27b. The What is Manga Year 1 Subject Guide

This middle-aged balding man can't believe it's been a year!

This middle-aged balding man can’t believe it’s been a year!

As I was putting together today’s nuts and bolts post, so that newcomers to the WiM blog might navigate it more easily, I was taken aback by how much I’ve managed to cover over the past year and, incidentally, how many new things I learned in the process.  What has also struck me is how many rather large topics I have yet to cover at all, which gives me great hope for a project that I honestly thought would get stalled after a few months.  Anyway, without further ado, I’ve constellated my various posts under not terribly descriptive subject headings, so as to make it easier for you, dear reader, to cross reference related posts.  For each section, I have also given a brief description of how the posts relate to each other, so you’re not just sitting there going “ummmmm….” the whole time.

Form

Demographics

Racial Theory/Comics Theory

History/Historiography

Politics

Translation

Mecha

Manga and the Academy

Fandom

Criticism

Education

Form

By “form” I mean a variety of issues related to how manga are constructed visually and narratologically, with an emphasis both on how those forms emerge within social/historical contexts as well as how they are sometimes interpreted.  So, for instance the two following posts both deal with stereotypes of “manga style.”

2B. TEACHING MANGA – INSTRUCTION AND THE “MANGA STYLE”

2C. [LEARNING] MANGA – WHEN “STYLES” COLLIDE

Whereas others have dealt with historical origins/contingency of forms that are otherwise though of simply existing without any temporal raison d’etre, as it were.

6. A GAME OF MANGA[S]

7. FROM [RIGHT] TO [LEFT] – MANGA ORTHOGRAPHY

12. ARE YON-KOMA MANGA COMIC STRIPS?

21. OKAMOTO IPPEI, OR ANOTHER NEW MANGA

Demographics

One of the more arcane and occasionally inexplicable aspects of comics in Japan is the rather explicit and yet sometimes trivial breakdown of the market into discrete gender/age categories.  A number of posts have reflected on the construction of gender in particular, but even that only scratches the surface of what is incredibly arbitrary and yet profoundly meaningful for how manga are read and by whom.

2B. TEACHING MANGA – INSTRUCTION AND THE “MANGA STYLE”

2C. [LEARNING] MANGA – WHEN “STYLES” COLLIDE

5A. “LESSER KNOWN” MANGA ARTISTS – HAGIO MOTO AND THE “GIRL” IN SHŌJO MANGA

5B. SHŌJO BOYS AND SHŌNEN GIRLS – THE GENDER AMBIGUITY OF MANGA “CHILDREN”

5C. THESE ARE NOT THE [GIRLS] YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

13A. THE PROBLEMATIC GENDERING OF SHŌNEN MANGA

16. WHO IS READING SHŌJO MANGA?

19A. LA NOUVELLE MANGA (THE NEW MANGA [F.])

19B. MANGA (F.) – ANNO MOYOKO’S “MAN” WOMEN

Racial Theory/Comics Theory

My various first post concerned one of my own “black beasts,” the way in which mangaron (i.e. theories of what manga is) poach upon nihonjinron (i.e. theories of what constitutes the “Japanese” in racial terms).  I have also dealt with how comic artists have either reinforced or undermined the idea that manga is something uniquely Japanese, whatever that means.

1A. THEORIES OF MANGA/THEORIES OF JAPANESE IDENTITY – A SNEAKING SUSPICION

1B. THEORIES OF MANGA/THEORIES OF JAPANESE IDENTITY – “JAPANESE” COMICS

1C. THEORIES OF MANGA/THEORIES OF JAPANESE IDENTITY – “NOBODY USES THAT WORD ANYMORE”

8A. STAN SAKAI AND/OR SAKAI MASAHIKO – THE CURIOUS CASE OF USAGI YŌJIMBŌ

8B. MIZUKI SHIGERU’S MANGA SURREALITY

8C. WHAT’S JAPAN GOT TO DO WITH IT? – MUKOKUSEKI, RONIN, AND KABUKI: CIRCLE OF BLOOD

History/Historiography

Arguably my best posts, or at least the ones that I submit as representative of my best work for this blog, 14a-d below, fall under this category, because I have always been fascinated with the way people’s treatment of manga history and comics history more generally betrays their assumptions about a whole range of critical issues.  So, while I would submit the possibility that ALL my posts touch on historiographic issues in some way, the following give a good sense of where I stand (the #14 series in particular).

1A. THEORIES OF MANGA/THEORIES OF JAPANESE IDENTITY – A SNEAKING SUSPICION

1B. THEORIES OF MANGA/THEORIES OF JAPANESE IDENTITY – “JAPANESE” COMICS

1C. THEORIES OF MANGA/THEORIES OF JAPANESE IDENTITY – “NOBODY USES THAT WORD ANYMORE”

3A. SHIRATO SANPEI’S “LESSER KNOWN” MANGA, OR IN MEMORIAM NAKAZAWA KEIJI

7. FROM [RIGHT] TO [LEFT] – MANGA ORTHOGRAPHY

13A. THE PROBLEMATIC GENDERING OF SHŌNEN MANGA

14A. TWO NATIONS – KITAZAWA RAKUTEN AND THE PROBLEM OF KINDAI MANGA

14B. THE LEGEND[S] OF OGAWA JIHEI

14C. FRAMING THE MANGA LANDSCAPE – KAWAMORI HISAO

14D. THE ANONYMOUS MANGAKA, DON’T EXPECT US

15. BETWEEN NOSTALGIA AND PROGRESS – YOSHIZAKI SEIMU’S KINGYOYA KOSHOTEN

21. OKAMOTO IPPEI, OR ANOTHER NEW MANGA

23B. FROM TSURUMI SHUNSUKE’S THOUGHTS ON MANGA IN THE POSTWAR

23C. THIRD WORLD MANGA, OR SAZAE-SAN BLUE

Politics

This is probably the category where my work has been the weakest, meaning I have only occasionally treated it, despite the political issues that attend to comics/manga are too numerous to list in one go.  That said, Shirato’s politically oriented ninja manga as well as Tsurumi’s politically oriented comics criticism are worth thinking about at length.

3A. SHIRATO SANPEI’S “LESSER KNOWN” MANGA, OR IN MEMORIAM NAKAZAWA KEIJI

3B. SHIRATO SANPEI – NINJA BUGEICHŌ PT. 1

3C. SHIRATO SANPEI – NINJA BUGEICHŌ PT. 2

3D. SHIRATO SANPEI’S REINVENTION OF THE NINJA – KAMUI-DEN

4. OF NINJAS AND NINCOMPOOPS – “KAMUI” AND NARUTO

9A. COPYRIGHT, SCANLATION, AND THE ETHICS OF UNFETTERED READING

9C. FAIR USE AND THE TRANSLATION STRANGLEHOLD

22. CYBORG EXPLOITATIONS

23A. TSURUMI SHUNSUKE’S “ARE COMICS A HUNGRY ART?”

23B. FROM TSURUMI SHUNSUKE’S THOUGHTS ON MANGA IN THE POSTWAR

23C. THIRD WORLD MANGA, OR SAZAE-SAN BLUE

Translation

Translation is another category I have not treated sufficiently, especially since, for a non-Japanese-speaking readership, it is arguably the most important concern.

8C. WHAT’S JAPAN GOT TO DO WITH IT? – MUKOKUSEKI, RONIN, AND KABUKI: CIRCLE OF BLOOD

9A. COPYRIGHT, SCANLATION, AND THE ETHICS OF UNFETTERED READING

9B. AN INSIDER’S PERSPECTIVE ON MANGA TRANSLATION

9C. FAIR USE AND THE TRANSLATION STRANGLEHOLD

Mecha

Mecha, though nowadays more commonly associated with anime, is an important stream of manga throughout its history.  Also, mecha manga are an important source for upsetting the critical truisms that have blossomed over the years in academic treatments of mecha anime.

10A. THE MECHANICAL BEAST – NAGAI GŌ’S MECHA MANGA

10B. INVESTED IN [MECHA] MANGA – MIYAZAKI HAYAO’S NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND

10C. “SUBJECTIVITY” AND GHOST IN THE [SHELL]

20. ANNO HIDEAKI, OR LEAVE NAUSHIKA ALONE

22. CYBORG EXPLOITATIONS

Manga and the Academy

Living as I do now on the periphery of an American institution of higher learning, it’s interesting to see how, over the past year I have progressed from “we’re all in it together” to “screw you guys I’m going home!”

2A. TEACHING MANGA – WHAT YOU DO[N’T] KNOW CAN[‘T] HURT YOU

13B. ICAF RETROSPECTIVE AND THE PLACE OF [MANGA] STUDIES

18. PROS AT CONS – THOUGHTS ON CONVENTIONS AND CONFERENCES

24. IT CAME FROM THE… ARCHIVE?

27A. WIM RETROSPECTIVE PT. 1 – “MANGA” IN COMIC STUDIES

Fandom

Though I would consider myself less tied in to fan communities now than, say, in my 20s, fans have always had a special place in my heart, even when frustrating, for they never piss me off the way academics can.

15. BETWEEN NOSTALGIA AND PROGRESS – YOSHIZAKI SEIMU’S KINGYOYA KOSHOTEN

16. WHO IS READING SHŌJO MANGA?

17. OTAKU VS. GEEKS VS. THE WORLD

18. PROS AT CONS – THOUGHTS ON CONVENTIONS AND CONFERENCES

20. ANNO HIDEAKI, OR LEAVE NAUSHIKA ALONE

Criticism

Something I hope to do more of in the future is give at least a window into the range of manga criticism available within and outside Japanese discourses.

1A. THEORIES OF MANGA/THEORIES OF JAPANESE IDENTITY – A SNEAKING SUSPICION

1B. THEORIES OF MANGA/THEORIES OF JAPANESE IDENTITY – “JAPANESE” COMICS

1C. THEORIES OF MANGA/THEORIES OF JAPANESE IDENTITY – “NOBODY USES THAT WORD ANYMORE”

13B. ICAF RETROSPECTIVE AND THE PLACE OF [MANGA] STUDIES

21. OKAMOTO IPPEI, OR ANOTHER NEW MANGA

23A. TSURUMI SHUNSUKE’S “ARE COMICS A HUNGRY ART?”

23B. FROM TSURUMI SHUNSUKE’S THOUGHTS ON MANGA IN THE POSTWAR

23C. THIRD WORLD MANGA, OR SAZAE-SAN BLUE

Education

Pretty self explanatory, how manga relate to education, in particular how manga reflect the socializing impulses of Japanese educational institutions.

2A. TEACHING MANGA – WHAT YOU DO[N’T] KNOW CAN[‘T] HURT YOU

2B. TEACHING MANGA – INSTRUCTION AND THE “MANGA STYLE”

2C. [LEARNING] MANGA – WHEN “STYLES” COLLIDE

4. OF NINJAS AND NINCOMPOOPS – “KAMUI” AND NARUTO

24. IT CAME FROM THE… ARCHIVE?

25. THE [A]MORAL LOGIC OF SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN

26. ANSATSU KYŌSHITSU, OR SHŌNEN’S ABURDIST CRITIQUE

27A. WIM RETROSPECTIVE PT. 1 – “MANGA” IN COMIC STUDIES

This will serve as a placeholder until I put up a regularly updated subject guide. Next week, we return to our regular programming with a look at two radically different ways to contextualize Morimoto Kozueko’s Gokusen.

Stay Tuned!

Ba Zi

contact me: uahsenaa@gmail.com

2 comments

  1. “What has also struck me is how many rather large topics I have yet to cover at all”

    Well then, count me among your followers looking forward to what you’ll be covering in the next few months. Also, congrats for making it through year 1!

  2. […] involves a manga concerning which I have expressed a number of opinions in the past as well as the problems of racial discourse in Japanese I regularly concern myself with, I have decided to forego my hesitations and dive in, in the hopes […]

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