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Japan Life!
Manga Around the World
Manga Around the World
Manga Around the World

Manga has become increasingly popular all around the world, and today, exports of manga-related items, including animations and games, form almost $3 billion of the exports of Japan (Nakamura, Ichiya. "Japanese Pop Industry" November 2003: 1-18).

Today, manga has been translated into a variety of languages and distributed to countries including Brazil, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, and many more. Now, manga conventions can be found all across the United States, as well as in Canada, Britain, and Australia.

In 2005, manga showed to be an 180 million dollar market in the United States, 60% of which came from female readers. Comics within America had previously appealed only to males, but manga has come to encompass a broader range, appealing to both male and female readers. Tokyopop and VIZ Media are two companies that publish a great deal of the licensed manga in America, but there are also at least forty newspapers that include manga within their funny pages. The popularity of manga has slowly increased over the years in North America, and as more manga is released and more people become aware of them, their popularity only continues to increase.

In the 1990s, France was the largest consumer of manga outside of Japan. Glénat was the company responsible for releasing France's first manga in 1990, a seinen manga known as Akira, written by Katsuhiro Otomo. Other popular works soon followed, such as Akira Toriyama's Dragonball in 1993 and Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma ½ the following year. At this time, magazines such as Kameha by Glénat and Manga Player by GSE were released.

As more time passed, certain publishers, such as Glénat, flipped the manga to follow a left to right writing style, and changed the paper to match those that were used in Fraco-Belgian comics. On the other hand, there were some comics, such as J'ai Lu, which kept the original reading direction and the cheap paper that was used in Japan. France has also recently developed a manga genre known as Nouvelle Manga, the first of which was created by Frédéric Boilet, which contains more sophisticated, daily life manga to supplement traditional Franco-Belgian comics.


Manga is also popular in other countries, though not to the same extent as in France and the United States. Germany had a release of the magazine Manga Power by Feest Comics in 1996, but the greatest influence on manga readership in Germany was the publication of Dragonball in 1997. Today, 75-80% of the comics that are read within Germany are manga, with the majority of readers being female.

Singapore is also heavily involved in the production of manga, with Chuang Yi's publications of manga translated into English and Chinese. The English titles that are translated are exported to Australia and New Zealand, where popular Japanese and Chinese manga and manhua, respectively, are distributed. Manga are also popular in Korea and are sold in the majority of bookstores.

However, one of the largest manga markets outside of Japan is in Indonesia, though there continues to be an increasing amount of bootleg manga (manga that is illegally produced and distributed without regard to copyright laws).

Thailand also creates bootleg manga, usually of poor quality, although now this is being controlled through the introduction of copyright laws. At one point, in Thailand, there was a ban on several manga, due to a television airing, which exaggerated what was bad within manga, causing many to speak out, especially those who were parents. There was later an apology made due to the exaggeration of the television airing.


In Turkey the interest in manga has been manifested in an original way through band called maNga, whose videos and album covers all contain manga style drawings or animations. The band members even have their own manga character drawn to represent them. The drawings were done by an artist named Kaan Demirçelik.

Countries around the world have also tried their hands at creating their own original manga, although under different names: China refers to theirs as manhua, Korea has called them mahhwa, and Taiwan has come to call them manhoa. The English version of manga was once called Amerimanga, but is now usually referred to as OEL manga (Original English Language manga), a term designed to encompass manga created in other English-Speaking countries such as Canada, Britain, and Australia. The United States once had a manga magazine called AmeriManga, which was published in 2002, but was discontinued in 2003.


There are similar magazines within other countries, which include Manga Mover and Sweatdrop in Britain, Xuan Xuan and Oztaku in Australia, and Kitsune in Canada. These authors have all been influenced by Japanese manga, and certain stylistic details that are taken from Japanese manga can be seen within their works.
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