Kya Aapne Anime Manga?

Kya Aapne Anime Manga? Was an interactive session hosted by the Gyaan Adab Centre on the 9th of August, and was led by Sangram Sadhale.

Sangram Sadhale is a freelance art installation creator, origami artist, as well as the head/administrator of the Pune Anime Club, which has over 2000 members across the city.

Conceived over an impromptu brainstorming session between the Gyaan Adab members and Sangram, the talk soon snowballed into a dialogue that was to be conducted between fans of anime and manga, the uninitiated gentry and the seasoned veteran, Sangram himself. Beginning with illustrating the difference between anime and manga, Sangram referenced various cult favorites like Your Name and the cult classic, Paprika, against the series like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Cowboy Bebop. He went ahead to outline that while the bulk of published works originated in Japan, as time has progressed, animations have sprung from South-Asian countries like China as well.

The genres of production of animes vary to a greater extent than even Western productions, which categories being splintered into various subgenres as well, like josei and mecha in addition to the more widely known fantasy or slice of life. As the session progressed, he delved deeper into the distinction between Shounen and Seinen categorizations for anime; the former catering to a majorly young adult male demographic, while the latter depicts largely adult themes and is unsuitable for younger audiences.

The largest bulk of the anime fandom was introduced to the medium through the titanic productions, Naruto, One Piece and Bleach, who have been dubbed the Big Three. The most recent trends have reformed this statistic as other series like Attack on Titan and Full Metal Alchemist have caught on like wildfire, and have established themselves as giants in the anime industry.

Out of a discussion about the animation style sprung a wellspring of comments appreciating the depiction of food items in anime and manga, and mentioned specifically were those of Studio Ghibli and of the series, Restaurant to another World.

The hottest debate between anime fans lay in the method of watching the videos, whether seen with English subtitles, or with English dubbing over the Japanese visuals. The prevailing opinion was that English subtitles were the winners as the Japanese voice artists lend a clearly more superior intonation and feel with relation to the visuals, than the English dubs, that seemed to take away from the theatricality of the animation.

 Anime in India isn’t hard to find if one knows where to look. While it isn’t widely consumed on cable TV like it is in Japan, certain channels do host it, like Sony Live. It’s a lot easier to obtain on the internet, with sites like KissAnime and Crunchyroll having massive archives of every anime series or film you could hope to watch, along with taking requests for uploading content for the more obscure productions. As the craze has caught on, various web-based subscription services have undertaken Japanese content, like Amazon Prime and Netflix (who has also begun the commissioning of several projects under its label). For the uninitiated, Sangram also supplied a list of Top 10 Animes that he recommend everyone watch which included some mainstream favorites like Gurren Lagann, Overlord and the Hellsing Ultimate OVA.

The author of this blog post, also an avid anime fan, adds a few references for where to obtain hardcopies of manga in Pune; while Amazon India carries some limited choices on their website, the Entertainment Store in Koregaon Park has translated hardcopies of various manga. Another online option would be the ComicClan website, which has a lot of less-known series that are great reads.

All in all, the talk was a great success, with attendees finding a sense of kinship amongst themselves that left the traces of loud conversations and the faintest hints of satisfied smiles lingering long after the session was over.

Nityaasha Foundation