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Kumamoto Manga Fes. & Manga Camp THE REPORT – Day 5

Enrico Croce Enrico Croce 05/11/2018 12 min read


After yesterday’s tremendous announcement about a Silent Manga Movie project, along with an unforgettable evening of Lion Dances and Dengaku, the Master Class start the 2nd day of the Kumamoto International Manga Camp with a sense of excitement. There is much talk of the Manga Lectures, along with the long awaited Manga Summit! A first-of-its-kind event where our international manga creators can add to the global manga debate. Want to know more?? Well, keep on reading! 😉


Before the morning Manga Lectures begin, the Master Class are once again visited by Horie-san. Knowing exactly how to motivate our international guests, the CEO of Coamix delivers a rousing speech, assuring the gathered manga creators that their talent is of the highest he has seen. Indeed, if any of the Master Class had been born in Japan, they would have made their debut long ago!

Like a true Manga Editor, Horie-san knows exactly how to get the best out of a mangaka! 😁

But let us now charge on with the day, specifically Tsugihara sensei’s Manga Lecture!


Conducted within the confines of a classroom in the stunningly beautiful Folk School, the seasoned manga creator begins his lesson with the importance of KI SHO TEN KETSU. If the Japanese four point story structure is new to you, then please take a look at the following videos! 😉


This 4 point structure is present in every Japanese manga you have ever read. It’s kind of the skeleton of the story, before the flesh of detail is added and it looks something like this…

  1. Ki (Introduction) – introduce the characters and the setting.
  2. Sho (Development) – leading up to the twist. Major changes do not occur.
  3. Ten (Twist/Climax) – the story turns towards a BIG and unexpected event.
  4. Ketsu (Conclusion) – also called ochi (落ち) or ending, wraps up the story.

From a 31 page oneshot or long running series to a single page of manga, KI SHO TEN KETSU is present, making it the foundation of manga creation. Without, we wouldn’t have a story, or even the magic that makes you want to turn each page.

“The first page is very important,” says Tsugihara sensei. “It’s the first page that determines the quality of the whole story: if you do not set that well, the whole manga will suffer.”


Here’s what he means…

Tsugihara sensei uses his own entrance as a perfect example of how the first page of a manga should look. Drawing on the chalkboard, he draws a blank page, then the first panel depicting a nervous teacher, about to enter a classroom.

From there, he proceeds to add a perfect flow of panels showing the teacher enter the classroom and react to the welcome from the students. The panels are perfectly placed to show the action dynamically, whilst also “coercing” the reader to follow the story in the way Tsugihara sensei intended.

The pace and intention of the page is completely down to how you panel it, and how you draw “camera” angles of the action within them. In any case, remember the golden rule: SHOW THE PROTAGONIST BIG WHEN HE/SHE FIRST APPEARS.


“Thank you very much for this explanation Tsugihara sensei, may I ask some questions about it?” asks Andrea Jen hopefully.

The classroom is then burgeoning with a forest of raised arms and the eager Master Class take the opportunity to fire questions at the legendary mangaka. At the same time, a very similar scene is taking place just four rooms down…


Tomizawa Jun sensei, the newest judge of the SMA has just finished his class and has encouraged the Master Class to draw one of their original characters on the chalkboard, in preparation for a group photo. What an amazing memory! 🤗

With heads abuzz with manga knowledge the announcement for lunch rings out. The Master Class makes their way up to the top field, where they are warmly welcomed by the fantastic ladies of Takamori who teach the Master Class how to make delicious onigiri (riceballs).


With bellies full of tasty onigiri, the Master Class prepare themselves the main even of the Kumamoto International Manga Camp… the INTERNATIONAL MANGA SUMMIT.


The huge gymnasium has been transformed into, what only can be described as the “United Nations of Manga”! With tables arranged to accommodate the 52 “delegates”, festooned with national flags and water, this pioneering summit promises to be as exciting as it is informative.

Seated at one end of the the hall are the judges of SMA, Hojo sensei, Hara sensei, Tsugihara sensei and Tomizawa sensei, along with Horie san and the Monthly Comic Zenon editors. Horie san then announces the start of the first Manga Summit.

What appears obvious to everyone, as the debate goes on is that, despite the cultural and linguistic differences, the situation of manga on an international level is very similar between country and country: Manga isn’t taken seriously enough if it isn’t made by a Japanese artist..


“Nothing could be more wrong”, says Hara sensei.

“We will work hard to change this idea”, announces Hojo sensei.

“What you need is a good editor”, reasons Tsugihara sensei.

“To launch your career, you need to appear in a Japanese magazine”, Tomizawa sensei firmly states.

“I have understood many things today and I will work hard, using the information we have learned today. We will change the face of manga together!” concludes Horie san.

Here is the photo that immortalizes the happy faces of the many international mangaka. The Summit proved a huge success and gave a lot of hope to the Master Class for their Japanese manga debut! 😃


With the summit over, it was time to PARTY!

For the Kumamoto International Manga Camp closing party, the amazing people of Takamori pulled out all the stops! A BBQ feast awaits the Master Class, accompanied by traditional Kyushu entertainment, including a play, an incredible folk dance and an impressive bonfire. As if that wasn’t enough, the Master Class were offered the chance to bring the house down with Anime Karaoke!!

    Here a video of Eudetenis singing ONE PIECE!   See you next week with the last report: Kumamoto & Tokyo, where the Master Class get the chance to see the original manga pages of “ANGEL HEART”, by Hojo sensei!  


Kumamoto Manga Fes. & Manga Camp 2018 THE REPORT

“Day 1 : Arrival of the Winners”
“Day 2 : International Manga Festival”
“Day 3 : MC2018 Award Ceremony”
“Day 4 : Kumamoto International Manga CAMP”
“Day 5 : The last day of the Manga CAMP”
“Next stop... Tokyo then homeward bound”
Enrico Croce

Enrico Croce