In the piece "Got plot? Complex thoughts? Imagination?" By Geoff Edgers, Globe Staff, 5/26/2002:
Mr. Edgers writes of manga (Japanese comics) that it is "where boringly drawn and supersexed Japanese heroes fight evil" -- thereby in one phrase condemning an entire cultural medium.
I will be the first to admit that _some_ manga fits the stereotype, but let me also be the first to insist that, like the paperback novel, manga comes in all sorts of genres and depths, from silly and shallow to incredibly profound and enlightening. I have seen many, many moral and ethical teachings given out in a non-patronizing way in the finest of manga.
It is sad to note that cultural blinders continue to allow this kind of easy dismissal of something poorly understood, simply because it is different and unexplored by some. As for the import Japanese anime that makes it to our shores, let me point out that, at least in part, it is the American taste the importers cater to, and does not necessarily reflect the range of what is available in Japan itself.
(I have a 1997 essay available on the anime/manga stereotype issue at: http://www.ex.org/2.8/45-essay_stereotypes.html)
So, while I don't know if this letter will be posted, I do know that this kind of cultural blindness can do nothing but increase prejudice and intolerance. What we need in this world right now is more understanding and compassion.