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I know a lot of people will say that the West and Japanese storytelling sensibilities are the same except for some minor differences.

However, I don't agree at all. I was reading Hirohiko Araki's (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure creator) book and it seemed to me that he views escalation (in multiple forms not just of stakes) as a positive thing. While the West or some western fans view escalation as bad and they criticize shonen manga for constantly escalating, improperly of course.

But I get the feeling they'll be just fine with no escalation. In fact, Araki gives the example of The Walking Dead as show which deals with consistency de-escalating.

One key example is Kick-Ass 2. In Kick-Ass 2, Hit Girl goes back to being Mindy. Some Western critics thought it was exciting since we got to see a different layer to Hit Girl as a character. However, for Araki this plot was predictable since he's viewed other Superhero movies and it has been done before (Spiderman 2). Therefore, at the end of the movie Mindy would go back to where she left off at the end of Kick-Ass.

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    Not an answer because it's just off the top of my head, but check out Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Making Comics, which do some direct comparisons of American, European, and Japanese styles of art and storytelling via sequential art. – Allison C May 31 at 20:43

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