Manga Sucks

First off, let me officially declare Geek Week closed for good: no more stuff about databases, microformats and other cool pet projects, for a while.

Instead, I’m gonna bring a crowd pleaser to the important part of my readership who is currently saving on their weekly imported Poki consumption, to fulfill their teenage wet-dream of a pilgrimage to the fantasy land they have come to associate with Japan in their head. I know they’ve been reading ever since their google search for “japanese upskirt pictures” or “pokemon furry porn” got them here.

Today’s topic is: Manga.

Mangas can be summed up approximately thus: they suck. They suck big hairy giant mutant robots balls.

Now I know I’m causing a lot of grief among the otaku crowd here. At least those who haven’t already gone back to humping their pillows dolls or building that lifesize gundam robot…

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

While allegedly taking from their western cousins, Japanese comic books differentiate themselves in that they are produced in unspeakably high volume and diversity, at a frequency that would make Stakhanov himself blush. Popular manga series in Japan release a new volume every month or so. Compare that to the two to four years it takes some European comics. American comics often sit somewhere in between (and note that, while I’m at it: most US comics, à la Marvel or DC Comics, end up quite crappy for the exact same reasons). In these conditions, there is little surprise in finding out that your average manga board consists of a dozen strokes, twenty still-frame repetitions of the same expression and endless full-page insert with hardly any more work put into them.

Of course, a few mangas have better art and show some attention to detail.

Like countless people, the first Japanese comic I ever read was Otomo Katsuro’s Akira (for those of you who think mangas started with Dragon Ball Z: that was ages before pimply western teenagers in Sailor Moon outfits started becoming a tripping hazard on the streets of Harajuku). Akira simply kicked the hell out of anything else made at that time, and reasonable time was taken between releases… but that didn’t prevent the latter volumes to suffer the fate of every single manga: a progressive straying into the most ridiculously incoherent plot ever made.

And don’t come telling me there is a cultural element in there: why in the world should ten volumes make sense, at one degree or another, to suddenly degrade into accumulations of pseudo-spiritual gibberish and science-fiction clichés?

The answer probably lies at the crossroad between greed and loss of inspiration: to increase manga plot quality tenfold, all one would have to do, is keep a few trained ferrets in publishers’ offices and have them frenetically go for the nuts, the minute an author considers going past the tenth volume. Magically, plots would stop running on endless silly digressions and useless props, loose ends would be tied without the use of painfully artificial deus ex machina and story-telling would be enjoyable from start to finish.

Yet, knowing when to stop is a completely foreign concept to manga editing and, few, if any, manga authors have ever considered stopping before they have milked their character dry to the point of irrelevance.

But the authors/editors are only partially responsible for this sad state of affair, since in the end, they are only caving in to the pressure of the market. Manga readers do not care about the drop in quality, as long as they keep getting their weekly fix of familiar characters and rehashed storylines. That same symbiosis between greedy makers and undiscerning public is what allow George Lucas to churn out monumental cash-hungry horsedungs with no other apparent purpose than the systematic raping and destroying of our childhood memories, and still have fanboys wetting themselves in line to see them. Instant gratification and junk-food mentality are about the two strongest drives in this market. Mangas are the cheetos of comic book art.

And this is only to name the most prominent and universally shared flaw of this industry. I could also point out the shameless pandering that drives most teenage mangas, preying on the insecurities of the average otaku and doing their best to build that fantasy bubble where curvaceous giggling girls in maid outfit, inexplicably fall for socially inept, manga-obsessed shut-ins, apparently oblivious to the lack of personal hygiene and the fact they keep a collection of love-dolls in their living room.

You may tell me that this is no different from Danielle Steel or any other sort of low-quality pulp material in the western world: I realize that suspension of disbelief and building imaginary worlds are precisely the point of most fiction, including quality ones. But there is a fine line here, and self-serving marketing teenage-oriented mangas step over that line with the subtlety of a stampeding godzilla herd.

While insipid romance novels certainly do a lot to keep the average housewife numb in the fuzzy expectation that a charming prince may one day come and ravish her from her suburban home, it is still understood to be somewhat of an improbable option. Compare that to my weekly encounters with dejected gaijin otakus, fresh off the boat and heart-broken at the realization that Tokyo is nothing like the otaku-dreamland they had been led more or less subconsciously to believe: the only girls that will talk to them in Akihabara are paid 3,000 yens an hour to wear stupid cat ears while serving sodas and will charge an extra ten for pictures, while the bubbly Shibuya teenagers in mini-skirts and fluorescent make-up will look right through them, and stick instead to pimp-lookalikes with ridiculous hairdo and the sort of semi-carbonized tan one doesn’t acquire reading mangas… You wouldn’t believe how many of these pour souls I’ve bumped into, in my years here, coming to the sad realization that most Japanese, at best don’t give two craps about manga (particularly the sort that tends to be popular abroad), and in most case, will actually give them the same judgemental looks they get from folks at home.

They are only the western counterpart to the local otaku crowds who have long decided to retire completely in a fantasy-world of their own, where girls come in software box with a bonus inflatable pillow and showers are optional. It is with these people in mind that most of the adult manga industry market their products. Which is pretty sad for them, and anybody else who like the eye-rolling factor in their reading, to remain at a bearable level.

“But”, I can hear you ask, anxiety glowing from the corner of your unrealistically saucerplate-sized twitching eye, “is there really nothing to save from the vast emptiness of the manga world?”

This is a legitimate question. One that we will attempt to answer in Volume Two of this ongoing series (or maybe volume 28, if the series work and we can get a publishing contract).

Note: feel free to attempt and change my poor opinion of the genre by pointing me to recent manga works that shatter my close-minded stereotypical vision of the industry. Be aware, however, that any manga recommendation that starts something like “this is the story of a lonely love-doll collector who, despite all odds, meets and seduce a young, fresh, innocent and smart girl with cat ears inexplicably sprouting out of her hair”, will likely be met with my own reading recommendations.

Filed under: Books, Japan


  1. Well, I should have the one that will convince you manga does not suck: it’s the one about that young virgin raped by a multi tentacle monster coming from another galaxy and hiding in the school’s nurse body who curiously has an enormous d****.
    Well, OK, that one suck too, but the young girl suck even more.

  2. Geee..what a stereotype you are. At least manga is diverse. They are not all about mecha or ecchi. Too bad you don’t see it that way.

  3. Wow wow wow wohhh…. Where have I ever even hinted that mangas are “all about mecha or ecchi”…
    I have never said such a thing, in fact I believe one of the first paragraph sees me saying “produced in unspeakably high volume and diversity”…

    See, my stereotypical manga fan friend, I suspect you fell in the trap of giving me one of the canned manga-advocacy answer… Except my post was in no way to be mistaken for one of those two-bits soccer-mom rants on the violence and the sex and the idiocy etc.

    I realize there is much more out there, even though genres aren’t as incredibly varied as you seem to think, it doesn’t change anything to the fact that all these mangas, whether talking about giant battle robots, lovelorn boarding school girls or lonely computer geeks, all share the same trait of spreading their material so thin over the years, that you could pretty much blow through it.

    Then again, so does your average Sunday paper comic strip… but dare to tell me that Family Circus isn’t the biggest waste of recycled paper you have ever seen?

  4. Manga’s I recommend:

    Anything by Tezuka (The grandpappy of manga and anime) but stick closer to his serious stuff: Phoenix and Buddha () His works look very cartoony, but don’t let that decieve you. I’ve struggled with manga titles like you have, and I buy his stuff as often as possible.

    Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima’s – Lone Wolf & Cub series. Bloody. The series starts out very episodic and by issue 8 I was getting tired of the constant themes of how honor can prevail if you know how to twist your logic. Soon thereafter, this series grabbed ahold of me and didn’t let go until the staggering end.

    I’m with you though: Dragonball is trash, like most of what the mainstream consider “manga”. I look at it like this: crunchy anime and smooth anime. Crunchy is the over the top unrealistic stuff and smooth is the opposite. (Kenshin the TV series was crunchy while the superb and tragic OVA was smooth).

    That’s just a few of my recommends.

  5. I really do not like manga… AT ALL! Everyone at my school loves it and has become devoted zombie slaves to Sailor Moon, .HACK, King of Hell, and other crap. I really don’t enjoy how the facesalways look the same!!! They’re always so happy! I hate it and they, therefore, should die. I’m more into the dark humor comics. My favorites being, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, SQUEE!, I Feel Sick, and other works of Jhonen Vasquez. I’d steer away from Invader Zim though. Tons of people are making zim out to be this really teenie bopper show (although it’s not) It’s actually really good. I’d reccomend it but the reason why i say, “steer away” is because it has a huge manga like following of posures. Hell, people who are manga dementors usually absoultely love Zim! Well, maily Gir. Although 1/2 the people don’t even know how to speel Gir and they’re way hyper active… all the time.
    Well I hope my post will be some help to you! All in all, I agree with you completely. Keep hating manga!

  6. Sailor Moon, .HACK, King of Hell

    Oof. Yes, these suck. Like I made mention above, I’d call these Chunky manga – nasty and unrealistic depictions. I stand by recommendations above, I feel that the mangas that keep getting tossed around are the worst of the lot, and if you gave either Lone Wolf and Cub or Nausicaa or Blade of The Immortal a try… you’d be surprised.

  7. Some comics suck and some are great, everyone should know that. Saying manga sucks is just as stupid as saying it rules. Sure a lot of comics suck but an equal amount are awesome.

    And saying that all the faces look the same, now THAT is dumb.

  8. (same guy as above)

    And, hum, I’d say it isn’t true that most Japanese don’t care about comics…
    You see, I’ve been there for a month and a half during the summer (best country ever). For the first 2 weeks I’ve lived with a host family… and their bookshelf was FULL of comics. They only have 1 kid too so I don’t think it was because of him if they had like 200 “not really for children” comics.

    We’ve also visited some of their relatives and I also noticed they had a whole lot.

    Then I moved to my girlfriend’s family’s house and they had even MORE… My girlfriend is 19, her brother is 23, and their parents are like 50.

    Japan really sees comics as any other form of art, and that’s a GREAT thing (especially for an art student such as me). As I said above, yeah a lot of comics suck, but thats just like movies, music, etc… it’s diverse, so saying it sucks because you only know a few, thats not very smart…

    Oh and I went to Harajuku and only saw like, 2 dressed up people… and I think they were doing promotion.

    Interesting fact: “manga” doesnt automatically mean “japanese comic”, it can designate any comic. In japan, if you tell someone you like manga, they’ll be like, “oh, do you like japanese manga”? It’s really just the japanese word for comic.

  9. Please forgive the length of this post. I wanted to put in a word for the honest writers among the manga-folk (of any nationality) and fear I got just a bit carried away. Please do me the courtesy, should you decide it’s too long, to contact me for editing. Thanks so much!

    I actually came to your site through a search for how to read manga. Because I was/am still suspicious of the “official translations” of some US published manga, I decided last week to teach myself Japanese through online sources (because I’m cheap) and curiously the one thing they rather well ignore are the furiganas, which the manga I will eventually endeavor to translate *does* use. I hadn’t the foggiest idea what they were. (And since I’m still in the “learning the Hiragana stage” and have yet to touch the Kanji, the correlation between the kanji pronunciation and the furiganas hadn’t yet dawned on me.

    But that’s a different topic—except that I laughed myself all the way to sore ribs on that page of your site.

    I find your take on the “spread thin” aspect of manga in general to be very well taken from my small sampling of the the genre. It’s the main reason for my inability to get excited about either anime or manga, even though my life is very much involved in the sf/f arena, being both an author and graphic novelist, and has been for twenty-plus years, and manga/anime is a major movement within that field.

    And I freely admit, even the two I’ve cared enough about to invest in *because* of their outstanding story aspects, have their moments where they simply deteriorate into unwarranted fluff. Had I not encountered their anime counterparts first and been thoroughly captivated by the subtle depth of the stories and especially the character development, I’d never have investigated the manga.

    In both instances, both plot and theme were much better executed in the animes, which were closely scripted off the original manga, though with excellent and inciteful editing. (We won’t mention the rather painful at times English scripting.)

    Fortunately, the manga did round out the characters. Unfortunately, that “thin middle” is still a major problem.

    However, I have a bit different take on the topic that I’d like to throw out for your consideration, since I like to believe not all the writers are simply extending a short story into the novel that ate Tokyo for the sole purpose of more volumes, though far be it from me to say that’s not in the minds of a fair percentage of the manga/anime producers.

    (As you point out) Most manga are written real-time, meaning that even if they have an overall outline, the characters could grab a story and bend it without warning. Thanks to those deadly deadlines you mention, but also because they don’t have a finished script to begin with, the stories end up out of control, or at least floundering until the author has the sheer time to mentally to deal with (forgive the baseball referent) the curve-ball the characters have thrown them.

    A good seat-of-the-pants style writer will run with the characters, find out where they want to take the story, then in the editing process will go back in and fill in motivation and causality that make the final run to the end inevitable. That pesky middle is *always* a serious problem, if the characters have any life to them at all. (A strictly plot-driven piece is much more likely to be fully outlined and therefore less subject to this problem.) A novelist has the opportunity (whether or not he/she uses it) to go back and make that transition seamless.

    Unfortunately, these writers have to punt while their muse sorts out the details…hence a strong inspired start, followed by volumes of fluff interspersed with tidbits of greater substance, and, finally, if the author is really doing his/her job, we end up with an actual ending that has some connection to the rest of the series and brings it to something approximating a satisfactory ending. That ending will never be *as* good as it would have been had the story been edited properly, but if the author really cares, *and has the talent as well as the skill*, it will at least do its job.

    Of the two I’ve gotten into, one was brought to a very satisfactory series conclusion and the other, still in progress, has circled back nicely to the original complex psychological themes introduced in the early segments. I trust the author to complete her mission very well, having seen what she did with two of the early setup scenarios.

    I get the feeling from both that the authors created these great characters and a rich interaction, which passed the setup stage and got to that pesky middle, and they resorted to crazed vinettes to fill the time while they figured out where the story/characters had to end up. They’re good at what they do…very good. Those with less talent (which is, sorry to say, the vast majority of the industry) are going to come up agains the same problem but wind up with more fluff and less substance in the end.

    Is this the best solution? Hardly. Could the industry as a whole be improved with just a bit of critical self-examination of its basic publishing structure? Of course.

    But it’s also hardly a problem solely connected with the manga industry.

    Most hollywood films suffer similar problems. American TV is notorious for “dead weight” episodes, particularly among those with ongoing story-arcs. Worst of all is our own publishing industry where editors have become corporate paper pushers rather than editors (not by choice), where the beancounters have taken over determining the book line, which means it’s too often determined by what’s hot in hollywood, (anyone noticed the number of Harry-ripoffs that have appeared in recent years?) and where established authors are frequently published without anyone ever so much as reading the manuscript first, not because the editors want to do that but because they simply haven’t the time, and established authors have reliable sales figures. The pressure is on to produce a certain number of novels a month and they’ve got to fill those shelf inches. It’s all a time crunch and the whole throw-away culture that assumes a half-life for a book is a week.

    As for the corruption of the youth and fantasy land living, you have only to look at what’s being published in the name of Young Adult and Children’s books to see the problem is, again, not limited to manga.

    None of which invalidates any of your observations! 😀 I just think it’s only fair to point out that no matter what the genre, there are good, dedicated artists/authors doing their best to provide a good, honest product.

    Sometimes, it’s even worth the hunt to find them.

    thanks for letting me rant.

  10. Pushy SF author:

    No worries about length: discussion is what this blog is for, and I’m hardly the concise sort myself.

    As for a few of your points:

    – I don’t want to sound negative, but I’m honestly not quite sure how realistic your quest for homemade translating abilities is… I mean, I am sure there are a few people out there who got into Japanese out of their interest for Mangas and did alright (although those who never balanced it with more classical material or regular interactions with humans come out sounding like complete freaks when using their skills in Japan)… But even for the most enduring of those fans, I reckon a few years, if not more, was the minimum in order to start enjoying any reading abilities. Anime is probably easier, since the reading part is quite a big hurdle. But otherwise, frankly: do not expect to be reading mangas for age more than 5 before a long while. Even with furiganas (and those are not always granted), reading (and understanding, obviously) Japanese has a steep learning curve.

    – I do realize that the “episode”-style of mangas contributes to the necessity of sometimes stretching the action or back-pedaling to better story arcs, as they hit the author… But I also do believe this is one of the major difference between good and bad plot-driven storytelling: regardless of what happens in the middle, good authors usually have a decent idea of how their story ends, the moment they start writing it. Finding a situational gimmick and running with it aimlessly, is worthy of bad movie-writing hacks, not actual skillful storytellers.

    Maybe I’m being rigid here, but experience reading both sorts of writing style taught me that the latter produce better books in the end, even if the former might come up with some really cool and flashy blurb for a synopsis.

    Otherwise, I dunno if you saw it, but I recently wrote a sequel to this post. You may wanna check it out for a few practical tips on manga reading…

  11. I read all your post and I must say I agree with you on many points. In France mangas have become an important editorial market, and you’ll find a bunch of kiddies to say that Naruto or Full Metal Alchemist are SO different and SO original compared to their Dragon Ball ancestor.

    The fact is mainstream mangas, like mainstream US or Euro comics – big studio movies would fit the comparison too – are just as full as stereotypes as one could expect, in both appearance and plot …

    Long story short my aim was not to paraphrase your whole text but… AKIRA LAST VOLUMES DON’T SUCK AT ALL !!!
    (I will try and be more moderate in comments of your sequel)

  12. Hey, totally awesome blog!

    It is really possible to be reading stuff like Bleach and Kenshin after about a year of intense study. You can be at about a manga 70-80% reading ability and 95% with a dictionary. It’s a great way to pick up new vocab because you’re really interested in whatever you’re reading. 😀 (Six months ago, I couldn’t read at all and was wondering what the heck all those extra hiragana after the kanji were-lol). But this definitely needs to be supplemented with regular stuff like textbooks and maybe tutors. Email me if you’re looking for study tips on the web cause I’d love to help out. 🙂

  13. I grew up with all the European Comic glory, Franquin (Asterix, Gaston, Spirou & Fantasio), Gotlib, Herge (Tintin), Seyfried, Moebius, Maëster you name them. Even Rolf Kauka if you will (although that was quite mass production trash).

    I even was seriously considering becoming a comic artist at one point of time. My first contact with manga and anime was 10 years ago, when I moved to Japan. Of course it does sell like nothing here, but “normal” people usually aren’t into it that heavily.

    I’m at the source here and my Japanese is fluent, but I simply do not understand what’s so great about Manga and Anime. All characters look the same or at least very similar. They always fail completely in storytelling (and Myazaki does, too in my opinion).

    Manga background drawings are usually done by assistants and it shows, they all are dead unpersonal technical drawings. In Europe the background drawing artits usually adjust perfectly to the style of the main artist, so you’d never even notice that it didn’t come from one source. They share the same stroke and dynamics. And more than that every comic artist has his OWN PERSONAL STYLE, dammit. That’s what pisses me off the most with Manga and Anime, that it’s all the same unpersonal industry-adjusted crap (with minor variations).

  14. Ahh, I totally agree with you, dude-who-wrote-this-article!

    I especially despise Inuyasha and Rayearth. Ugh. What is it with violent women who attract every guy on the show, and freakishly tall male characters who look like chicks, hair and all?

    You should write an article about all the anime and manga that you hate and give reasons why. I’m working on my own article as we speak…

    At any rate, it’s good to know that the Japanese have slightly better taste than the stupid Americans who love the stuff they see on cartoon Network.

  15. Yes, my friend, that’s how bad American cartoons are, I agree. I mean if they even look like shite compared to shitty Manga crap, the situtation IS BAD.

    BTW, did you ever bother to read any European comic books?

    Now that’s some cool stuff!

  16. Much of manga does indeed suck, mainly because of recycled plots, character stereotypes, and poor artwork. The background never seems to match with the foreground. Dr. Dave, I am really glad that you posted an insightful comment in your blog, and noted its good points, instead of just bashing manga mindlessly.

  17. I don’t think it’s the plots that manga and anime fans are after. I believe it is the fantasy factor, and the more unrealistic a character is the better. The otaku-zoku seem to be obsessed with beauty in the grotesque (super tall feminine males characters, females with animal body parts or strange proportions, not even in the realm of Barbie). Good manga artists/writers feed this fetishism. Why does Prince Valiant suck so much? It looks too real! The stories are too realistic! And somebody mentioned Family Circus: PUUUUKE, I hate the comic more than anything I’ve ever seen. It’s like the artist sees something his stupid kids do and then draws it. I will tell you a funny story now…

    I was on the airplane coming back to America from Japan and I had found a porn manga (this was when the pubic regions were still censored mind you) and I was looking at it. Then I noticed an elderly man in the aisle looking down over my shoulder and I almost freaked. Well yeah, the artwork was simplistic and the naughty bits weren’t even drawn, but it’s the imagination that fills it in. That’s what makes it so addictive, that old man was thinking oooh, I could go find me a hooker and try that… The otaku geeks can go – ooooh, I would look so good at the next anime con wearing that… That’s my true personality, I am a sexy demon girl…

  18. Are there any mangas anywhere near as good as western comics like aliens vs predator and many others. And why do so many fuck wits always say cartoon network sucks, its for little kids for fucks sake! lets compare band of brothers to teletubbies and see whats better, you people are pathetic! otakus can should all come to my place so i can cut off their limbs and feed them to each other. I grew up on tintin books, theyre like 60 years old but they never seen to age. They also tend to be interesting without relying on naked hermaphredite schoolgirls with cats ears in giant robots. Someday i will resurrect herge from the dead so he can make even more awesome comics. I shall keep this rant short and hard like a body building elf. demon girls turn me on, A LOT!

  19. Manga is basically for people who need something when they’re not watching TV. It’s sort of the equivalent of a baby’s pacifier for the eyes. It’s cult-fuck lit. Manga sucks so bad it makes any harlequin romance author look like Flaubert. Pretentious crap drawn well merely becomes pretty pretentious crap. I could go on…

    Hopefully, this nightmare will pass, and we’ll regain comic art worth critiquing some day. Right now, it’s the rule of the corn children.

  20. Tetsuo nakanoshima is right besides I don’t get it, Why again do you people hate manga so much??? and if you don’t like the style or format make your
    own manga… Manga comes in many shapes and forms it’s an art of
    story telling it doesn’t have to be all stero types it all depends on who’s
    telling the story.

  21. Hmn, not sure I should reopen that already overcrowded topic, but I shall point out that, beside the trolling title, I do not think I could really be accused of making bold generalizations… As for plotmaking, types of content etc.: Sure diversity exists, but step in a Japanese manka-ya one of these days and you will notice more than a few widespread traits…

  22. There is one famous quote “All generalizations are false” Live by it. Of course, don’t let that stop you from voicing your opinions.

  23. Thanks man. This was the first thing that came up in my search for “Manga Sucks”. There are the ocassional good ones, but most of them suck.

  24. I made a point of reading all of the posts and I have to conclude that
    most of the people do not have full understanding of Manga. Yes it is
    true that it can run on and on and a lot of it is crap but there are some good ones. Other commenters seem to focus on adult and teen books, which are …… but you cannot condem all of manga for that. As for simplistic stories try reading many american comics.

    I grew up reading Spider-man, Fantastic four, Green Lanteren etc. The stories were simplistic at best, but as a kid what did I know. As I
    grew-up I found that I was out growing those books. That is why I feel
    into Manga. The stories and art tended to be way way way better.

    And finally I take offense at the charecterization of Manga fans as being nerds, shut-ins and not having girlfreinds. Again people are picking out
    a small percentage and using it to bash the larger group. People make
    the same assumptions about fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. without ever actually meeting said people. If they had they’d find most are professional people like doctors, lawyers, police officers, firemen, etc.
    And that some are marrried with children, what a shocker.

    Look, in the end Manga is not for everyone. And you have a right not to like it, but please do not lower yourselves to unfounded stereo types of people.

    PS:, here are some good Mangas: Kindachi Case files, Blade of the Immortal, Project Arms, Suikoden 3, Domu, and Kazan.

  25. i am seeing you wrote this post because of the tremendous popularity manga when it went boom with dbz and pokemon back in 1998. i loved dbz. but i was only 8 back then. i drew tdbz over and over. thats all i did. it inspired me to want to actually make a career in animation, and i thank it for that. butr as i got older, i began to move onto other manga, and read different stuff. one thing i noticed in most plots is theres this one protagonist, and hes significantly different from everyone else, and will end up being the strongest. and the ending is always happy. the good guy wins, and thats it. i got tired of it. because everytime i read the stuff, i always knew the good guy would eventually win, so it got predictable.
    the same went for love manga. when i read maison ikkoku, i knew it would end with the guy getting the girl, and it did. then i read love hina. it was maison ikkoku with more pervertedness put into it. i knew the guy was gonna get the girl, and wat happened? he got the girl. it annoyed me. then i read I”s. i figured it was something different. the way they showed the story and how everything happened. ir seemed so real. i loved it. u thought this would be an easter egg romantic manga. but then. in the end was the same thing! he got the girl! sorry for those people reading this. i spoiled it for you, but too bad. the gut/girl always get their love interest at the end of every manga. its so stupid. it really bothered me.

    ok thats about it on the manga. now i have to rant about the otakus. they (from the ones i see) make manga (and anime) their LIFE. i knew many of them in my school, and all they DO is talk about manga.i listen to them talking. its always something like
    “rememebr how ichimaru went to the tree and then that frog popped ouit??”

    but its almost always about some manga episode. and then all they draw are little manga people just standing there. not much variety and stuff. then in the end they end up working as a cashier or something.

    i like manga, but not to the extent that i would make it my life. im not obsessed.

    so im asuming that u hate manga because you got mad at the obsessive otakus who make it their fantasy, and how predictable most of those dumb stories are. i want to find a manga that will catch me with a right hook in the end, and i end up finding something totally unexpected. like hmm. in one piece, i know luffy is going to find it (after a million episodes of him fighting various pirates) and then the end.

    its dumb. i want to go live in japan, give success a try. if it doesnt work, ill just have fun over there and try to live well. then come back to america and blah. i wont talk about my life. manga is annoying, but hey, lots of people like it. and others are supposed to hate it. its the circle of life

    besides, if there was something that absolutely EVERYONE liked, i would get worried

  26. saying that ALL manga sucks is like say that ALL canadain movie
    s’s just not very realistic.i mean i hate rap, but not ALL rap.see,beacause it’s impossible to hate such large topics when you’ve only Scratched the surface.

    sure,not all manga is great just like not all movies and show are,thats impossible.but there a good ones and ones that fit somebody’s’ve problembly just haven’t found one that sute YOUR taste.i’m sure you’ll find one, manga has been around since the about the 1940’s.

    and fyi manga means “random pictures”.also i find that many american comic art styes look very similar to each other more than manga.

    to enlighten you:
    and i still don’t get the “otaku” thing,never real meet a person that obessed. this guy was close though…..

    remeber,reach in shear to bring you a better opioin*or at last make you look smart! 😉 *.

  27. I also like the adventures of tintin, it is true that the comic books was seventy six years old but they never seem to age. They also tend to be interesting. I also like manga then but nowadays, most mangas aren’t good but still, I download and read only 1-2 weekly mangas because most mangas for me have common plot and characters …

  28. I’m not really sure why so many people love manga. Here in Sweden, it has come to the point that old comics and characters are actually being retrofitted into manga shape, in terms of drawing style. This puzzles me, since IMHO the lack of originality and personal style is what makes manga largely unattractive.

  29. I just want to drop a note to say that Manga is much more diversed with more stories and meaning than the Superman, Batman and all Marvel comics out there. You can have 100 super hero stories and none of them would contain the philosophies or ideologies expressed in Miyazaki Hayao’s story.
    There is a reason that the world is accepting Manga.

  30. I too found this blog while searching for “Manga Sucks” on Google! I expecially hate the graphic style. I don’t understand why we western people are letting ourselves be influenced by their artistic culture. Ours is far superior. And even if it wasn’t, it would still be OUR culture, and we must love it above any other.

  31. I love manga, but nowadays, I am too busy to catch up on anything, I love dragonball, don’t badmouth it.

    there are 4 dragonball series, dragonball, z, gt which is actually 500 something episodes not 64, and dragonball z ultimate.

    Anyway, the only american company for comics that I enjoy is marvel, D.C is crap, with the exception of some.

    I have a question, why don’t the action cartoons in America even come close to the action cartoons that the japanese animations have?

    they move so freaking fast on the asian cartoons, and teleport and punch like one million strokes per second, awsome. I am gonna watch some anime right now.

    It is true that the european countries are getting influenced by anime because look at the shows that come on now, ben 10, teen titans even though the comic was in 96, c’mon, and many more shows. It gets annoying, I watch american cartoons for the comedy, cuz the american action cartoons suck, now when I want to see the best action, I watch japanese anime.

  32. superman and batman are both d.c, and marvel is cool.

    I know plenty of people who can whoop superman in anime without kryptonite, and not even try, even in any of his comic forms.

    Manga is more diversed. You probably read things about anime, and categorized them as the same thing like everyone else who doesn’t like manga or anime does.

  33. Dragonball GT はshenlong を、及びその後の100 年残される、息子のgoku がそこにより多くのGT まだである100 年の間にエピソード64 の後の500 のエピソードに、持っている。 そして、最終的な第4 そして最終的なシリーズDragonball Z は最終的なsaiyajin の形態として佐藤の空人9 と来る。シリーズのこれらの部分はまだ邪悪なjuu の冒険談と前に長い時間から、1998- 現在、最終的なz 作られている来た。すべて私がMr.Toriyama 彼自身からのそれをなぜ買ったかのこれはnon-public である。それは出て来ていないのであなたが私達が既に見てしまった日本のそれを、ちょうどこちらに得ることができる唯一の方法である。

  34. Manga doesn’t really suck and it depends on the story.. Most mangas and animes really suck nowadays but there are still good ones like Hunter X hunter and One piece.. Those animes deserve more credit. Hayao Miyazaki’s movies are good too..

    It isn’t overrated like Dragonball Z and Naruto..

    I also like The adventures of Tintin even though it is not a manga.

    I will rather read those great mangas than reading unending and repetitive marvel comics..

  35. Replying to 2 year old comments, I know.

    First of all, manga is actually pretty fucking popular in Japan. If my research is correct, it’s like their version of the light novel as quick, disposable entertainment.

    Anyway, on Ultra’s posts. Unrealistic =/= bad. Look at every good stylized US cartoon ever.

    And about all anime characters looking the same… no.

  36. Posting in a legendary blog.

    Matters not that it is years old, but – personal opinion to one side – gods, you really must have had a bad experience with manga when you was an ickle baby.

    Or was it a bad experience as an Otaku attempting to score with the local talent?

    Frankly, I’ve never noticed visiting furrin types having any trouble picking up sweet young lassies at places like Comike, Tokyo Toy Fair, and so on (in fact, I’d have to go as far as saying that you’d have to be straight out of Morlock Home Base to stand even a chance of being rejected in balance).

    Fourteen years here has shown me just how deeply manga as a concept penetrates Japanese society and if you can stand there and include the works of people such as Osamu Tezuka, Matsumoto Leiji, Monkey Punch, Hokusai and my old mucket Hayao, then I really should ask you to step outside.


  37. Honestly, people that bitch about manga, need to get their facts straight.

    Most complaints are from the get go, unbased…why? because you pass judgment on manga from a WESTERN point of view, meaning that you only see what comes to this shores.

    Furthermore, thanks to the comics code, and comics in general in the US, that hobby is seen as a nerd niche hobby ( and well, it actually is ) so it’s understandable that a reduced number of popular mangas comes here.

    Also whining about things like DBZ is stupid, it’s a FIGHTING manga, and an excellent one at that, saying that it sucks beecause of that is like saying that the Street Figther or Soul Calibur games suck, because they “don’t have a deep plot, there’s almost no character development and it’s always the same” yes because it’s about FIGTHING, not about existencialism or the porupose of life.

    Above i read someone that compared FMA with DBZ…anyone that does that, obviusly doesn’t know either, as well as Naruto, you see, Naruto has an amazing factor that is called “character development”, which it does incredibly well…I find that complainers are resented comic fans, that can be bothered to actually read what they are whining about, just because the manga market is bigger.

    Does Naruto resemble DBZ? yes, why? because the author has stated that he is a big fan of DBZ, the similarities can be pinpointed, other than that, saying that Naruto, Bleach, DBZ are the SAME, just because they share common ground or inspiration, is like saying that DBZ is just like Superman because Akira Toriyama loves Superman and made it as a sort of homage ( the whole saiyan arc…if you didn’t know ), is Superman and DBZ the same thing? no.

    About stories don’t having an end…they do, get some culture, hell if it’s all about whoring out the characters, why do many mangakas, flat out REFUSED to sell their products in the US due to censoring? what do you call that? whoring out for the money? I mean, changing the way WE read is not something neglible…and that’s what manga has done, no, one of the best factors of manga, is that it ends, something that ends doesn’t mena it HAS to be short, it means that it ends, theres no Multiverses, alternate realities etc etc, stories end, this a very well known fact, and I’m surprised to see that someone saying that manga sucks, would look up something so relevant.

    In conclusion: if you are going to bitch about manga, do it right, with proper information, not stupid generalizations, of what little you have come to be in touch with the art form ( which is considered an art form in Japan ), or what manga is actually about, not about the freaks that read them, I mean, what blame does DBZ have if some dude paint his hair yellow and makes it spikey? does that guy make the fighting sucky? how is it, that those factors make the actual manga suck?…it has the same fault Superman had because kids jumped off roofs…none.

    So get off your damn self, if you don’t like otaku freaks, fine we all agree with you, but saying manga sucks because some shallow obviusly ignorant coments or views, is plainly fanboyish, just by sheer volume of production, there are tons of mangas produced that would shut the hell uo all of naysayers.


    Little tip: “no one reads manga in Japan”? think again, manga makes 40% of the book industry in Japan, and several manga are some of the best seller books in the history in Japan…like One Piece.

    P.S. 2

    I found that most of your complaints relate more to the american comics industry than manga, thus fueling my thesis that you are completly ignorant of the subject, and your entry is probably just reactionary to the alarming increase in popularity of manga in well, all over the world.

  38. I enjoyed Astroboy as a six year old, back in the 1960’s. But I was only six or seven, so don’t hold that against me. It was slick back then (but manga and anime have barely budged an inch since then, except in terms of sex and violence of course.)

    I’ve worked as a post-production professional in filmmaking for many years, and one thing that never fails to astound me is: how come this quaint, primitive cartoon style (which admittedly had its place way back then, for young, unsophisticated children like myself) still appeals to people today? Especially young adults who like to consider themselves as “intelligent” or “hip” or whatever it is young body-piercers think these days.

    The ridiculously oversized eyes, stuttering in-betweening and infantile plots, and barely sumblimated adolescent, twisted desire for sex with androids, etc. etc., to me, all adds up to a bizarre and horrible mix. What is wrong with you people? Were you raised on Coke and junk food and brain reduction drugs?

    And what is it with this “society must perish with sex, violence and monsters” nonsense the Japanese are obsessed with? Yikes, Godzilla meets rootable androids. The Japanese contribution to modern culture!

    I’d have thought the bloody demise of Mishima would’ve been the final word on that ugly, obsolete, 16th century warrior world-view. But apparenly not … but then, of course, nobody reads or understands history these days, especially “hip kids”.

    Today, it’s all simply having or wanting to have sex with androids. To me, it’s all very, very sad. What a sad way for a great culture to have gone sliding down the toilet.

    What’s sadder, though, is the sheer, blind, unthinking, slavish, obsequious following all you media slaves give to it! Shame on you, grow up! THINK FOR YOURSELVES.

    Read Shakespeare for fuck’s sake, or ANYTHING other than this unsettling and childish mass-produced tripe. Imagine looking back at the crap you’re reading now, from the vantage point of when you’re 60. You’ll feel horrified and embarrassed, I PROMISE YOU THIS. Avoid that fate, and wake up now.

    Give up Manga and the even worse Anime, and do something useful with your lives, like not buying mass media shit that’s aimed to appeal to the level of a violent 10 year old. I’m kinda amazed you people need this pointing out to you, yikes. But then, lotsa people believe Iraq did 911, eh? And that “democracy” exists in the world, hahaha.



  39. Is this topic too old?
    Give it a rest will ya? People LIKE anime and manga. That doesn’t mean you have to. I’ve heard this line a million times (a million and ONE now thanks to you.) It’s been slowly seeping into peoples lives since it’s debut in America. Now, there’s thousands of fans everywhere. At least two or three fans in each family. The characters are friendly and easy to relate to, and the storylines and graphics are beautiful and detailed. Many manga artists strive to make their characters look as unique as possible, while trying to stick to the originality of the story. No ones saying you need to like it. Just suck it in and take the reality like a man. Or, do it the old-fashioned catholic way and bitch about it.

  40. Cassiopeia Said: “Many manga artists strive to make their characters look as unique as possible”

    AAHAHAH how can you make a character as unique as possible when you are restricted in a fucking style like manga : this character has red hair so he’s different from the blue hair character… Come on wake up and learn what is Art, you have one billion way to draw, and mangas are all same because all mangas obey to rules, the only anime I’ve ever apreciated was Akira.

    It’s sad it was your only argument to defend manga and it’s a counter argument

  41. invAda:

    Clearly you’ve never heard of Lone Wolf and Cub, Sanctuary, Blade of the Immortal, Vagabond or even Monster, which are drawn in a more realistic or at least not as “manga” as what you are trying to convey…seriously if there’s one thing you CAN’T say about manga is that it’s “stuck” in some way or form, sheer variety it’s what manga is.

  42. Wow… this is sad…

    You HONESTLY have NO idea what you are talking about…

    Your ignorance makes me giggle like a little school girl! Seriously!! You’ve done the typical stereotypical bullcrap that most people get away with. Ok, I believe that you are allowed to have an opinion, but to have an opinion on something that you aren’t trully aware of, and speak it as if it’s the truth is just shameful.

    First of all, U.S. Comics vs. Japan Comics is like comparing a Bass Singer vs. a Soprano. Their way too different. I read both forms of comics, and I can honestly say that manga serves more of a variety in genres and art forms.

    U.S. Comics are more realistically challenged. Where taking things like: anatomy, perspective, light source, etc. And in the comics, they let the characters do all the talking, moving, and simple story telling.

    Japanese Comics are a little different. Manga is all about expression. The way it’s drawn is completely up to the artist. Anatomy, perspective, and all aspects of art are still applied. In manga, the idea is to tell a story through body language and the art itself. Talking is still important, but the art tells a story, not the words. THATS the difference.

    If you didn’t catch that, look at it like this:

    a conversation in a western comic can be done in 2 pages. the same conversation in an eastern comic can be done in 15 pages.

    taking this knowledge (that you obviously weren’t aware of) would explain why the series can get so long. A chapter in a western comic can be 15 pages. In a manga, it can be 70 pages.

    Now, being an artist of many things (that includes realism and manga) when I here people say “there is no art in manga” is complete utter bullcrap. To have the ability to draw unrealistic proportions (yet they follow the laws of anatomy) and keep a sense of originality in your art, is not an easy task. Now, your whole crap on that characters in manga all look the same, is failure. That’s like saying all Asian people look the same. Or that all Hispanic people look the same. If you pay attention, they are VERY different!

    Before you rant on anything again, keep this in mind: know what your talking about. You have stereotyped about several million people in the United States, and you don’t even understand what the hell your talking about.

    If you don’t, your going to look like an idiot, the world is very large, don’t get lost in it.

  43. TBH, i just enjoy manga for what it is, and try not have huge expectations for them. I just enjoy having some sort of media that updates every week for me to look into and enjoy, while i try and not take too seriously.

    I understood how stupid the whole “I take 4 episodes to kick yo’r ass, WHOOOAAa!” was in Dragonball Z, or the whole trippy Toaism elements were in Black Cat; but hey, it was entertaining (and still kind of is), which was the important part.

    But, i’ll be damned if i ever get into something where rape from some alien robot the the centeral plot.

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