"Come in through the magic door, come and meet Doraemon, he has all the future gadgets in his 4-D pocket, he saves Nobita all the time, day and night he works and plays, his favorite food is dorayaki, and he’s afraid of rats, What a very kind guy of red blue and white,' Ah...here’s a rat!'". This is a theme song of a cartoon show. So, how many of you're familiar with this song?
Cartoons of different genres are watched worldwide. India is no exception. With the advent of the internet, mangas and animations have also gained tremendous popularity amongst the people of various age groups. However, the Indian cartoon industry has failed to adapt to the various changes in the industry. It has failed to diversify its genres and has been revolving around the same storyline for ages.
We’ve grown up watching numerous Indian cartoons which mostly revolved around the mythological belief of the Indian culture, where that is not at all wrong, that is also the reason the International cartoons have dominated over them; for they have diversity in their concepts.
International animations like Naruto, Powerpuff Girls, Avatar, etc are some of the animated series which are not only for children but can be engaging for elder’s too, whereas Indian Cartoon writers have not yet come up with such ideas which can engage both the young and the adult viewers.
Certain cartoons like Doraemon, Shinchan, Avengers, etc are more watched over certain cartoons like Chhota Bheem, Mighty Raju, or Roll no. 21 and again the question arises here that why is it so?
The most used concept in the Indian cartoon display’s the protagonist as the strongest, who never loses in a fight with the villain and this rotates throughout the entire cartoon industry which has high chances of creating only a certain picture in the viewer’s mind and honestly, repetition has the reputation of getting boring.
Antagonists can also teach values just as the protagonists in a different way which seemingly lacks in Indian concepts whereas most International toons are successful in delivering that message.
Japanese animations like the mangas are created in many ways that it had covered all the genres and had also made some more with which it can reach the audience in a wider range, hence making it one of the most preferred ones. Then there’s fluidity in the animation work, which India needs more growth on to hook their audience and the same goes for the voices used behind the character.
To date one of the best Indian animations is ‘Ramayana - The Legend of Prince Rama’; an Indo-Japanese animation feature film co-produced and co-directed by a Japanese producer in 1992 and no other Indian animation has been able to compete with it till today.
Animated TV series like Doraemon is also one of the most-watched toons in India, which shows a world filled with gadgets to help a boy called Nobita by the robotic cat from the future named ‘Doraemon’. It gives a beautiful message to its audience that no matter how far the future can go the only thing that matters at the end is the basic moral values, it is us who have to face the picture to help ourselves from any obstacle.
On the other hand, we have series like Chhota Bheem which shows a boy named Bheem from Dholakpur gets power when he eats Laddoo, and with that strength, he can fight anything, that concept though entertaining creates an unrealistic fantasy in the mind of their audience.
In the 1990s, the popular 'Jungle Book', an animation series based on the Rudyard Kipling's book was an anime, a Japanese style animation that used to be aired in the Indian television.
Therefore, anime has been a fascination from a long time for Indians.
Did you know that the mangas are hand-drawn products by the artists themselves? Well yes, they are. Rather than going for the graphics, it is initially in the hand-drawn form.
For example -
Firstly, Crayon Shinchan, which is one of the best TV animation series with relatable life events and good fluidity.
Then comes anime series like Pokémon, Dragonball Z, Beyblade, Avatar: The Last Airbender, etc. shows like this boosts competitiveness that can help settle confidence as inspiration along with spiritual respect in young viewers.
“It is the first thing [anime] an Indian might be caught up to, and maybe they won’t even know it is Japanese,” said Kousuke Noguchi, Director, Japan Foundation (Japanese Language and Japanese studies) on the role played by manga or anime based on manga, in promoting Japanese culture in India. (Source: The Hindu Business Line)
Though the market for manga and anime is still blossoming, the likes of VIZ Media LLC, feel there is a huge potential. VIZ Media LLC, which is co-owned by Japanese publishers, entered into a partnership with Simon & Schuster India, a publishing house headquartered in the UK, for the distribution of manga in India in 2013.
In an interaction with BusinessLine, Kevin Hamric, the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at VIZ Media, said the market for manga has expanded and Japanese publishing houses, which were reluctant earlier fearing piracy, have started to show interest to license more titles.
“The Indian market has a huge potential and hence, is an important market for us. It is still growing and within five years the market size will be significant,” Hamric said and his words definitely had weight in them, as we’ve seen how massively it has grown among the Indian viewers regardless of the age.
So the cartoon industry of India needs to step up their game to globalize their animation works taking into account various genres and diversifying it rather than following the same ones that have been used for ages.
Mythological? yes, Superheroes? absolutely yes, but also it should have something that can capture the audience of older ages, that can touch the senses along with the intended moral messages for both the young and the old.
Share your favorite animes and cartoons in the comment section below.