To begin with, manga (for those who don't know manga is a comic which was created in Japan) is an expanding phenomenon of the last years. It has an enormous number of readers not only in Japan but also abroad . It’s very popular in US and in Europe as well.
Manga is distinguished by typical features which set it apart from Western style comic (f.e. U.S. comics about superheroes). The features typical for manga are:
- It is usually read from right to left
- Characters have oversized eyes, small mouths and simply drawn noses
- Emotions are visualized (anger, embarrasment, etc.)
- The borders of speech bubbles change its shape based on the tone of the speech
Manga can be divided into two main categories: shoujo (generally manga for girls) and shounen (generally manga for boys). Both of those categories includes many genres such as: adventures, romance, history, horror, detective, school life, sports, fantasy, etc.
As many other things in our life, such as books or movies, also manga can have a huge impact on your life (depending on the kind of manga you may read). I will present you a few things which you can learn from reading manga and which can inspire your life in a positive way.
Now, let’s move on answers to our question. How exactly can manga inspire your life?
Quotes which can inspire you
In manga, you can find a certain sentences, more likely quotes, which touch your heart and show you a solution to your problems or point you to a right direction in your life. Remembering these quotes can help you while making decisions and can change the way you think in a positive way. Now let’s see examples.
- If you don’t have the courage to change things then you might as well just die (Fairy Tail, © Hiro Mashima).
- If you don’t hold any regret in your choice, that means you must’ve made the right decision (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, © Robico).
- There’ll always be a way. If you don’t take a chance, nothing will begin (Shaman King, © Hiroyuki Takei).
- If you don’t like your destiny, don’t accept it. Instead, have the courage to change it the way you want it to be (Naruto, © Masashi Kishimoto).
- People are mirrors. If you smile, a smile will be reflected (Akatsuki no Yona, © Kunihiko Ryo).
- If you begin to regret, you'll dull your future decisions and let others make your choices for you. All that's left for you then is to die (Shingeki no Kyojin, © Hajime Isayama).
- But I'm in no rush. I'm enjoying the journey. You should enjoy the little detours. To the fullest. Because that's where you'll find the things more important than what you want (Hunter X Hunter, © Yoshihiro Togashi).
Yoshida Yuuzan - Tonari no kaibutsu-kun
About not giving up
Manga also can teach you how not to give up. There is a lot of manga with main characters refusing to give up no matter what a situation. They always go on, always try to do their best, and always try to reach their dreams. They do not falter. It’s probably not very realistic because people mostly don’t act like this (like never giving up), but it’s always inspiring to watch those who achieved what they desired. And it doesn’t matter whether it is a real or a fictional person.
To give you just one example, Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto will do the best. Naruto is a typical representative of a person who never gives up no matter what circumstances are. If you are familiar with this manga then you know how many times Naruto says he won’t give up. It can be a cliché but it teaches us to go on despite hardships in our lives.
The best line by Naruto is probably: You should give up… on me giving up!
It’s like belief that there is always a way.
Uzumaki Naruto - Naruto Shippuuden
What shoujo manga can teach us
Manga can also help you to believe in a wonder. This is a lot about shoujo manga (manga for girls) which often tells story about normal daily life, which is close to our own lives. A plot differs from manga to manga but there is often a very handsome and popular boy/man who falls in love with an ordinary girl.
We can recall a lot of manga which are like this. For example: Hiyokoi, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Pochamani, Bokutachi wa Shitte Shima etc.
These kinds of manga are really nice to read because this event doesn’t occur that much in the real world. Manga like this can be recognized a fairy tale, but it holds a hope for ordinary girls to find their prince and gives them power to dream and believe. It may be naïve to believe in such matters, but if it can help and if it makes you happy then it’s good to believe. There can always be a miracle.
Power of Love and Friendship
Through many rough and difficult situations, manga teaches us about power of love and friendship. It’s not only about so called ‘nakama power’ (a term connected especially with manga Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima – means that every battle can be won because of a power of friendship). It shows us that we should treasure our friends – a simple thing a lot of people forget nowadays – that we should trust them and help each other. It’s easier to make it through bad situations and solve problems when you have friends by your side.
Shoujo manga shows us that love isn’t only about kissing (although I don’t deny that a lot of people want to see their favorite characters to kiss) but it’s about talking and caring about each other as well. I mean, talking about problems and feelings, because love is about that as well. Not only about running away and breaking up when you have a feeling that your partner doesn’t understand you. Well, he/she can’t understand if you don’t tell him/her.
Let’s summarize how manga can inspire your life for better remembering.
- You can find there a lot of inspiring memorable quotes.
- Manga can teach you how not to give up so easily.
- It can provide a belief in better days and miracles.
- Manga shows you a power of love and friendship and its values.
Natsu Dragneel - Fairy Tail
Here we go. These are my answers to your question. Everything depends on what you believe in. If you consider these four points a truth, then you can learn something from reading manga and little by little even change your life in a positive way. If you don’t believe these things – well, there are plenty of manga with a really nice story, so at least give it a shot and try to read them, even if it’s for fun. You may realize later that you learned something on a way.