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The world of Japanese anime/manga culture spread its vibrant aura over NYC as famous clothing brand Lacoste held a party to celebrate its Osamu Tezuka line. What was even better was that Lacoste managed to get Anime Diet to do a panel on the history of anime and manga and how it has emerged to be a worldwide juggernaut.
The party also had a live DJ, catering and some artwork displayed and drawn by NYC-based manga artist, Hiroki Otsuka. Anime Diet’s panel went into a lot of detail about the history of Osamu Tezuka, anime, manga, conventions, cosplay and even pop fashion as well. They brought out a good point in saying if it weren’t for Tezuka, Japanese pop culture probably wouldn’t exist.
While there are criticisms against Tezuka, the fact of the matter is that our precious seiyuus/waifus/doujins/fanservice are his “great-great-great-grandchildren”. He did say comics was his wife and animation his mistress. Who knew tomfoolery could impact the world greatly? Then again, being surrounded by chaos can unlock creativity.
Enjoy the photos! And much thanks to Anime Diet for schooling folks with Anime/Manga 101!
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With another holiday season here, it’s often time to take a look at what manga series make good gifts. Though let’s get a bit more specific. What if you want someone to read titles that presents characters plagued by personal issues and the stress of the worlds they reside in? Have I got some ideas for you. Here are some of today’s top awesome English-licensed manga that dives deep into the recesses of the mind.
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"I feel so empty…Why should a woman living life to the fullest on her own feel so empty? Momma, I want…Mr. Mizuno!!"
With how the world is today, we often hear stories about people who make others suffer and/or have no regard for the well-being of their fellow man. The media portrays them as heartless and cruel. But what if underneath their scary exteriors, they secretly have a yearning for a connection that they hope to find? This is extremely prevalent in Osamu Tezuka’s “The Book of Human Insects” with regards to the main lead character, Toshiko Tomura. She is considered to be a very callous individual who constantly manipulates men to achieve fame and glory. However, Tomura has a deep attachment to a former flame, Ryotaro Mizuno. Her confused mindset makes you wonder if extremely apathetic individuals can truly develop feelings of attachment.
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If there’s one color that seems to be a constant favorite, most people will tell you the blue is the color that rules them all. Blue is loved by many people of both genders. Case in point: we have a manga heroine that radiates the aspects of what makes blue a popular color. Princess Sapphire, the lead heroine of Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight, appears to be a character that could suggest Tezuka has some deep fascination of the naturalness of blue.
First off, let’s explore the origin of Princess Sapphire. Sapphire was a girl who was given a “blue boy’s heart”, when she was supposed to receive only a “pink girl’s heart”. She ends up with both hearts and lives her life under the guise of a prince to inherit the throne of her kingdom. An angel named Tink is responsible for the blue heart transplant and is sent down by God to correct his mistake. Sapphire, however, refuses to give up her blue heart to Tink, while she struggles with love and a variety of persistent threats upon her visage.
What emotional aspects does blue represent? Blue is usually associated with calmness and focus for the most part. Of course, blue can also represent depression and being sad. When you look at the character of Sapphire, you see that she is strong, independent, courageous, determined, and calm. Despite her strengths, Sapphire has shown feelings of sadness and loneliness, as she struggles to be with Prince Franz Charming and to attend social gatherings as a “proper woman” (i.e. wearing a lovely dress). Sounds “blue” enough for you?
Another important note to point out is that the shades of blue have significant impact in people’s moods. Dark blue is considered a shade that represents power and integrity. Light blue is considered to be soft and understanding. You can say that dark blue is a lot more masculine than light blue. Sapphire appears to be an even mix of both shades, as she is an individual who demands respect, but also show compassion at the same time. There’s also the fact that Sapphire’s name herself is a shade of blue that happens to have characteristics that describe her perfectly.
I’m very curious about whether Tezuka used the psychology of the color blue when writing Princess Knight. Was he trying to point out that we all need a hint of blue in our lives to be stable? With regards to Sapphire, was Tezuka trying to inspire women using the traits of blue? The pink (a color that is considered to be the stereotypical favorite color associated with women) heart that Sapphire has was heavily targeted by an evil witch named Madame Hell. She desired it for the purpose of making her daughter, Hecate, popular. However, Hecate doesn’t show any interest in having the pink heart and was willing to give it back to Sapphire at one point. It seems as if Tezuka is trying to say that women should associate themselves with and/or appreciate colors that have better traits. If you’ve read Princess Knight, do you think Tezuka may have thought about the impact of color for the story?
In today’s world, blue still remains a constant and important color in life. Look how many logos of important companies are blue. Our skies and seas are blue. Blue is a color that will always finds a place in people’s hearts.
May blue be the color to continue enhancing our minds and bodies as it has Sapphire’s.
For more commentary on Princess Knight, you can check out Manga Bookshelf’s Off the Shelf column on the title.
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