During the 1980s, a large number of cyberpunk manga and anime works were produced in Japan and gradually caught on in the western world.
Manga are comics created in Japan or by creators in the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century. The term manga in Japan is a word used to refer to both comics and cartooning. Manga as a term used outside Japan refers to comics originally published in Japan. In Japan, people of all ages read manga. The medium includes works in a broad range of genres: action-adventure, business and commerce, comedy, detective, historical drama, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and fantasy, sexuality, sports and games, and suspense, among others. Many manga are translated into other languages. Since the 1950s, manga has steadily become a major part of the Japanese publishing industry.
Anime is a Japanese term for hand-drawn or computer animation. The word is the abbreviated pronunciation of "animation" in Japanese, where this term references all animation. Outside Japan, anime is used to refer specifically to animation from Japan or as a Japanese-disseminated animation style often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes.
The most notable were the 1982 manga Akira and its 1988 anime film adaptation, the 1985 anime Megazone 23, and the 1989 manga Ghost in the Shell which was also adapted into an anime film in 1995.
This is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, the work uses conventions of the cyberpunk genre to detail a saga of turmoil in a battle between people with ESP powers and the government. Initially serialized in the pages of Young Magazine from 1982 until 1990, the work was collected into six volumes by its publisher Kodansha. The work was first published in an English-language version by the Marvel Comics imprint Epic Comics, one of the first manga works to be translated in its entirety. Otomo's art is considered outstanding, and a breakthrough for both Otomo and the manga form.
This is a four-part animation created by AIC, written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama, and directed by Noboru Ishiguro, Ichiro Itano, Kenichi Yatagai and Shinji Aramaki. The story follows Shogo Yahagi, a delinquent motorcyclist whose possession of a government prototype bike leads him to discover the truth about the city.
Megazone 23's story is set in the far future of the human race, after, in the early 24th century, various environmental issues rendered Earth uninhabitable, forcing humanity to leave in several massive colony ships, the titular Megazones. The story itself follows the population of Megazone Two Three, based on an unnamed part of Japan.
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell, known in Japan as Mobile Armored Riot Police, is a manga series written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, which spawned the media franchise of the same name. The manga, first serialized in 1989 under the subtitle of The Ghost in the Shell, and later published in 3 volumes by Kodansha, told the story of the fictional counter-cyberterrorist organization Public Security Section 9, led by protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the mid 21st century of Japan. Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface was the sequel work which follows the story of Motoko after merging with the Puppeteer. The last volume, Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor, contains four separate cases.
The books contain Shirow's thoughts on design and philosophy, including sociological issues, the consequences of technological advances and themes on the nature of consciousness and identity. Several artbooks have been released to detail the concept art and the world of Ghost in the Shell. All three volumes have received mainly positive reviews.
Ghost in the Shell has been adapted into a video game, several anime films and a live-action film starring Scarlett Johansson. It is also the inspiration for the Matrix films.
[adapted from Wikipedia and other sources]
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz