back to what we are driving a while ago.


If we are going to take a look with how manga and anime are actually cartoons, it is ideally the same with other cartoon shows [that has magic, super powers, elevation, etc.] but their storyline is different. Manga and anime stories stick with the lives of seemingly ordinary people — they go to school, do homework, get reprimanded by parents — who have a shadow life that makes them somehow special, whether by psionic talent or friends who are rather different (robots from the future, or aliens from other worlds) and is written by only one author that results to being consistent of the characters and the capability of the characters to grow and develop.

Another one is that manga and anime have their unique quality and traits for each of their characters [whether antagonist or protagonist]. We can also see that manga and anime do have unique enemies in their stories [of course every show needs villains and enemies to complete the story] but what sets manga and anime antagonists with other cartoon show is that their enemies have dreams and hopes for themselves and all the moves that they do against the lead characters have reasons, they are not just usual evil who’s just crazy or is someone who is just prone to a little schadenfreude. Also manga and anime have this kind of spiritual optimism and the realization in the latter part [for the enemies] where they undergo through personal crisis which gives them the feeling of redemption and the need to improve and shows us that this is not just some plain and usual deal between good-over-evil stuff but because it gives us spiritual and philosophical messages too.

anime 2The last [but not the least] probable reason is that manga and anime have their style of making people left crying after each series. They have that powerful kind of tear-jerking ending usually about the lead character [usually a hero sort of wins but at a great loss] and another reason is like real stories, anime and manga has their tendency to end [they usually end up dead, married, or are disappearing] and those types of drama are really good when being executed as a cartoon show [in addition to the good and out of the box plot twists they have for every story]

“With comics, the merging of art and words creates a unique medium. The art pulls in the mind, and the words make the reality. A picture may be worth a thousand words, while words may convey what art cannot, but the two types together are truly powerful. As for Anime, animation can do inexpensively what special effects crews couldn’t even touch until the recent rise of computer graphics. Art is a limited form of virtual reality. Art, however, requires plot to make a story come to life.” (Rei – What are Manga and Anime)



(written by Donna Marie Rodriguez, edited by Jay Paul Carlos, additional research by Lovely Ann Cruz)