The Appeal of Japanese Manga


Hello everyone!
Today, we would like to talk about the interesting aspects of Japanese manga.
Japanese manga, its diverse genres and characters,derived goods, and cultural elements.
In particular, we would like to explore its depth by introducing some typical Japanese manga that are very popular among western readers and their charms.

The world-famous ninja manga, "NARUTO"

NARUTO is a battle action manga in which shinobi battle each other using their supernatural abilities of ninjutsu(ninja tricks), somatic arts, illusionary arts, and hermetic arts.
In a worldview that skillfully pays homage to Japanese and other Asian folklore and religions, the story focuses on the friendship, betrayal and revenge between the hero and his companions, and the bonds between master and apprentice and family, and it is a multilayered story that includes the world of Shinobi and its origins and history.
I think the reason for its popularity is not only the coolness of the battle scenes using ninjutsu and ninja weapons, but also the way the story tries to convey a message to the reader through the story.


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"Rurouni Kenshin", a samurai story set in old Japan

Rurouni Kenshin is a historical manga set in Japan in the early Meiji era, involving historical facts and real-life characters such as the Sekiho-tai, the Shinsengumi, and the assassination of Toshimichi Okubo.
Although it was said that the Meiji era was too difficult for a manga, “Rurouni Kenshin” defied the common belief and became a popular work, and is said to have supported the dark period of JUMP from the end of “Dragon Ball,” “SLAM DUNK,” and “Yu Yu Hakusho” to the start of “ONE PIECE” and “NARUTO".
Although a samurai's job is to kill people with a katana (japanese sword), the main character, Kenshin, adheres to the policy of "not killing people," and many reader will find it cool that he sticks to his beliefs.

TVアニメ「るろうに剣心 -明治剣客浪漫譚- 京都動乱」公式サイト


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were born in America, incorporating Japanese culture, and were loved in Japan too.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” was an American comic book from the 1980s that incorporated Japanese culture throughout, including sushi and ninjutsu, and the characters became popular along with the film.
The character, a short, stocky turtle wearing a bandana and holding nunchakus, has become a popular character worldwide due to the funny impression created by the mismatch between the slow reptile and the quick, skillful Japanese ninja.
A manga version of the character, “Mutant Turtles,” has been published in Japan.
I also had some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles merchandise when I was a kid!

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Characteristics of Japanese manga

One of the attractions of Japanese manga is that many of them depict not only simple good and evil stories, but also the complexity and humanity of the characters.
For example, in the work “One Piece,
the story is about the adventures of a pirate crew led by the main character Monkey D. Luffy in search of his dream treasure, One Piece.
In this work, we see Luffy and his pirates fighting against various difficulties and enemies, while holding on to their beliefs, the past and growth of each character are depicted, striking a chord with readers.

Next, I would like to talk about goods derived from manga.
The popular characters and worldview of Japanese manga have been developed not only into animation and movies, but also into a variety of goods.
For example, Goku from “Dragon Ball” and Pikachu from “Pokemon,” as well as various other items such as character figures, plush toys, T-shirts, key chains, and games have become popular among fans.
These goods not only bring the world of manga and anime closer to the fans, but can also be enjoyed as a collection.

Furthermore, one of the reasons why Japanese manga is so popular among Western readers is its association with food culture.
For example, in the work “Oishimbo,” the main character Yamaoka rediscovers the appeal of food through various cooking and food battles with a genius chef and food connoisseur, Yuyama Kaihara.
In this work, the descriptions of various dishes and ingredients are realistic and delicious, stimulating readers' stomachs.

More and more people are becoming interested in Japanese food culture through reading and watching these works.


Japanese manga has a wide variety of genres and characters, as well as derivative goods and cultural elements.
Please enjoy the appeal of Japanese manga through representative works that are also very popular among Western readers.
New discoveries and impressions will surely await you!

What are we?

We run Ninja Experience Cafe in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, Japan.
Here you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture through experiencing ninja training.
Both adults and children are welcome to try their hand at defeating the ninja master inside the cafe.
The cafe is an indoor interactive zone, so it can be enjoyed even on rainy days.
If you are thinking "I want to be a real ninja too!” or interested in becoming a real ninja, please visit us.
Reservations can be made here.

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