For a few years now, I have been fascinated with gekiga, and in general the alternative manga movement that began in the 1950s. I am extremely glad to announce that I have been very lucky to be able to write a small feature about the movement for Japan Curiosity. The piece includes a little background to the genre and a few recommendations for some of my favourite titles. You can read the full piece here, but I would like to share a short excerpt:
Meaning ‘dramatic pictures’, gekiga is the umbrella term for Japanese comics created as an alternative to ‘whimsical pictures’ (or, ‘manga’). Despite reading and being influenced by Osamu Tezuka, who at the time worked exclusively in children’s comics, gekiga artists wanted to challenge what had become conventional. With a gritty, cinematic style that explored mature topics and themes, as well as sexual and political content, gekiga became a very popular genre. When Weekly Shōnen Sunday and Weekly Shōnen Magazine launched in 1959, kashihon artists submitted their work, bringing techniques popularised in gekiga with them.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read it if you did! I am far from an expert, but I was very happy to share a little knowledge.