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About ReLIFE and its Characters: A Famous Web Manga

5
TimHaris
July17/ 2016

Manga series are one of the most celebrated Japanese comics in the whole world. With advanced technology and major shift of most of activities to online medium, webcomics have become very popular. Webcomics are manga comics that are published on online website. Once they become popular, they are republished in magazines, books and newspapers. Major advantage to webcomics is that anyone can become famous and can publish his or her own comic series as it is totally free. On online comics, writers and comic artists are exempted from the hastle of finding publishers. There is a wide range of scope on webcomics. They vary from graphic novels to comic strips. One such web manga series is ReLIFE. It is still not completed but has become very popular and intense because of its fantasy-oriented genre. The story revolves around romance fantasies, which is majorly targeted for largest web manga audience, which are mostly adolescent girls and boys (seinen manga type).

This web manga series is illustrated and written by one of the famous mangakas, Yayoiso. It was first published in 2013 by NHN PlayArt. It has been adapted into anime adaptation since 2015. An all famous online manga magazine called Comico published ReLIFE. The series are being directed by Tomo Kosaka.

Its animation adaptation was announced to be released on June 1st, 2016. The upcoming anime will be produced by TMS Entertainment. So far, five volumes of ReLIFE have been released. Its first two volumes were able to sell 450,000 copies internationally. Sou Yayoi, the writer and illustrator, is also planning on coming up with live action theatre adaptation of ReLIFE.

The plot of ReLIFE revolves around testers, staff members and high school students. Major characters include Arata Kaizaki, Chizuru Hishiro, Ryo Yoake and An Onoya.

Arata Kaizaki is a disturbed personality. He is a 27 year old, who had a very painful past because his friend, Saiki committed suicide after being harassed by her co-workers.

Chizuru is a bright and confidnet school teacher. She lives inside her little world of school activities, otherwise she is mostly socially awkward.

Ryo is also 27 year old. He is cheerful and outliving personality. He supervises Kaizaki’s work.

An Onoya is junior to Kaizaki. She works as an undercover student and looks similar to Ryo Yoake.

There are many students and teachers but only few of them play pioneer role in ReLIFE plot.

Renu Kurio is a rival of Chizuru. She is one of the main student characters. She is depicted as someone highly competitive and sutbborn.

Kauomi Oga is a charming boy, he is known in school as “Flashy Blong Guy”. Rena Kuriu has a crush on Kazuomi and he knows it.

Honoka Timari and Akira Inukai are friends with Rena Kuriu. Honoka is a very jolly person. She is volleyball team’s captain where she enjoys being center of attention.

Kokoro Amatsu is a teacher character, she teaches Arata’s class.

Various names in ReLIFE have been named after Japan’s railway stations, like Amatsu, Anukai, Asaji, Oga, Tamarai, Kuriu ans Saiki.

Manga Comic Series

4
TimHaris
July17/ 2016

Manga is a Japanese series of comics, that were developed in Japanese language in late 19th century. They are representative of Japanese symbolism and reflects complexities and absurdities of ancient Japanese art.”Manga” is a Japanese term, that literally means to “cartoon” something. These days, the term Manga is generally used for famous comic series that are known throughout the world.

Manga comics play an important part in Japanese way of life. They provide significant cultural thinking about various genres of life and work, like adventure, comedy, literature, historical fiction, science fiction, romance, sexuality, business, mystery, detective plots, magical realism, etc. Originally meant to be appreciated in Japanese language, it has been translated into various languages worldwide.

Manga has been one of the prime publishing asset for Japanese revenue since 1950s. It was able to represent approximately $5.5 billion dollar industry back in 2009. It has become one of the significant markets in different zones of the world as well. In year 2012 in Middle East only, Manga was able to generate revenue of $250 million.

Originally Manga series were meant to be printed in black and white illustrations. However, now they also come in limited colorful pictorial visualizations. They come in series, which are published on large scale in manga magazines. Each magazine has different episodes for different genres, the continuation of which is published in next magazine. Fully published and successful series are also published as paperback books, that are readily sold throughout the world.

In Japan, a manga artist is called ‘Mangaka’. Each mangaka is provided with assistants, a studio and a creative editor to work with. A mangaka is highly praised in Japanese society. Many successful and popular mangakas have been animated during their run. One of many reasons of manga popularity and preference is that marketeers have classified different manga series by gender, age and profession so as to achieve large targetted clients. Various books and magazines are sold with expressive and catchy covert arts. Plus the art of selling stores is another added favor. Many book stores and book stalls designate different shelves and corners of manga series for thorough classification.

In Japan, manga has become so much a part of Japanese lives, that now they have manga cafes as well. In these cafes, people can read for as much time as they want, while they drink coffee and eat snacks. Famous manga publications are also stored in Kyoto International Manga Museum, an icon for preservation and growth of this creative Japanese art.

First ever manga magazine was published in 1874 by Kawanabe Kyosai and Kanagaki Robun under the name Eshinbun Nipponchi. It got great readership as it was highly inspired from Japan Punch that was formed in 1862. Eshinbun Nipponchi was followed in 1877 by Marumaru Chinbun. Manga no Kuni is one of the finest series, fully published in 1941, that depicts Second Sino World War.

Manga artists have introduced a wholly new genre of visual art and communication. Many artists around the world take inspiration from manga philosophy of work and communication technique. In United States, broad-marketing was started under the name of manga publishers, to promote this art form. One of many famous manga series adaptation, done by US artists is called Amerimanga.

Manga Comics Themes & Popularity

3
TimHaris
July17/ 2016

Manga comics are considered one of many iconic and modern Japanese art form of expression and visualization. Manga is a Japanese term, which related to creating cartoons, comics or story board. Manga comics have their roots, back to complex traditional Japanese art, of bold expression techniques and symbolism. Manga plays a primary role in every Japanese life. The are read by people of all age groups, largely because marketeers are smart enough to target audience by carefully classifying them in age groups, gender and area of interest.

Manga series cover every aspect of modern and cultural Japanese life. It provides story boards for different aspects of life, like morality, gender, sexuality, child upbringing, religion, science fiction, literature, magical fiction, historical fiction, historical realism, thriller, domestic issues, business principles, law and order and much more.

Manga’s concepts have a strong link to Japanese history. Most of this art form flourished in Occupation and Post-Occupation era. The prior one deals with a hyper militaristic approach and an insecure mind setup, whereas the later one is about ultra-nationalist approach when Japan flourished politically and economically. Modern manga has been shaped by catering these two broad time periods mostly.

The era of Occupation, from period 1945-1952, has large American content to it. It throws light on how America culture affected Japanese cultural psyche and way of life. Manga produced during this period also depicts images and stills of American films, comics and Disney cartoons. In pre-war manga period, tradition and aesthetics of Meiji and pre-Meiji is stressed upon. Most common manga writers of pre-war genre include Adam L. Kern, Frederik L. Schodt and Kinko Ito.

Artistic innovation surely started with post-occupation era of manga production. Using cinematographer techniques, various scenes are expressed as if they are stills of motion picture. The visual dynamism of intermixing zoomed shots and distant shots has been adopted many many modern mangakas (manga artists). Female manga artists have also contributed a lot in innovative visual communication. A female manga group, called Year 24 Group, made a tremendous manga debut in 1969, which gained worldwide popularity. These days, modern female mangakas usually come up with series about women empowerment and shōjo drawings commonly known as ‘Ladies Comics’. Topics usually revolve around super-heroines catering with competent world, understanding of romance and sexuality, etc.

Manga for male targeted audience have different categories and sub-categories. Manga topics usually include space traveling, sports, supernatural fiction, archetypal boy theme, technology, male sexuality, etc. For young boys, numerous manga series have been published with characters like batman, superman and spider-man. Due to freedom of explicit content according to Japanese law, many nude contents have also been a part of manga series, targeted mainly for male audience.

Every year, various exhibitions are organized for manga publicity, not only in Japan but worldwide. United States is one of major manga art promoters. Famous J-pop Summit is organized in San Francisco, which exhibits modern aspects of Japanese culture, manga being prime of them. In 2015, more than 120,000 people attended the summit. It has now become a multi-venue event with different exciting activities, like concerts and film screenings which have dramatically promoted manga art overseas.

Manga Popularity in International Market

2
TimHaris
July17/ 2016

Manga comics are renowned throughout the world for their diverse range of cartoon series. It is an illustrative art form that started to flourish in Japan in 1875. In Japan, manga comics play an important role in people’s everyday lives. Manga publications is one of the biggest publishing and literary industry in Japan that collects huge revenue every year. Back in 1950s, when population was not that high in Japan as it is now, it was able to gather biggest, record breaking reader-ship. In 2009, different publishing house combined, did a business of $5.5 million alone. It is a huge market in overseas countries as well. In Canada and US, manga market was worth $175 million in 2008. Famous publishers based in Japan include Kodansha, Shogakukan, Shueisha and Square Enix. It is a rare phenomenon for another a cultural art form to earn so much popularity and fan following in foreign countries. Chief reason behind manga popularity is that they are systematically serialized in different manga magazines. They are compiled in paperback books when the series are finished. Japanese manga industry and cultural pattern of visual communication has been very suitable for manga to flourish with the speed of fire.

All time cherished Manga series have become icons in cartoon world as well. Many such manga series were designed to target children. All time famous Doraemon, Dragon Ball and Black Jack were originally manga series before they were adapted into cartoon version.

Manga comics are copied in various countries near to Japanese culture like Hong Kong, South Korea, China and Taiwan. ‘Bande dessinee’ comics in France are largely influenced by ‘la nouvelle manga’ and ‘manfra’ (manga in French).

These days, almost every manga series is translated in English language. In United States, translation of manga series is itself a huge industry. Manga stories are illustrated in right to left and top to bottom flow mostly. While printing translation, the format of manga is mostly changed to make it left to right, which is “Western” style of English language. Commonly it is known as “flipping” of format.

Many critics think that flipping of format changes the original aesthetics of manga creator. Still, it is the general practice, because otherwise it is difficult to read against the homogeneous flow of reading. As the Japanese language flows from right to left, many manga illustrations show a person writing with right hand. When a manga series is flipped for translation, writing person becomes left handed, so as to adjust English text flowing from left to right.

Flipping of manga illustrations may cause oddities with layouts and asymmetrical objects as well, which are catered naturally to adjust reading flow. Mostly, flipping of Manga magazines are done widely in Europe and United states. Institutes like Broadcase Anime in Italy and France bring huge revenue to European market. Japonisme, a famous French art form, had been directly borrowed and influenced by Japanese manga illustrations. Famous publishers in UK are Titan books and Gollancz.

Japan manga industry has won numerous awards. Moreover, sine 2007, Japan has introduced its own award called International Manga Award. It is awarded each year to best-selling and most famous manga writer.

Manga Impact on Japanese Life-Bestselling Manga

1
TimHaris
July17/ 2016
Manga is one of the most celebrated art forms in Japan. With an increased global communication, Manga has become popular and well renowned throughout the world. They have been incorporated in various art forms by many artist in various cultures round the globe. This art form of graphic communication has a strong link with Japanese traditional culture, and corresponds with common psyche, lifestyle and needs of Japanese people as well. The term manga, also known as kanji, means to create cartoon out of a cause. Manga is a series of cartoon comics, the categories of which have been expanded to almost every aspect of life.
In Japan, there are different manga stores which classify each catalog in terms of scheme, gender, message, color combination and much more. This clear classification has helped a lot in worldwide marketing of manga magazines. Each manga story is depicted in manga magazine in the form of episode, with continuation of it in next magazine. Once the whole manga story is published, it is printed in paperback book form so as to acknowledge the most celebrated ones. The Kyoto International Manga Museum in Japan was solely made to preserve diverse manga history.
The rating of each manga is estimated on the basis of few basic parameters. Popularity of a manga series in Japan has a lot to do with author’s readership. A new mangaka (a manga writer) has to work more to get popularity. The type of publishers and demographic target audience also plays an important role. Most popular manga series have been published by famous publishing house like Shueisha, Akita Shoten, Shogakukun and Kobunsha.
One Piece is the most popular manga series, it had a total of 82 volumes. More than 380 million copies of this series have been sold since 1997 up until now. Second on the list is Golgo 13, written by Takao Saito. This famous series was published and distributed by Shogakukan. Number of collected volume from the time it was serialized in 1969 up till now are 177. Total number of sales have been more than 280 million. These days, most popular ones usually carry themes of super-heroes, like Berserk, Fullmetal Alchemist, Monster, 20th Century Boys, Kingdom, etc. These series mostly target young boys, which constitute large percentage of manga readership.
Many manga series have been adapted by United States to publish similar plots in English language. However, Japanese art of traditional language depiction remains classic, as it has been evolved over the  course of revolutionary history of Japan in late 19th and 20th century.
One can see a sharp contrast in how manga series evolved before and after World War II. Manga themes closely correspond with Japanese perception of war and adaptation of US culture in pre-Occupation period. Themes in pre-war period mostly include domestic issues, sexuality, suppression, adaptation of US thought and culture, fiction, magical realism etc. Whereas after the period of 1945-1952, one can see a progressive thought in manga series. They are about commerce and business, infrastructure, city life, education, drama, thriller, historical fiction, science fiction, etc.