sma19 sma19
SMAC! Web Magazine

“Grabbing the readers attention” / Japanese Manga101 #001

Here we are! Number 1 of Japanese Manga 101, is about

“Grabbing” the reader’s attention!




The all important “Grabbing the reader’s attention”. You gotta grab the readers neck! with the first few pages of your Manga.

How do we do this? well, let’s take a look at some examples.

And we’re gonna start with… “Fist of the North Star”! Do you remember how it begun?

Fist of the North Star!

So it began with a nuclear explosion, the mushroom cloud, a shocking sight for the young readers!


Then comes our hero, Ken, standing strong!
When it went on the magazine, the title in bold letters were around him.


And after the explosion, the narrative begins quietly, building the tension towards the final panel in the spread.


Then, meet the baddies!
They’re the reasons why the young readers wanted to turn the page! They are so plainly bad, which paints the justice in our hero Ken so vividly. The story opens with some horrific events unfolding.01-hokuto4

So thats how it began, the story of Hokuto Shinken!


The next manga we’re gonna take a look at is… “Angel Heart”!! “Angel Heart” is a story about a young beautiful assasin.


The first panel begins with a muted sound of a gunshot in bright daylight. The killer is a young, beautiful, a bit emotionless girl.


Then a glorious double page spread, an expressive image that symbolizes the story about to enfold.


After shooting the man, a little girl – his daughter, in fact- runs up to his dead body.


The emotionless killer is so suddenly shocked by the little girl’s presence. The cracking glass symbolizes her emotion here.
But she’s a killer, after all! What’s the hassle?
Then she is standing at a top of a sky scraper…


And dives off it!!
Why oh why!? What’s going on!?
You’ll be eager to turn the next page!
There’s so much happening in just the first few pages!



The reader who has chosen to take a look at your manga, may not read after the first page if it’s not good enough.

Always give the reader a reason to turn the page!
Make every turning of the page, a moment to remember.
And especially so, in the first 4 pages, of your manga.



In the next episode of “Japanese Manga 101”, we are gonna take look at the “double page spread”.
You must remember, your reader reads two pages at a time. So should you!

See you next time!

Taiyo Nakashima