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アバター Penmaru 26/08/2016 12 min read
Master Class, the Future Manga Stars from SILENT MANGA AUDITION®. Now it’s time to unveil their faces…! Watch their manga creation skills!   The very first volume is Ichirou, winner of 2 Grand-prix in a row! The most detailed and boldest work has been produced by the most logical man!
  INTERVIEW WITH ICHIROU 1. What’s your work space like? Do you usually play music when drawing? Messy. I do play music when I am drawing, but when I’m planning a story I need absolute silence.   2.What kind of tools do you use and which is your favorite? Let us see it! Generally I use G-pen, brushes, and draw on A3 size paper.

Simple tools, complex drawing.

  3. Tell us how you schedule your creations! How long does it take for each step in the process? Which step is your favorite and least favorite? First, I need to write the story – like creating characters, doing some research, and all the preparation I need to draw the storyboard. Then I do the storyboard, which is my favorite process. It could take a day, a week, or more depending on the length of the story. Once I have the storyboard done I just need to draw the pages, which often takes me a day per page.   4. Tell us about your preferences when creating manga! I often draw the scenery first. Or at least the basic lines of the scenery. I guess that’s easier for me, rather than drawing the character first, and working on the scenery later. To practice drawing I normally sketch everyday, mostly my surroundings.

Dynamic use of a double page spread!

    5. Tell us about your preferences for manga storytelling! I mostly focus on the composition, including the layout of the page, the arrangement of the elements in each panel, lighting and shadowing, etc. Regarding these elements, I always try asking questions to myself about “how the readers will read/feel my manga,” and “how I control the rhythm of the story.” Then, I ask myself the most important question: “Is the element going to add something to the development of the story, characters, or scenario?” If the answer is “no,” I take it out. Another point I find important in storytelling is the “panel-to-panel transition,” although I feel some manga artists overlook this aspect and only draw “action-to-action” style. I always try to find the best transition in each moment of the story. I prefer “aspect-to-aspect” transitions, which I especially find a lot in Japanese manga, rather than other comic styles.

Ichirou’s signature style, “panel-to-panel transition.

I’m also quite keen of human emotions and expressions. As Paul Ekman allegedly said, “It’s the most sincere response you can get from someone.” So to draw them, I keep the “Six Core Universal Emotions” in mind. Those are: “Happiness,” “Sadness,” “Anger” “Surprise,” “Fear,” and “Disgust”. Once you have those emotions and corresponding expressions in mind, the rest are just a variation of intensity or a combination of the six. Of course, having photo references or FACS (Facial Action Coding System, used by animators) makes the job much easier.

Explosion of happy emotions!


Sad emotion weeping out.

    6. Where do you get ideas from? I don’t know, actually… Mostly from books, maybe from news, sometimes from music… It depends on the story. However, I think one’s entire life experience cannot be excluded when he/she is creating something. So, it’s mostly a mix of everything that was saw, heard, read, felt, lived, etc. during the life time.

Ideas come from anywhere…like when you are on a bus?

  7. Do you have any other skills or experiences that help you create manga? I guess any skill or knowledge is useful somehow. I’ve read that Tezuka Osamu’s knowledge in medicine helped him a lot in his creations. I know a bit about digital games, programming, practiced some sports, etc. And it sometimes helps me when I need to draw something specific.   8. Do you have a favorite manga or manga creator that influenced your creative style? Well, my favorite manga artist is Naoki Urasawa sensei, yet I don’t know whether his works influenced my art style directly. I guess I’m influenced by lots of different artists indirectly. Tsukasa Hojo sensei and Takeshi Obata sensei have an outstanding art style I admire as well. Or artists such as Greg Tocchini, Kim Jung Gi…the list goes on.

“Platinum End,” the latest series by Takeshi Obata seisei (art) and Tsugumi Ohba seisei (story).


“City Hunter” by Tsukasa Hojo sensei


“BILLY BAT” by Naoki Urasawa sensei

  9.  What are the specific areas you focus on when creating a manga for SMA? Mostly the storytelling. As it’s a silent competition, I tried my best to deliver the message as clearly and effectively as possible.   10. Are there any moments you felt, “I’m glad to have entered this contest!”? At the announcement of the results, I had a nice sense of accomplishment.   11. Have you received any useful help advice from the editor? I guess Mocchi’s advice are among the best I’ve received, one that stuck in my mind was: “It’s always best to do what you love.”   12. Are you planning any future projects? What genre would you like to attempt in the future? Well, as you may know, I’m very interested in sci-fi stories, so I think I’m going to stick with this genre for my next project.

Ichirou’s self portrait

ICHIROU From Brazil




Thank you very much, Ichirou senpai! He’s currently preparing his next manga series on SMAC! Web Magazine. Let’s make it great series together! Stay tuned! Please send us your manga! Hopefully you, too, will join our SMA MASTERCLASS and create the future of manga together 😉 !