*written in 3/6/2012
The last time I explained this topic was about three years ago at 4H District Project Achievement in Rock Eagle. I don’t know how well or concise I can explain this now, but here we go—
Anime and manga are directly linked to each other. There are exceptions in this process of course, but traditionally or normally, most anime comes from popular manga. In Japan, different chapters of different series of manga form a monthly magazine. Usually after ten chapters, a series of manga would be published into a book by itself. Normally after publishing 8-10 books, an animated version of the series will come out. However, each level of promotion only occurs depending on popularity. The U.S. is quite slow on manga/ anime updates (unless you have illegal way to access them) but Taiwan is always up-to-date with Japan.
Video games are created after an anime becomes extremely popular, such as Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, and many others. However, most video games can be made without relations with anime or manga. Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Soul Caliber, Tekken, Street Fighters, etc, are all independent games. Even though, I do hear news about those games having an anime or manga series from time to time. And again, always remember the rule of thumb-the more popular it is, the more you will be seeing it, whether in games, in books, or in TV series.
Anyway, after explaining all this….I know I might sound very stereotypical, but the majority anime fans also appreciate a little video games and manga and vice versa. Let’s name someone as an example: Si-Long Chen.
When I was little, even that I knew it would make my mom upset, I still saved my lunch money to buy manga. I would spend a little time after church gathering to go to a book store on Saturday nights. The joy of reading manga while rolling on the bed was the best; even though, it also gave me an explanation to why I became nearsighted. My collection of manga books were kept to a minimum, however, due to lack of money. We didn’t have a computer or any game console at home, and thus I became a typical television-addict.
My mom had (and still have) a TV from the 1970s, and so I had to stand close to it to change channels or hit on the sides when it went out. I have to admit that I became aggressive after watching Dragon Ball Z. The trill of the sound effect and movement of an anime really made a great influence in my life. At first, I started acting out the punches that I saw on TV, then using my punches on my surrounding. Back in the days, I can’t separate my fantasy world and realty. I imagined myself with superpower like the fighters in Dragonball Z and I would live out that imagination in real life. Nevertheless, I was not a world-saving hero but a ruthless bully. I got into troubles for fighting in school, damaging public property, and many others.
On the other hand, anime brought me some positive influence as well. After I became more mentally matured, anime became a source of inspiration. I was inspired to be an artist. I wasn’t just a fan-frenzy copycat. I was a down-to-earth creator. Later on, I would find inspiration in movies and musics, but anime was the first to nurture and cultivate the inner artist inside me. Not only drawing, but I also made paper dolls, sculptures, clay work with my own stories. However, for the longest time, I was living under the dork stigma from the society for being an anime enthusiast. Back then, neither the art form, the appreciation, nor the consumption of anime was accepted academically. Anime was not only being unappreciated in the academic world, it was discouraged.
After coming to the U.S. where I picked up my self-confidence, I became the president of the manga club for two years in high school. I taught fellow students how to draw, and later on I even continued my art degree in college. Furthermore, I started to cosplay as well. Cosplay is the practice of dressing up like a fictional character. Anime Week in Atlanta, an anime convention, became my big time to—show off. I didn’t just purchase costumes from ebay. I actually hand-sew my garments and made my props out of scratch from help of friends and family. I dressed up as Allen Walker from D.Gray-Man in 2008, Pit from Super Smash Brothers Brawl in 2009, Amy Sorel from Soul Caliber in 2010, and Captain America in 2011. Guess what was even better? I still maintained a GPA above 3.0, participated in many student activities, and worked multiple part-time jobs. So tell me how anime impedes my academic performance again?