Breaking Out of Japanese Comics? An Otaku’s Impression of Watchmen

March 16, 2009

After watching the movie Watchmen I decided it’d be a good idea to read the graphic novel (which I commonly mistake with comic, but I’m wrong apparently.) The story is very powerful I must say, it is on a different level from my favorite manga titles (Gintama, Evangelion Angelic Days, Welcome to the NHK). Watchmen packs a punch with the threat of nuclear war, the outlawment of masked vigilantes, and the death of a fellow masked hero. All this outs a psychological “weight” on their characters and it is this that makes Watchmen interesting. The characters are realistic, the heroes don’t have any superpowers (Dr. Manhattan being an exception of course) these factors make them easy to relate too. All they ever wanted to do was help society by getting rid of criminals but things didn’t really turn out so rosy and romantic.

It is not a bad choice for anyone’s first foray into the world of American style comics. Coming from a Japanese comic mindset the first thing that struck me was the art style. To me it is not as “pretty”; but on the other hand the drawings are more realistic in the sense that they more accurately portray human characteristics. Of course I’m broadly generalizing manga here for easy of argument.

watchmen

The cover of the graphic novel.

The short story: READ WATCHMEN!

-katnipp

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