Uncanny! Insider is taking a closer look into some of top selling manga and two properties that have already gotten Americanized versions in theaters and releasing this summer on Netflix.
The Ghost in the Shell movie, now in theaters starring Scarlett Johansson, is based on the international hit manga and anime.
Ghost in the Shell
Deep into the 21st century, the line between man and machine has been inexorably blurred as humans rely on the enhancement of mechanical implants and robots are upgraded with human tissue. In this rapidly converging techno-scape, the covert-ops agents of Section 9 are charged to track and crack the most dangerous terrorists, cybercriminals, and ghost hackers the digital future has to offer. Whether dealing with remote-controlled corpses, lethally malfunctioning micro-machines, or cop-killer cyborgs, Section 9 is determined to serve and protect! (W/A/CA) Shirow Masamune.
The Netflix series is based on the popular manga series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, which is released in the U.S. by VIZ, the story follows a high school student who finds a supernatural notebook which holds a disturbing power. When the notebook’s owner writes someone’s name in it while picturing their face, they will die. The student begins to kill people he feels are unworthy of life. But other shadowy forces are also seeking the notebook. -icv2.com
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal...or his life?
There's no doubt that Hollywood will be following the numbers on these two Americanized properties closely, and based on their success it could usher in a new age of film and television. Anime and manga are internationally watched and read and wildly popular in the United States. The manga category, a staple in every comic shop and book store, opens up a whole new crop of ideas for Hollywood to harvest potential feature films and television shows from; provided the Americanization of these properties are accepted on the world stage. There is little doubt it will play well here in the United States (Who doesn't love Scarlett Johansson?) especially since most are used to having our comic book characters both heroes and villains played by people of different genders and ethnicities.
Though the question still remains; will the international markets accept the American vision? Only the box office and downloads will tell.
What is Manga?
"Manga" as a term used outside of Japan and refers to comics originally published in Japan.
In Japan, people of all ages read manga. The medium includes works in a broad range of genres: action-adventure, business and commerce, comedy, detective, historical drama, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and fantasy, sexuality, sports and games, and suspense, among others, much like comic books in other parts of the world including the United States. Many manga are translated into other languages.Since the 1950s, manga has steadily become a major part of the Japanese publishing industry, representing a 3.6 billion dollar market in Japan in 2007 and $5.5 billion dollars in 2009.
Manga have also gained a significant worldwide audience.In Europe and the Middle East the market was worth $250 million in 2012.In 2008, in the U.S. and Canada, the manga market was valued at $175 million; the markets in France are about the same size.Manga stories are typically printed in black and white, although some full-color manga exist. In Japan, manga are usually serialized in large manga magazines, often containing many stories, each presented in a single episode to be continued in the next issue. If the series is successful, collected chapters may be republished in volumes, frequently but not exclusively, paperbacks. A manga artist (mangaka in Japanese) typically works with a few assistants in a small studio and is associated with a creative editor from a commercial publishing company.If a manga series is popular enough, it may be animated after or even during its run. Sometimes manga are drawn centering on previously existing live- action or animated films.
Top 5 Selling Manga
One Piece, Author-Eiichiro
As a child, Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming the King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally gained the power to stretch like rubber…at the cost of never being able to swim again! Now Luffy, with the help of a motley collection of pirate wannabes, is setting off in search of the "One Piece," said to be the greatest treasure in the world...
84 Volumes-406 million copies sold from 1997-Present - Publisher- Shueisha
Dragon Ball, Author- Akira Toryiama
The series follows the adventures of the protagonist, Goku from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered. Along his journey, Goku makes several friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls.
42 Voulumes- 240 million copies sold between 1984-1995- Publisher- Shueisha
Naruto, Author- Masashi Kishimoto
Naruto is a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He’s got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely serious about his mission to be the world’s greatest ninja! Naruto’s friends are tested as an attempt to overthrow Tsunade begins and they must all fight—or fall. Pain commences with the final destruction of Konoha, and Naruto and the Toads prepare to take him on in battle. Naruto inches ever closer to discovering Pain’s true identity, but is it worth it now that he’s morphing into the dreaded Nine Tails? Then, an unexpected confession reveals incredible secrets about his past as Naruto prepares for the ultimate battle with Pain. Can the chakra-challenged Naruto win when one misstep could spell disaster?
72 Volumes- 220 million copies sold between 1999-2014- Publisher- Shueisha
Case Closed, Author- Gosho Aoyama
Case Closed, also known as Detective Conan,, is an ongoing Japanese detective manga series written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama. It was serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday on January 19, 1994, and has been collected into 91 volumes. Due to legal considerations with the name Detective Conan, the English language release was renamed to Case Closed.The story follows an amateur detective who was transformed into a child while investigating a mysterious organization, and solves a multitude of cases while impersonating his friend's father and other characters.
91 Volumes- 150 million copies sold between 1994-Present- Publisher-Shogoakukan
Pokémon Adventures, Authors- Hindenori Kusaka, Mato and Satoshi Yamamoto
Adventures inspired by the best-selling Pokémon video games! All your favorite Pokémon game characters jump out of the screen into the pages of this action-packed manga! Red is improving rapidly as a Pokémon trainer--and so is his competition. But now Red must team up with his biggest rival Blue and thief Green to defeat a common enemy! And watch out for Team Rocket, Red... They won't let you into Saffron City!
52 Volumes- 150 million copies sold between 1997-present- Publisher- Shogokukan