Views #642 | Intermediate 5

Manga Part 1

Tre talks a little about his feeling about Manga and how he got interested in it.

Joel: A lot of Japanese adults read comic books. Do you find that strange at all? You said you read comic books too but I know in the United States, we think it's strange if you see an adult reading a comic book. Is it because the stories are different or because are you reading the same kind of story you would when you were a kid.

Tres: OK, to answer the first part of your question, when I first came over as a high school student in Japan I was quite shocked by how prolific comic books were throughout all layers of society. I did not expect adults to read comic books, nor did I expect there to be comic books focusing on Japanese history, world history, cooking, what have you where you can actually learn useful information through a comic. I guess my understanding of a comic at the time was just sheer pleasure, Superman or Spiderman, it's something that you grow out, sort of like pimples. You grow out of it.

But nowadays in the U.S. I think Japanese comic books have become more popular. Of course more adults save rare comics than kids. I mean, right, it's a pretty big. You can make a lot of money if you have really old comics. And I think Japanese comic books are starting to help the domestic comics in the United States, by making it OK for adults to read comics because they can say listen this can be a satire of modern day society, or this may speak to me because it's about homosexual issues, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever.

Joel: OK, I think that's the difference. There's a whole bunch of different genres than it seems like in the united states. In the United States there is just the super hero

Tres: Yeah, the super hero comics. And it's starting to change. I think the idea of Japan's comic book where you create a world as opposed to just one super hero character. In this world you can follow various characters, and I think you can, in a sense you become closer to the characters within a comic book.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

find strange

Do you find that strange that a lot of Japanese adults read comic books?

If you 'find something strange' you think it is different than normal. Notice the following:

  1. I find it kind of strange that it's raining when the sun is out.
  2. Don't you find it strange that you don't receive emails from me?

to answer your question

Okay, to answer the first part of your question, I would have to say yes.

You can use this phrase to directly show someone that you are going to give them the information that they asked for. Notice the following:

  1. I think, to answer your question, that you would never regret making that decision.
  2. No, to answer your question, we won't be going anywhere for the holiday.


Sometimes, the stories in comic books can be a satire of modern-day society.

A 'satire' makes fun of the way things are. Satires usually use sarcasm or irony to make comments about modern-day society. Notice the following:

  1. Is this supposed to be a satire or a serious movie?
  2. Most of his books are satires.

homosexual issues

The stories may also speak about homosexual issues or whatever.

'Homosexual issues' are problems or disputes that exist for homosexuals or because some people have problems with homosexuals. 'Homosexuals' are people who are attracted to people of the same sex, so a man would like other men. Notice the following:

  1. Homosexual issues were a very important topic during the election.
  2. This class focuses on homosexual issues in a changing society.


There's a whole bunch of different genres in Japanese comic books.

A 'genre' is a category or type of movie, book, music, etc. Notice the following:

  1. What is your favorite genre of music?
  2. I've read too many romantic novels recently. I need a new genre.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Vocabulary Quiz

strange • answer • satire
homosexual • genre
  1. He finds it that I get so emotional about animal rights.
  2. His new novel is a hilarious about the modern world.
  3. To your question, I find out about these things on the internet.
  4. What is the movie? She only watches romantic comedies.
  5. issues are a major discussion topic with some religious groups.

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