Although Japan is really far away, some parts of their culture have crossed many kilometers to our door steps. Manga and Anime, for example, have found more than one way to be present in our country. I personally don't know much about the Japanese cartoon world, beyond the cartoon television series’ that we all saw as children (Sailor Moon, Candy Candy, Dragon Ball Z...). In this article I have tried to introduce a little bit more of this Japanese art to our readers by selecting five different and varied applications, but as always, suggestions are also appreciated.
When starting my quest to write this post what really caught my attention was the huge amount of Manga readers available in the Google Play Store. After looking at several, I opted for Manga Reader because of the excellent ratings and comments it received in the Google Play store. This application works quite simply: you have several sources which you can quickly access. If you are just looking to read Manga, this Manga Reader perfectly fulfills its purpose. It incorporates a constant advertising banner at the bottom of the interface, however this is nothing new when it comes to free apps and this time around I didn't find it to be too annoying. For our international audiences, the only major drawback really is that it's only in English and you have to download entire chapters, although it holds many titles.
Quite similar to the previous application, MangaDroid is another Manga reader which scored better reviews in the Play Store. The advantages that this app presents compared to the Manga Reader is that it updates its library regularly as well as offering Manga comics in other languages. The interface allows for comfortable usage, but also incorporates advertising and this time around, I found it to be a little more of a nuisance. My suggestion or critique for this app would be for them to add more comics, but overall it's a good tool with a large following of Manga fans who seem to be quite satisfied.
Next, I present you with the wonderful and creative Japanese fantasy world that you will encounter with Anime. After reading comics, it's also nice to tune into series and movies of the same genre. I found UnderAnime which turned out to be a really good application, especially considering it's free and there are more than 110 full-length videos, including entire movies like Spirited Away which you can view from the comfort of your smartphone or tablet.
Drawing Manga Anime
Though I'm no professional artist, I was curious to know some basic Manga drawing techniques. I found many options where I could learn to draw like great Manga artists and the bonus: most of them are free. That being said, I'm not delusional and obviously I know that with an application I won't be able to magically learn how to do these Japanese-style characters. The different tips and collection of tutorials really did a good job at explaining how to reproduce some of the most popular Manga comics. But just like any other type of drawing, not just Drawing Manga Anime, you need to practice, practice, practice.
Otaku Camera (Free)
There also an alternative option for those who are completely hopeless with pen and paper, but worship Manga. Otaku Camera (Free) is an app that transforms photographs, giving them a comic look. It has over 100 different effects, all with a Japanese style as a bottom line, and produces really interesting results. You're able to share your Manga creations via your social networks right from the app.
So far, this is the full extent of my Anime and Manga knowledge but I would love to learn more. I know that there are many more options, but for the time being, I've only tried these and I must say that I was quite pleasantly surprised.