Date: 2005 May 07 16:40
Posted by Ash
One subsection of the Manga industry that is often ignored is that of ‘real-life’ manga, which in Japan is enjoyed by a wide range of people who are not necessarily what you would call otaku. In France a writer called Frédéric Boilet has made strong strides in trying to correct this fact as well as create a whole new manga subgenre.
In the UK market, the usual translations of manga are usually that of the more traditional populist variety, such as that of science fiction, horror and comedies which are aimed primarily at teenagers. However the Japanese market is huge and encompasses a huge range of different genres which include that of 'daily-life' manga, which contains themes and ideas which are more adult, serious, real and without over-dramatisation and caricatures that are present in the Manga that most westerners are used to.
In France, where Manga has been around in various forms for a longer period than in the USA and the UK, Frédéric Boilet decided to make an effort to change this situation by creating an imprint where the he would combine the French arthouse style of filmmaking of the mundane with the graphical skill of the manga artist. Amongst other things, it was an attempt to change the media’s perception of Manga as childish, violent and only for kids. It was called 'Nouvelle Manga' and like all good movements, has its very own Manifesto.
Some of these titles are available in the UK from Ponentmon and here is a good review of one of its titles Yukiko’s Spinach. So if you are looking for something a bit more highbrow than the usual populist fare, these titles may be worth a try.