In the recent issue of Wired, there were several featured articles on manga, and while I was disappointed to not see any notices or warnings on the issue of hentai, there were some very interesting things. For example, How Manga Conquered the U.S., a Graphic Guide to Japan's Coolest Export is not only very cool but it gives newbies (manga virgins) an idea of what it's all about.
However, of most note to parents of special needs kids was this bit from This Is Your Brain On Manga:
and played But as a Westerner without deep experience with manga, I displayed the hallmarks of what we might call a "prose mind." My eyes herked and jerked across each page, stopping to linger over any text I encountered — almost as if I were scouting for words rather than absorbing pictures. a Then he asked one of his research assistants, 29-year-old NakamichiKeito, to step up. Keito was asked to read a passage from Yanki-kunMegane-chan, a series he doesn't usually follow. When NakazawaKeito's video, it was a revelation. His eyes slalomed smoothly from page edge to page edge, rarely stopping at the text. In fact, there were portions of pages that his eyes never touched — because, as Nakazawa explained, Keito was either processing the words through his peripheral vision or simply imputing what was there. Like a seasoned skier, he moved with great speed yet remained acutely aware of his surroundings.As a parent of an Auspie, I'm now thinking about manga differently.
Keito has a "manga mind," capable of understanding context, supplying missing information, and interpreting word and image as one.
While I originally barely tolerated anime, I did learn to twist that obsession of hers into the manga books -- hey, it was some form of reading. (And it did reignite her passion for reading after a several year hiatus.) But now I wonder if this "manga mind" thing, where a person views and interprets differently, is some key to further understanding how my daughter receives information.
Perhaps it will lead to more insight. Perhaps not.
But it does mean I will be moving more quickly on screening the piles of manga books and anime videos I have laying about the house.