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Casualgamer
2006-08-19, 07:01 PM
After a long period of lurking, I'm back to ruin my nonexistant reputation by creating... yet another versus topic. And possibly a touchy one at that.

So here's the premise. Which form of sequential art, Eastern (includes Japanese manga, Korean Manhwa, etc. Note this also includes Amerimanga) or Western (American, British, French, etc comics) is overall, "better"?

I'm on the fence on this one. Eastern art is appealing, but sometimes I find it obnoxious (mostly for moe stuff). Western art (as far as I've seen) is very crisp, but sometimes this is jarring. From the aspect of plot, the majority of Western comics feature great premises, but never seem to manage to end. When they do, however, they tend to be very good (ie. the Watchmen). Eastern comics, on the other hand, do end in a timely fashion (barring Pokemon... DBZ... Berserk....) but often the plots come off as trite, outlandish, or just stupid.

So, I'm dying to hear your opinions!

Poison_Fish
2006-08-19, 11:42 PM
I'd say for me currently, east. To many mangas I'm staying up to date with.

Then again, I don't believe I ever had a good introduction into my own cultures comics. I've had a scattering of a few random comics, but nothing solid suggested to me, so I haven't checked it out.

Of course, having spent most of my early childhood with many people from parts of Asia, that might explain things for me.

Ing
2006-08-20, 12:14 AM
Adam West uses his Bat-Orient repellent spray and wins agianst the East.

Poison_Fish
2006-08-20, 12:18 AM
Adam West uses his Bat-Orient repellent spray and wins agianst the East.

Rumiko Takahashi fan girls/boys for all of her series form a mob and exact mob justice on Adam West.

(Oh, those Inu-Yasha fans... What will they do next for the next fit of overly long wasted filler space?)

Logic
2006-08-20, 06:00 AM
having only seen a few actually GOOD eastern comics/animes and so forth, i side squarely with the west.
whereas there are the ones i simply cannot stand (anything involving training a monster, particularily one that can only say its own name...hint hint) DBZ (the plot to the entire series is: STRONG BAD GUY SHOWS UP. kicks ass of many heroes. one manages to escape, and train. returns, long fight sequence, Hero emerges victorious. Repeat for next story arc)

There are a few animes/comix that i have not watched/read, but i intend to. nearly all have cult followings (Akira for example)

the part about anime that infuriates me in particular, are a "Charging" character. Explanation: A static character, on a static background, with speed lines, and sometimes hair movement and mouth movement. ANNOYS THE *expletive deleted* out of me

Jarl
2006-08-20, 06:42 AM
I like 'em both. which is to say, I don't really read much of either, but would like to.
I agree with you on the charging thing, too. I think it's a kind of rip off of the cycling backgrounds from old (primarily Hannah-Barbara) American cartoons, but they never stopped doing it. A lot of Anime tend to have low production values as well, leading to lots being made (totemo cheepo) and the jerky motions that Americans find so funny.
I think it depends. Like, look at the Silver Age art style, and compare that with the Gritty 80's Art style (when Anime influences started showing up). I actually prefer the manga/anime art style to most American styles, but that also depends.

-I guess, in the end, I heart both. And this post is thusly worthless and meaningless.

Casualgamer
2006-08-20, 11:17 AM
-I guess, in the end, I heart both. And this post is thusly worthless and meaningless.

No its not. Opinions are great things to share.

BelkarsDagger
2006-08-20, 12:04 PM
I say western, simply because I like the style. Dork Tower, for example, has at least a slightly unique style with the arms/hands, it doesnt show the arm unless necessary, just the hand. Like when they put their hand on their chin. Garfield appealed to me better when it was on book 10-ish, and other comics such as Order of the Stick simply have humor that I understand.

Casualgamer
2006-08-20, 02:32 PM
having only seen a few actually GOOD eastern comics/animes and so forth, i side squarely with the west.
whereas there are the ones i simply cannot stand (anything involving training a monster, particularily one that can only say its own name...hint hint) DBZ (the plot to the entire series is: STRONG BAD GUY SHOWS UP. kicks ass of many heroes. one manages to escape, and train. returns, long fight sequence, Hero emerges victorious. Repeat for next story arc)

There are a few animes/comix that i have not watched/read, but i intend to. nearly all have cult followings (Akira for example)

the part about anime that infuriates me in particular, are a "Charging" character. Explanation: A static character, on a static background, with speed lines, and sometimes hair movement and mouth movement. ANNOYS THE *expletive deleted* out of me

Some things I just noticed about this.

First, this is about comics, not animation. Western comics use speedline backgrounds as much as Eastern comics do.

Second, if the repetitious plot arcs of Dragon Ball Z make you angry, perhaps you should take a closer look at Batman, Superman, X-men... Most Superheroes have saved the world as many times as Goku has, and in equally flashy fashions, maybe more, considering some have been around for more than 60 years.

Third, blaming low production costs in anime (which has already been ruled as besides the point AND no longer exists in the modern era of animation) is as ridiculous as saying a Ray Charles sucks because his music is old and uses records. Ok, I admit, its slightly different, fluidity does matter in animation, but not THAT much. Furthermore, you'll notice the framerates in equally old Western cartoons (Batman the Animation), often have equally bad framerates, or cheesy combat.

Ing
2006-08-20, 03:58 PM
DBZ does it worst.

The other's all mix it up a bit, Goku ONLY saves the world from one ubber brute after the other. The patern is kinda the same all the time. and after you reach on pinacle of ultimate power then face ANOTHER ultimate threat this one of course greater than the other makes it utterly absurd.

Casualgamer
2006-08-20, 05:10 PM
Fair enough. But Goku is only one man, made by one artist, and one director, and one company. Let's compare that to the entire Superhero genre, made by multiple companies and multiple artists (for single heroes)? The Japanese I guess are just more honest.

I'm not trying to defend DBZ, as I hate it myself, but to pin the failure of all anime on it is a little ignorant.

Poison_Fish
2006-08-20, 05:53 PM
My thoughts exactly.

I suppose to throw in a more honest opinion then my jokes aside, reading comics such as Threads of Time(A Korean manga I think), Blade of the Immortal, and a few others seems to draw me in. Granted, in some cases, the motivations of characters or actions might be a little hard to understand, but at the same time, greatly enjoyable to read. A complex story. Characters being good, but not super heroic. Of course, I know there are western comics out there like that as well, I am just not sure where to find them.

So, sure, DBZ and Naruto may use the same gimmick time after time, but get your eyes past that which is ancient or the stuff that tries to reach for all ages(or in the case of both, shonen) and look for something a little different. My suggestion, walk into a barnes and noble(As small as their section is) and just browse through their manga. That's how I find most of what I think is good besides being referred to it.

Now, I'll be browsing through the American comic book sections next time I go into a shop. But, hey, if you don't mind me using your thread a little Casualgamer, I don't mind being offered suggestions(or you can just PM me).

Beleriphon
2006-08-21, 02:12 AM
DBZ does it worst.

The other's all mix it up a bit, Goku ONLY saves the world from one ubber brute after the other. The patern is kinda the same all the time. and after you reach on pinacle of ultimate power then face ANOTHER ultimate threat this one of course greater than the other makes it utterly absurd.


Ultimatley you have to recognize that DBZ is a comedy, and thus a poor example the style as a whole. It would be like trying to compare Looney Tunes with Batman: The Animated Series.

There are both good and bad examples of each style. I find that I prefer the western style comic books and animation largely for story reasons. I don't understand Japanese culture (or any eastern culture), so I find that the stories make little sense. They don't play to the same architypes and mythos that I'm familiar with. So they look neat, but I don't get them.

Ing
2006-08-21, 10:37 PM
Ultimatley you have to recognize that DBZ is a comedy, and thus a poor example the style as a whole. It would be like trying to compare Looney Tunes with Batman: The Animated Series.

There are both good and bad examples of each style. I find that I prefer the western style comic books and animation largely for story reasons. I don't understand Japanese culture (or any eastern culture), so I find that the stories make little sense. They don't play to the same architypes and mythos that I'm familiar with. So they look neat, but I don't get them.


DBZ is a comedy?

That is even sadder than if it is an action.

FOr comedy the best i have seen so far is Host Club

Smashymcsmash
2006-08-22, 02:05 PM
In general I prefer Western but there is some great eastern stuff. " Lone Wolf and Cub" (which isn't really manga but is eastern)springs to mind as being easily comparable in quality to DKR.

Beleriphon
2006-08-23, 12:49 AM
DBZ is a comedy?

That is even sadder than if it is an action.

FOr comedy the best i have seen so far is Host Club

Its a comedy the same way that Jackie Chan movies are comedies. Also the translations are just awful. Half the gags in the show are that people are named after vegetables. The original Japanese dialogue is full of sexual inuendo and more adult humour, something lacking in the English version.

At any rate I'll reiterate again my preference. Alot of why people don't get anime is due to poor translations, or concepts that are foreign to most western audiences. Take a samurai drama, the idea of the samurai's code of honour is generally foreign to most people. The closest that most people coud compare them to a medival knight. The comparison is poor, and most people don't know that much about a knight to start with but I think tha reinforces my point.

Manga/anime are written for very different audiences and require a fiar amount os kills to transliterate them to be understandable by most english audiences. Good ones are very good, bad ones are very bad. Unfortunately too many companies translate them poorly, or think of anime as children's entertainment due to it being an animated format.

Old_el_Paso
2006-08-28, 06:07 PM
You mean the new Jackie Chan movies like Rush Hour and stuff right? Original Jackie Chan movies were awesome and had little to no humor at all.


I used to read manga, but the stories just get repetetive(sp?) and boring after a while. Like with Inuyasha, the new stuff is just crap, no offense to anyone that likes it. I like western comics because they're massive and have different titles and stories of Superman and Wonder Woman affect other titles like Captain Atom, Teen Titans and Power Girl. I also get bored of manga art and I like the variety of all the western comics.

Beleriphon
2006-08-29, 08:14 AM
You mean the new Jackie Chan movies like Rush Hour and stuff right? *Original Jackie Chan movies were awesome and had little to no humor at all.


You mean like Legend of the Druken Master? Thats comedy gold. In fact all of his movies have a very wry sense of humour about them.

Of course that not the topic of this thread.

Weiser_Cain
2006-08-29, 04:36 PM
American comics are better overall than anything else.

Casualgamer
2006-08-30, 07:03 PM
American comics are better overall than anything else.

The reasoning being....?

I really don't understand the idea that manga are repetitive and comics are not. On the topic of repitition, they're pretty much the same. Again, both have their instances of being lame and repetitive. Superman has saved the world dozens of time, as has Goku. Superman has died, and has been revived at the whim of DC, as Goku has died and has been revived.... multiple times.

Saying Eastern art all looks the same is like saying all Asian people look the same: it's more than a little ignorant. Look at Excel Saga:

http://topmanga.altervista.org/gallery/topmangaexcel18.jpg

Then, look at Priest:

http://files.myopera.com/Nagisa/files/priest_BIG.jpg

Both were done by Eastern artists, but in the case of Priest, you'd hardly guess it was done by a Korean guy.

In fact, many recent American comics, such as Wolverine: Snikt! and this shot of Batman...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/40/Batmanlee.png

...were done by Eastern artists.

Finally, the generalization that Eastern comics require some inbred knowledge of Eastern culture is also rather ignorant. Many manga and manhwa, like Ragnarok or Berserk, take place in fantasy worlds unrelated to Japan or etc. Saying that one needs to live in a culture to understand something that comes from it would mean none of us could understand fantasy, because we never lived it. Furthermore, much of the stuff in Eastern comics is universal: an overzealous teenage mercenary using a shotgun instead of a bat to smash a watermelon is pretty much universally funny.

If you don't get Bushido, I'll explain it to you as far as you actually need to know about it in manga: be a chill and cool guy, and kill yourself if things go bad.

Geez.

Beleriphon
2006-08-30, 07:42 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/40/Batmanlee.png

...were done by Eastern artists.


To be fair Jim Lee grew up in the States. He's Korean by birth only.



Finally, the generalization that Eastern comics require some inbred knowledge of Eastern culture is also rather ignorant. Many manga and manhwa, like Ragnarok or Berserk, take place in fantasy worlds unrelated to Japan or etc. Saying that one needs to live in a culture to understand something that comes from it would mean none of us could understand fantasy, because we never lived it. Furthermore, much of the stuff in Eastern comics is universal: an overzealous teenage mercenary using a shotgun instead of a bat to smash a watermelon is pretty much universally funny.


At some level thats true, I appreciate certain stories that are found in manga/anime/whatever.There are still plenty of stories that draw on the cultural hertiage of Japan, China, Korea, et al. The same way that most American comics draw on the culturual heritage of Europe. Fantasy stories, like those D&D are based on, do draw on a very specific set of common backgrounds. Namely medival Europe. Changing that to medival Japan gets you a very different type of story.

To take this a step further I watch a lot of British sitcoms. They're still funny becuase they have funny moments. People walking in on each other in the shower is always funny. Having some be amibuously gay can be hilarious. But I don't get the political references, they would be funny to somebody from the UK, but to me they aren't because I don't understand the situations or the politics involved.



If you don't get Bushido, I'll explain it to you as far as you actually need to know about it in manga: be a chill and cool guy, and kill yourself if things go bad.

Geez.

Bushido is surprisingly easy to understand, but making jokes about Japanese political figures, or Meiji era Japan are much harder to put into context. If I had a manga about a young man growing up in Meiji era Japan vs a guy in Victorian England its easier for most people raised in a western culture to understand Victorian England, despite the fact that both stories are set in the same time period. They reflect very different cultures, and an understanding of the respective cultures makes understanding the story much easier.

Casualgamer
2006-08-30, 08:11 PM
At some level thats true, I appreciate certain stories that are found in manga/anime/whatever.There are still plenty of stories that draw on the cultural hertiage of Japan, China, Korea, et al. The same way that most American comics draw on the culturual heritage of Europe. Fantasy stories, like those D&D are based on, do draw on a very specific set of common backgrounds. Namely medival Europe. Changing that to medival Japan gets you a very different type of story.

To take this a step further I watch a lot of British sitcoms. They're still funny becuase they have funny moments. People walking in on each other in the shower is always funny. Having some be amibuously gay can be hilarious. But I don't get the political references, they would be funny to somebody from the UK, but to me they aren't because I don't understand the situations or the politics involved.


Fair enough. However, many fantasy manga are, in fact, based on D&D. Record of Lodoss War, Bastard!, Berserk, and Rune Soldier are all based on the standard stereotype for a Dungeons and Dragons world.

Beleriphon
2006-08-30, 09:34 PM
Fair enough. However, many fantasy manga are, in fact, based on D&D. Record of Lodoss War, Bastard!, Berserk, and Rune Soldier are all based on the standard stereotype for a Dungeons and Dragons world.


They sure are, and I enjoy those immensely. I think the issue comes up most when you get certain types of stories. Every story makes certain assumptions about its audience. Most western fantasy assume the reader is at least marginally aware of how medival European culture functioned. The same way that Marvel's Avengers assumes that you know Thor is a god and some how connected to vikings. By the same token a story written by a Japanese writer set in Japan is going to assume that the audience is going to have at least a passing familiarity with Japanese culture. For people that don't understanding the details the story becomes an exercise in frustration, or research, trying to figure out why the characters behave the way they do. In many cases this comes down to the most innocuous behaviours, things that are taken for granted by the people the story is written for. I can't for the life of me think of any specific examples.

As for the animation style found in most anime, I find midly irritating. Anime like Ghost in the Shell avoids many of the tropes that I personally find tiresom. The freezing framed sweat drop over the head, the giant hammer from no where, and freeze frame and motion lines. I understand alot of that comes from melding animation with a comic book style, but I still find it irritating. Fortunately my all time favourites avoid those things entirely.