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08 December 2010 @ 12:45 am
Do you want to be a mangaka in Japan? (upcoming)  

How can I become a mangaka in Japan?


People ask me this all of the time. But the thing is-- I'm not even a real mangaka! (yet!)

Let me clarify. I worked for a year and a half as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis sequel (Shin Tennis no Oujisama). But I was a mangaka's assistant, not a mangaka myself. In my case, I worked under a great artist (Konomi Takeshi), and it was great seeing my own drawings in print in Jump Square (the monthly version of Shonen Jump), and later on in Shonen Jump myself when I went back to help him with his one-shot, Moonwalker Ltd. But that's not enough-- I really, really want to be a mangaka, and to have more time to work on that was one of the main reasons that I quit!

So, to answer both people's questions and to share my experiences myself, I decided to write this kind of a guide. I want to share all of the things that I learned both about the physical parts of making manga, the industry itself, and my own journey from here on out! So what I'm going to go through is at first how to make a manga... then I'm going to share with you my own manga submission as I make it, and even let you in on the results after I meet with the publishers! Does anyone want to go along with my journey?? (Please, please comment and let me know!!)


For starters, here is a general outline of what I want to talk about. Please take a look and tell me if I left anything out!


1. Introduction to manga (I know you already know what it is, but I want to share my feelings about manga here.)
2. What kinds of things are important
a. Live in Japan?
b. Learn Japanese?
c. Etc.?
3. My experience being an assistant.
4. Techniques for drawing manga.
(basically things that I learned in the studio. All about what manga is drawn on, from my experience, what kinds of tools are used, special tequniques, etc. Also learn about a "name", etc.)
5. Now I know techniques... what do I need to do? Information about what to do if you have a story done (both my plan, and other methods that people use to become mangakas)
6. Now that I've decided what I'm going to do, I start working on my story! (share my experience with you)
7. Working on my manga myself.
8. Journey to the publishers!
9. What happens next!
10. And just continuing with the progession here! Take you along with me in my journey!


I don't usually ask this, but if you like this idea, please link your friends to this post and ask them to comment with their ideas!! Or even just encouragement! =^-^= I take all kinds of comments! Anonymous comments from people who don't have accounts are fine too!! (Purely hateful comments will be deleted, though!) Thanks you guys!! I kinda wanna take my blog readers and friends along for the ride as much as possible, because I think it will be interesting! What do you think?
 
 
 
Nana: Tenipuri: Atobe (yoi dori)cinnamyl on December 7th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
It's so wonderful that you're sharing your experience with us. Thank you so much! I'm looking forward to any new information. ♥
grapewhine: Yeobo~grapewhine on December 7th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
I have a friend who'd really appreciate this, so thanks so much for taking out the time!
Ella: waterlady //by lavender 88ellamies on December 7th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
I have no intentions on following a career in comics myself, but I'd be def. interested on how things work out for you!
sunset_fridaysunset_friday on December 7th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
this would be wonderful to know! i've recently started reading manga and drawing it myself while reading over some of your older entries to see how you managed to make a life for yourself in Japan. So this would be hugely helpful and inspiring if you're able to do it :)
wikivicwikivic on December 7th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
sounds like a fantastic idea, i would love to hear more ^_^
Keepin' Gwevin in its rightful place: The Dumpster: SM: Galaxiapan2dapan on December 7th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
Heck yeah, I'd be interested in reading. I'm always curious as to how other artists work!
Meruxxxmirai on December 7th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Awww, man. You are giving tips to my lifelong dreams???

YES, PLEASE! T.T I will be forever grateful~ <3333

GANBATTE! \O/
(Anonymous) on December 7th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
You should definitely go with it, Jamie! You are in a unique position of being an american who goes through this process in the Japanese way - starting by working as an assistant to an established mangaka and then moving on to your own work. If you are really going to write about how things are going for you and about your experience as an assistant, a lot of people will be really interested. I am definitely cheering you on with this project. ^_^
None of Your Bee's Wax lolisachi on December 7th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
I don't want to be a mangaka .... but ... it's always interesting to hear real people's experiences breaking into an industry. Especially an industry where the entry points are not really so clear to outsiders.

So, yes, I really really want to read about this XD Badly.
tactotacto on December 7th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Somehow my previous comment went under Anonymous <.< - LJ, don't you recognize your users anymore??! >:D
Sorasoraryuu on December 7th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
I'm more interested in creating doujinshi in Japan than being publish, but I think this will be very interesting!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on December 7th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
Oh!! Actually, I've made a doujinshi before! I should write about that too, if I have the chance!! I definitely want to make doujinshi again. =^^=
(no subject) - rkold on December 7th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rachel K: adinarkold on December 7th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
I find this fascinating though I also don't want to be a mangaka.

I can say though that you don't need to live in Japan to become a doujinshika, just know people that do and judging from a few circles I like, becoming a super successful doujinshika can help you become a mangaka,
(Anonymous) on December 7th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
ありがとう ございます!!!I would appreciate this so much! I look up to you a lot for being a Manga Assistant alone! I'd be honored to hear your guide and get your help! I hope you enjoy your journey of getting your own manga published! Thanks A lot again!
Curmudgejohncomic on December 7th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
I totally wanna read all about all this info, please!
shin_no_hanabi: gokudera yay!shin_no_hanabi on December 7th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
heck yea! its always good to hear about other ppl pursuing their goals =D
yura shiraki: happysanajoy on December 7th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
i want to hear more!!
crying4themoon/dancingwiththemoon: Takuto happy smilecrying4themoon on December 7th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
That would be wonderful! <3

I'm kind of quiet, but I'll be cheering for you!

I'm really looking forward to this! Good luck! ^_^
DonKno: azuradkwrkm on December 7th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
I think this is an excellent idea. I'm looking forward to hearing all about your journey! :D
(Anonymous) on December 7th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
In for the ride
I am looking very forward to hearing all about your submission as I plan to submit something to yen press in the next year =]
patty1943patty1943 on December 7th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
It will be really interesting to hear about how you do this. I wish you the best with it.
✖ KAKI ✖nativegirl on December 7th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
Ahh I think this is a wonderful idea~ I would love to read about the process for both manga and doujinshi!

I know that this probably isn't the type of suggestion you're looking for, but it might be something to consider: a lot of people are making some money off of public blogs (through Wordpress blogs or Blogger) these days, and although it's not a substantial amount, it could probably help you a lot. The reason why I say public blog is because they're more search-engine friendly, & you could probably set up advertising on the sidebars, and maybe get sponsorship from publishers who print "How to Draw Manga" books, or a publisher like TokyoPop, etc. (Even though you obviously don't go through these publishers, they might be interested in the visitors your site would attract). I know I probably sound like an internet scammer or something, which I don't mean to at all! ^^;

In short, yes, I'd love to read about the entire process of publishing!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on December 8th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Thanks! Actually, that's one of the things that I"m trying to do with this blog. I already have adsense enabled, and whenever lj opens up more options, I will probably take advantage of those. Anyways, I figured if I wrote more interesting things, more people would come, and my adsense revenue would go up! For starters. ^^
Melissa D. Johnson: Hachi - Professionalmippa on December 7th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Differences between working in shounen and shoujo.

Assistants to manga-ka ratio.

Doujinshi-ka to manga-ka probability.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on December 8th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
I don't know hard numbers and I've only worked in shonen. But I will try to answer them as best I can!
 ♥°*越前 猫依*°♥: aware ~ ★ MakioUmeSaku [MBMH]nekoi_echizen on December 7th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
That would be amazing! I always wondered what was necessary to be a mangaka and produce a good manga! :) You'ld be really kind sharing your personal experience!
marlenem: stock - free and contentmarlenem on December 7th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
This is a wonderful idea! I'm sure you'll help many people with this guide! :Db

I have a question and since I'm not sure if you're going to talk about it, I'd like to ask here: Is it harder for a non-Japanese to publish a manga? I mean, manga's such a "Japanese" thing. Do they look at foreigners' work the same way they look at Japanese mangas?
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on December 8th, 2010 03:46 am (UTC)
This is only my opinion, but I think that it's possible and yes it is harder, because if you are not a native speaker then it's harder to write in Japanese of course! And a japanese person probably grew up reading manga and is familiar with the ways to get published. As a foreigner, there are no resources for this (which I'm going to change)
(no subject) - marlenem on December 8th, 2010 05:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on December 7th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
Would definitely be interested in reading.

One thing to consider would be the compare contrast with your experience versus manga.

i.e. Becoming a manga-ka and Bakuman
Godai Yuhsakugodai on December 7th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Oops that was me.