If proof were needed, here are five stories that demonstrate the cultural and financial heft of manga and its spin-offs in Japan:
- Intruders at the gates! Two South Korean tech companies are borrowing from mobile gaming to shake up — and dominate — Japan’s storied manga industry, a plot twist that has expanded the fan base to a new generation of readers who prefer their manga mobile, Reuters reports.
- Manga publishers squeezed by the rise of the internet are searching out talent online. For Japan’s manga artists, many of whom toil in obscurity for low pay, that means going viral can be life-changing. “Publishing company editors have gone from bringing up manga artists, like they are farming, to hunting for them,” breakout manga-ka Kamentotsu tells Reuters.
- The “Attack on Titan” manga series has seen its total circulation in print and e-books top 100 million worldwide. Now Hita, Oita Prefecture, the hometown of its creator, is looking to cash in with a themed museum, just as the series is set to reach its climax this month. But don’t worry, fans, a live-action Hollywood film is coming soon.
- Squeezing Hideo Yamamoto’s 15-volume manga “Homunculus” into one film was always going to be a challenge. Takashi Shimizu’s attempt fails at the first hurdle, says James Hadfield, with the movie managing to be both tasteless and timid at the same time. “If you’re going to start drilling holes in people’s heads, you need to be prepared to go all the way,” writes Hadfield.
- “Zokki,” the intro on the film’s website tells us, “is impossible to categorize … Zokki is Zokki.” Fair enough, but the one that fits best in this case is “quirky comedy,” writes Mark Schilling. Actors Naoto Takenaka, Takayuki Yamada and Takumi Saitoh joined forces to direct this clever offbeat movie containing interconnected stories based on Hiroyuki Ohashi’s manga.