Of Anime and Manga and Action Figures

Artwork by Alessandro Mulya

I grow up watching Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach. Pretty sure that also happens to millions of other kids — from running aerodynamically like the ones in the Naruto to unleashing my own Bankai, there is an impact that stays forever in my life on how Japanese culture has kept me entertained ever since. It is also one of the reason I grew up wanting to be a comic artist. Whilst the dream might adapt to the harsh reality of life I have, it does not bother me at all. I am still grateful that when I was a child, I got to draw hundreds of Naruto characters for my friends at school ( basically I was doing commission work early on ). I remember those animes vividly, because we grow up at the same time like them. When Naruto Shipuuden first came out, it hits the entire school like a storm, creating a hype I never feel or anticipate before in my lifetime.

Japan has been worldly known for such creative world — from anime to manga to action figures to live-action to everything else in between, the Nation of the Rising Sun surely rises up to be the global culture icon and phenomenon, creating a large fanbase for creative work and industries alike. And if you read some of my previous articles, any creative industry that is thriving is a good news for everyone — even the people that is not affected by it at all can certainly reap some benefit from it. Japan’s rise of entertainment industry based on many kinds of medium became the pioneer of webtoon and the entry of anime unto streaming services. It become the leading figure in it, and possibly still is for the years ahead.

And behind every leading figure is the following masses — Indonesia is also one of it. Indonesia has been less than stellar in the comics and animations, but given the starting point, I could say that Indonesia still ran at the different rate than Japan. Do we have such industry? Yes. But is it the biggest one — or even counts as being big at all? No. With how the government has less than a steady hands in helping our country thrive in this particular industry and how the piracy and illegal contents still roaming about on the Internet, it is not how the deadline approaches on this race, but how we remove the burden to be faster in it. How the globalization is reached is not always how quick we are to react, but also how quick we are to remove the barriers, the bureaucracy, the impending doom of the near-future of all new kinds of piracy and internet mischiefs.

Moving ahead is the only way to do so, and knowing how much we owe it to the pioneers in our country, it is only right to inspire the future pioneers — to plan our next move rather than romanticizing the past and the classic authors. One can only dream for that to happens, but hey, the world has proven itself from time to time that future belongs to those who actually make it happen. I want to be a part of it, and more often than not, people with the similar mindset and hunger often times find themselves stumbling upon their own paths, with their own ways. From memorizing our local heroes’ moves to mimicking their taglines at school, it is a race, sure, but one with a noble pursuit — and once again, I am all in for it.