Saturday, March 05, 2011

Jpop vs. Kpop, and manga vs. manhwa?

          The world have known and loved Jpop for many years. But recently Kpop have also found their way into people's hearts. Jpop keeps their unique, Japan-ish style and identity in their music, while Kpop embraced and infused western influences. Maybe that's one of the reason for their rise of popularity among teens and young adults nowadays. Speaking about pop music in both of these countries, we can't shy away from the 'idols' culture. Sure, we've seen and heard about teen idols and superstar-wannabes from other countries, but in Japan and Korea, this 'idol business' is some serious shit.
           Some background intro about it: in Japan, most of the 'idols' (or you can call them boy-bands, girl-bands, talents, etc.) are under Johnny's Entertainment (JE), and some of the 'big names companies' in Korea are SMentertainment, JYP, YG, DSP, etc. 'Idols' are basically talents; they're trained since little, or auditioned for a spot in these entertainment companies. After some trainings and lessons in dancing, acting, vocals, language, communication skills, charisma skills(?), they'll debut as a part of a group, or solo, or sometimes, as just actors/ actresses (e.g. Ikuta Toma). Also, Japan and Korea have this 'variety show' TV programs, where celebrities fool around, perform, answer some quizzes for charity, compete in fun-athletic meets, go and experience local life around the country, etc., all for the entertainment of people who's watching the television. Outside these crazy, crackful, variety shows, they're also seriously performing as artists who sing and dance. That's what most people love about them; there's a fun-, and serious, charismatic- sides to them. Fans don't just want some celebrities, but they also want shining, adore-able people who they can relate to; some real people.. not just some stuck up bitches hiding behind a pair of oversized prada sunglasses.
          Before, there's this SMAP era; SMAP is a 5-person boyband under JE, consisting of Nakai (leader), Takuya Kimura, Shingo, Tsuyoshi, and Goro. They're known world-wide, and is considered as the one who paved the path for many groups from Japan thereon afterwards, like TOKIO, Kinki Kids, V6, Arashi, KAT_TUN, NEWS, etc. Jpop and Kpop have found their own fans and avid followers, and we can generally say that they are divided into three major groups: only Jpop lovers, only Kpop lovers, and both Jpop and Kpop lovers. What with the hot trends and everything, fans have their own thoughts and perceptions on these two giant industry, and sometimes these thoughts clash with each other. Fans bitch around online and offline, and sometimes I just wonder how can they get so serious and into these idols. Now, does this clash of Japan and Korean extends to manga and manhwa?

          An otaku can easily tell a manhwa from a manga, but with the rising popularity and quantity of manhwa available online, will it blur the distinction between this two? Maybe some people would try to disagree with and bash me when I acknowledge that Japan set the bar for the comic (manga) industry, as manga did originally came and popularized from there. Even before the boundaryless age of www, manga have been translated into multiple languages and sold world-wide. On the other hand, manhwa just recently got attentions from readers, and could be seen as riding on the manga tsunami.
          Although both of them are comics, you can tell them apart by their culture, settings, and styles. Personally, I think that as great as the mangakas drew them, a manga illustration generally have better motions and movements depictions. They seem more fluent and not as stiff. Second, the flow of the story: a manga tend to move faster (you can see a lot of details and stuffs happening, even if that chapter actually only covers a minute of the in-story time.), while a manhwa, sometimes you get this over-dragging and thus over-killing a suspense/ build-up to the plot. I'm not sure how the manhwa industry in Korea works, but in Japan, (especially for the big-name publishers) an author would have editors that help them see their works from another point of view; will that work actually be interesting and properly-paced, chapter by chapter.
          Of course, both manga and manhwa have their own ups and downs, but for me, I hate those over-kill dramas in Kpop and manhwa, so really, if I have to choose between them, I'd pick Jpop and manga, anytime. (I mean, come on. why would I want to be bothered by these irrelevant people's dramas? I have enough in my own. I just wanna see them entertain and make me laugh, not make me feel bad or sad.)

4 comments:

raindrops_on_my_head said...

i'm a total jpop, jdrama, and manga fan! but do occasionally enjoy a kdrama or two~ :P and, i love all music, so that part is open to how good the song is!

Dr.Senbe said...

i generally dont watch dramas at all.. (with a few exceptions if a lot of people recommended it) =p
but i do enjoy/listen to both jpop and kpop..i just am not a rabid fan

wawamagic said...

i love hentai. but i dont watch it. no offense. keke~

Dr.Senbe said...

DUDE what's with this all of the sudden? im talking a out mangas, not hents. demmit

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