Many people might have certain impressions about Japanese comics and animation, also known as manga and anime respectively, but as we have seen in recent years, these Japanese art forms are slowly but surely spreading its influence around the world.
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It may not be mainstream yet but with the community of manga and anime fans having grown steadily, it is taking its place in pop culture.
The story of how the world fell in love with manga is all the more extraordinary because there was a time when it was regarded as too extreme, too niche, too Japanese for international tastes.
Many Westerners found reading right to left too strange, and in any case it was difficult to find manga outside of Japan. Stories in the international media about hentai, or “perverse” manga, did much to sully its reputation.
But thanks to the internet, people began to realise that hentai was not synonymous with manga, which spans a breathtaking range of styles, from the completely wacky and transgressive, to exquisite and sensitive, to macho and hardcore.
(Image credit: We Speak Japanese and English Blog)