Manga are comics created in Japan, or by Japanese creators in the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century. They caught on quickly among our older kids, and led straight to anime, which is the abbreviated pronunciation of “animation” in Japanese. This in turn led to live-action TV programs and movies. Some of them have been dubbed over in English, but our kids often prefer to watch the originals, in Japanese, with subtitles.
Most of our kids attended the annual Animethon in Edmonton a couple of times, dressing up in full costume of their favourite anime characters.
This love of all things manga and anime led two of our daughters to study the Japanese language, both spoken and written.
Yesterday our family was treated to a live action show of a different kind. Our daughter Raewyn and her best friend Melinda were part of the Japanese Drama Society play, which is done entirely in Japanese — with subtitles in English on a screen above the stage. The girls weren’t the only non-Japanese actors, but they were part of a small minority. It was a delightful play, well done, and enjoyed by all.
You haven’t lived until you’ve heard the song, “Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”, sung in Japanese!
© Willena Flewelling