Something that really sets manga apart from American comics is the fact that manga was allowed to develop naturally, without much regulation, and greatly experimented with. While American comics were once very diverse, with the creation of the Comics Code Authority 1954, comics were sanitized and strictly controlled, allowing very little diversity. Genres that were once very popular, such as horror and crime comics, became non-existent, and were replaced by very inoffensive and often silly superhero comics. The CCA started losing its prominence in the late 1980s, and as of January 2011, no comics are being published any longer with the CCA seal of approval. As a result of its waning prominence, comics have become more diverse and mature, but the influence is still felt, to the newspaper strips that are so wholesome that they lack anything memorable, to the prominence that superhero comics still has in the industry.
In Japan, however, until recently with the Tokyo Youth Ordinance Act, there were very little regulations involved, plus different cultural views on what's okay in fiction allowed manga is progress in a more natural way. It also helps that Osamu Tezuka, the "god of manga" was determined to publish in every possible genre, and created a large body of work that encompassed a wide range of themes, genres and audiences. As a result, manga became very diverse and splintered into several different genres and sub-genres, many of which have become very specialized and are very unique to manga. It's fascinating to see how these genres came to be and how they developed into the series that they are today. So I'm taking a look at some of the more specialized, unique and bizarre sub-genres of manga and how they came to be the way they are. First, I'll be taking a look at the extremely specific sub-genre of moe known as iyashikei, or healing manga. Look forward to it!