SMAC! Web Magazine

MANGA INSIDER MAYU #10 – ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS!

Hi everyone!
Today I will be answering some questions I got from you guys!
Hope this works as a good review for the articles so far!
Ever since I started writing this series, I have received so many comments and support from many people. I thank you all, and will keep on doing my best to entertain you!

OK, now let’s see what kind of questions we got…

1. Is it possible for someone who doesn’t know how to draw to become an editor? Or someone who has skills in drawing but not really super good at it..  (Prinches Arpilleda) / I want to become an editor of manga, but I don’t know how to draw. Is it possible? (Syahril Khairunnizam)

The answer is YES! Drawing skills are not a requirement for an editor. In fact, most of our editors are not confident in their drawing skills either!
However, there are several situations in which drawing skills can help you. For instance, editors will need to draw a rough layout whenever they have to make an article (read #7 for further details!)

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By the way, there is a tradition at Comic ZENON that all the editors have to draw an illustration of themselves. Introducing you all to the Comic ZENON editorial team!!

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2. What are the basic requirements to become an editor? (Prinches Arpilleda) / How do you accept someone to be an editor? What kind of test (if any) he/she had to do in order to be accepted like, does he need to have a technical knowledge in writing/storytelling or something like that? (Ryan Lawlied)

This is actually quite a difficult question, since there is no clear answer. Let’s see what the people in the previous articles said…
Chief Editor: Mr. Hanada (#1)

Mr. Hanada

…we editors need to think like an average reader whenever we help a Manga artist to draw some work….Being a person with commonsense is obviously one aspect of being a good editor… Another thing is to be able to enjoy talking. …And last but not least, an editor needs to be a curious person. 

CEO/Former Editor of Weekly Shonen JUMP: Mr. Horie (#2,#5)

Mr. Horie

“An editor should talk with a lot of people, and improve his communication skills”

“An editor should see as many beautiful things as possible”

“An editor should try writing a business log for at least three years”

“Editors should discuss a lot, and fight a lot, about anything they do at work”

A chatty person becomes a good editor. …“An editor has to come up with as many ideas as possible, even if all the ideas may be declined by the manga artist. “

Deputy-chief Editor: Mr. Watanabe (#3-4)

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editors need to be good at scheduling and management, and every editor has their own tips to cope with that. …I think that an organized person will do well in this job, …Also, a very important thing is the ability to find people’s virtues.”

Editor: Mr. Tanaka (#6)

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“From my experience at my former company, I did have the ability to write articles, take photos, think of layouts, and all those basic skills. …I believe that people who are good at praising people’s work make good editors. …it is also important to be able to manage several tasks at once, since editors need to do several pieces of work at the same time. “

Vice-chief Editor: Mr. Hisanaga(#6)

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“There are lots of other things which are more important than drawing. Being able to choose objectively is one thing. …It is also very important to be able to enjoy this job. …And finally, it is better to have a human loving nature. “

What a load of worthy words!! There’s so much more to learn from them!
As for the tests and recruitment process, see #6 of my article, where I introduce three stories about how our editors started working here!
The most common way to become an editor is to take Mr. Yokoyama’s way, is by joining the company as a new graduate. Otherwise you can look for the recruitment information like Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Hisanaga. The latter way, however, may require you to have some sort of working experience!

3. What is the chance of a non Japanese applicant getting hired for that post? (Merra Princess Arpilleda) / Would a foreigner be able to work as an editor in Japan? What would be the requirements be? (XauyChu Wpbc)

Yes, there is a chance for foreign people to work as an editor in Japan! There are some publishers which look for talented foreign artists, like Koudansha. Those companies would also look for foreign editors, so that they can communicate with those foreign artists. Our company, Coamix, is one of those companies too!
However, it is not an easy path to take. Those foreign editors are required to speak a high level of Japanese, since the most important thing in editing is communication. If you are not confident speaking Japanese, then the first thing to do is learning it!

4. I would like to know how I can present my drawings to a editors (Alice Roggeri) / Would Japanese or Chinese editors accept projects from a stranger? (Anouchka Bretan) / Is it at all possible for an author outside Japan to get serialised in Japan? (Ivan Radev)

The best and fastest way is to win a certain kind of manga award. That is the easiest way to prove you have great manga skills, and most of the time the winner will be given an editor partner to work with! Another way is to bring in your work to a publisher which has already published a manga by a foreign manga artist. Make sure to make an appointment before visiting!
Unlike being an editor, being a manga artist in Japan doesn’t require being able to speak good Japanese. However, it may be a good idea to learn the culture, so that your work can become more interesting!

5. How does an editor keep the artist’s spirits up? (Ricky Hardjono)

Mochida-san says that the best way to keep the artist’s spirit up is to stimulate them by giving them any kind of information that is needed to make a hit manga. The information could be about anything – the news, a popular story, something he heard in an interview… almost anything!
An important job for an editor is to create a good environment for the manga artist to come up with ideas. So, whenever the manga artist loses his way, the editor is there to give opinions based on his own experience. The more experience, the better the opinion! Based on this experience, an editor needs to be able to give an answer, easing the artist’s worries.

6. How long does it take to publish a magazine? How about the process of creating manga? (Kuroi Kai)

The most common style of a publication is either Weekly or Monthly. Of course there are other types like bi-weekly magazines, bi-monthly magazines, and much more…but here I will exclude those examples.
A manga for a weekly magazine(e.g. Weekly Shonen JUMP) usually has about 19 pages for one story. For the average manga, the storyboards are made in 2-3 days, and the drawings are done in 3-4 days, which makes almost a week. On the other hand, a manga on a monthly magazine (e.g. Monthly Comic ZENON) has approximately 45 pages in one story. That makes the manga artists work 7 days on the storyboard, and 14-20 days on the drawing.
Having worked at both types of magazines, our boss Mochida-san says the key to the success is to be wise in time management. A human body has a limit… so all we can do is to fix the schedule to match our own ability. After all, the manga just has to meet the deadline. In other words, you can start as early as you want, or finish as late as you like, as long as you don’t miss the deadline!
(But now that you have read this series, you may now know that it is better to turn in work earlier… for the sake of the editor’s work!!)

7. How long does it take a mangaka to draw one page and do they use any Computer programs for the manga? (Wsma Saleh)

This depends on who the manga artists is. Simply speaking, a manga artist would be required to finish 3 pages a day, if he is working for a weekly manga magazine. As for the monthly magazine, the requirement would be 1 page a day. But as I said before, you just have to meet the deadline!
Every year, more and more artists are using digital technology for drawing manga. At the same time, there are lots of computer programs that are effective for drawing too. With all that software available, I guess the “best” software is the one that works the best for you.

8.  Do the editors also have to do promotions for their works? Such as writing an article about it? And what can an editor do to help promote their works to the public? (Juliagar Romadhani Nasution)

Yes, they do! The promotion we often do is to write blogs and tweet on twitter (covered in #9), but we also visit book stores and talk with the sellers, and also think of selling plans (see #3 for detail!).
Those plans includes thing like visualization projects, holding events, and collaboration with others. In a future episode I will be asking one of our editors about it, so don’t miss it!!

9. What kind of articles do you have in Zenon? Like the ones written by dedicated writers? (Ivan Radev)

Hey, I just realized that I haven’t introduced you to our mangas at all!Here I would like to introduce all the mangas now serialized from Comic ZENON.

– ANGEL HEART 2nd Season / Tsukasa Hojo

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This is a spin-off story of the City Hunter series. It’s a story of a man Ryo Saeba, a girl Xiang-Ying, and their companies, helping the people in Shinjuku city. The theme of the story is “family love”, and all the episodes are so heart warming!

-ARTE / Kei Ookubo

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‘ARTE’ is a story about a young girl Arte, who wishes to become an artist. The story is set in Firenze (Italy) during the renaissance period (14th century). Arte overcomes all the difficulties she faces with her strong courage and her iron will!

– Chiruran -Shinsengumi Requiem / Story: Shinya Umemura, Manga: Eiji Hashimoto

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This is also a spin-off story from another manga, ‘Tensho no Ryoma’. ‘Chiruran’ is about historical figures, the “Shinsengumi”, a special police force which existed during the late Edo period (19th century) of Japan. They protagonists Hijikata, Kondo, Okita, etc, will fight against various types of enemies for the sake of their Bushido!

– Concierge Imperial / Manga: Michihiko Touei, Original Idea: Hideyuki Ishizeki

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A sequel of a long running manga series ‘Concierge’, which seeks the basics of “hospitality” through a case study style of manga. ‘Imperial’ is about a girl Yuna Mogami, a returnee girl, who works at a nursing home for the elderly. Her experience at the nursing home will make her grow up!

– DD Hokuto no Ken  / Manga: Kajio, Original Idea: Tetsuo Hara, Buronson

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This manga is a spin-off from the masterpiece “Fist of the North Star”! The story takes place in an alternative world of ‘Fist of the North Star’, where there wasn’t any nuclear war.  Characters are all put into “Design Deformation (DD)”, and have a jolly but chaotic daily life!

– “Do-do-ma” / Jun Shiraishi

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A fantasy story about a boy who lives inside a giant called “Dodoma”.  With such a deep and serious story drawn in a cute style, you are sure to become hooked. Lots more mysteries to be revealed in the future!

– “Gifuu DouDou!! Naoe Kanetsugu” – Maeda Keiji Hana Gatari (Talking under flowers)- / Story: Tetsuo Hara, Nobuhiko Horie, Manga: Masato Deguchi

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Also a spin-off from Hara sensei’s former manga ‘Hana no Keiji (Keiji)’. The protagonist is his friend, a Japanese warrior Kanetsugu Naoe, who lived in the 16th century. This manga is full of the manliness we see in the warriors during the Sengoku period!

– “Gifuu Doudou!! Kaze no Gunshi” (The tactician of wind) -Kuroda Kanbei – / Story: Tetsuo Hara, Nobuhiko Horie, Script: Hiroyuki Yazu, Manga: Toshiaki Yamada

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Another manga from the Gifuu Doudou series. The main character is Kanbe Kuroda, a warrior with great intelligence.  Collaborating with a popular script writer Hiroyuki Yazu, Kanbe’s eccentric plans are exhilarating!

– Hakoniwa to Papillon (A Miniature Garden and Papillon) / Saki Akamura

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A fantastic title which just started this February! During a severe war, a scientific genius Alincia tries to invent a system named “Papillon”, which gives feelings to robots. The story is full of interesting ideas, which make you think about ethics!

– HANAKAKU: The Last Girl Standing / Katsunori Matsui

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The story is about a high school student Hanaka, who begins kickboxing in order to become “strong”. Some famous manga artists like Eiichiro Oda (ONE PIECE) and Hajime Isayama (Attack on Titan) are fans of this manga. Following the royal road of a typical sports manga, you’re sure to be excited!

– Ikusa no Ko: Oda Saburo Nobunaga-Den (The Child of War) / Story: Seibo Kitahara, Manga: Tetsuo Hara

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A great collaboration of the legendary Tetsuo Hara sensei and Japan’s most favorite warrior Nobunaga Oda! Hara sensei is going to re-tell Japanese history in his own unique way! At the end, you are going to be screaming for Nobunaga’s coolness!

– Manga Senmon Gakkou-sei no Seishun (A Comics Vocational School Student’s Youth) / Story: Ryoichi Yokoyama, Manga: Kotaro Yamada

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Ever wondered what it’s like to be a student at comic college? This manga teaches you how to make a great manga! Enjoy the hysterical life of the manga artists in the making!

  Mononoke: Zashiki-warashi / Manga: Yaeko Ninagawa

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My current favorite manga on ZENON! A manga based on a popular animation in Japan. It’s a mysterious story about a medicine seller who travels to fend off the “mononoke”- unnatural spirits that sometimes causes trouble. There was a prequel ‘Mononoke: Umibozu’, and ‘Mononoke: Bakeneko(from Square Enix)’.

– Narusawa-kun wa Oishii Kao ni Koi shiteru (Narusawa-kun is in love with the delicious look)/ Rei Yamada

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A new manga which started this March! Narusawa-kun is a high school boy who is always frowning. But there is one thing which can make him smile… that is, looking at people who enjoy their food!

– Ningyo no Ouji-sama: Mermaid Prince / Yuana Kazumi

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An innovative love story! A mermaid girl Sango, dreaming to become a human and fall in love, turns into a human boy! She (he?) spends her(his?) queer days with a human man Manato. Enjoy the comedic life, and a bit heartrending love of Manato and Sango!

– Nobo san to Kanojo? (Nobo-san & HER?) / Molico Ross

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Nobo-san is a college student who lives in an apartment… with a ghost!? A comedy of a “herbivore” man and a ghost, and their strange life living together. All the characters are just awesome!

-Obaachan Shoujo Hinata chan ( Hinata-chan – the “Granny Girl” ) / Asa Kuwayoshi

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The protagonist Hinata-chan is an ordinary girl who goes to kindergarten, but she has a little secret. Her spirit is an old lady who has lived out her life! Her behavior is so granny-like, it is just cute!!

– Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga / Una Megurogawa

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Another manga about legendary warlord Nobunaga Oda. This time, he has reincarnated as a dog! A gag manga which observes the Japanese pop trends from a unique point of view. Most of the characters are based on Japanese historical figures!

-Ohayo toka Oyasumi toka (Good Morning to Good Night) / Machita

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A heartwarming story about siblings with different mothers. Little by little, the protagonist Wahei and his sisters Hotaka, China, and Chise learn to be a “true” family… This manga will make you think about what a family is about!

– Otoriyose Ouji Iida Yoshimi (The Mail-Order Prince, Iida Yoshimi) /  Shiho Takase

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Wednesday nights are Iida-kun’s favorite time… It’s the day that he can enjoy the mail-ordered food! A manga full of interesting gourmet and recipes. You’ll love the facial expressions of Iida-kun when he tastes the lovely food he receives 😉 !!

– Suzuki san wa Tada Shizuka ni Kurashitai (Suzuki Just Wants a Quiet Life) / Hirohisa Sato

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A story about a boy, and his assassin-next-door Suzuki-san. A thrilling story with heartwarming episodes interwoven throughout the manga. The way Suzuki-san gets to know “family love” is so touching…

– Tokyo Share Story / Story: Mikiko Takahashi, Manga: Rieko Tada

Tokyo Share Story

A new manga series starting this month! The manga draws out the life of five ladies who live together in a house in Tokyo. With the five ladies around their forties, you can get to rethink what the true happiness is!

– Wakako Zake / Chie Shinkyu

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Wakako Murasaki, a 26 year old girl, born with a tongue that loves to drink. Night after night she wanders around looking for something she can have with Sake. This manga is sure to make you really hungry! “Pushuuu”.

– Yokoshima na Eguchi kun / Yukiko Nozawa

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Lucky erotic moments hide everywhere in daily life. Eguchi-kun, despite of his youngness, is a master to find those moments! This manga will change your life 180 degrees!

So many titles released every month! Hope you guys got interested more into our manga.

We will eventually be releasing a translated version of some of these manga, so keep your eyes on it!!

There are also written articles, like…

“The Mail-order Note (Otoriyose Note)”, which introduces the products featured in ‘Otoriyose Ouji’,

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or the “Monthly ZENONLAND”, where the readers compete with each other with funny ideas,

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and even some articles which collaborate with Japanese famous comedians!

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Each of them are so informative and fun to read!

That’s all for the Q&A corner!

If there is still something that is unclear, or if you have something you want to know more about, please leave your comments!

The comments always give me the power to write these articles. I thank you all for supporting me all the time!

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Mayuna Mizutani