Does Anime truly reflect Japanese society?

It’s no secret that Japanese manga and anime are some of the most important cultural contributions by Japanese society to the world. Young, teen or even grown-ups like me enjoys manga and their anime adaptation. Though there are references to manga as old as the 12th and 13th century, modern manga took shape under the American invasion of japan between 1945 and 1952. The Americans brought their comics and cartoons, such as Disney works, Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop, and Bambi, to the country, thus leaving a great impression on the manga-ka to be.

As anime popularity grew worldwide thanks to DBZ, Naruto, One-Piece, Death Note, which are often adaptations of manga, it created a deep and particular impression of Japanese society. Some of these are correct others have no relevance to the real japan.

Someone who follows Japanese culture and literature knew that some of these impressions are incorrect on many levels.

1.Physical appearance: Tall, thin, and big eyes, though some of the Japanese are tall, the majority’s average height is in between short to medium. Also, big round eyes are not the physical characters of Japanese people. One good example of how much the appearance can be deceiving is Attack on Titan anime characters. Though most of the history related to Eldia and Marlin is Japanese, the characters often look like westerners.

An example of how Japanese anime characters will look like in real life.

2. Loud Characters: Most of the Japanese are quiet and shy people. Considering loud in japan is rude. But contrary to that, most of the Japanese protagonists are loud and mannerless. Some of the characters are even loud to the level of annoying, like Asta in Black Clover.

3. Japanese students: No, Japanese students are not allowed to color their hair, and even nail polish is also not allowed. Also, Japanese uniforms aren’t short and skimpy like they are in anime.

4. Everybody loves anime: While Japan is the home of anime, not everyone in the country watches it or even likes it. In fact, outside the anime capital of Akihabara, you’ll have a hard time finding people who are into anime. The majority after their teenage years prefer manga, and watching anime is considered childish. Mostly anime is for children. Anime is also heavily geared towards nerds and Otakus. An otaku is someone obsessed with anime, and often it isn’t cool in Japan. They are often stereotyped and labeled as those who, instead of finding work, watching anime all time.

To my understanding of the Japanese culture, these are some of the incorrect impression which eventually comes after watching a lot of anime. But why Japanese manga and anime prefer these types of characters and not showing everyday life in Japan.
It is not always true. The earlier record of manga depicts the correct physical and cultural representation of Japanese society.

This is inside Katsushika Hokusai’s Manga books, which are among the first examples of comics in history.

Hokusai’s Manga books

These characters looked more Japanese than the characters portrayed in modern-day manga and their anime adaptation.

But why now? There are two possible reasons.

One of the possible reasons could be the inferiority complex to westerners. When the modern manga was taking shape, Japan was under American rule who are generally tall, loud and have bigger eyes. The other reason could be the influence of American comic books on initial manga writers, which Americans carried with them. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear, manga and their anime adaptations do not reflect Japanese society on many levels.

Thank You.