Conclusion

It clearly emerges from this survey that mangas, far from being just a consumerist activity for brainless and ignorant teenagers, can satisfy the entertainment needs of a wide panel of publics from various socioprofessional backgrounds. In the end, this is a logical outcome as we know that in Japan, the manga industry targets consumers from their youngest age to their retirement. Most respondents were motivated to start reading mangas by their interest for Asia and Japan, not the other way around. I’m therefore inclined to assume that this form of entertainment has contributed to make Japan popular alongside martial arts, sushi-bars, futons and other cultural artifacts labeled Made in Japan. I also believe that this recent introduction of the Made in Japan in the Swiss people’s habits has helped improve the reputation of mangas in the country. And by extension, the aforementioned social normalization of the fans, who aren’t seen anymore as sorts of sociopaths, but at worse, as mere fashion victims like Rap or Hip Hop followers.

The survey shows some hints to potentially interesting trends in the evolution of the spread of manga entertainment.

First, one realizes that manga, as a specific form of narration, can represent a good platform to encourage the opening of the mind on the rest of the world, even superficially, which is not always the case with Western comics, maybe too close from the cultural imaginary world of the readers. Most respondents demonstrate a real desire to deepen their knowledge of Japan and its culture following their experience with mangas. It is important to state it, because one tends too often to underestimate the capacity of entertainment to stimulate knowledge acquisition and intellectual curiosity, merely because they are foremost mass commercial products.

Then, one can see that the entertainment industry that surrounds the manga sector is emerging as factor of new technologies uses, as it makes most of its products available on all existing digital platforms. Moreover, a majority of collective activities also take place online. The printed media seems to be destined to become just one media among many others and it will be interesting to investigate what place it will hold in the reading habits of the manga fans. After all, many help themselves directly on the Web. If mangas, as a form of comics narration, should become distributed in priority on digital platforms, this would reopen the question of the present functioning of the manga publishing industry, whose heart is made of prepublication magazines, printed on recycled paper. An issue to follow up!

***

<< III. Some results from the survey (final)

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