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Anime About Making Manga?

So this may feel like otaku inception, but if you’re interested in how manga is created, one place you can look for answers is anime and manga itself! Check out these anime and manga about making anime and manga.

The Comic Artist and His Assistants

Yuuki and his assistant Sahoto drawing | The Comic Artist and His Assistants | Anime About Making Manga?
The Comic Artist and His Assistants, episode 1, 2014

A quirky and fun first glimpse of the manga industry. Yuuki is a manga artist with an obsession with panties. The anime catalogues the amusing incidents with his team of assistants, all of whom happen to be cute girls. Even with the constant ecchi incidents, we do get to see some reality of the manga business.

One interesting fact is all the action occurs in Yuuki’s one-room apartment, emphasising the cramped environment that a lot of manga artists work in.

Bakuman

Moritaka and Akito checking out Moritaka’s uncle’s apartment | Bakuman | Anime About Making Manga?
Bakuman, chapter 3, 2008

The classic Shōnen Jump manga about making manga. Students Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi start making manga together as an artist and writer team. Many of the unpleasant sides of working as a mangaka are revealed, including the consequences of overwork and the emotional strain of the creative process.

The procedure of producing and submitting one-shot manga for competitions and then eventual serialisation are also covered. Bakuman has been adapted into an anime, a game and a live-action film.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun

Nozaki drawing at his desk, Sakura sat on the floor | Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun | Anime About Making Manga?
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, episode 2, 2014

A tall high school boy drawing an incredibly lovey-dovey shoujo manga? Even though this manga’s premise is Sakura’s unrequited love, the majority of the main characters are involved in the production of Nozaki’s manga in some form or another. Whether they are actively assisting or as character inspiration, Nozaki’s team of helpers are all his classmates.

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We learn a lot about the editing process, and artistic techniques and the pressure of being a student while having a job.

A Sister’s All You Need

Meeting to discuss the manga adaptation | A Sister’s All You Need | Anime About Making Manga?
A Sister’s All You Need, episode 9, 2017

The main characters of A Sister’s All You Need aren’t manga artists but light novel authors. This gives the series a whole different angle on the manga and anime business, as we see the journey from source material all the way into various media. We also see the struggles and the practical side of all involved, from the authors to the editorial department, illustrators to accountants.

For an anime with what at first seems such a pervy outlook, A Sister’s All You Need actually manages to go deep into genuine relationships and show all sides of this complex and fast-paced industry. As many manga and anime have light novels as their source material, understanding how they are produced is a fascinating journey.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

Tsubame Mizusaki working on the anime | Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! | Anime About Making Manga?
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, episode 4, 2020

You can’t make anime alone; no matter how good an artist you are, you need a team! Working from a run-down storehouse, three energetic girls set out on a journey to create anime. Keep Your Hands off Eizouken! has quite an interesting angle as it doesn’t just include artistic passion but also the practical and financial issues that are involved in pursuing a creative dream.

It also highlights the difficulties of working with other creatives such as musicians and voice actors. Great if you want to see the next step beyond making manga and into animation.

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