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MDN presents 'Manglish - Manga in English' 101

Posted by Hemos
Mainichi Daily News writes "Japan's leading English news site revolutionizes manga -- Manga lovers rejoice! A never-seen-before approach to manga made its debut on the Mainichi Daily News on Monday, July 3, 2006. Manglish takes some of Japan's hottest young manga talents -- showcased in the Mainichi's MangaTown site -- and places their creations on the MDN in their original Japanese format. However, cool thing is that while it appears on the site in the original Japanese, but if you run your mouse over it you get the translation in English.
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MDN presents 'Manglish - Manga in English'

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  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:15AM (#15649323) Homepage
    I figure I should take this opportunity to ask any of you who have travelled to Japan recently: has manga entirely overtaken traditional literature? I'm a big fan of such figures as Kawabata and Mishima (whose Sea of Fertility [amazon.com] tetralogy is possibly the best thing I've ever read), but no Japanese young person I've ever met abroad has ever read them, even though they are seen internationally as the cream of the crop of Japanese literature. I've only seen young people read manga for pleasure. Is real literature totally dead in Japan?
  • no from the...dept? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mini-Geek (915324) on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:22AM (#15649339) Homepage
    This article has no from the ... dept. thing. Why? Put one in.
  • by AngstAndGuitar (732149) on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:36AM (#15649384)
    Sea of Fertility is great, though I'm only trough 2.3 of the 4 books, Thus far I like Haru no Yuki the best. In fact, I'm in the middle of the (very slow) process of re-translating the first few chapters in order to create a parallel text study version to be used in my university Japanese language program. I did meet one international student who was quite different than the rest, claiming Mishima as his favorite author. For the most part, the Japanese ryugakusei seem to prefer second-rate books by hacks. A large proportion of the ryugakusei are in the US because they thought it was going to be "easier" or failed the entrance exams (the hardest part of the whole degree program) at a Japanese university.
  • by macshit (157376) <miles.gnu@org> on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:38AM (#15649921) Homepage
    Well it's not just manga vs. Mishima, there's a huge number of popular modern Japanese (non-manga) writers too. There's (obviously) a vast quantity of stuff which hasn't been translated into English.

    AFAIK, manga's taken a big bite of out of non-manga reading, but that seems to have been going on for a long time. It's just an offhand judgement, but in general I think Japan's (non-manga) book scene seems a lot healthier than that in the U.S -- though I guess that says more about the U.S. than Japan...
  • Popjisho (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pdr77 (748376) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:41AM (#15649932)
    Has noone heard of popjisho [popjisyo.com]?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2006 @01:16PM (#15650998)
    Manga doesn't have the negative, childish connotations here that comics do in the west.

    Hey! Me too! I wanna post! I'm in Tokyo, and while lots of people say something like the above about Japan, I feel that manga does often have negative, childish connotations.

    How about the advert on TV for the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (the financial newspaper), which showed a guy in a suit sitting on a bench reading one of the thick weekly comics (manga) aimed at children and teenagers, with a voiceover saying "I saw my ex-boyfriend yesterday. Still as hopeless as ever." Sounds negative enough to me.

    I've also seen a bilingual book, written in the early 80's I think, introducing various aspects of Japan to foreigners. The page on "Manga" was mostly devoted to "Sazae-san", the long-running newspaper comic strip, with just a short section at the end saying that most modern comics contained too much sex and violence, and calling them a social problem.

    In summary, I'd say that while many people of all ages read comics, as you'd expect given the scale and variety of the Japanese market for them (much larger than the comic market in the US, as Wikipedia says), they still have a childish image, and are frowned on by the more conservative.

    In my opinion, about the only comic writer I can think of whose work is accepted as literature is Tezuka (although his comics have their fair share of corny jokes - just as Shakespeare plays do). Can anyone give any other suggestions?

    In an attempt to get back to the topic, the comic they put up seems to be an entry in a comic writing contest, and doesn't look like the best or most original thing around to me. Still, better than nothing...

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