Best known for its unique characters, complex storylines and high impact action sequences, Manga has gained cult status not only in Japan but across the globe. Check out some staggering facts about this form of Japanese animation.
1. Manga comes from 'man' and 'ga' and means crazy sketches or irresponsible pictures.
2. Amazingly, Manga makes up 40% of all publications sold in Japan.
3. The word Manga is now in the English dictionary and means Japanese comics (the word for Japanese animation is 'anime').
4. The biggest selling Manga weekly of all time was Shonen Jump, home of Dragonball. In only one week it sold over 6 million copies!
5. Manga are the sources for a huge number of hit films, videos and TV shows, both live action and animated.
6. Rubbery boy-pirate One Piece set the record for the highest first print run of a manga book at 2.52 million copies.
7. Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy, created over 150,000 pages and is revered in Japan as 'the God of Manga'.
8. Katsuhiro Otomo adapted his own apocalyptic Akira Manga into the spectacular 1989 animated movie. Otomo's latest film is Steam Boy, just opening in Japan.
9. Several of the most successful Manga creators are women, such as Rumiko Takahashi of Inu Yasha fame, who was ranked as one of the ten wealthiest people in the country.
10. Nearly half a million visitors come to the Comiket Manga marketplaces to buy thousands of 'dojinshi' or self-published fanzines. It's one of the biggest gatherings of any kind in Japan.
Facts from Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics, by Paul Gravett. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites
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