Do you know the words “manga” and “anime“?
Maybe they have become commons words in Western countries…but before I came to Japan in 1990, I had never heard either of those two terms before.
They are both Japanese words.
マンガ (Manga) is the word to describe Japanese comic books. アニメ (Anime) is a Japanese word that comes from the English word “animation”…it’s the word for Japanese cartoons.
Are you a manga and/or anime fan? (You don’t call yourself an オタク (otaku)*, do you??)
*(オタク (otaku) is another Japanese word that, it seems, is being used in Western countries that was never used in America when I lived there. オタク (Otaku) are compulsive fans.)
I’m not really a fan of manga or anime. I know some of them because I have three kids.
Sometimes I watch 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou), 「ちびまる子ちゃん」 (Chibi-Maruko-chan), 「サザエさん」 (Sazae-san), 「あたしンち」 (Atashinchi), or 「クレヨンしんちゃん」 (Crayon-Shin-chan).
And sometimes I might read one of those series in manga.
I watch those anime series because they’re all funny and show average life in Japan.
I can relate.
(Well, 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou) is about 妖怪 (ghosts)).
I occasionally read a manga in order to practice reading Japanese.
One manga that I like to read is called 「ダーリンは外国人」 (“My Darling Is A Foreigner“).
It’s written by a Japanese woman whose husband is an American. They live in Tokyo and the manga is a chronicle of their life in an international marriage.
I can relate to this comic, too.
Another one I like to read is called うちの３姉妹 (“Our Three Daughters“).
(うちの３姉妹 isn’t so easy to translate accurately! Something like “Our Family’s Three Sisters” is closer…but that sounds odd in English. Anyways, it means “Our Three Daughters”.)
The author of this one is a mother of three girls close in age…like my daughters are.
Her daughters are younger than mine…but I remember when my kids acted like hers do.
I can relate to this one, as well.