• Austin Hamblin

Day #21: Anime and Manga


#21: Anime and Manga

This was one of the first “nerdy things” I got into. You might be saying anime and manga aren’t nerdy... When I was younger, I got made fun of it, as well as for reading comics and watching pro wrestling. It’s so weird to me all the things that I loved as a kid and got made fun of are, well, cool. The people who made fun of me for watching anime and reading comics do both of those things now! For those who don’t know, manga is a type of Japanese comic books (which reads backwards), and anime is the animated cartoon versions of the manga. My first introduction into anime was what Cartoon Network aired: Pokémon, Sailor Moon, Hamtaro, Dragon Ball Z, etc. I really got into these shows through friends and VHS tapes because I didn’t have cable. When my family finally got cable, I stumbled on to my favorite Saturday night ritual growing up: a block of programing known as Toonami. Toonami aired strictly anime and did air a few American cartoons, such as Justice League. This was a gateway drug for me. I got hooked on Naruto, which as of now, I own all 72 volumes of the manga. This has got to be one of my all time favorites. I know some hardcore fans shit on mainstream Shᇹnen (action/battling) anime/manga, but I still love it. I could identify with the main character, and I got a glimpse into all of the supporting cast at one point or another. I watched a snot nosed lonely little kid grow into a caring, tough, savior of the world. I used to be HARDCORE into all of this; I still enjoy reading and watching, just not as much as I used to. Some of my favorites are: Battle Royale (manga), Monster, Summer Wars, Sword of the Stranger, Cowboy Bebop, Yu Yu Hakusho, Bakuman, Full Metal Alchemist, and Big Windup. One of the things not often thought of when trying to become a writer, is you should also become a huge reader. I think it is important to read and consume all different kinds of media from different writers and cultures. I’ve put a lot of the things I love about manga into some of my own writings. Especially when it comes to The Adventures of Punk and Rock. Some people will attempt to watch some anime and find it really odd. It’s a cultural thing you know? Some jokes you tell might not be found funny if told to someone from the other side of the world; they might not laugh. The original intent of these creations is to entertain those from Japan and surrounding Asian countries. If it goes further, well, that would be a bonus. Just like anything else, it’s not for everyone. Myself, I love me some giant robots, ninjas, nose bleeds, and J-Pop!

Everyday I will be posting an entry in my writing challenge 100 Days which has been collected into a print collection. If you are interested in purchasing a print collection: http://www.lulu.com/shop/austin-hamblin/100-days/paperback/product-23916414.html

Kayla and I have also started a weekly podcast. You can check it out here: https://anchor.fm/austin-allen-hamblin It's called In the Bed with Austin and Kayla because we literally record it as we lay in bed!

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