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SMAC! Web Magazine

The Artists Village Insider #09 – Manga Course Scheduled to Take Off in Spring 2023 at Takamori High School!

Long time no see, everyone! This is the Artists Village Insider, covering the news about and straight from the Artists Village Aso 096k; a place that offers an ideal environment for young manga creators and other artists to develop their talents and start ticking towards their dreams!

Manga Course in High School

If you are a manga creator, then you’ve surely doodled or sketched your manga during your high school classes. Now, imagine this: what if there was a high school for manga creators? Well, in fact…there is! Takamori High School near our Artists Village is the very first public high school in Japan that will have a manga course introduced as a part of its curriculum. This is supported and developed by COAMIX Inc. and your SMA manga judges. You can surely imagine the buzz the news created all over Japan last year!

From left, Kumamoto Prefectural Board of Education head Yoichi Koga, Takamori mayor Daisei Kusamura, Kumamoto COAMIX Inc. CEO Shuichi Mochida, and Takamori High School principal Keisuke Yamanaka show the partnership contract for the manga course at Takamori High School (Sept. 8, 2021)

In order to introduce the manga course and the school environment to those interested, Takamori High School and COAMIX held an “Open School” day at the end of July, an event attended by more than 100 students!

About the “Open School” 

With more than 100 students traveling from close and afar to attend the event, Takamori High School’s Open School event’s attendance exceeded our expectations. After the official opening, the students were able to take a look around the school and even participate in a short simulation class taught by SMA Chief Editor Mochida-san. To give you a taste about the simulation class:

 “One of the key points of manga are emotions, and mastering them is one of the keys to success. Humans instinctively know six basic emotions that are similar in different cultures and break language barriers. These six emotions are laughter, sadness, surprise, anger, hate/disgust, and unease. You can probably recognize most of these emotions regardless of the language! For manga artists it is very important to master depicting these emotions and showing them well.” (Just a small tip: if you are curious more about it, read about it here and here.)

After the simulation class, the attendees were invited to have a look around our Artists Village as well – after all, the students will be visiting here during their studies as well. An exclusive display showed them not only ZENON’s latest hits, but also our Artists Village manga creators’ work and even silent manga works from our Master Class members! Judging from the attendees’ reactions I can tell you firsthand that they were impressed. The attendees also received a small merchandise gift from Record of Ragnarok and some free manga to read 🙂

There is no better place to offer support and education than school, so the students will be able to take courses as a part of their learning process at Takamori High School. At the same time, they will be able to work closely with the editors and creators here in the Artists Village, which will help make their first steps as a manga creator that much easier: they won’t need to go from publisher to publisher showing their new manga, and they will be able to connect with potential editors or simply ask for advice from their seniors.

Lessons from the Past Leading to the Future

After all, the SMA judges were once young manga creators themselves and they know better than anyone that having strong and reliable support at the beginning of your professional path is what really matters. Many young manga creators first start as assistants to their seniors, and by their side they gain important experience and develop their own unique style. The manga creators’ apartment complex Tokiwa-sō with the god of the manga world, Tezuka-sensei, or Inoue-sensei who was once Hojo-sensei’s assistant, are just some of the examples that prove this!

There is no doubt that we will meet again with some of the young, aspiring students who dream of becoming a manga artist and wish to bring their own stories to life. We are already eagerly waiting for Spring 2023 to study the craft of manga-making together! But before that, we have another BIG announcement to make, so stay on your toes until you hear from us NEXT!