Japanese Manga: Storytelling through Anime Writingby@onyawoibi
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4,763 reads

Japanese Manga: Storytelling through Anime Writing

by Celine “Oibiee” Aju August 14th, 2022
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This article explores and explains: What is storytelling, 6 tips for becoming a great storyteller, Characters, What is anime?, Anime VS Manga, Elements of Anime, How to write anime?
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The manga "One Piece" by Eiichiri Oda, which has sold over 450 copies worldwide, is possibly the most well-known Manga in the world. This suggests there is something there for all storytellers to pick up on. With a rise in popularity across the country for the Manga, it is a goldmine for any storyteller to study in order to hone their narrative skills.

What is storytelling?

Storytelling is a kind of expression. It is a kind of communication that humans utilize to inform, entertain, and exchange information about any issue of interest. It is the practice of employing facts and narratives to share and analyze experiences. It might be either linear or non-linear in nature. There is a science to the art; science shows that storytelling affects humans. For instance, humans experience “neural coupling” triggered by the story being told.

6 tips for becoming a great storyteller

  • Know your target audience.

Be clear about who you are speaking to. This will shape how you say what you want to say. It’ll give insight into language structure, anecdotes, and literary devices to use in the story.

  • Pace your main points throughout your story.

Using speech, control how the story unfolds. Use conversations to build the story, like stacking lego the main point as the foundation of the conversation and additional points to infuse clarity and move the story along.

  • Infuse surprises.

Twists and turns keep the reader glued to the story. The trick is to suggest the story is going in one direction but let it turn out another way leaving the audience stunned. It becomes some sort of challenge for the audience, who tries to keep guessing while the storyteller always twists the plot.

  • Be Authentic.

Embrace your humanity and leverage vulnerability; this is the key to developing an authentic story. To do this show, don't tell. Avoid stating facts. Instead, paint pictures of how the facts occurred or shaped a decision.

  • Start in the middle of the story.

This builds anticipation and causes the audience to make assumptions about how things got to the point you have chosen to begin the story.

  • Avoid ‘telling’ a story.

Telling a story is the narration of facts and events that occurred. As a storyteller, your duty is to cohesively depict the time, place, and atmosphere where events occurred, using the characters as the force to drive the story forward—explicitly depicting their thoughts, emotions, responses, and reactions as things occur.

Anime Vs. Manga

What is Anime?

Anime is Japanese animation! They address social, scientific, and psychological difficulties, but they're most commonly utilized to explore supernatural themes and mythology.

What is Manga?

Like in other nations, including the U.S., Manga, which is roughly translated as "humorous picture," began as a straightforward caricature. Manga's beginnings may be traced to the 12th-century "Chojugiga (the Animal Scrolls)" by the artist-priest Kakuyu or Toba (1053–1140), which were literally "humorous images of birds and animals" (Akiyama, 1990, Schodt, 1983). Through the creation of the Ukiyoe, or "Floating World," by Hokusai Katsushika (1760–1849), Manga emerged as a graphic novel. Manga slowly evolved into a unique type of Japanese comic book, reflecting the demands of presenting the depth of human dramas in the graphic narrative as its readership grew older, moving from children to teenagers and adults.

After World War II, American comic books and Disney animation had a significant influence on the trend, which peaked between the 1980s and 1990s with the development of the original Japanese manga style.

In summary, Manga is the term given to Japanese comic books or graphic novels, while anime is the term given to Japanese Animation. Thus Manga is readable, and anime is watchable while Manga.

Elements of Manga

These are features every storyteller should take into consideration when drafting a plot.

Outline Develop your characters first, then create your environment, then write your conflicts and resolutions in a logical order.


The majority of Manga have distinct characteristics and make use of numerous storytelling devices common to the genre. The most successful Manga are those that have a knack for experimenting with and utilizing genre clichés in fresh and original ways. The 8 most popular manga themes are Comedy, Romance, Action, Drama, Psychology, Supernatural, History, and Military.

Emotional Appeal Who cares? What is at risk? Why should I care about the lives of these characters? All those questions should be addressed in the opening episodes of a manga.

Culture You must develop a story that is accepted and understood by Japanese society if you want your Manga to be acceptable. No matter if it is written in English or Japanese, Manga must have a specific style. The story must delve deeply into the customs, issues, and colloquialisms of everyday Japanese culture.

Supernatural There will always be elements in Manga that go beyond the bounds of everyday reality. Thus, don't judge Manga by its "realism" in the sense that it must always be an exact replica of daily life. Essentially, in the story world, magic and modern technologies must operate in accordance with some kind of set of constant, reliable laws. The word is consistency.Basically, visualize your world and story as a map of a nation. All of the people, the scenery, and the plot take place in a specific space. You want to avoid allowing too much from outside to enter since things operate differently outside of your country's borders. Furthermore, each town in your nation is a specific amount of distance from every other town. Every river, lake, and mountain have been marked on your map. The following day, when your characters awaken, a vast range of mountains had migrated from the east side of their land to the west. You wouldn't then claim that without a very strong justification.

How to write Manga Using Anime Tips

  • To write Manga, the storyteller must consider the culture, mindset, and socially acceptable behavior, by considering the kind of features that occur and are loved in that culture.
  • Begin with world-building
  • Know your characters
  • Character arc
  • Develop your plot
  • Write, Write, Write
  • Edit Share and get feedback
  • Writing anime is very similar to script writing, and it all begins with a story.

The best advice any manga writer will ever give you is to fully immerse yourself in the community. Culture is a storyteller with a wealth of old tales, experiences, and frameworks to analyze, recreate, and build upon. The secret to writing a fantastic story is to take a common experience and retell it with as much empathy as you can to make an excellent story.

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