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Anime and Manga Awareness in India

Have you ever thought of a scientist making a time machine from a microwave? Ever thought of a technology which can make corpses work? Ever thought of Satan working as a part-time in McDonald’s? Well, that’s Manga for you.

Japanese cultured comics and cartoons are widely known as Manga and Anime respectively. The massive domestic industry for Manga is slowly meeting its exposure internationally. In Japan, people of all demographics read Manga. It is common to see big business men in suits reading thick comic books while commuting in trains. The range of genres in Manga are very diverse, with content varying from fairy tails to futuristic science fiction and from teenage romance to profound themes about life.

The comics are broadly separated into four categories according to the target audience: boys, girls, youths and matured, so it is a social stigma that Anime is JUST for kids. The word Anime is the Japanese term for Animation. It has lessons and stories that keep even older watchers enthralled from beginning to end. On top of that, Anime is intellectually stimulating for every other age level.

Anime is not just entertaining, it’s also enlightening. It leaves you wiser than before and definitely opens up your mind. Anime has a completely different way of hitting at your emotions at point blank range. Hence, it appeals to you in a way no other TV Show can. In fact, many people, who get into Anime, say that it is their medium to escape from the reality and resonate themselves within the great depths of completely overwhelming stories and amazing characters.

In India, it is still pretty much a foreign concept. The most common misconception is the confusion between anime and cartoons. They are both completely different styles of animation altogether. Whilst cartoons and anime are both caricature sketches tuned into animation, the latter has a very distinct style of art using unique visual elements for the characters. A majority of anime are based on their comic counterpart, Manga, which are barely accessible in India apart from online shopping.

Exposure to Japanese culture in India is very minimal. It is only truly embraced and identified in teen years when fans willingly step out of their parental influence and into global influence. You would still remember watching a couple of shows, like Dragon Ball Z and Pokémon, as a kid having no idea what Anime was and passing those shows as mainstream American cartoons. Few people are already nose-deep into that culture, but the problem is that it is extremely difficult to find others with the same preference.

This is where social media takes a huge influence on your harmonisation. Fans would absolutely despise people’s ignorance towards the media, and always dream about Anime finally getting more exposure in India and gaining the appreciation it deserves. There are still very few platforms that legally stream anime, that too, they only stream the mildly famous ones. Less to no chances of consuming more of that quality medium irks fans the most. Although, the progress of indulgence in India is quite appreciable as India holds Comic Conventions, and a few screenings of live-action and animated Japanese movies in selected theatres for a day or two, regardless of them being quite small-scaled. There is a steady growth in the creation of fan clubs; social media groups providing a good amount of information and recognition; increase in the creation of readily and easily available merchandise — clothes, cups, necklaces, rings, etc. Awareness is building, slowly but steadily.

Fans of Anime and Manga had lost all hopes of experiencing an anime movie on the big screen. it was completely overwhelming twitter blew up with tweets regarding the release of Dragon Ball Super: Broly on the big screen, all thanks to PVR. Online petitions on kept circulating and few Indian celebrities, like Raftaar and Disha Patani, tweeted about bringing the movie to India as well.

Finally, PVR heard all the eager voices and posted on twitter that if they get ‘Over 9000’ (a reference to the anime) retweets, they will divulge the official release date in India.

I watched the movie in a nearby PVR theatre yesterday and it was an unbelievably amazing experience! The fact that a very niche audience for the medium they absolutely adore, is fortunately expanding is truly commendable. I recommend everyone to try and indulge in Anime and Manga, and I am sure that your generalised opinions will change and you will too appreciate the peculiarity of them.

There is something for everyone.


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