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HIKI-GOMA and Retention. Or : How to ensure your reader keeps on reading! Japanese Manga101-#013

Taiyo Nakashima Taiyo Nakashima 10/04/2015 4 min read
We are TEAM SMAC!! Today’s word to remember is “Hiki-Goma”. What is it? Let us explain! We’ve covered this a while back, but here’s a re-cap. Your reader always reads 2 pages in a spread at a time, in a double-page spread. Good, comprehensible panel layout is always key, and you must always have a large “Focus Panel” in a spread, to leave a strong impression. In addition, pro artists utilize the last few panels in a spread as a hook to catch the reader’s attention. The reader needs to wonder what’s going to happen on the next page, so he’ll keep turning the pages. THAT is what we call

“Hiki-Goma”. The “Leading panels”.

  What better than to learn from the best? Here are Hojo sensei’s examples. The girl says something that make the guys react with page full of question marks. This last panel makes the reader feel confused, just as those guys do. The reader would just have to turn the page to find out what comes next! case1-1 This is the following page! case1-2 In this spread, the guys react with utter surprise, then change their expressions. case2-1 When you read this, you’d just love to find out what comes next, wouldn’t you? If the reaction that comes after that exceeds your expectations, then you’ll also be smiling. case2-2   Today, we have a special guest work. ‘Itsuya-san’, courtesy of Mizu Sahara sensei! itsuyasan Beginning with brilliant colours, the spread leads up to the last panels that are not only beautiful, but also cleverly composed. The boy’s dialogue, “A letter..?” is overlaid atop the unconscious girl. This creates the illusion of, looking at the scene through the boy’s vision, with the voice resonating in his head, and yours. case3-1 Seeing this scene with that narrative, you’d want to turn the page, wouldn’t you? Thank you very much, Sahara sensei!   These panels that catch the reader’s attention and lead up to the next spread are the “Hiki-Goma”. Then the next spread is a great chance to show your gratitude to the reader, who has chosen to keep on reading your Manga. Surprise them, make them laugh, make them feel good, make the most out of it!   gotit GOT IT?   In the next episode, we’ll be talking about, “THE FIRST SCENE”. How to create a great intro that will draw the readers into your world!   See you next time!
Taiyo Nakashima

Taiyo Nakashima