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|Author:|| Helen McCarthy |
|Release Date:||26 Apr 2006|
|Categories:||Comics and Comics Related|
The explosion in popularity of manga (Japanese comics) and its sister genre anime (comic films) in the western world in recent years has been nothing short of phenomenal. While many in the West still view these genres as a very modern invention rooted in a unique style of children's animation, the true origins of Japanese cartoon drawing date back almost 800 years to crude drawings on temple walls. In 1702 artist Shumboko Ono made a book out of prints of these pictures and the tradition of Tobae, as these comics were originally known, grew over the next two centuries. Today these comics form a large proportion of the literature for the whole of Japanese society.
The growth in popularity of manga in the West has been accompanied by a number of books on the subject not merely translated manga comics but, of late, instructional guides to drawing characters. There have also been several scholarly tomes teaching the origins of the genre in Japan, but this is the first book to focus on the characters themselves, featuring 500 of the most famous from 1890 to the present day in full colour. Following a brief overview of the history of Japanese comics, the book is divided by character into chapters including male and female heroes and villains, antiheroes, nonhumanoid characters, teams, historical and literary characters. Each and every character included has a potted biography of their life in Japanese comics and the date of their first appearance, while 50 key characters such as Astro Boy, Akira, Lupin III and Pokemon are explored at length in special spotlight pages. There are also feature splashes on famous artists and series and crucial developments in the manga story.
'500 Manga Heroes and Villains' is the first book of its kind to assess the huge range of manga characters in illustrated form. Packed with colour illustrations it is an essential and accessible reference tool for firsttime enthusiasts and manga historians alike.
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