Essay by sowCollege, UndergraduateA, January 2007

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Manga is the Japanese word for graphic novel. Although having the total number of fans of millions of people, manga is considered a cheap and childish way of entertainment, or just a combination of sex and violence by many people. However, despite all those kinds of stereotype, manga is indeed a true form of art with its nearly one thousand-year history, its diversity, its popularity and its own values.

Although manga has just appeared in America in recent years, people already gave it many bad reputations and denied its role as a form of art.

When I first came to America, an American friend asked me what I usually did in the weekend. When I told him that I loved reading manga from the Internet, he looked at me strangely. While his reaction upset me, his reason shocked me to death: "You actually download and read those kinds of pornography?"

The idea that manga is nothing but sex is not only had by him but also by other people.

For instance, let's look at what the US mail order characterized the famous series Ranma ½: "a sex comedy" (Izawa, "Stereotype"). Comedy. Yes. Nudity. Yes. But sex? In that whole series, there isn't even a real kissing scene, let alone a sex scene. Obviously, this kind of perception is based on no real evidence but is simply a kind of stereotype for manga. This stereotype resulted from two things. First of all, many American people still think of Japan as a "sexual" society with public bath, geisha, and that Japanese women are nothing but "sexual objects" for men (Izawa, "Gender"). Another factor contributed to that stereotype is a part of manga itself. To fulfill the demands of many readers, many manga, especially those for boys, are full of "big boost" and...