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SMAC! MANGA DOJO #12 – "STEAL the ideas wisely!"

Mayuna Mizutani Mayuna Mizutani 11/06/2018 12 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.” He’s a “Super Sentai” person.   “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. He’s a “Space Sheriff” person.    <Previously in Manga Dojo> Over the past few episodes, Penmaru has learned many valuable tips on “Neta-dashi” (Coming up with ideas). Applying all the lessons he’s learned,  he continues to develop his idea in earnest so that he can submit his entry to SMA! Today however, it would appear something bad has happened……?  

Ep.12 STEAL the ideas wisely!

  Penmaru: Waaaaaaaaaaah!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!   Shihan: What bothers you this fine morning, Penmaru? Can’t you tone down it a bit!?   Penmaru: My NETA book…… with all my ideas for SMA and the other manga awards I wanted to enter……   Shihan: ?? What about it?   Penmaru: I DROPPED IT DOWN THE TOILET!!!!!   Shihan: Y-You did WHAT!?!?   Penmaru: There’s only a few weeks left before the deadline of the new face awards…… And re-collecting my ideas now is gonna be really troublesome…… I’m not gonna make it at this rate!! I’M DOOMED!!!!!   Shihan: You…… How many times have I warned you about taking your NETA book to the toilet!?   Shihan: Oh well, I guess you leave me no choice but to tell you the SECRET TRICK for creating a story. Wipe those tears, it’s time to cheer up!   Penmaru: Sob…… a SECRET TRICK……? What could that be……?   Shihan: The trick is……   Shihan: “STEALING Ideas, wisely!”   Penmaru: Wooow!!   Penmaru: ……What!?!? You mean, STEAL from someone!? NO WAY! That’s immoral!!   Penmaru: I can’t believe you would even SUGGEST such a thing……how disappointing!! You’re not worthy of being an editor! You scumbag! You waste of breath!! GO TO HELL!!!!   Shihan: Not so fast, Penmaru! You definitely need to learn to listen……   Shihan: Of course, plagiarism is a NO-NO. It is inexcusable to present work by another person, as if it was made by yourself.   Penmaru: That’s right! I’m not gonna plagiarize from anyone, ever!!   Shihan: But there is ONE CONDITION that allows you to STEAL ideas from other people. And that condition is…… “Make it BETTER than the original”!   Penmaru: ??? Is that so?   Shihan: The god of manga, Osamu Tezuka, sensei mentions in his book……
“(If you are a complete beginner in creating stories…) Just create a story, by borrowing an idea from another piece of work. Then, paint the story in your own color, drawing on conversations you’ve heard at work/school, or things you’ve felt before. You could even look at people at the train station, or on the train, and imagine what kind of life they lead and use those thoughts to round out your story. In doing so, the story strangely becomes something new even though it was originally based on someone else’s work. At the very least, it becomes a story that is slightly developed from the original. The story is not a mere imitation. Certainly, it is a story that is based on the original, but you have added something new and positive, which you’ve concocted on your own.”
  Penmaru: Tezuka sensei himself encourages us to steal ideas……!?   Shihan: A story drawn in the exact same way as the original is merely a rehash that doesn’t take the story anywhere. But, if you STEAL the idea, DIGEST it in your own way, and lend it a unique approach from your own point of view, that is not Plagiarism.   Penmaru: I see……   Shihan: Yusuke Murata sensei’s manga ‘Hetappi Manga Kenkyujo R’ features a very popular manga creator called Yoshihiro Togashi sensei, whose story is truly interesting.   Penmaru: !? The same Togashi sensei, who drew ‘HUNTER X HUNTER’!?   Shihan: Yes. It’s a famous story that explains how Togashi sensei keeps a notebook with all the valuable lessons he’s developed in order to improve his manga techniques. Drawing from his own experience, he strongly recommends rookie manga creators to “read lots of short novels” and “watch many non-entertaining movies”.   Penmaru: Eh? Short novels, not long ones? And non-entertaining movies, instead of entertaining ones?   Shihan: It sounds a little surprising, right? But it is actually very important that the novel is SHORT, and the movie is NON-ENTERTAINING.   Penmaru: How come?   Shihan: The thing is, Togashi sensei sees those works, and imagines… “I would have done it like this!” or “It would be more interesting THIS way!” By that token, shorter novels are better, because you can read more in the same time period. In other words, you gain more experience, compared to reading longer works. As for non-entertaining movies, it’s simply much easier to spot and analyze why they’re not interesting.   Penmaru: I see!   Shihan: Just to reiterate, a story that simply imitates the content of other creators isn’t just pure plagiarism – It’s not even interesting, because it doesn’t have a unique message and lacks depth. What Tezuka sensei and Togashi sensei are insisting, is to ADD something new of unique value, and create an entertaining story. So, if you want to develop your imagination and creativity, it’s a good idea to make a habit of thinking “HOW you can improve” the work you are seeing.    Penmaru: I get it!!   Shihan: So, Penmaru, as a new idea for your next entry, why not create an original story where you ADD your ideas to the manga you like?   Penmaru: Yes, Shihan! I will! Now I’m gonna look for some books that might be useful!!   Shihan: Hm! Off you go!   ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM……   Shihan: Phew, what a troublesome boy he is…   ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM ……   Penmaru: SHIHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!   Shihan: !?!? You came back at the speed of light!! What’s the matter!?   Penmaru: Shihan! I totally forgot to ask how to make something ORIGINAL!   Shihan: ……   Penmaru: Tee hee hee…   It seems that Penmaru’s lessons at the dojo have made him more attentive in clarifying what he’s unsure about! How will Shihan teach him the way of making work ORIGINAL!? And will the dojo floors be okay after all of Penamru’s frantic ZOOMING about!?   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