The Many Ways Being an Otaku: Jumpstart From Manga to Anime

Ever wonder how come your favorite anime shows made? In this topic, I will explain how those are created.

Dragon Ball Z page. This is the example of shonen manga type.
A manga page from Lucy Star. This is an example of shojo manga type.

When you look many manga titles in comic stores, you can't really decide which manga series you want to read. In the world of manga, there are two types: shonen and shojo. Shonen is primarily targeted for boys. It also features long action-packed sagas and adventure. Examples of that type are the popular Dragon Ball Z, Shaman King, Yu Yu Hakusho and Yu-Gi-Oh! Meanwhile, in shojo manga typically targeted by girls. Unlike in shonen, some shojo manga titles contain from romance stories to science fiction. Examples of shojo manga are Azumanga Daioh, Angelic Layer, Cardcaptor Sakura and Tsubasa Chronicles.

Before shonen and shojo manga made, manga-ka (meaning "creators") jot down ideas for their story they want to write and draw character elements. Typically, the creation of few chapters of manga take up in few months. If they think their creation is satisfied to their taste, they submit it to the publisher. If the publisher likes their story, it will be immediately put into zasshi or magazine. Zasshi is a kind of Japanese magazine which contains hundreds of pages. Ironically, some people (especially non-Japanese fans) called them "phonebooks". In zasshi, it contains at least 10 stories or more depending of how many pages available. They are printed in black and white on newsprint paper. Readers often throw away them after they finished reading those but nowadays, many manga and anime fans instead keep them as a part of their fanbase collection.
Manga comes out monthly, weekly or bi-weekly depending on their production and demand. If the story does well, the publisher reprints them in separate volumes called tankoubon. In tankoubon, aside from reprinting in separate volumes they also help guiding fans to continue reading their favorite chapters without advertisements.

With a stroke of luck, the manga jumped to zasshi and tankoubon and now turn into TV. Oh wait, does every manga titles got anime adaptation? The answer is depending on how popular or demanding on that manga. Some manga series (even though they are popular) are likely to be just in manga state according to their original creator's decision. Despite that Japan is the most-demanding country when it comes to their animation, it is still on commodity compared to anime. A producer in a anime studio is the one deals to offer the story into anime. Making anime is the most difficult part because it involves many people: including the director, producer, writers, many editors and hundreds of artists. Making an episode of anime usually takes up in many months or few years. Also, they never forget to credit the manga-ka of that adapted anime.

Anime is produced in three-forms: The most common type of anime we see is the TV episodes. Of course, every episodes range from 20 to 30 minutes. More than half percent of anime is based on manga. OVA or Original Video Animation (OAV or Original Animation Video is also accepted). We don't usually see them on TV and instead directly in anime stores for video rentals. There are also instances that they can be aired on TV depending on the viewer's demand. The last one is the full-length animation. They are made for the big screen especially for popular anime series. They usually start up to 60 minutes up to long 2 hours. A good example of full-length anime is the works created by Hayao Miyazaki. Some full-length anime like Pokemon and Naruto movies are also included because of their popularity.

In the success of anime and manga and also demands from the fans, many manga titles are adapted into anime. The publishers stay strong in their publishing business in order to gain and develop new story ideas which the result become the next generation of our beloved anime.

* "All the Way from Manga to Anime", K-Zone Philippines, March 2005 pp. 28-29.
* http://www.animenation.net/blog/2009/02/11/ask-john-does-every-manga-get-an-anime-adaptation/

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