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16 January 2011 @ 03:52 pm
Do you wanna be a mangaka? ☆ part 3b - How do I find a job as an assistant? ☆  
This is going to end up being a very, very long guide in the end. ^^ For the time, I'm cutting it up into manageable chunks. There is so much information to include!

Do you wanna be a mangaka?
Part 3b: How do I find a job as a mangaka's assistant?

Part 0: http://hinoai.livejournal.com/781747.html
Part 1: http://hinoai.livejournal.com/782951.html
Part 2: http://hinoai.livejournal.com/783744.html
Part 3a: http://hinoai.livejournal.com/785039.html

(remember, I am talking ONLY about manga made *in* Japan-- Dragonball Z, Naturo, Death Note, etc etc etc. ^-^ I don't have any experience outside of Japan, so I can't really help you there! Gomen! ^^;)



Here it is, in the most basic terms possible:

As long as you meet the criteria put forward by the mangaka, and can legally work in Japan, you can get a job as a manga assistant!

That being said.. what do you mean?

I think that there are two parts to this answer..

☆ Just like any job, a mangaka will have his own criteria for assistants, and it will vary slightly from person to person. If you can do the job that he asks, then you have a good shot at getting hired of course!

YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO WORK LEGALLY IN JAPAN. ^^ I've been getting a LOT of questions on this, but I am not a government official. What I can tell you is:
- If you are not Japanese, then you DO need to get a visa to work in Japan. If you do not have a visa and try to work, you will probably not be hired. If you do find work and the government finds out, you will be deported and possibly banned from Japan for life.
- If you are from Canada, Australia, or a few other select countries, you can get a Working Holiday visa as long as you qualify. This would be enough to allow you to work as a mangaka's assistant. Sadly, America does NOT participate in this program, so Americans can't get them. If you are interested, then contact your local Japanese Embassy and ask them for more details.
- If you are married to a Japanese citizen, then you can qualify for a spousal visa. If you are married to someone who is legally working in Japan, you can also get a spousal visa, but your visa status is dependant on theirs, so be careful!
- If you have a student visa (you can get this only if you are sponsored by a school), then you are NOT usually allowed to work. You're given permission to study, but not to work. To work, you have to get permission from the immigration office to work a part-time job (it's kind of an extension to your visa). To find out the qualifications, travel to your local immigration office once you are in Japan and ask them for information, or ask the school that you are enrolled in.
- There are many other types of visas. Rules are different for every country and Japan doesn't publish them online, so you need to contact your local Japanese Embassy and ask them about work visas for Japan. See my previous posts if you don't know how to find your local embassy (though google is a great tool, too)! Explain to them what you want to do and ask them what they think your options are. It will be different depending on your situation.
- If none of the above apply to you, but you are really determined, and willing to foot the bill, you can contact a lawyer who specializes in visa issues and ask them for assistance. I have a friend who is only engaged (not married) to a Japanese guy, but she was able to get a spousal visa with the help of a lawyer. SO, I think the rules can be bent, but it was very expensive and took her a long time to get. (Wouldn't it have been easier if they had just gotten married?)

That was really long.. umm, thank you.

You're welcome! ^^; Sorry I rambled on there. But I don't work for the government, and the rules are not all published online anywhere. I personally feel that the Japanese government grants visas randomly based on arbitrary feelings, but I have no proof of that, so I can't say that it is true.

So.. umm.. assuming that I can work in Japan, how do I find a job as a manga assistant?

Ahh! This is the easy part! Finding a job is easy, it's getting one that is a little harder. There are four ways that someone who is not already a friend/family member of a mangaka can find a job with one:

1. Check internet job sites! There are several just for mangaka looking for assistants. Check out these two (I've never used them, but they were recommended to me):
http://3w.to/jac/
http://mangajob.com/sns/?m=portal&a=page_user_top
2. Look inside one of the manga magazines that you like. (You can also check their websites) Mangaka write here when they are looking for assistants, and what their criteria are. Some mangaka advertise in their graphic novels too.
3. Some mangaka advertise on their personal websites or blogs when they are looking for assistants.
4. Submit your own manga to a contest (I talked a little bit about this in part 2). Winners of the contests who are not ready to have their own series are sometimes asked by the editors if they will help assist a mangaka to gain experience.

I looked around, but it's all in Japanese and I don't understand anything..

If it's on the web, you can use something like rikaichan to help you translate. But if the mangaka doesn't speak english, then you will have to communicate with him/her in Japanese.

SO LEARN JAPANESE!! There is no shortcut. As long as you study hard, anyone can learn a second language. You don't have to be perfect, but if you really want this job, and want to be a mangaka eventually, then take it seriously and find a way to study. I am still studying because I am nowhere near good enough to write my own stories. I'm terrible at languages too, and I hate studying them. It's boring. But I have to, for my future. Not to mention, Japanese is a really pretty language, and improving feels really good. *^^*

I see. Can you explain more about 2 and 3?

Yep! =^-^=

#2 is how I got my job as Konomi-sensei's assistant. So let's start there!

Of course, the easiest way if you are in Japan, is to check your favorite magazine. There usually isn't a page reserved for assistants, but if a mangaka is in particular need of them, they often write in their comment section that they are looking for assistants, or on the side of a page of their manga.

(I've been trying to find an example, but of course when you are looking it's impossible to find one. I will edit this post when I do come across another! ^^)

Then, like I said, there are sometimes official web pages for the magazines that have assistant listings. This is exactly how I found my job! Luckily, SQ has a great page that I can use as an example (see that Konomi-sensei is always looking for good assistants)!

Here is the link: http://jumpsq.shueisha.co.jp/contents/assistant/index.html

Let's look at a specific ad:

I chose the last ad on the page, from Hoshino-sensei:


Here are what the numbers correspond to:
(I put the artist's comments in parenthesis)

1. Artist name: (In this case: Hoshino Katsura)
2. Name of the manga: (D. Gray Man)

3. 雇用条件: Employment Conditions
4. 業務内容: Job duties (in this case: backgrounds, finishing work, speed lines, etc)
5. 必要スキル: Necessary skills (In this case: Experience, or a beginner who is full of spirit)
6. 勤務日程: Work Schedule (about a week in the middle of the month, not staying over.)
7. 勤務時間: Working hours (In this case 12-9 with a 1hr break)
8. 勤務時間: Pay scale (Depending on abilities)
9. 勤務地: Location (In Tokyo)
10. 交通費: Travel expenses (Will be conpensated)
11. 食事等: Meals (will be covered)

12. 労働環境: Working environment:
13. ペット: Pets: (None present)
14. タバコ: Smoking (Prohibited)

15. 応募資格: Qualifications
16. 経験の有無: Level of experience (People with experience preferred).

COOL! So, I want to become Hoshino-sensei's assistant. What should I do now?

Well, there are always instructions provided! ^^ It will vary depending on where the ad is that you are looking at.

In this case, these are the instructions at the bottom of the recruitment page:

■応募方法
履歴書(過去のアシスタント実績など本人のプロフィールがわかるもの)、作画見本(所要時間がわかるものを何点か)を同封の上、
封筒に「○○先生の美術スタッフ希望」と明記し、下記の宛先まで送ってください。
〒101-8050 東京都千代田区神田神保町3-13-1 集英社 ジャンプスクエア編集部
※18歳未満の方はご遠慮下さい。応募原稿は返却いたしません。採用者の方のみ、こちらからご連絡差し上げます。

(Translation)
How to apply:
Send your resume and a sample of your work (with the time it took you to draw written underneath) in an envelope to the following address:

「○○先生の美術スタッフ希望」
〒101-8050 東京都千代田区神田神保町3-13-1 集英社 ジャンプスクエア編集部
JAPAN
(Replace ○○ with the name of the sensei that you want to apply for work with. I didn't write out the address in english, because I think that it's best that you just copy or print it out in Japanese ^^. Basically it is addressed to the editing department of Jump SQ)

Please write clearly. Persons under 18, please do not apply. Please understand that we can't return any submissions. Please wait for contact from us (rather than contacting directly).

-------------

Here you go!

But wait..!! A resume? What kind of resume? What do they mean by sample? Do you mean like a manga page?

Ahh... the kind of resume they want is probably a little bit different than what you're used to.. and I don't mean manga page! (though that is good, too) You need to show them something that will demonstrate your skills! For that... stay tuned for the next installment!! =^^=
 
 
 
editrixfox: Sesshy Pupeditrixfox on March 3rd, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)
Can you recommend a language-learning program for those who want to learn Japanese? I have a couple of translation dictionaries, but those don't help much with pronunciation or grammar. And isn't living in Japan insanely expensive?
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 3rd, 2011 05:19 am (UTC)
Yes, Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities on the planet. u.u

Sorry, but I have never used a language program, so I can't recommend one! Maybe you can find a site that reviews them somewhere? Or check the reviews on Amazon?