Faculty of manga Manga Production Course

Manga Production Course

Release major hits through the ability to produce stories

Some people think that only manga artists create manga work. In fact, the editors who produce it have more of a role in manga than you might imagine.

The course cultivates abilities in producing manga comics, such as choosing the manga artist and planning, conceiving a story and its characters with a manga artist, giving advice on pictures and panel layout, preparing an outlet to release work, or developing a strategy for marketing methods, including advertising or animation adaptations.

Our foremost focus is on the ability to compose a story, because successful manga always have a story that holds readers’ attention from beginning to end. For this reason, students practice exhaustively conceiving stories and creating scripts, as well as storyboarding. Students then become equipped with the abilities to plan, to edit magazines and books, and with new creative techniques that are applicable to online media and smartphones. The skills and abilities obtained throughout this extensive learning prepare students to go into different career paths, such as being a manga writer, a light novel writer, or scriptwriter. You can work on the manga you love—such a dream life is waiting for you.

Four years in the Manga Production Course

  • 1st Year

    The qualities vital to a hit manga

    An interesting manga has a story that holds readers’ attention from beginning to end. This means that producing major hits requires the ability to conceive a compelling story.

    To cultivate this ability to come up with stories, students in the editing classes learn about story composition using storylines and storyboards professional manga artists created as teaching materials.

    Manga work is usually completed through a process of research, conceiving ideas, planning, selecting artists, and organizing brainstorming sessions. In workshops, students interview people they are interested in, and create storyboards based on the information they find. Acquiring abilities to make a story as a producer, to research and gather the information needed in an actual working environment, to plan and communicate — the four years in pursuit of what is a bestselling manga comic starts here.

    1st year
    1st Year Goals
    Acquiring story composition ability and hands-on experiences in order to produce major hits.
  • 2nd Year

    Experiencing where manga is actually created

    The second year sees students engaging with manga production that is aware of the professional working environment.

    In the scriptwriting classes, students participate with faculty members, who are professional manga artists, in brainstorming sessions at the planning stage, selecting a theme for the first and second semester, and creating a medium-length storyboard per semester. In response to the feedback given by faculty members, students revise their work, repeatedly enhancing the quality. What distinguishes professionals from amateur artists is the fact that professionals have meetings and re-draft their work. By completing storyboards through the same process professionals use, students can attain the way of thinking necessary as a scriptwriter.

    The course also offers editing classes in which students are divided up into the roles of “manga writer,” “editor,” and “manga artist,” in order to tackle producing manga in a team. Scriptwriters create the scenarios, manga artists create the storyboards, while editors brush up storyboards. Understanding these three different roles and working on manga from various angles, students acquire advanced producing skills. Moreover, there are opportunities for students to learn how to create manga logos, design book covers, digitally visualize content developed in the editing class, and produce blogs and websites, all enabling them to obtain skills indispensable for the publishing industry that is now transitioning to become more digitally oriented.

    2nd year
    2nd Year Goals
    Experiencing a professional working environment. Acquiring the skills, way of thinking and digital techniques necessary to become a professional.
  • 3rd Year

    Creating collaborative work with other courses

    Students learn how to sell manga, as well as how to deliver it to readers.

    The editorial practice classes focus on planning manga magazines for hypothetical readers. Students form groups to come up with original ideas and plan proposals. Meanwhile they learn the relationship between readers and manga, and about business development for manga magazines, such as creating comic books, animation adaptations, merchandising, and also consider the relevance of print media in the age of a transforming media. Inter-course classes offer a chance to collaborate with students from other courses and complete work together. For example, the Manga Production Course students create manga scripts and light novels, and then based on this, students from the Character Design Course, Comic Art Course, and Gag Manga Course draw the pictures and create manga works and online content.

    Understanding what readers are looking for and the unique creativity of individual manga artists, students move closer to making bestselling manga work through hands-on practice.

    3rd year
    3rd Year Goals
    Understanding both readers and manga artists, engaging with how to make bestselling content.
  • 4th Year

    Trying out your newly acquired production skills in the real world

    Students carry out graduation projects as the accumulation of four years of learning. Selecting a different seminar-style class according to their individual career paths—editing, manga scriptwriting, digital content, and so forth—students commence their projects under the guidance of supervisors.

    One student created a graduation project based on the theme of manga advertising in bookstores, planning a series of advertisements for the comic their supervisor, a manga editor, was currently working on, such as setting up posters on streets between train stations and bookstores, and installing a promotional video. Another interesting graduation project was one in the recently popular field of interdisciplinary media. The student made a theater performance based on an original manga. From selling tickets to renting a theater and balancing the budget, the project examined whether such a project could succeed as a business model.

    After four years of thinking exhaustively about how to produce bestselling manga comics, the production abilities cultivated during this time will help students to work not only in the manga industry but in other content business industries in the future.

    4th year
    4th Year Goals
    Engaging with graduation projects according to students’ career paths. Acquiring personal production skills that can work in the real world.

Career paths after graduating from the Manga Production Course

To create major hits, you have to have in-depth knowledge of how stories that appeal to readers are composed, and of the latest trends in manga and the media. On the Manga Production Course, students gain practical skills in storyboarding, and the abilities to organize editorial meetings with manga writers, as well as obtaining digital skills, including for websites, desktop publishing, and graphics software. Students then become producers involved with manga for their entire lives.

Career choices

  • Editors who produce major hits
  • Scriptwriters who team up with a manga artist
  • Light novel writers or scenario writers flexing their compositional abilities
  • Planners who develop online manga content

Other career options

  • Manga critic
  • Video game designer
  • Advertising producer
  • Assistant manga artist
  • Book and magazine editor etc.

Manga Production Course Faculty Members (in Japanese)