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It's difficult to account for the popularity of animated and comic figures. Perhaps, as Scott McCloud says in 'Understanding Comics', their message carries a sort of 'amplification through simplification'. By the way, Scott's book is an excellent introduction to media theory - not just for comics fans, but for anyone.

Anyway, here we have the Anime and Comics page. This has been set up, in order to cater for my (virtual) lifelong interest in this field:

- As a young child, I watched cartoons on television (as did everyone);
- Between the ages of (roughly) 5 and 10, I was a huge Marvel Comics fan;
- In my early teens, I resurrected my Marvel interest for a short time;
- In my mid-late teens, I got interested in 'underground' comics;
- During my twenties, I turned to such things as Zen art (covered elsewhere); and
- In my thirties, I developed an appreciation of Japanese anime and manga.


I have yet to drag up sites to most of my childhood cartoon favourites. This hasn't been easy - considering the age of most of the material (i.e. the pre-video age), so not a lot of material is about. The more recent ones are all too available online.


The search for sites relating to old comics has been more rewarding - due to the devotion and diligence of fans.


Manga relates to Japanese comics, while Anime relates to non-Mange art of a similar type - pictures, games, cartoons, films, etc. It's been said that people either like this sort of material or they don't (which is a reasonable sort of statement to make, if a little inconsequential). For my part, I should add that there is both good and bad anime/manga art - and I don't just mean in terms of the level of content. The best art of this type is painstakingly executed, with rich, bold content and a definite artistic flair. It also should be in .gif format, not .jpg (since compression blurs the images). The worst material is derivative, throwaway stuff that shouldn't be distributed in the first place - done, by Japanese and non-Japanese people alike, simply trying to copy the original style/s, rather than providing something new.


Hentai is the 'adult' (or if you like, more explicit) type of anime and manga art. It is usually censored and taken from the sexually explicit comics and games which are openly available for sale in Japan (unlike in the prudish West). To really understand this type work you have to know something of the Japanese psyche - which, in the absence of a trip to Japan, can be almost unfathomable. Animation-files of varying size and content can also be found ("ripped" from videos & DVDs) - some with subtitles, or dubbed into other languages, such as Chinese and Franch. But I'm not a great fan of hentai animations, since the cartoon-like nature of the graphics is inadequate for portraying sexual content and the Japanese laws on censorship still leave much of this content 'blocked' or sometimes left out altogether.

I've downloaded several complete hentai games from sites (and many almost-complete ones - lacking large speech-files). Most run and play surprisingly well on my computer - considering the language barriers (only a small percentage of h-games are in English). The games are almost always for Windows PCs (not Mac), with some being available for older formats such as MS-DOS and PC98.



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URL: http://homepages.tig.com.au/~avanstar
Alex Van Starrex