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Reading Billy Bat and it is a manga about drawing comics/manga and so I noticed. One of the artists there is portrayed with a beret on him:
The beret is a common asset to an artists clothing, take a look at these in various arts:
So what do you think do manga artists look in general today with the classical artist look and how do they portray said artists?
Last edited by Josef K.; October 27, 2012 at 07:24 PM.
It's a stereotype for mangkaka to be portrayed as wearing berets all the time. For example, Saotome Roman from SKET DANCE is usually seen wearing it, and she's a wannabe mangaka. I think it all started with Osamu Tezuka, and from there, it has been extremely prevalent during the Showa era (i.e. pre-1989). Nowadays the image of a beret is more of a retro one. Although if you look at self-portraits of mangaka from TOC comments, it's possible that a few of them have drawn themselves with a beret on their heads.
I don't know if this is the response you wanted, Josef, but this is my knowledge of where the idea of beret = mangaka came from.
Indeed I agree that it might just be a negative stereotype, since as you said that character is a wannabe mangaka, so in a way is it mocking her desire and wish? Of course Zofuu-sensei from Billy Bat is a mangaka in the 60s and 20s, so it might just be that it is a more accepted retro look. Generally I think "modernists" in the arts, to whom Tezuka is part of wore those, but not as a negative thing, while now it has gotten to be such.
I don't think berets are a negative connotation, but it is an old-fashioned one. Even though the image is outdated, it's certainly not offensive to a mangaka if you asked them if they wore berets while they work.
As for Roman, wearing a recognizable and stereotypical accessory is only emphasizing her character. IIRC Shinohara-sensei's self portrait has him wearing a beret too.
The beret definitely dates back to the days of Tezuka Osamu and another famous contemporary mangaka who was not mentioned yet. I'm speaking, of course, of the late Fujiko F. Fujio. (Doraemon, Perman, Esper Mami, etc.)
Back then the beret has been a real thing for mangaka, something like the latest trend. A funny thing to be noted is that in Google (when operated in Japanese) the words "mangaka" and "beret" make up an auto-suggested search inquiry.
In the Japanese version of Wikipedia in the article on "beret" there is also a short mention of its association with Japanese mangaka. It states, just like I said, that Tezuka and Fujiko (amongst other highy famous authors) wore these hats as a sort of trademark and that there was a time when the beret has been totally in vogue for mangaka.
Last edited by Mr. Prince; November 06, 2012 at 09:07 PM. Reason: typo