This isn’t the first time it’s happened though – I had a similar feeling when I watched Howl’s Moving Castle. It's a typical Japanese cartoon film in so called manga style, and the hero in no way looks real, but he’s gorgeous and very well drawn. You can’t help but fall for him and wish he’d come and whisk you away with his magic. At the time, I thought perhaps I was weird, so put the whole thing out of my mind until it happened again when I read an actual manga comic.
A couple of years ago I picked up a YA book called “Wicked Lovely” by American author Melissa Marr and I liked it so much I couldn’t wait for the next instalment (it’s a series of five books and I’m very impatient). Since obviously there was a gap in between publication dates, I was thrilled to see that she’d produced a companion story, a little extra side-story as it were, in manga form, and I promptly bought that. It had yet another hero to fall in love with - Jayce. I was starting to wonder why this was happening to me!
Then I remembered that back in my teens, when living in Sweden, I used to read a seriously soppy romance comic series called “Starlet”, which featured heroines who were not in the popular crowd, but who eventually got the boy of their dreams. I wanted to be that girl and invariably fell in love with the heroes too, even though they were nowhere near as well drawn as today’s manga boys or animated heroes. So perhaps my subconscious is harking back to that time?
There seems to be a trend for romantic books to be “translated” into manga form. Apparently Harlequin Mills & Boon have been transforming their books in this way for years in Japan and they’re very popular (although the covers seem rather startling when compared to the ones we’re used to!). This was to attract younger readers, who were increasingly unwilling to read full-length novels. Certainly, both my daughters would much rather read a Manga novel any day than a real one, something I find difficult to understand, being a life-long fan of books.
I was also astonished to read somewhere recently that Diana Gabaldon is writing a special instalment of her “Outlander” series specifically to be turned into a manga comic. How can they possibly do it justice by translating it into drawings? A part of me thinks ‘no way, that can’t work’, but another part is now very curious to see how the artist will interpret Jamie Fraser, one of my all-time heroes. Oh dear, I think I’m going to have to buy it and I can feel another crush coming on ...
Anyone else hooked on cartoon guys?
Please stop by again on Sunday to hear from Liz