Remember, back in the day, every kid would read comics. Reading comics was like a must do activity for kids. But at the same time, not many adults used to read those. So it was a common understanding in the west that comics are meant for kids. Of course there were exceptions. Exceptions like DC Comics and Marvel’s Comics. Well, even adults loved the superhero universe that the duo depicted. The trend has continued till date, at least in the US. But Japan is a different story altogether. In Japanese comics are called Manga. Reading manga is and always has been a popular activity in Japan. It is one of the most mainstream forms of entertainment out there. Manga in Japan isn’t bound by age or gender. In fact, its liberality might surprise the ‘yet unaware’ Americans. I say ‘yet unaware’, because manga is a highly popular medium. One that isn’t bounded by a single country or region. So its popularity isn’t limited to just Japan. Readers all over the globe read manga today.
Readers all over the globe
Many believe that manga has a far greater fan base than American comics. While the topic is debatable, my point here is that manga has crossed national boundaries over time. It has reached and penetrated many of the western countries as well, in addition to the Asian and Pacific countries. So there are a large number of American and European manga readers. While many of the western readers are cognizant of only the popular manga titles like Naruto and One Piece, there are a large number of ‘not so popular’ manga out there too. Naruto and One Piece have fans all over the globe. In fact they have a larger fan base outside Japan.
This is a big deal since One Piece has been publishing for over two decades now and Naruto ended after 700 chapters spanning over a decade and half. To have a fan base is one thing, but to maintain and entertain these fans for over a decade is a completely different thing. Something that very few titles manage to do. And not just in manga, but in other forms of entertainment as well, be it comics or TV shows. If you are not a reader already, manga typically have 100 to 200 chapters. Anything more than that is considered as a long manga. Since manga typically publish only one chapter a week, it is highly commendable for these titles to have engaged readers for over decades.
Loved by all
Titles like Dragon Ball, Bleach, Fairy Tail, Hunter x Hunter and Shingeki no Kyojin have entertained readers over the years. And when I say readers, I mean not just Japanese readers but readers all over the globe. There are a large number of Western readers who read each and every weekly chapter release for these manga. While the most popular titles represent the face of the manga community, they are simply not all that is there. There are numerous popular manga out there. They may not be as popular as the ones mentioned earlier but then again, there can only be a handful of ‘most popular’ titles. There are numerous titles that have over the years entertained, connected with and been loved by readers all over the world. Titles like Arslan Senki and Nanatsu no Taizai have been loved by readers everywhere.
All age groups
There are quite a few reasons for such immense popularity of manga. The first and most important being that manga serve for all age groups and genders. So they are not limited only to kids. Many manga have content that connects with both kids and adults. In the same way, there are many manga aimed at a particular age group or gender. So there are just as many dedicated mature manga available as there are kid’s manga. But most manga generally strike a balance between the two.