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SMAC! MANGA DOJO #8 – "Manga is a WONDERFUL Lie!!"

Mayuna Mizutani Mayuna Mizutani 14/05/2018 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 sport is Soccer (Chris: “Football!!”).   “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 sport is Kendo.     <Previously in Manga Dojo> After a quarrel with Shihan, Penmaru runs away to the dojo and seeks out Mocchi. The Chief Editor kindly teaches Penmaru the importance of “following the Royal Road” and suggests he return to the Dojo. Now back in the Dojo, Penmaru has an odd feeling……?  

Ep. 8 “Manga is a ‘Wonderful’ Lie!!”

  Penmaru: Huff… huff… I’m finally back at the Dojo…   Penmaru: Mocchi, that big meanie!! To tell such a cute dog like me to walk all the way home to the Dojo from Coamix!!    Penmaru: Anyway, I’m back now……but what’s with that sound? It seems to be coming from the Dojo……   Penmaru: Maybe Shihan is really really angry……? Oh no……   Kreeeeeek……   Penmaru: Ta, tadaima…… I’m home……?   ……ca-chunk ca-chunk ca-chunk ca-chunk!   ???: OKAERINASAI! OKAERINASAI!!   Penmaru: Eeek!?!? What is that thing!?!?   ???: WELCOME HOME, PENMARU-SAMA!   Penmaru: Huh!? A robot!?!? Why are there brooms and mops sticking out from it’s back!?!? What’s with the cake face!?!? It looks so unnatural!!! Geez it’s creepy!!!!   Shihan: Aha, Penmaru! You’re back! I was worried about you!   Penmaru: Shihan!!! What is this monster!?!?   Shihan: Monster? Don’t be silly, you’re the one who wanted the Maid-san Robot!   Penmaru: Maid robot? You mean, this is……?   Shihan: What’s wrong? Anyone would say this is a pretty Maid-san, right?   Penmaru: (To me, it’s just a make-up monster with an excessively glamorous body……)   Shihan: Hm? What’s with that face? You don’t like my homemade Maid-san robot?   Penmaru: Homemade!? You made this!? How!?   Shihan: By combining a few cleaning tools, of course!   Penmaru: (What on earth does he think he’s saying…?)   Shihan: Oh well, never mind the little things. Maybe I shouldn’t have designed her to my own preferences, but anyway, now you have a Maid-san robot to help you clean!   Penmaru: No way!! What kind of “preferences” do you have, Shihan!? The face looks like a grandma, but the hip and breasts are way too big for a human! And the lower back is way too tight!! It’s IMPOSSIBLE to call this a human shape!!   Shihan: IMPOSSIBLE, you say? Fufufu Penmaru, you cannot develop your skills as a manga creator with such a defeatist attitude……   Penmaru: Huh……? Why manga……?(Why on earth is this Shihan making that smug face…?)   Shihan: Of course, manga! Because, Manga itself is just a “Wonderful Lie”!!   Penmaru: ……A what!?   Maid Robo: TIME TO CLEAN! TIME TO CLEAN!! GET OUT OF MY WAY! GET OUT OF MY WAY!!     -Back in the Dojo Hall…-   Shihan: Now…… Penmaru, do you remember the very first thing you learned at this Dojo?   Penmaru: Of course… It was “Manga is Entertainment”. Manga exists for the sake of the reader’s enjoyment.   Shihan: Yes. And I assume you understand that “Manga shows what the reader wishes to see”?   Penmaru: Yes! ……But what does that have to do with “lies”?  Don’t tell me, you mean that the readers want to see a lie?   Shihan: Bingo!    Penmaru: Eeeee!?!? But isn’t manga better when it’s based on something real, because the readers can relate to the characters better?   Shihan: It is correct that manga needs to be drawn from “reality”…… but that is about how the story and drawings are founded. In fact, it’s much better to tell a big fat lie, in terms of the essential part of the story!   Penmaru: Really…?   Shihan: Penmaru, have you ever wondered why protagonists are generally good-looking?   Penmaru: Come to think of it, you’re right…… There are some exceptions, but they are often very attractive…even when the setting tells us that the protagonist is ordinary, even ugly. I wonder why?    Shihan: Why should a protagonist be drawn visually charming? ……Shotaro Ishinomori sensei has some very interesting advice about that…
“What the reader seeks in a protagonist, is an idealized version of themselves. Put simply, they are sick and tired of meeting a person who is as similar to themselves as their reflection in the mirror (Pardon my rudeness). Anyway―a protagonist must be drawn in a cool way, that is either cute, beautiful, handsome, powerful, gallant or smart.” —Quote: “Ishinomori Shotaro No Mangaka Nyumon” (Akita Bunko, 1988)
  Penmaru: !!!   Shihan: It seems you have realized! A truly “real” person can be seen in a mirror anytime, anywhere. If the reader could be satisfied with that, why would they even read a manga in the first place?   Penmaru: I see! You mean, it’s a big part of the reason a reader to reads manga!   Shihan: Absolutely. And that reason is, “to see a big fat, wonderful lie”. Remember that Osamu Tezuka sensei says, “Manga is merely a visual expression of your desire”. That is, manga is a wonderful lie, that fulfills the desires of both the creator and the reader… desires such as “If only something was like this!” and “Wouldn’t it be fun if THIS was THAT?”.   Penmaru: I get it!!   Shihan: This idea of “Manga is a lie” is very important in creating stories. There are many people who criticize manga for “not being realistic,” “logically impossible,” or “scientifically incorrect”. In my opinion, I would say it doesn’t matter, as long as the manga is truly entertaining as readers want “entertaining stories” more than “realistic stories”. If we tried to create a realistic manga, and end up creating a dull story that doesn’t entertain, then that is handling the priorities backwards.   Penmaru: You’re right! I want to make an entertaining manga!   Shihan: Then, Penmaru. As a creator, it isn’t a good idea to demand “reality” in every single thing that exists in a fictional world. It’s better to think of how you can “realize” your ideals! Moreover, it’s much better to tell a lie that makes people happy, than telling the truth to make someone sad, don’t you think? Hm??   Penmaru: (Ah, this guy here resents my insult on his taste in women……) Penmaru: O, OK……   Shihan: Good. Now, I guess the cleaning must be finished by now. Let’s call it a break, and have some tea time.   Penmaru: Yay!!   Shihan: Now where are my sweets…… Hm, it’s not here…? Ms. Maid, where did you put my tea time sweets?   Maid Robo: BAD FOOD! CAUSE DIARRHEA!! THROW AWAY!!   Shihan: GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!! Shihan: My… my mont blanc…… my precious mont blanc……   Penmaru: (Uh oh……)   Thus, Penmaru began his studies at the Manga Dojo afresh. On the other hand, Shihan seems to be upset by the “cruel truth” given by his ideal robot……Would he be able to get himself together by next time!?   < NEXT EPISODE…May 21 MON >   Did you enjoy reading this story? Did you find the hints and tips to improve your manga production? If YES, please share the article with your fellow creators! If NO, please let me know how we can improve Penmaru’s journey! We welcome any and all kinds of opinions and questions, requests and comments, day and night! 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