by Ewa Nowogorski
America has American comics. Every country in the world has its own comics. Japan, too, has comics. In fact, its comics are so well known that the whole world is in love with them. Japanese manga is borderline addictive, and it has some unique qualities that make it so.
Probably the first one is its visually appealing art style. Manga is usually black and white, which should be a disadvantage because colorful comics are usually more appealing to audiences, but characters are usually drawn very attractively. In addition to that, art style is adapted depending on the audience it is attended for. Manga targeted towards a female audience has cutesy characters with big eyes, and manga targeted towards males has more serious, cool looking characters.
I can’t really think of comics in America other than Marvel comics, and the art style does not appeal to me, personally. I can imagine that it doesn’t really appeal to many other girls either.
Another reason why manga is so popular is their ability to hook readers with impressive plots. There are hundreds and thousands of titles, and you will never run out of plot twists and surprises. Japanese manga artists are also very sensitive to emotions and can capture and express the emotions of their characters so well that we as the audience end up empathizing with them.
One more reason why comics are so popular is their educational qualities. Sometimes, it’s actually more fun and much more productive to learn from comics than from a plain old textbook. Comics will sometimes teach you lessons and morals that American comics just don’t teach you. As an adult, a lot of American comics come off as cheesy or overexaggerated, but Japanese manga does not do that.