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Mayuna Mizutani Mayuna Mizutani 19/03/2018 14 min read
<Characters> Penmaru Is a ninja dog who dreams of becoming the greatest manga creator in the animal world. To help achieve his dream, Mocchi gives him a mission… “Learn how to create manga at the Manga Dojo.” His favorite words are “Friendship”, “Effort” and “Victory”   “Shihan” Manga Master The master of the dojo and Penmaru’s tutor in the ways of manga. An experienced editor who had worked in the manga industry for over 30 years. His favorite words are “Manga is Esperanto”     <Previously in Manga Dojo> By Mocchi’s recommendation, Penmaru, a Ninja Dog who wants to become the best manga creator in the animal world, applies to be an apprentice at the Manga Dojo where Manga Master “Shihan” teaches the ways manga… “Manga is Entertainment”, “Manga is, essentially a doodle”, “Draw Silent Manga to become a better creator”, “Get it done”… Shihan taught Penmaru many words of wisdom, spoken by well-known manga creators, such as Osamu Tezuka and Tetsuo Hara, making Penmaru more determined to become a skilled manga creator. Now Penmaru starts his second day…the actual training is about to begin!!    

Ep.5 ”5 STEPS TO CREATING MANGA – The golden equation of pre-production!”

  Penmaru: Good morning, Shihan!   Shihan: Good morning, Penmaru. Hm? I see you were cleaning the Dojo?   Penmaru: Yes, sir! I’ve been cleaning since 5 AM as thought it’d be a good idea to clean the place before moving on to creating…as you say, “A well prepared manga is easier to draw”!   Shihan: (Penmaru…! You’re learning…!!)   Penmaru: First, I mopped up the floor, then I used the vacuum cleaner then dusted the windows and sweeping the floor again… then you arrived!   Shihan: ……? Penmaru, did you really proceed in that order?   Penmaru: Huh? Yes, I just mentioned the exact order I did the cleaning!   Shihan: (Uh oh…) Shihan: Penmaru… I’m sorry to tell you this, but I believe most people do the dusting and sweeping first, then vacuuming, and finally the mopping, don’t they? I mean, if you do the mopping first, it’d be difficult to vacuum the dust from the floor making your task all the more harder, don’t you think?   Penmaru: Oh……Um… I wasn’t thinking that far ahead!   Shihan: Everything is ordered in a special way, the same as Manga. If you just work on what you have in front of without a complete picture in your mind, your manga may become less efficient.   Penmaru: Boo hoo hoo…   Shihan: Nonetheless, you have done a great job getting things done. You’re a hard worker indeed! Therefore I will teach you “The 5 Steps to Creating Manga”, making your manga journey that much easier! As long as you follow these steps, your work is sure to shine…just like this dojo floor!   Penmaru: Y-Yes, Shihan!!   ***   Shihan: Now, Penmaru. In what order do you usually create manga?   Penmaru: I work like this…


  Shihan: I see… it looks very much like, what an intuitive creator would do!   Penmaru: Hehehe… (Sweat)   Shihan: However, as I said last before, it is very risky to follow this scheme. It’s much more difficult to make changes during the work and in worst cases, you may end up shelving this idea or abandoning completely. I strongly recommend you take more time in preparation.   Penmaru: Y, yes…   Penmaru: Hmmm, but how exactly should I work on the pre-production and preparation? What do you mean by that?   Shihan: It varies for each creator, but in most cases the flowchart would look something like this:

1. NETA-DASHI (Search for ideas) 2. PLOT (Arrange the idea to form a story) 3. SCENARIO / SERIFU-DASHI (How will you show the scene?) 4. NAME / MANGA BLUE-PRINT (How will you draw the scene?) 5. MANUSCRIPT (DRAFT -> INKING -> FINISHING, Complete the page)

Broadly speaking, this is how to approach of each step.   Penmaru: Hyeeee, there’s so many things to work on before starting the actual pages!   Shihan: First, you “FIND” the idea, then you “ORGANIZE” your idea. After that, you “IMAGINE THE FLOW”and “IMAGINE THE SCENE”, until finally, you “DRAW THE SCENE”. That’s the order we want to work in.   Penmaru: I see~… Oh! This flowchart reminded me of something, and now I remember it! It’s the flowchart I saw in the video series by Mocchi and Taiyo, “Japanese Manga 101”   Shihan: Yes! That series is a mine of useful tips! I would definitely recommend watching it for those who haven’t seen it yet.   Penmaru: I think I’d better take a look later, too!     Penmaru: ……Gee, there’s so many steps, although I really want to start drawing… Can’t I just skip a step so that I can go on faster?   Shihan: Take it easy, Penmaru. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a manga without a stable framework is not worthy as a manga.   Penmaru: Isn’t it?   Shihan: Kazuo Koike sensei, a manga story writer who co-created works such as “Lone wolf and Cub” amongst many others, says this:
“The structure = (NAME, Draft) are the blue-prints of manga, the very framework of manga.”* ——Quote:
  Shihan: Take the airplane as example. If the plane doesn’t have a proper blueprint, you can’t be sure that the plane is safe to fly, right?   Penmaru: T-that’s true… I wouldn’t want to fly in a plane that doesn’t have a blueprint.   Shihan: Absolutely! It’s the same with manga. You need to plan of how the character moves, how events are placed and create a “NAME = blueprint”. Work on the pre-production, get opinions from the people around you, your manga must be polished to allow it to improve..   Penmaru: Aha~!   Shihan: Manga is entertainment, not something you need to live. However, manga has a very important roll: “Make people’s hearts affluent”. Shihan: On the other hand, that means “A manga can only become a manga when it is enjoyed by the reader”. Otherwise, there is no value. In order to entertain the reader, you must shape the manga before you start drawing the pages.   Penmaru: I- I never looked at it that way before…   Shihan: We are dead serious about manga. That’s why we need to remember this perspective. Did my story make sense to you?   Penmaru: Yes, a lot… (Tears)     Penmaru: Prepare thoroughly… it in the right order… Haaa, the deadline is right there, and yet I still don’t know when my manga will be finished!   Shihan: Well, the preparation should go smoothly by keeping some tips in mind! I will tell you what of tips soon!   Shihan: This is what Tsukasa Hojo sensei – one of the judges of SMA- said in the “SMA CHINA ROUND” announcement we had a few days ago:
“WORK before you worry! It is important for a manga creator to organise the idea and the message on paper, whether it’s writing or drawing!”
“Preparing” doesn’t mean “worrying about things”, it means sorting out / arranging what you have in mind. That is, if you want to finish things quick, all you have to do is figure out what you should do, and finish it one after the other! Just like cleaning up this Dojo!   Penmaru: Y- Yes! Shihan!! I’m gonna do iiiiiiiiitttttttttt!!!   “Preparation is gold” – the obvious, yet often overlooked fact Penmaru has in the heart. Inspired by Shihan’s words, Penmaru decides to get the task done – “CLEAN THE DOJO”! Can he finish cleaning the Dojo in time to start working on his manga!? What”TIPS” is Shihan going to teach!? Wait until April 2nd, to find out!   < NEXT EPISODE… April 2 MON > Postponed to April 9 MON…   Did you enjoy reading this story? Did you find a hint to improve your manga creation? If YES, please share the article with your fellow creators! And if NO, please let me know how I can improve! We welcome any kind of opinions and questions, requests and comments, anytime! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for updates 😉
Script: Mayuna Mizutani – Follow me on Twitter and Facebook Illustration: Roberto F. – Support him on Instagram, Facebook & Tweet your questions / opinions / reviews at #SMACMangaDojo, and I will answer! 😉
Mayuna Mizutani

Mayuna Mizutani