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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Default Manga is less progressive then American comics in some ways and more in others.

    At least when it comes to female representation. I think it stems from the fact that their market is so solidly divided between male and female demographics. I feel that the lack of female targeted comics in the west has really driven Marvel and DC in recent years to try and make traditionally male driven comics more all inclusive. I feel that drive isn’t as strong in manga because their is already a thriving female targeted market.

  2. #2
    Incredible Member Zauriel's Avatar
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    Not really. male drive is very strong in manga as the female targeted market. There is a manga category aimed at boys called shounen. One Piece Naruto, Shaman King and Assassination Classroom are very popular among the boys.

    There is an adult men targeted manga called Seinen. Seinen manga are also popular.

    Shoujo manga are for young girls. Josei manga are for adult women.

  3. #3
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    The thing is that unlike American superhero comics, Manga cuts across several different genres targeted at different demographics.

    Unless the focus here is on shonen because that's strongly directed towards younger men.

  4. #4
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Also, Seinen has some of the worst representation of females, in a sexual way, that I've seen in comics. I love Berserk, but the gratuitous sexual violence towards women, and the way it's depicted, is everything but progressive. Same with Zetman, another Seinen I like but has no defense in that regard. The last week, I read the first omnibus of Gantz, which was really cool, except for the constant sexualization of a 15 years old girl.

    To be clear: there's no problem with nudity, and I can also stand sexualization, it can even be funny (see how Gail Simone treats Nightwing's ass), but in Seinen I've noticed a clear tendency to exploit female sexualization and sexual violence towards women, to please a male audience.

    It's true that manga has clear demographic divisions, but I don't know if that is the road US comics should take. That division maybe separates audiences, instead of integrating them. I know that many women read Shonen and Seinen, but how many men read Shojo or Josei? There are excepcional cases, like Sailor Moon, but for most of it, I don't think saying "this is for women, this for men" contributes to integration
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  5. #5
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Limiting yourself to just DC and Marvel doesn't work in this comparison. Marvel and DC are both products of their early developments, with DC being very much about catering to a male readership with a few attempts to break out. Something that began in the 1940's and 1950's.

    Marvel is more of a product of the 60's, so it is more diverse in terms of male and female roles, but it too is stuck in a pattern set decades ago.

    Manga works differently. Every series is unique, though considerations of the audience it is aimed at is factored in.

    The best comparison is Manga and American Indie Comics (anything that isn't Marvel or DC).
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  6. #6
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Another thing to remember is that one should not judge how progressive something is from the outside. Japanese comics comes out from a japanese culture, just as French comics come out from a French (sorta) culture, and American comics come from an American culture. Since these cultures all are different when it comes to their approach to sex, race, or nearly anything else, judging the comics from one culture according to the lenses of another area will most likely lead to gross misinterpretation of the story, its politics, or its position in any cultural discussion.

    To take one example, an American friend of mine became a fan of Nordic crime procedurals, and thought the books by Sjöwall-Wahlöö were really well-written and utterly nonpolitical. Back here in Sweden, they were considered close to political propaganda when they were published in 60s and 70s.
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  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Japanese comics comes out from a japanese culture
    And are written for a japanese audiance. Manga and anime enjoy a lot of success out of Japan but the home market is pretty much their only concern. Which is an interesting point to keep in mind when you try to understand a bit more some stories who come from there and why they are written they way they are.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    Limiting yourself to just DC and Marvel doesn't work in this comparison. Marvel and DC are both products of their early developments, with DC being very much about catering to a male readership with a few attempts to break out. Something that began in the 1940's and 1950's.

    Marvel is more of a product of the 60's, so it is more diverse in terms of male and female roles, but it too is stuck in a pattern set decades ago.

    Manga works differently. Every series is unique, though considerations of the audience it is aimed at is factored in.

    The best comparison is Manga and American Indie Comics (anything that isn't Marvel or DC).
    I'd argue that Marvel didn't get better at depicting women's roles generally until the mid-70's ( there's a couple of exceptions, but...). Not only during the silver-age did they portray a fair amount of chauvinism, but a couple of comics openly mocked feminism.

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