The journey goes on into our discovery on the differences between American and Japanese graphic novels. The super-hero genre is what we have decided to base our comparison on, and already we have seen how the two formats differ in the way they are formatted and distributed. And in this article we will be focusing our intention how the storylines differ in Japanese Manga and the traditional American comic book.
If you love epic tales that go on forever than you should really be looking at manga. The Japanese art of storytelling takes its time, and sometimes the length of a manga story can drag on for months if not years.
These stories are intricate and complicated, to defeat an enemy often a super-hero has to be rescued first which can in itself take numerous chapters. Whereas the American storyline tends to be a little more pressing, with fewer characters and a simple plot.
There is no good or bad about this, it is just a different way to tell a tale. Just as different storytellers had their own styles. Some preferred telling short fables, and others preferred a legendary mythical epic.
The content of the story is fairly similar with both Japanese and American comic books. The big differences between the way American comics elongate their stories to that of the Japanese storylines is the way the world the characters live in is depicted.
In Japanese manga a long winded story is about one main hero and all the adventures he is depicted in. In American storytelling there is a shared universe that all the super-heroes live in. And this shared universe often links the characters in other people’s stories.
It also means that what Superman is doing down here on earth will directly affect the world of the Martian Man-Hunter. With manga there is little or no cross-pollination of characters or storylines. This is probably because the Japanese format is printed on a weekly basis.
Occasionally you will see limited cross-over of storylines in manga but these are quite exceptional and in even more complicated tales.
Both American and Japanese graphic literature is full of larger-than-life characters. They are supposed to be imaginary and absurd that is the whole point. Imagine a seven-a-side soccer game with the Japanese side comprising of, Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Super Setai, Sailor Moon, Astro Boy, Gatchman, and Mazinger Z. Up against an American team of, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Cat Woman, Captain America, and Aquaman.
It would be impossible to predict who would win the game, just as it is impossible to say which super-heroes are better, Japanese or American? The real question we should be asking is which super-hero hold your attention more? And which do you want to read about time and again?
The same goes for American and Japanese comic books, you cannot elevate one above another as a piece of literature or an art form. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but one thing is for certain, both forms of graphic literature have and will continue to entertain millions of people around the world.