Drawing & Collaboration Skills for Strong Character Development

Have you ever identified with a fictional character? Or wanted to befriend them?Effective character design is what evokes these emotions in people.In this course, students acquire the skills to create characters that appeal to people and a keen eye for understanding society’s wants and needs.Professional character designers working in the gaming and animation industries are in constant collaboration with a variety of people to create commercially viable characters.That is why the Character Design Course emphasizes communication and presentation skills in addition to drawing ability.The course also invites leading artists as guest speakers, which provides students with opportunities to receive concrete advice.Students acquire the comprehensive skills they need to make a career in the character business.

Subject Highlights

  • Gain hands-on experience learning a variety of fundamental techniques and explore practical drawing approaches to improve your art.

    [Core Practicum in Manga 1–4 / Year 1]
    Students learn the basics of Clip Studio Paint and other digital drawing tools in addition to croquis and other hand-drawing techniques, both wet and dry.They improve their drawing ability and acquire skills and knowledge to apply during their second year, such as best practices during the planning process and Western art history as a basis for character design.

  • Students try their hand at creating figurines, improving their ability to conceive three-dimensional characters.

    [Expression Technique / Year 2]
    Students make their own original characters with three-dimensional figurinesby drawing drafts, constructing 3D prototypes, and photographing their creations.In the process, they learn how to envisage and depict two-dimensional characters and bring them to life in 3D.

What You Will Study

  1. 1STYEAR

    Developing basic drawing abilities

    In addition to learning the fundamentals of character creation, students develop their drawing skills, croquis, artistic anatomy, digital drawing, and more.There are also classes that prepare students for actual careers as artists, covering topics such as how to give presentations about their work.

  2. 2NDYEAR

    Drawing in three dimensions

    Students acquire practical skills to enhance their drawings.They will learn how to develop characters for a variety of media, such as creating three-dimensional clay figures and portraying animated characters. They also gain skills for giving presentations about their creations.

  3. 3RDYEAR

    Creating as a team

    Students split into different seminars that specialize in manga, illustration, digital content, and more.There, they learn how to work as a team by creating work in groups and participating in classes cross-listed with other courses in the Faculty of Manga.

  4. 4THYEAR

    Completing the graduation project

    Students create characters using their preferred method, such as illustration, digital content creation, or a three-dimensional medium.Students also work towards making their professional debuts as artists and begin preparations for their job search.

What You Will Learn

  • The ability to create two- and three-dimensional characters
  • The ability to accurately understand client needs
  • Specialized skills to produce professional-grade work


The classroom studio is equipped with a large projector and displays for each student.



By mastering both hand and digital drawing techniques as well as how to utilize digital tools to present work online, students are expected to become capable illustrators who can handle any request from a client.In addition, students can also pursue a path as a content planner capable of linking ideas to business results.

  • Character designer for games and anime
  • Illustrator of young adult novel covers
  • Manga artist working in collaboration with script writers
  • Designer of mascot characters for companies and local governments


  • KAMOGAWA Ryoichi Current Student

    What I've learned is how to be persuasive.

    I've loved drawing since I was little.I decided to make a career out of it and entered the Character Design Coursebecause the instructors here are all top professionals working at the forefront of the industry.One class invites well-known illustrators to speak as guests, which is very inspiring, since it allows us to hear directly from real working professionals.Where I feel I have grown the most is in my persuasiveness.I am now able to create characters with much more depth, and I am able to give attention to even the smallest design element.Before university, I used to draw based simply on what I thought would look cool without putting much thought into it. Now, I am able to convey the rationale behind every design decision I make.I think that the allure of studying at a university lies in the broad range of intellectual encounters and discoveries available to students, which you don’t get at a vocational school.Every day I take on new challenges and am inspired not only by the instructors and students of the Character Design Course, but by those in other courses as well.After graduation, I aim to find a job at a video game developer.The gaming industry is made up of professionals who collaborate across a range of different expertise.I am excited to gain professional experience by collaborating with people from fields that are totally new to me and having my art appear in a variety of settings.My dream is to confidently call myself an illustrator someday.
  • CHEN Yan Academic Faculty

    Designing characters both inside and out

    What is character design?Character creation is not only about designing appearances. It also involves creating a world in which the character lives, the details of their upbringing, and even their innermost thoughts.It is nothing less than bringing a new life into existence.In my opinion, this is the most exciting aspect of any creation process.If you want to create lifelike and believable characters, you should first observe yourself.Getting to know people and the world through your day-to-day existence is the key to drawing characters that appeal to people.It is also important to expose yourself to a wide variety of art and to travel as much as possible.New knowledge and experiences can be a valuable source of creative inspiration.One distinguishing feature of this course is that leading manga artists and illustrators can assist you in honing your drawing skills.Another strength is that the course offers a full range of theoretical classes covering topics such as intellectual property rights and the character business.I think another feature is that there are many international students, which allows students to work and create with a global perspective.I was always a fan of anime and manga when I was younger, and that interest motivated me to study abroad in order to learn more. Now, I'm involved in anime and manga as a career.You, too, can pursue a life path that will allow you to grow together with your passion.I’m looking forward to sharing with you the insights I’ve gained and the things I’ve learned through my life’s experiences.