My experienced of manga and anime

Autoethnography is a form of self-reflective, it is quiet a new concept and method. It ‘is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno) (Ellis, C, Adams, T E, Bochner, A P 2011, pp273). So in order to understand my experience of looking at manga and anime in different countries, we should start with a little bit of my background of how I first experienced manga and anime. My first experience of anime come at an early age of 8. At that time, a lot of cartoons that broadcasted on television in Thailand is Japanese anime and the first anime I remembered watching is Digimon Adventure. At that time, I have no idea whether it is Japanese anime or cartoons from other countries. It is one of my favorite anime of all time. I can remembered that it was broadcasted at 19:30 and I usually eating my dinner in front of television, watching Digimon Adventure. That is my first experienced of anime I can remembered and I had watched countless animes (maybe cartoons, I really don’t know what is what at that time).

For manga, the first manga I read was when I’m in year 7. I didn’t buy that manga but it is a manga that some left it under the table I was sitting and that is the first time I read from right to left. However, the first manga series that I can remember is Katekyō Hitman Reborn! (Reborn). Similar to the first manga I read, I did not buy it. In year 9, a friends who sit next to me bought a manga call Reborn. He bought it every time new volume came out and that is the first time that i follow a manga, seeing it story line and seeing character development of manga.

Even though I already experienced many manga and anime since I was young, I actually start to really like manga when I read One Piece. After reading One Piece, I start to read a lot of manga and get hooked in manga style of comic and arts.

Now, after looking at manga and anime circulation in many different countries around the world and compared to my experienced, I found that there are many factors and reasons why manga and anime will become popular or not and every countries have its own factor that limited the popularity of manga and anime. Some of the factor and reason why manga and anime are popular or not are :

  • Public exposure of manga and anime
  • accessed to manga and anime
  • interactions with other who share the same interested in manga and anime

One of the most important reason is whether anime was broadcasted on television or not. If it was on television or other mainstream media, a huge number of consumer will have a chance to experienced anime and decided if they like this style of art or not. The reason why we should look at anime that broadcasted on television is because in most countries, manga become famous because of anime. For example, in France, manga became popular when many original Manga linked to popular Anime such as Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon were published and that is when the Manga boom in France began (Vanhee, O 2006).

Similar to many countries, manga in Thailand also became popular because of anime. In Thailand, anime is broadcasted on television almost everyday for very long time and a lot of people have been exposed to it and liked it. However, the problem is that it is hard to get a hold of manga as finding a store that sell them is hard especially in a small town (another factor that determine whether manga will be popular or not). In Bangkok, where I live, finding manga is relatively easy. At my school, there is a old lady who would set up her shop and sells manga near the school gate. There are also many stores that sells manga both in department store and other stores around the city. Another example of this can be see in South Korea where finding manga now is still a bit hard but it was a lot harder to find manga in the past. From 1945 – 1998, Koreans had no legal way to access original manga as South Korea enacted a laws that restricting the distribution of Japanese media.



Ellis, C, Adams, T E, Bochner, A P 2011, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Historical Social Research, vol.36, no.4, pp273-290.


One comment

  1. You’ve written an interesting post looking into the global consumption of anime/manga, and the factors that affect its proliferation in different cultures. Although I wasn’t exactly sure at times whether you were narrating your own findings and experiences or drawing on those of others.
    You mention here that Digimon Adventure was your first exposure to anime as a child, and that it has remained one of your all time favourite anime series. Do you think that elements of nostalgia may be influencing this favouritism, creating a bias in favour of it that you might not have otherwise had? If not I think it’s still worth unpacking this favouritism you hold, because what we favour is always reflective of our values, tastes, biases, assumptions, etc.


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