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U.S. Navy Goes Manga

Not everyone loves manga, the Japanese comics. I would say that it does have a considerable following outside of Japan. Needless to say, the Japanese people have a strong passion for manga. Perhaps that is why the U.S. Navy has decided to go with this art form in an attempt to allay the concerns of Japanese citizens with regard to the George Washington, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier.

The George Washington is to be stationed in Yokosuka and will arrive there in August. The online newspaper Japan Today reports:

The U.S. Navy in Japan said Wednesday it has produced a Japanese ‘‘manga’’ comic book describing the daily life of the crew of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington which will arrive in Yokosuka in August. U.S. Naval Forces Japan, based in the city, plans to give away several thousand copies of the book to people in front of the base from noon Sunday in an apparent bid to dismiss safety concerns over the first nuclear-powered U.S. naval vessel to use a Japanese city as a homeport.

The book ‘‘Manga CVN73,’’ named after the carrier’s number in the U.S. Navy, depicts the hardships of a fictitious young U.S. sailor of Japanese descent engaging in various missions on the carrier and his experiences after the ship arrives in the port city in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. Two Japanese cartoonists Harumi Sato and Hiroshi Kazusa did the drawings.

Cmdr Dave Waterman, the chief of the naval force’s Public Affairs Office, told reporters that readers would learn from the comic book that the crew is professional and constantly trains so that damage control in any kind of event can be addressed.

Do you think this approach will work? I cannot say, but I do think that the use of manga is a marvelous idea.

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