Changing demographics due to the language barrier in anime and manga

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  • [ – ] The_Z_Files reply As a longtime...way longtime reader of Manga/ Viewer of anime I agree this is likely the case. I've seen both imported/altered versions of both some to appeal to mainstream. I don't think it's abnormal to know places like Japan, China, and so on have a better education level if you look at technologies and percentage of intelligent workers compared to here. I have personally felt a very long time that's why unfortunately manga especially can't be widely accepted here,all age groups in Japan can be seen sitting on trains, from 5 to 80 reading their favorite Manga, if someone walked in on a room full of people reading comic books here they'd think it was the Twilight Zone based on how we perceive things on possibly a lower intellectual level,not simply respecting the writing or art appreciation and simply going "Oh that's kid stuff" like ignorance can produce. Great subject man!
    • theoldsparrow parent reply I remember there being a push for American comic books to become more mainstream and the super hero movies that come out every year is the fruition of that push. Manga tends to get a bad rap in comparison to western comic books which I find frustrating because I feel manga can have a lot more depth to it. Once again that is affected by the translations. If they are good it is a much richer experience. I hope one day to see people reading stuff like Oyasumi Pun Pun right along with The Watchmen.
    • [ – ] OsakaGhoul parent reply Saying that everyone reads manga in Japan is bit of a reach.
      • Xenoliving parent reply No, they just stand in the conbini and read porno mag while I'm just trying to slip in to pick up some beer. Awkward.
      • The_Z_Files parent reply I wouldn't say everyone no of course not,but a vast more diverse array of people do from young to old male to female,it's simply a comparison how they view it appropriately for the art aspect of it instead of something "simply for kids" like here with comics or graphic novels. Appreciating some dang fine artists and writers would be nice here instead of just casting it off for childish reading. I'd never say everyone in any country does something specific,but as a comparison it's argued Manga is much more accepted there then here or in case of comics as well.
  • [ – ] MFKraven reply with different languages, words can heavily influence thought patterns, ive never really thought of it that way, but it rings truth. English is not my first language and when i went through the process of learning it I do recall making things more simplified, i picked up other languages much quicker with it too. Mainly Romantic languages but when learning Russian my brain made things really complicated for me ANYWAYS- when I do watch anime ill watch it in its native tongue, and i try making things out and translate if i think the subtitles arent really keeping along with the patterns. I do feel like it is dumbed down for us, and that isnt to say we're dumber as americans like you stated but you bring up real interesting points. I remember watching Digimon as a kid and seeing Apocalymon as just this other villain, and when I talked about it with a friend about this recently he told me that it was much more complex in Japan, apparently in the Japanese version he slits his wrists becaus...moree of the somberness he's supposed to convey
    • theoldsparrow parent reply I took Latin in high school and it helped later when I learned some Spanish for a job. Romantic languages do have a leg up in a lot of loan words and cognates. It's not easy by any means but I admire that you're a linguist. Some of the best advice I've gotten about learning Japanese is do not learn Japanese from anime. It will form a bunch of bad habits that will make you sound really weird. It is good listening practice for words, phrases, and sentences you already know. I've never watched Digimon. I've heard it was good and there's a big fanbase for it. Sounds like a complex character.
  • JennyFedora reply Well, that explains why DBZ is so popular in the west.
  • [ – ] MarzieMalfoy reply This makes much more sense now as to why certain words and actions are used in manga. I've always noticed the differences but could never really pinpoint it. Thank you!
    • theoldsparrow parent reply It's kind of like a game of telephone with the point of the game to change it completely while also keeping it the same if that makes any sense.
  • [ – ] Xenoliving reply Ooooo, this is a fun one. Lol, one sort of "swear word" I hear all the time here is Yabe (yabai) which is essentially the equivalent to "holy shit!". My wifes teacher actually got mad when she used it in front of her to describe our electric company forgetting to charge us and then wanting it all up front, lol. That aside, hmmmm. Interesting. I honestly due believe that you might not be giving enough credit for the introduction model in the states. KaptainKristian has some amazing(seriously) videos on toonami and adult swim and how their handling of the original material shaped the way that anime was received in america. As a fan of mature themes,and tactful direction, cartoon network has a very skillful curation of their selected titles. So much so that when I discovered you could watch just about anything on the internet, I was very disappointed to find that shows like cowboy bebop and big O were just as rare among anime as they were amongst american cartoons. Not only that, but a...moret the time, even shonen anime was dealing with a more complex serial structure, rather than the mainly episodic format you saw in the west. American cartoons did eventually adopt this format, as shown with the popularity of the teen titans and later the young justice shows, which both have a clear japanese influence. In summary, idk, the world is big and has many types of people. I am small and have many biases.
    • theoldsparrow parent reply Eloquent as usual, my man. The one I know to never use is manko in reference to the female genitalia. Do you know of any tsukkomi/boke acts that are the equivalent of George Carlin's Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television? The anime Seitokai Yakuindomo comes to mind. Toonami and Adult Swim really was the second wave of anime popularity and introduced a new younger generation to the medium. Honestly I probably would have never got into anime as anime instead of anime as cartoons without that push. I was already really enjoying webcomics due to their overarching plot and was hungry for anything with a strong and long plot which you couldn't find on American television with rare exceptions. This is mainly why I still enjoy the medium even today. It's more like reading a novel than watching a sitcom. The greats will always be the greats but it is surprising that Big O wasn't well received in Japan and needed Adult Swim to back up the second season to finish the show. You make a good...more point. I try not to describe things as collectives when I think about people but I have some cognitive dissonance about it because I end up categorizing to make things simple. The old psychology versus sociology battle in me I guess.
  • RSNAnime reply I didn't know that the politeness level was what ended up being translated to the swear words, that's interesting, but makes sense. Very interesting video.
  • BrianAiya reply I agree with what you said and it makes sense that 20 year olds in the west read manga meant for teenager levels. The English is too simplified. I wish seinen English translated manga are more common, sometimes because i can't find the english translation for seinen manga, it kinda sucks that i have to read fan translated manga and we can't really trust the quality of that translation. I guess to begin with, Americans don't read a lot of books? or even when it comes to manga or comic, people tend to pick them up at an older age. In Japan kids might start reading manga from elementary and they get used to that level and as they grow they read more manga, but in America people start reading manga, comics or books from an older age.
  • [ – ] KayToons reply Then you have the anime Ghost Stories where the English dub voice actors were told to do whatever they wanted and just made up the lines. No translation needed there lol
  • [ – ] Mad_Matt_Inc reply I think the language barrier is also part of the reason why we get watered down anime more often, while the better (and more mature) works get caught in translation and don't move over here as quickly. It's kind of what drove me out of modern anime, and why I like the older stuff so much.
    • [ – ] theoldsparrow parent reply Part of the reason that in the West there is still a stigma for cartoons if they aren't a comedy. Basically toons = kids. That's changing with the over a decade and a half that Adult Swim has been on the air but it still is hard to have an overarching plot in a cartoon that deals with mature themes. I love 80s anime especially Original Video Animations. The style, the themes, the pacing, the animation. It was a cut above the rest. Lately I've been watching a lot of anime from the early 00's. It's a period I haven't visited enough but am enjoying.
      • [ – ] Mad_Matt_Inc parent reply If you haven't seen it yet. One of the best from that Era is Excel Saga. That thing is out of it's mind. It's so crazy, that at least one of the voice actors broke her vocal cords playing one of the main characters.
        • [ – ] theoldsparrow parent reply I think I saw that a very long time ago. Sounds like I need to rewatch it. Breaking your vocal cords is quite committed to a role.
          • [ – ] Mad_Matt_Inc parent reply And I quote from the Wiki. The English adaptation initially starred Jessica Calvello, with Larissa Wolcott taking over the role after episode thirteen after Calvello had damaged her voice during production.
            • [ – ] theoldsparrow parent reply Sounds like I'll have to try it dubbed. I don't usually but that's pretty hardcore.
              • [ – ] Mad_Matt_Inc parent reply I saw it subbed and it have me a migraine near the end. The talking by the end of the series is just so fast. Also The last episode was made as being a DVD extra in mind. As they wanted to experiment with pushing the sex and violence to the point that the last episode wouldn't air on TV at the time. Also I have my box set signed by Nabeshin. The Director of the anime, and frequently a guest cameo in just about every episode of the series, because he could.
                • theoldsparrow parent reply I can deal with fast pacing. One of my favorites is Tatami Galaxy which is super fast. You're doing a good job of selling it. :D
  • [ – ] SamEarl13 reply It is quite an interesting topic about how translations tend to change the demographic, sometimes a few things are hard to translate from what I've seen in some of the scanlations I've read (sometimes they'll explain things in the side of the page). Problem with anime is there's a lot of censorship on top of the translations so sometimes the tone can end up incredibly different (like early Yu-Gi-Oh from what I've heard).
    • [ – ] theoldsparrow parent reply The localization company 4Kids were notorious for changing things to Americanize them like in Yu-gi-oh. For example in Pokemon there was a scene where Brock hands an onigiri or riceball wrapped in seaweed, a very traditional Japanese lunch food, to Ash. In the 4kids version they redrew it as a sub sandwich to make it more American. Standard stuff like changing cigarettes into lollipops in One Piece. Getting rid of wounds or changing the color of blood to green or purple in DBZ. It really sanitized anime in the beginning of the late 90s' big push for anime in the West. From a demographic stand point they were changing media made for 10-18 year olds and selling them to 5-10 year olds.
      • SamEarl13 parent reply Yeah, if you look up a list of deaths in Yu-Gi-Oh there's a surprising amount that were changed to merely being sent to the shadow realm in the dubs (and there was apparently a lot more deaths in the original manga).
  • WeirdestNews reply Great Info Homie!! My Favorite part "I'm not calling Americans Stupid" lol
  • Torok0420 reply It's Seems That a Lack Of Comprehension , Is Affecting Most Aspects Of Life , In America . At The Moment , Our Education System Is Based On Brainwashing Instead Of Creating Intelligent People With Critical Thinking Skills
  • [ – ] Rawman reply "politeness levels" that is really interesting. That's probably why people connect so well to subbed anime yeah? Because they feel it in the voice more?
    • [ – ] theoldsparrow parent reply I think for me before learning Japanese the tone was a huge factor in watching subs. Now that I know a little Japanese it's interesting to see how the translators translate things. Sometimes they'll be a completely different sentence but if you understand in Japanese you can kind of see how a translator would use a different sentence. For example someone could say "Teme!" and that is a really rude word for "You!" like you want to fight them so some translators will translate it as "Fuck you!" or "Bastard!" even though there's really very few "forbidden words" like you see in English. Mainly it is one of many different ways of saying "You!" with four distinct politeness levels "Teme!"being really derogatory.
      • [ – ] Rawman parent reply Wow. That is pretty interesting I didn't think that words like that was possible I guess we can do that in English too. Say "you" a certain tone and people know what you mean lol.
        • theoldsparrow parent reply Well it's a little different for Japanese. Omae, Kimi, Teme, Kisama, Minna for plural. They all mean "You" but are used differently based on how polite and respectful to the person you're talking to. Japanese is very structured on how polite you are and what's acceptable for say talking with your boss or with your friends. It's safer and more common to use the person's name instead of a pronoun like you.
  • [ – ] CrazyRocky reply Not even an anime watcher, but this is super interesting. Never put much thought into the complexity of the Japanese language, and it's interesting to hear how we compare.
    • theoldsparrow parent reply I'm learning Japanese right now and it is very difficult. You really have to retrain your brain in order to get it and I've barely scratched the surface. Still it is very rewarding to see what used to be a bunch of squiggly marks and immediately a word pops into your head.
  • [ – ] Flying_Purple_Pizzas reply So it would be harder for the average American to pick up Japanese as a second language than the average Japanese to pick up English. You did your research on this topic! I hadn't considered that speaking a different language would change the way reality itself was perceived. I can understand having a different culture would do that however. Something to ponder.
    • [ – ] theoldsparrow parent reply The best example of the Sapir Whorf hypothesis to me is the number of words in one language of a concept with relatively fewer in another. For example the number of words for snow and ice related words in Sami languages of Northern Sacandinavia concretely can be 180 words and up to 300. Each word is a differentiating concept. Another example is colors in Japanese. Aoi is the color blue and green but they have a later originating word for green that they will use for certain shades of green but it is not uncommon for a foreigner to ask what a green color is in Japanese and get the response Aoi which is confusing if you just know it for the more common definition of blue. It can be quite a rabbit hole to think about how the words we use make us interpret even the most objective concepts.
      • Flying_Purple_Pizzas parent reply Now that you mention it, I can relate. There are times when I am trying to talk about the larger concepts - love, spirit, creation, etc. - and I have to try to squish common words together to try to create a bigger concept. Doesn't work well.
  • [ – ] medicenblink reply Sub x Sub?
  • medicenblink reply Who Sub x Sub?
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