I was surprised the Fairy Tail forum on this site lacked this entitled thread, but whatever, I'll do the honors. Anyway, calling "manga" just a Japanese version of "cartoons" really doesn't tell the whole story. With that being said, I know there are multiple layers of criteria that separate the two, but even at the chance that I'll be called a pervert, degenerate, etc...I'll point this out.
Of course we all realize that one thing that separates manga from most Western cartoons is the more overt sexualization of characters (especially females). With that being said, most would just chalk that up to drawing boobs exaggeratedly big or putting the characters in more sexually charged situations. All that is true, but there's subtleties that are of a more subconscious nature.
Anyway, it's not like I never noticed this, but the above image just grabbed my attention (both for the topic at hand and for the obvious prurient reasons which I'm not apologizing for...). Sure Erza and Lucy (especially) are drawn to accentuate their sexuality, and while I can't say a Western (mainstream) "cartoon", doesn't sometimes do the same (see Jessica Rabbit), mangaka just put that extra "effort" (let's just say) into it. What I mean is while a "cartoon" may show a version of a sexy girl (big tits, curvy figure, etc) the mangaka (even in not an overtly ecchi story) will go that "extra" mile. The subtle shading to accentuate the shadow cast by the bottom of Lucy's breasts or the specific detail paid to all the beautiful twists and turns of Erza's ass are just something you wouldn't see in a Western cartoon that wasn't specifically drawn for that reason. Finally, I'll spare the details, but a "cartoon" that got this specific in trying to this accurately draw the details of Lucy's body, let's just say from the right of her dangling keys, would be headline news here in the States and most likely promptly removed from the airwaves! Just to be clear, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this...I'm just pointing out the differences in culture and medium. In fact, I think the Japanese are a more enlightened in not denying human nature...and reality for that matter. Anyway, I won't say I'm not a pervert (maybe I am) but I thought this was just a good example of why anime/manga girls tend to seem more realistic and beautiful/sexy.
*Not to mention that smiling "squid" type thing leering at Lucy looks awfully like a happy schlong for that matter...but I digress...*
Edited by rocconorth, 11 July 2016 - 07:49 AM.