Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Rose of Versailles

Is a manga/anime made in the 70's; it consist of 10 volumes for the manga, and 41 episodes for the anime. The story takes place in France before and during the French revolution. The main protagonist is a woman named Oscar François de Jarjayes. She is the daughter of the general in charge of the royal guard. Since her father never had a baby boy, he decided to train Oscar to take his place. She was train in different martial arts, and she was left in charge of protecting the royal family. The story deals in part with the problems that Oscar is having; she feels the need to obey her father, and stay like the leader of the royal guard, but she also wants to help the people that are suffering, and poor because of the unnecessary expenses of the queen Marie Antoinette. The queen is expending an enormous amount of money because she is love sick; Oscar had to send a conde that was having an affair with the queen to try to save the name of the royal family. Also, Oscar deals with her needs to express herlself like a woman, and stop behaving like a man. So at some level this manga/anime deals with a bisexual struggle. At the end of the plot she helps orgnize the people in the taking of the Bastille to end the french monarchy. She is shot, and killed; the royal family is captured and guillotined. This manga/anime was a pioneer dealing with themes as strong as bisexuality. The story is superb having an always impressive reference to history. Overall even if its and old production, its still enjoyable and I'm pretty sure that many can relate to her story.


Full Metal Alchemist, is a manga and anime than in my opinion is popular because it has something for almost everyone. One can see it from the perspective of a superhero story, others appreciate the imaginative story deriving the origins of chemistry, the alchemy, and how is well explain, and at the end its completely understandable. Moreover, the social and racial issues that this anime/manga deals with. The struggles of being discriminated because of ones religion, skin and eye color, and how this leads to war and massive destruction, and death. The mental scars of the soldiers that were forced to abandon their moral, and principles to obey the order of superiors. It also deals with the consequences of seeking power at any cost. Full Metal Alchemist may seem as a simple anime/manga at first, but as one pays attention to the story, its easier to realize how complex it is. Another plus for FMA, is that is not an extremely long series, having 51 episodes, and one movie that finalizes the story. However, there is a new series of FMA that was released this year, and its still ongoing.

Friday, July 31, 2009


dōjin, literally "same person" and shi is a contraction that means magazine. Dojinshi works are usually amateur works; however, they are sometimes made by professionals too. Doijunshis' are made like an extension of the original manga, hentai, or videogame. They contain the same characters, and usually the same setting, but what they do is they explore the plot or a certain characteristic more in deep, or they just extend the story to whatever the new creator thinks it should go. They are usually self-publish, so the creator has the liberty to take as much time, and effort as he or she wants. They sound like the OVA, but they different. OVA is based in manga, and they try to change the story, but Dojinshi works can go to wherever the new author wants it to go. They have Dojinshi conventions as well. An intersting aspect of this trend is the copyright. One would think that people can get in trouble for explictly copying someones elses ideas, but the truth if far from that. Many many times they are actually encourage by the original authors. Why? well first there is a chance that people get to know the original the manga from the doijinshi, and second the artits can get fresh ideas from them.


AMV stands for Anime Music Video. They are fan-made videos that take different video clips from one or more anime series and then a song is added to it. The process can be very long since there can be a great amount of small clips per song, but the results are truly impressive. They have a wide variety of themes, including love scenes, fights, and sometimes just silly moments. AMV's competitions are offently done in anime conventions; also, the conventions usually have exhibition of famous AMV's. Also, not all of them are made from anime clips; they are also made using video games clips. AMV's are quite popular, and when they are well make can serve as a form to get to know new anime, or to just enjoy a cool scene from an anime that one enjoys.

Anime Convention in Colorado

There is going to be an anime convention here in Colorado on September 11, 12, and 13, 2009. Is going to take place in this address:

Marriott DTC
4900 S Syracuse St
Denver, CO 80237

If you register before august 15 the price will be $45. It seems like a great way to get to know more manga, participate in costume and AMV contests, and just to have fun in general. If anyone wants to know more this their website:

Masashi Kishimoto

Masashi Kishimoto was born in 1977, and he is a Japanese manga artist. He is well known for his Shonen Jump publication named "Naruto." Masashi created naruto in 1999 and after 10 years the series is still running. Viz media (which its another manga publication company) stated that in 2006 naruto accounted for 10% of their total sells. Masashi Kishimoto says that his inspiration to create the character naruto came from reading the manga Dragon Ball Z; he wanted to imitate the energy and enthusiasm of the main character son Goku while trying to develop a character that was unique at the same time. The manga has over 46 volumes, from which 36 have been already converted into two well known and successful anime series. Masashi Kishimoto fallows some straight forward steps while working in the manga; he first creates the concept and draws a rough sketch. Then, he starts creating some drafts of the concept, and when he's happy with the rusult Masashi makes the draw on ink. After that he makes the shading, and sometimes coloring. Masashi has stated that the most difficult character form him to draw in the last 10 years has been Sasuke Uchiha, which at the beginnings of the series he will miss draw making him look older all of the sudden.

An image of Sasuke.


Shonen Jump

Like an overall general statement Shonen Jump are magazines that are dedicated to the manga, anime, and Japanese culture. Shonen Jump weekly being one the oldest branches is as its name says a weekly magazine that is release in Japan. It features different manga series, video games reviews, and general culture contents. Its known sister in the US is Shonen Jump Magazine. Shonen Jump Magazine is the US version of Shonen Jump, and its release monthly just because its more traditional. Also, since is release only once a month it possess certain differences. For example, the manga that is publish is far more carefully selected, and its chose trying to get the manga that will appeal to an audience from the US. Moreover, not all the manga titles that are selected get to end their series inside Shonen Jump. When the manga becomes unpopular its replaced. I consider it annoying that certain titles are removed from the magazine without having an end; however, with series like Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z that are extremely long is reasonable, but magazines like Shonen Jump are important to spread different and new titles of Manga.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Death Note first cover

That is the cover of the first volume of the extremely popular Manga series named "Death Note" that was created by Tsugumi Ohba. The series deals with a supernatural note book, and the name of the preson that is written in the notebook shall die. The image has a black background with gray letters that stay the rules of the notebook. On the most predominant featers is the purple cross, probably like a religies symbol; to add more misticism. On top of the name there is a skull with wings, in my opinion it trays to represent an angel of death. Behind the main character named Light Yagami there's a strange figure. From the manga he is a shinigami or god of death, and he suppose write names and decide who is going to die. In the manga and anime Light receives the notebook. Thats is why he's holding that weapon, like a grim reaper. Light is standing in the middle of the cover, like the central figure; his legs are separated, and the way in which he's holding the weapon, creates a sense of movement, like if he was about use it. Death Note is an excellent manga and anime, that has a very complex plot, and many twist and surprices along the way; I will personally recommended to anyone.
Just for fun Im including the basic rules of the notebook; they reveal a little bit of the main idea arround the manga and anime.


There is a big difference between those two terms, and its important to understand it. Hentai is basically an adult comic book, and most not be confuse with Manga. Hentai is strictly sexual and pornographic, and many people criticize Manga taking examples from Hentai. Also, Hentai includes comic books, movies, series, and video games. The word Hentai is comomnly used as a term for sexually perverted. Those hentai works usually include a plot to develop the characters and background; however, the goal is always to show a sexual scene. They have a wide range of sexual fantasies and fetish, and they include things like Bakunyu (large breasts), Futanari, Bestiality, Lolicon, Urolagnia, Coropohilia, Incest, and Tentacle rape. The last of the least being having one of the most old representations, or first Japanese hentai works named "Diver and two octopi" design by Hokusai in 1814.

(The following links contain explict images. )

Dr. Osamu Tesuka

These fallowing images are from Dr. Osamu Tesuka works. In the fallowing images we can see some of his most famous works like Astro Boy, and we can appreciate how important he was in the Japanese culture since he had his own stamp.
Simba the white lion

Friday, July 24, 2009


Gorillaz is a virtual band created in 1998. They currently have only two album's one named Gorillaz that was released in 2001 and the other one in 2005 name Demon Days. They have sold over 15 millions of copies of the albums. The band members vary, but Albarn is the only permanent member of the band. Gorillaz is composed of four animated characters named 2D, Murdoc, Noodle, and Russel. The reason for them to be mention in this blog is that as you can see they have a great Japanese anime influence in the design of the virtual band members. That comes to show how popular and inlfuencil the Japanese Manga, and animation is. The fallowing are two of ther greates hits, Feel Good Inc, and

Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood

Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz

Tite Kubo Draws

The fallowing are draws, and animations made and or inspire by Tite Kubo. They come from their 2 most famous works Zombie Powder, and the still on going project Bleach. To be hones I believe that he makes a great work designing the figures but the shadows at least in this particular draws are not so impressive.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Akira Toriyama

He was born on April 5, 1955. He is well known and respected around the world for his multimillionaire manga that sold over 120 millions of copies, and created a series of video games that up to date are still being release. He created that manga in 1984, and he named Dragon Ball. It has over 519 chapters condense in 42 volumes that contain on average 200 pages each. Not only he created one of the most famous mangas worldwide, he also actively participates in the development of different video games such as Dragon Quest, the fighting game series Toval, an RPG (role playing game) exclusive for the Xbox Blue Dragon. Akira's first hit was thanks to his popular manga name Dr. Slump (which in my opinion looks a little bit like the first Dragon Ball episodes). Thanks to Dr. Slump he was honor with the Shongakun Manga Award. Akira Toriyama inspirations are beleive to be the works of Dr. Osamu Tesuka and his manga Astro Boy, Walt Disney movies like 101 Dalmatian's, and the early Jackie Chan movies. Toriyamas is currently working in a project call Dragon Ball Online which its a direct continuation from the Dragon Ball manga, and its expected to be release in Japan, and South Korea.


The name OVA stands for original video animation. One aspect that makes differ greatly from the anime series is that they are release directly to dvd's, and back in the days they were release in VHS. This creates a great difference because the director has much more time to develop and more detail plot; a normal TV episode needs be between 20-24 minutes and a movie is usually not more than 2 hours; however, with OVA a director can take as much time as she or he needs. Also, the pressure from having to expand a short plot inserting fillers that usually have nothing to do with the original plot or to shrink a huge plot into a TV season disappears. Usually OVA are known to be more faithful the original manga because of freedom in time they can be far more detail and contain much more of the background and motivations of the characters; also, since they don't have to fallow the censorship rule in order to be able air the TV series in a reasonable air time, they OVA can be far more explicit, and violent ( not that they necessarily are). OVAs are not as popular here since they are not release on TV series or movies. They started to be produce in the 1970's, and the first official OVA was name Dallos and it was release by Bandai.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Ghost in the Shell

I have to admit that I just saw this movie a couple of days ago; however, it made a great impression for me, I hated it. First what it bother me the most was the slow paste, only a fast moving action every once in a while kept me awake. Also, around every 20 minutes or so, they show the decadent city, the pollution and what it seem to be a lost society unable to differ to find what make them unique. That would have not been that bad if they wouldn't haven't done it that many times, and the classic Japanese music( I'm assuming that it was Japanese) in the background almost made me turn off the t.v. However, I have to admit that I understood the reason of why this movie was such a big hit in the anime world. The identity problems that major suffered, unable to know if she was still human or if all the upgrades made her just a machine, wanting to quit, but unable to pay the price to do it. At the end of the movie the film left me thinking about myself; wondering what really makes myself be me, how unique I really am...

Anime, is it the same as manga?

How much of the original message that was express in the manga is retain when its converted to Anime. To be fair, I'll have to same that is a case by case situation; however, usually they differ quite a lot. For example, Akira the greatest anime movie ever made (according to you chris) is completely different from the manga. Another example for which I'm more familiar is Hellsing. The Hellsing anime consists of 13 episodes; to me the only parts that are the same are the beginning of the anime and the characters. Most of the plot was develop for the anime only, and even the episodes that were extracted directly from the manga were different; they were much more soft than the anime, showing less gore, blood, and sexual content. Because of that lost in the content in the translation, OVAS where created.

Popular Manga

Why manga has a such variety of readers? Well I believe that is due to the many different types of manga; there's such a great variety that at least one will be appealing to a reader. There are so many different types of manga that I believe that its impossible to find not find one that is would be attractive. Their plots have such a variety of themes including death, religion, comedy, social issues, racial issues, sexual issues, heroism, friendship, and many many others; also, there are some mangas that deal with absolubtly nothing ( I know that many will disagree, but I believe that the most suitable example is Lucky Star). Moreover, the quality of drawing could be a factor. Manga artist make their draws differently; for example, some try to be very realistic with their draws, making them look as realistic as possible, and others are more careful about the plot rather than the relative beauty of their draws. Also, manga books are very portable; they are small books that can be carried pretty much everywhere.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The God of Manga

Dr. Osamu Tezuka is the father of Japanese animation; the Japanese Walt Disney. He invented something that ended being one of the most distinctive feature of the manga, and Japanese animation. He was born in November 23, 1928 in Ozaka, Japan. He was a manga artist, anime producer, and medical doctor; however, he never actually practiced medicine. While being in school, he was bully around, but he used to find comfort in his mom stories, that later on were part of his inspirations. He created famous manga that up to this days are still part of our culture; for example, he created Astro Boy in 1963, and there is an Astro Boy movie that is going to be release in 2009 or 10. Another one of his famous works was Kimba the White Lion. Also, he took advantage of his medical degree to take sci-fi manga to a whole new level with works like Black Jack. Another of his hugely mayor contributions to this field was the way he draw the eyes of his characters. The shape of the eyes is distinctive characteristic of Japanese animation and manga, and he was the one that create it. His inspiration for it; lays of the fact that when he was young his mother used to take him to the Takarazuka theater in the city of Takarazuka. He was inspired by the way in which the female eyes were highlighted. Thanks to that famous characters of the American animation of that time were influenced; characters like Betty Boop, and some say that even the incredibly famous Mickey Mouse. He died in February 29, 1989; he left a couple of unfinished manga projects. Up to the end of his life he was still creating new manga, and anime.



Tite Kubo

His real name Noriaki Kubo. He's a young Japanese manga artist, who created famous works like Zombiepowder and Bleach. He was born in June 26, 1977. His career began in magazine manga contest that he didn't won. However, a producer saw his work, and offered Tite Kubo to work with him. His influences while creating the plots for the manga are sometimes strong emotions. For example, in his series Zombiepowder he deals with the seek of power, and the desire to resurrect a love one. Specially that last part may be his bigger influence, since it has been said that during the production of Zombiepowder Tite Kubo was experiencing a severe personal trauma. However, in his most recent and by far more popular manga name Bleach his influences are by far different. In different interviews, Tito Kubo has said he was influenced by different manga series such as Shigeru Mizuk's GeGeGe no Kitaro; also, popular culture like films and rock music.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A little bit of faith...

Religion plays a big role in the world of manga. Many different works have been created around it, and it's not only limited to one religion. For example, we have the recent popular anime and manga Death Note.However, by far my favorite anime and manga that deals with mysticism and religion is Hellsing. Hellsing deals with Catholicism. However, what it seems interesting to me from the manga and anime, its the way in which the members of the catholic church are represented. For example, father Alexander Anderson its ironically portrait like an example of the perfect Aryan male in the anime; he's presented like a tall man with blond hair and blue eyes.

"I am the instrument of God, messenger of the divine punishment of heaven" (from the anime)

That particular drawn was very impressive to me. He seems to be making strong steps, you cannot even see his eyes, but yet they are penetrating, and intimidating. His fist is completely close, and its almost possible to feel the energy that he is putting into his hands. I like how one shoulder is drawn higher than the other; it seems to add the effect of movement into the draw. Then the crucifix, its suppose to identify him as a man of God; however, to me it looks like a sharp object, almost like a weapon ( Isn't religion used like a weapon through history? the inquisition?). I personally enjoy this drawn because it represents the opposite of what its really suppose to be; instead of a father, a man of God and peace, I see something that resembles a diabolical figure.


Akira is a 1998 film adapted from a anime. Up to this day is consider like one of the best anime films. According to an article from Wikipedia "Channel 4's 2005 poll of the 100 greatest cartoons of all time featuring both cartoon shows and cartoon movies, Akira came in at #16.", but many critics consider that the movie is too short for what its message, and that it basicly contains far too many thematical elemets.
When I saw the film, I was not impress with the actual animation and the style of the characters; however, for the time in which it was release the animation is considerably superior.
The message that the film is trying to transmit is powerful. It explores different social and psychological issues. For example, it deals with gangs, corruption and the search for power. Another important issue that is deal in the movie is the personal growth, the path to reach maturity, not only for one person, but also for humanity.

This is the english trailer for the original 1988 movie



The word anime is an abbreviated Japanese pronunciation of "animation." Anime is a little to hard to compare with manga, but at the same time one "usually" comes from the other. For me anime seems like the animated expression of manga, but how much of the original idea is lost after is transform into anime? For many manga artist the idea of transforming its art into anime is quite a profitable option, and is a way to express their story to a broader audience. More people watch anime, why? well it requires less effort, and its easier. When you read manga, you have to actually be able to read it, and at some small level imagine the movement of the characters; however, with anime all you have to do is turn on the t.v. and watch. Anime also applies to a younger audience, simply because little kids that don't know how to read yet can watch anime.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Check this out!

(F.M.A. = Full Metal Alchemist)

Monday, June 29, 2009

What is Manga?

Generalizing a little bit, manga is basically a Japanese comic book. In the English-speaking world as a generic term for all comic books and graphic novels that were originally published in Japan. There is the term Amerimanga for woks that are develop by Americans in the manga style.Manga can also refer to publications made in a montly magazine; however, I'll refer to manga as graphic novels or comics. A manga graphic novel can consist of a couple of volumes to more than 20. Also, another characteristic that makes Manga popular is the fact that there tons of publications, and there's one for anyone; for example, one can contain a deep political message, and other can be just a simple superhero story. There are a couple of distinctive characteristics of it. The draws are usually made in pen and ink, emphasizing the use of clean lines. Also, the eyes have a distinctive shape (I'll be easier if I just show it).


General Overview

In this blog I will be posting different images to illustrate my point. If I'm able to find the author I'll be more than glad to recognize his or her talent. However, this blog is going to be develop for my Art Appreciation class; therefore, if the author of any of the images has a problem whit it being in this blog just contact me, and I will remove it as soon as my class is over.
Section 107 of the US copyright law contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.