I found this leminhkhai.files.wordpress.com… today on a blog I was reading by a man who I think is a professor of history in Vietnam. It’s not a particularly new phenomenon- creating history books with cartoon characters to interest the young goes back quite a ways. I just thought the colorful picture was really funny and, given the trends in anime fandom I wouldn’t be surprised if this book found its way into the hands of many people from all around the world just for the pictures- the context of Vietnamese historical heroes is about the newest (and most outrageous) context that manga could be used in. Apparently the publisher was then fined twenty million dong by the government for not ‘registering’ it with them first!
I found this totally hilarious, but it got me thinking about the inspiration (or lack thereof) that people put into their art. A lot of people are drawing manga style characters- so I wonder why history which is very diverse- hasn’t been an inspiration for a lot of the art around here. On second thought maybe I shouldn’t encourage anyone to unleash their anime on anything else in the world besides generic fluff... but it’s not like it has to be that style anyway. Producing art about history inevitably leads to the study of history- since you would need to find out as much as possible about the people and places before being able to illustrate them. The end result is knowing a lot more about that event, which is not a bad deal. If it would make bored students more interested, then it’s not exactly a waste of time.