held by the Graduate School of Manga Studies and the International Research Center, Kyoto Seika University

The Hidden Layer :
Video Games as Indebted to Comics

In recent years, video games have been attracting a degree of attention, which tends to exceed the scholarly interest in manga, or comics. But as the two presenters shall demonstrate, video games are fundamentally indebted to graphic narratives and not only in Japan. Drawing on their discussion, this mini-symposium explores new possibilities for research institutions established in the name of "manga" in an attempt to meet the challenges of "gamification."

Date and Time December 13, 2015, 14:30-17:30
Venue Kyoto International Manga Museum 3F, Research Room 1

Free * However, a General Admission ticket to the Museum is required.


1. Ben Whaley (Ph.D. Candidate and Sessional Lecturer, The University of British Columbia, Department of Asian Studies)

8-bit Manga? The Unlikely Friendship between Manga, Anime, and Video Games

This talk will examine the ways in which the Japanese video game industry is indebted to manga and anime culture. I begin by tracing the impact of manga artists such as Tezuka Osamu, Ishinomori Shōtarō, and Toriyama Akira on early video game development. Next, by drawing on the Astro Boy "media mix" marketing strategy pioneered by Tezuka's Mushi Production and Meiji Chocolates, this paper will propose the existence of a new "gamic mix" wherein the preexisting hierarchy between manga, anime, and games has diminished as stories now increasingly unfold collaboratively across multiple media.

2. Dr. Marco Pellitteri (JSPS Foreign Research Fellow, Kobe University)

What's Comic about Video Games? Aesthetic and Linguistic Borrowings from Comics to Computer Games

Video games, as many other forms of entertainment, can be framed as a narrative medium, as a highly immersive environment, and as a media technology mainly characterized by engaging the eye and the hand of the user. This complexity has led to the inclusion of older forms of narration and entertainment into computer games: cinema, literature, role-playing games, animation, and comics. My talk focuses on interactions with comics. Video game designers have often borrowed linguistic and aesthetic features from this form of sequential art, transforming them into a dynamic, interactive, and cinematic mode of expression on screen. Borrowings from comics apply to a whole range of aspects: language, aesthetics, characters, and narrative settings. But in general, two types of relationship between comics and games can be identified: a "weak" one and a "strong" one. These will be discussed using older and recent examples of video games, mainly from the United States and Italy.

Prof. Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh (The University of British Columbia, Department of Asian Studies) Selen Çalik (Ph.D. Candidate, Kyoto Seika University, Graduate School of Manga)

Prof. Dr. Jaqueline Berndt (Kyoto Seika University, Graduate School of Manga)

Capacity 30 people (seated in order of arrival)
Participation No prior registration required.

Please note that the schedule, performers, and contents are subject to change.

-IMRC- 国際マンガ研究センター
Clip to Evernote


Karasuma-Oike, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0846 Japan

TEL: +81-75-254-7414 FAX: +81-75-254-7424