SMAC! Web Magazine

Manga NAME : Smooth panel layouts is KING – Japanese Manga 101 #030

Today, let’s dig deeper into Manga NAME checkpoint number 2!

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Are the panels divided in a smooth continuous way, that makes them easy to follow?

 

No matter how great the story, or how wonderful the characters are, if the panels are not laid out in a way that is most efficient, then it will become so difficult to appreciate your story and messages!

Confusing, or disruptive panel layouts will just confuse the reader.

To do your story and characters justice, always make “Smooth, understandable panel layout”, Priority Number ONE!

 

Here’s recap, of hints for good, easy to follow panel layout:

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– In Japanese manga, panels are read from right to left, and from top to bottom.

– For a double page spread, the most important panel should be the biggest.

– Add the balance of “close-ups” and “long shots”.

– Add a final “hook” panel, that makes the reader want to turn the page.

 

Keeping those 4 rules in mind, should help you to create Manga NAME that is smooth, and easy to follow.

 

It’s good to try bold new layouts, but if the reader can’t follow the panels, your story won’t work to the full effect. Opportunity WASTED!

The ideal name includes your own unique way of panel layouts, that is at the same time easy to follow, smooth without disruption, so the reader can appreciate your story to the max.

Please keep that in mind!

 

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GOT IT?

 

Next time, we’re going to look at Manga NAME checkpoint number 3: “Where are the characters? / What are they doing?”

Once you get the flow of the panels right, now it’s time to focus on the scene, and the characters’ actions.

See you next time!


Taiyo Nakashima