Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April meeting minutes

Dear RASL-blog readers,

First off, apologies for not posting the March (or um, February) meeting minutes yet. This post is coming to you live from our April Anime meeting. Stay tuned for previous meeting minutes- (I promise)!

Special guests: Jill Ratzan and Chris Centofanti

What is a manga?
Manga is a form of comics from Japan; 7 1/2 by 5 inches in size.
-characters generally have large eyes, crazy hair
-Pokemon originally based on a manga
-reads backwards (right to left)..reflects traditional Japanese writing
-on the page itself, written right to left, top to down
-often written in vertical style; columns are longer than they are wide
-manga is a FORMAT of book, not a genre in itself (there are lots of different genres represented in manga and graphic novels)

Genres of manga:
-Shonen: action/adventure manga; often "like a Jackie Chan film" (action but silliness to it too)
-Shonen Jump; Naruto
-Shojo: "high school musical" version of manga; appeals to girls; romance is big part of the genre; outlandish scenarios; Chinese zodiac and animal spirits come into play
-Shojo Pink; Little Butterfly; Marmalade Boy
-Yowie! manga:
-Seinan manga: artwork is very realistic; similar to well-drawn Western comics today
-Josie manga: realistic, appeals to girls; "like a Julia Roberts movie"
-re-tellings: ex. manga Hamlet; many different brands are turning Shakespeare's work into manga to appeal to teens; Star Wars manga
-Great way to get those who might not be into manga into it!
-Western original stories: written in manga style but not based on Japanese legends

Why do teens like manga?
-it's new; it's different
-parents don't understand it! (how to read it, etc.)--sense of pride in "getting it"
-doesn't take as much concentration and time as a novel--sense of accomplishment in finishing 1 or 2 per day is obtainable goal
-can connect to the stories
-visual appeal

Library considerations:
-fall apart very easily
-some publishers offer better versions (more expensive; often available at conferences)
-easy to steal because they're small
-many, many volumes in a series: buy first few in the series and see if they circulate or try to have some sort of inter-library loan agreement with other libraries
-Volume one is often the one that's never in the library (buy extra copies of first one, maybe)

-often violent; lots of blood
-content often varies from volume to volume
-frequent nudity: female toplessness isn't a big deal in Japan
-characters look very young: nudity/sex might be controversial but Japanese standard of beauty sees youth as the ideal

What to Collect:
Tokyo Pop rating system: offers a ratings system and tells you WHY a book is rated that way (ie. nudity but not violent)

How manga supports curriculum:
-shows cultural diversity
-shows life in Japan; way house is set up, packing lunch, etc.: reading manga can teach you about Japanese culture
-inaccessible text is made accessible (ie. Hamlet)
-inspire an interest in medieval Japan, etc.; could be paired with "serious" non-fiction
-they're fun to read!!

-video version of manga
-we also viewed scenes from the anime movie: "My Neighbor Totoro" directed by Hayao Miyazaki

For more information: email Jill Ratzan at jratzan@scils.rutgers.edu; or Chris Centofanti at ccento@eden.rutgers.edu

Check out Scott McCloud's book "Understanding Comics" for more information!
Other books to check out include: Stephen Krashen's "The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research" (2004).

**handout will be posted on the website!

(your very frazzled) RASL secretary


Jill Ratzan said...

Yay Jessica! This summary is so good that I've added parts of it back into my notes.

I like the spelling "yowie!" but it's actually spelled yaoi. :-)

jessemili said...

Thanks for the spelling correction, Jill! I KNEW I spelled that wrong and forgot to double-check :)

I think "yowie!" is pretty great, though :)