Diversity in Manga: Why We Need More Of It?


Diversity in Manga: Why We Need More Of It, was panel moderated by: Chatty Patty, of the Black Ramen Podcast. Featuring two talented mangaka, KDFoxx (creator of Animal Arithmetic) and Gigi Murakami (creator of RESENTER). 

For starters: what is manga?  For the purposes of  this conversation we’ll keep it simple. It’s a comic book.  As was explained by the panelist.  To make sure that we were all on the same page as they proceeded to tackle the topic at hand. 

Three Black Women Panelist hosting a Diversity In Manga Panel at Anime NYC
KDFoxx, Chatty Patty and Gigi Murakami

We need more diversity in manga because art impacts lives.  There are people in marginalized groups who need to see themselves or people who look like them in the media they consume.  Not only because it’s inspiring but because it is welcoming and shows possibilities. It’s really as simple as that! 

Patty helped them to navigate through the topic almost seamlessly. As the panel went on Gigi and KD continued to talk candidly about various topics. Touching basis on their influences and how this led them down the path of becoming a storyteller.

With name drops of veteran creators like Watanabe Shinichiro, the late Kon Satoshi and Ohkubo Atsushi. Being industry veterans that prompted them to write their own stories. They were very open about their experiences and things they learned along the way. 

Diversity in Manga a Call to Action

Diversity in the Manga panel was as much a call to action as it was a hot take. We, as fans, need to do our part as well. If you dream of telling a story, someone needs to hear that story. So just do it!  Publishers are looking locally and abroad for the next best thing. So shoot your shot and at the very least, self publishing is always an option. With resources like kickstarter and patreon, the power is your hand. 

As for the rest of us, we can be a part of the mission too.  By supporting up and coming creators with your wallet or simply sharing with your friends. Scream about it- nahmean. 

Q & A Session: Diversity in Manga

The ladies also preached the importance of networking and building an online presence.  Navigating mental health struggles associated with the mission and other things in relation to the q and a in the later part of the session. 

Both Foxx and Murakami shared details about their current projects. RESENTER is a horror story that plays with the concepts of revenge and morality through the lens of its main character Jackie. Whereas, Animal Arithmetic, is a manga adjacent project that incorporates original to tell a story of misanthropic cynic named Kayla D’Angelo.

We were also lucky enough to see video previews of both projects which made me that much more curious. 

This panel was a major serotonin boost. Ya girl left this panel feeling really inspired. And I hope that you find a little dose of inspiration too. Be sure to check out Gigi Murakami’s Resenter, KDFoxx’s Animal Arithmetic and The Black Ramen Podcast. 

So what’s your take on Diversity in Manga? Let me know in the comment section below. Stay tuned for more from Anime NYC. 

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