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I do sort of agree that maybe a story starting off in a real-world setting seems to be a convention among certain popular series. But I can't really say whether this is done consciously by an author or the type of advice an editorial department would give to someone formulating a story. Who the hell knows. I mean, I guess it's more accessible to readers, but I don't think anyone reading manga can't handle a post-modern or otherworldly setting from the beginning. It isn't historical fiction...(though some series are that ). If a story is interesting, it's interesting. I don't know if it matters whether the environment in which is set is left in some mystery or if the reader is sledgehammered with Tolkien-esque particularity. I tend to prefer the former rather than the latter, but that's just me.
Not every story set in a high school is bad, nisekoi is just one of many examples. the problem is not exactly the setting itself, but rather the reason why it is used, because it seem to be simple, nearly effortless. just grabbing already done ideas and without adding their own touch, which lets a lot of the story feel generic. that gos of course for many genre and setting, the high school one is just the one which is overused for wrong reasons.
the example kaiten said are "generic", but in a different meaning. they set principles that following works "ripped off" so many times that they became parts of the genre, but were at their time original and creative.
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Again, not true. Not even close. Gangster movies go back to the beginning of America cinema, back to the silent film era. The Godfather was released in the early 1970's. Gangster films were an old trope by then. Samurai movies go back to the beginning of Japanese cinema. Jidaigeki (period pieces) also go back to the first decade of the 20th Century. By your standards, the Godfather and Seven Samurari are derivative movies, in cliche genres, used only because the filmmakers wanted something simple and effortless. They are the rip-offs, not the innovators.Quote:
I thing the constant is that a modern day adventure manga will always been set up in a school since the main characters tends to always be high schoolers. That's only the setup though a lot of them don't give the school much importance after a while.
That makes me think that some mangaka would like to escape this imposed figure right from the start :-)
Last edited by k-dom; February 08, 2013 at 05:05 PM.
In such settings it could be a junior high or high school setting simply because that is the intended audience for the readers. That it makes more sense for the story for the character and therefore the audience, to be introduced to the new world in a immersive way instead of just being in that setting from the beginning.
For some reason I doubt they give it any more thought, if that, than we're giving it now...
---------- Post added at 05:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:57 PM ----------
The same thing I said about setting also applies to characters. A good writer tailors their characters to the story, so that they can best convey the authors message. Jump manga usually are coming of age stories (friendship, ambition, achievement). Insert adults and most Jump manga would just be kind of sad and pathetic. Think about how much it would change the meaning of their dialog, if Naruto and Gaara were 22, instead of 12, when they fought at the end of the Chuunin Exam.
Last edited by Kaiten; February 08, 2013 at 05:16 PM.
Omg Kaiten you ninja'd me. I was going to say more or less the same thing. A High school setting is the perfect ground for people to grow up and start understanding the world around them. But at the same time, its a setting that is young enough that the characters still have so much to look forward to.
And yeah, in my opinion a good story isn't about what's in the pot but how its been simmered. Food is a good analogy I guess: how many times have you eaten something like a hamburger, or ice cream? But its the way its been made that makes you enjoy one over many others, and that is often due to the chef or people who made it. When a writer writes, they are trying to tell you a story about themselves, even if the story has nothing to do with them, even if the ingredients are the same as everyone elses.
Much as how people have tried to write down all the famous examples of Western literature "copying off" each other, maybe someone should do the same with Jump manga? It would be cool to see. But from what I see, Japan has a much more chillax view on these type of things, considering the existence of doujinshi conventions. I was surprised that Togashi made his own Yu Yu Hakusho doujinshi after having enough of Shonen Jump.
Exactly. The skill of the chef is what matters, and what they can do with the ingredients.Quote:
Great link! The truth is "originality" only matters for so much. Very little in this world is without precedent. What matters is the message, if the author has something original to say.Quote:
Speaking of high school in manga, is there any significance of the age 17 in Japan because from the Shonen orientated series I have seen 17 tends to be the most popular age for characters?
Junior High starts with 12-13, High School with 15-16, since mangaka may want to keep the setting for a while they will give their characters those ages, if restricted by school somehow.
And are you sure it's 17? Would be the year before coming of age here in germany, but you turn adult with 20 in japan.
Last edited by Schabrak; February 08, 2013 at 07:07 PM.
I don't know if it means anything, seventeen is just a typical high school age. Most shounen seem to have characters aged 15 - 18, it might just be a coincidence that he reads a lot of manga where the hero is seventeen. Dunno. Can't say the same about the [shounen] series I read. They range from twelve (Naruto and Hunter x Hunter) to high school third years (Again!!).
I'm not just referring to the main character but rather the main characters. Like in Hunter X Hunter Kurapika is 17. In One Piece Luffy is 17 and Chopper is 17 after the time skip. Ichigo is 17 after the time skip. Lucy in Fairy Tail is 17. Chrono in Chrono Trigger (not a manga but a video game) is 17. Almost all the high school students in Detective Conan are 17.
It just seems a really common age of Shonen main characters. I've seen so many 17 year old characters that whenever I start a new series I almost always expect to see a main character who's 17 and so far, from the series I've read, I've been right most of the time. Several of the main characters in Shonen are 17 or turn 17 at some point in the series so I was wondering if there was something special about the age 17 in Japan. But like you said it may just be a coincidence.
Last edited by DraMas26; February 08, 2013 at 09:15 PM.
I could just name dozens of manga with characters aging 12 to 16. You name a couple popular characters, however those aren't crucial to the total of teenage characters.
Now Luffy is not 17 anymore, for hundreds of chapters Ichigo was 15, Gon and Killua Zoldyck are nowhere near 17 yet, Naruto isn't 17, Komatsu and Toriko are not, Nisekoi's characters seem to be younger than that, Kuroko no Basket's Kuroko and Kagami are 16, while their senpai coach is 17, Sket Dance characters turned 17 after two years of serialization, Beelzebub's main characters 15/16, Shokugeki no Soma's main character is 15[with senior being 16/17]. Are those good enough counterexamples from WSJ alone?
Many school manga characters may end up being 17 at the end though due to that being a possible age for the last years of high school[AssClass].
edit: Mr. Prince explained it far better.
Last edited by Schabrak; February 08, 2013 at 09:34 PM.