October 9, 2005

What does manga mean to you?

In Tokyopop's recently renamed Manga magazine (formerly Takuhai), editor Marco Pavia explains the name change. In the final paragraph he says:
Manga is about attitude, it's about lifestyle, and it's bolder and better than before. If you have to ask what Manga means (or don't even know how to pronounce it), your finger's just not on the pulse. Come on, we don't have to tell you that manga is really a state of mind.

This "new manga" approach may be confusing to those who erroneously believed that manga was, in fact, an artform, fandom, entertainment business, cultural phenomenon, or geographic place of origin. To make things clearer, a history of licensed manga in North America is explained below, using analogous phrases derived from the development of "new math." After all, "new manga" is just a different way to look at the same old crap.

1988: Kyosuke has to defeat 20 evil dudes to become Grand Champion of Fighting. If it takes him 5 chapters of manga to defeat 2 opponents, how many six-chapter volumes will it take for him to become the Grand Champion?

1995: Asami-chan has to defeat 20 evil spirits to capture the Choco Choco Sparkle Fairy Jewel. If it takes her 3 chapters of manga to defeat 2 opponents, how do you think her friends will feel if she loses?

2002: Kazuo has to fend off 5 other girls so that he can end up with his childhood friend Mitsue. Using the image provided, estimate Mitsue's breast size. (NOTE: This problem reads right to left.)

2005: What does "manga" mean to you?