Oh! Not contemporary manga as it's known today. I was referencing more the Edo period manga aesthetic of Hiroshige, Hokusai, et al. It's weird how things that are so incredibly modern and common today are actually extremely influenced by aspects of the country's history that are actually extremely old. I think knowing that whole back history made me more appreciative of what's going on in the country's visual culture these days.
Hahaha, and I get what you mean. I remember I used to think that otaku was an all-around blanket term for anyone with an interest in Japanese culture, but then I had a friend show me some REAL otakus (complete with their ridiculously excessive Japanese toy collections and everything), and I was like ... whoa, that's different.