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Manga NAME : 5 criteria to watch out for – Japanese Manga 101 #029

Taiyo Nakashima Taiyo Nakashima 04/08/2015 6 min read
  In the last episode we showed you the list of 5 check-points for a Manga NAME. We are gonna dig deeper into each of them, how the editor checks your manga!   スクリーンショット 2015-08-03 12.40.43

Point 1. How “Grabbing”, is the first scene?

We’ve said this several times, but it’s so fundamental I say again. Manga pages, MUST be turned “by the reader” for story to progress. This is why the FIRST SCENE, especially the First page, PAGE 1, is SUPER important. (We can’t stress this strongly enough. Please DO always keep that in mind at all times!)
“How will it begin?” “What is the first line?” 
We editors are so eager to find out ourselves! And THIS, is the second thing to remember.
How do you illustrate “5W1H” – the “The five W’s and one H” in the first scene?
スクリーンショット 2015-08-03 12.43.21
You may remember these from your school days. “Who / What / When / Where / Why / How” These are the essentials, when you want to tell somebody, about something. It goes the same for manga too. You must have clear “5W1H”, starting from panel 1, to draw the readers into your story. Yes, that “Grabbing the readers attention” again from episode 1 of Japanese manga 101! How you make your 5W1H – interesting, is central to the art of manga creation. There are variety of ways, and in some extreme circumstance you may intentionally omit some of 5W1H, to create a mysterious situation. Balancing “Understandability” and “Keeping the reader curious”, is the game we play.   And we are gonna learn from the best again, “Angel Heart” by Hojo sensei! スクリーンショット 2015-08-03 12.44.10 Panel 1, The cafe Cat’s Eye in the early morning. So this is “When” and “Where”.   The window upstairs opens, with Xin-Hong’s face popping out of the window. This is “Who”.   Xin-Hong jumps off the roof. スクリーンショット 2015-08-03 12.45.09   On page 2, the girl, Miki knew what he is up to. She winks and gives a thumbs-up, He returns the salute, and runs into the morning mist. These are “What” and “How”. Later back in the cafe. There is a sign that says “Closed Today”. So that’s “When”, “Where”. His foster parent Falcon calls Xin-Hong, then realises Xin-Hong’s room is empty. Again, “Who” “What” “How”.   The first scene is both easy to understand and easy to read, yet, it keeps the readers curious. Why? Because the “Why” is intentionally omitted in the scene. “Why did the boy escape his room early in the morning?” “Why did the girl knew what he is up to?” Those are the whys that kicks off the story. Then the foster parent is suspicious of him, escaping the house every morning on his days off. All this tension moves the story forward. This is as good as the first scene can be! Brilliantly executed.     Pros say they learn those direction techniques more from Movies and Dramas, than other manga. Watch good movies, and make a note of scene composition that you could try in your Manga NAME! Keep on trying new ways, and making the mental stock of the ones worked, is the best and only way to draw better NAMES.   スクリーンショット 2015-08-26 19.14.35 Got it?   We are digging deeper into “point 2”, “The understandability” – How smooth panel layout with minimum disruption, helps your story to take off! See you next time!
Taiyo Nakashima

Taiyo Nakashima