Ah manga. The gift that keeps on giving. The inspiration that has now started inspiring. The original sin and also the original sinner.
Perhaps, but the mark of the mangaka is unmistakable and undeniable in our lives. Japan’s mainstream comic book industry which started as the smallest of the small. Was an attempt to give the identity starved Japanese people heroes of their own, like the Americans had theirs. It was a humble attempt and was long ridiculed by the more powerful film companies of Japan. Who at the time ruled the entertainment industry. Serious directors/writers/artists kept their heads down and stayed away from manga/anime lest they incur the producer’s wrath.
Today it’s impact cant be felt worldwide. Even in India we see kids gush over Naruto and collect a myriad of toys and collectibles while making ‘pika pika…pikachu’ noises. It has in due course overtaken and overthrown the giant shadow of the American Comic book industry and today casts it’s own lofty gloom upon the world. Being no stranger to manga (and by it’s extension anime) I believe the stars to have sufficiently aligned and the time to be sort of right for new readers of comic books, namely you to follow me into the great mysteries of the Orient.
Manga is not for everybody, but for anybody who loves comic books it is a must have. You havent seen art until you have seen manga art. Storylines tend to suffer slightly due to the episodic nature of the comic books but the art is always top notch and as a genral rule of thumb only gets better the longer a series lasts. My first introduction to manga came through Chanbara. By this time I was already an avid fan of period Samurai movies namely Chanbara cinema. And was hungering for more awesome stories from mideval Japan that dealt with flashing swords and crossed honor. It was at this time I discovered a veritable treasure trove in manga. Comics that dealt with badass ronins, tormented former killers, or heroes in hiding. The Way of the Sword as I call it now, is a set of the most influential and exciting Chanbara manga/anime I have seen. I recommend these fine pieces of artwork to anyone who likes the feel of a well spun story and loves art.
Now follow close as I take you down the Way of the Sword.