Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters

Illustration for article titled Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters
Image: Taiwan CDC
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Syphilis. Rabies. Ebola. While you’d probably not like to get any of these, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control has turned a host of sicknesses into manga-type characters to raise awareness.

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As Hachima reports, the Taiwan CDC has brought in talented artists to bring these horrible diseases to life as a way to inform the population. Most recently, for example, covid-19 got personified.

Illustration for article titled Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters
Image: Taiwan CDC

“Because covid-19 snuck into each country without notice, I decided to draw it to resemble a hacker,” artist Chiyou told The South China Morning Post. “There are lots of arms behind the character’s back,” he added. “They are the protein spikes the coronavirus uses to latch onto animal or human cells and infect them.” Chiyou even added a crown to imply that the character was a coronavirus.

The Taiwan CDC has released a calendar filled with illustrations of diseases, with information about each in the illustration’s profile. The illustrations have also been used for Disease magazine, with tips on how to stay healthy.

Illustration for article titled Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters
Image: Taiwan CDC

Artist Hana, who did the art for syphilis (above) and rubella, said it was a challenge to create art that merges both attractive personifications with unpleasant symptoms. Taiwan News reports that this is why she decided to base syphilis, which is named after a mythical shepherd, as a shepherdess with a phallus on the character’s corset and red dots, representing a red rash, on the sleeves.

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“Turning diseases into characters can attract people’s attention,” said Tsao Kai-ling of the Taiwan CDC. “People are more willing to stop and read about these cartoons.”

Have a look at more illustrations below.

Illustration for article titled Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters
Image: Taiwan CDC
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Rabies.

Illustration for article titled Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters
Image: Taiwan CDC
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Viral gastroenteritis.

Illustration for article titled Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters
Image: Taiwan CDC
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Ebola.

Illustration for article titled Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters
Image: Taiwan CDC
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Whooping cough.

Illustration for article titled Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters
Image: Taiwan CDC
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Herpes.

Illustration for article titled Taiwan Turns Horrible Diseases Into Manga-like Characters
Image: Taiwan CDC
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And finally, a personification of quarantining.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

DISCUSSION

Not sure how effective this campaign is because if Syphilis and Viral gastroenteritis called me at 3.00am, I’d be at their place at 3.01am.