If you are a fan of Manga and Anime, which is the Japanese version of comics and cartoons, it can inspire you to try and pick up a pencil and get to work yourself on your very own manga. To begin with, mangas are comics like we have in the United States. In the United States, we have Spiderman, the Hulk, and plenty of other action heroes while in Japan they have invented their own unique style. Mangas and animes (which are cartoons that many times are adaptations of mangas) often are done in black and white and involve a lot of yelling, power-ups, and dramatic scenes.

Manga is most popular in Japan where basically the whole country reads manga and watches anime, while in the United States it has become very popular, but not to the levels that it is in Japan, which is completely normal. If you are interested in mangas and anime and you would like to know more about them as well as where you can go to improve your skills you have plenty of options. Right here we'll explain what exactly are manga and anime as well as how you can get started and what possibilities there are in the future.

Mangas and anime aren't as popular in the United States as they are in Japan, however, you can certainly find many open doors in different fields, and who knows maybe one day you'll have your very own hit manga or anime.

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What Exactly Is Manga and Anime?

Manga is Japanese-style comics and anime is Japanese-style cartoons. Of course, we have our very own comics and cartoons here in the United States, however, anime and manga have their own unique styles. Cartoons in the United States many times are not adaptations of anything, sometimes they are but it´s not the common thing here. In Japan, many of the most popular animes are adaptations of manga.

The animes follow the story of the manga, and usually whatever is put in the manga is what is animated in the anime, which can lead to some problems if the manga is delayed for some reason. This causes an anime to start illustrating filler episodes that are used as a replacement story until the manga artist, or mangaka has time to come up with more content in the story.

Characters in mangas and animes usually act much differently than characters in American cartoons and comics. Japanese manga characters do unique things, for example, have a typical style when laughing for example their eyes become like a triangle. Of course, the way that eyes are drawn are unique to anime that have quite large eyes compared to cartoons from other countries.

Famous Mangas and Animes in the United States

Many mangas and animes have made it big in the United States, or at least a bit famous for an audience that isn't specifically into manga and anime. Some of these mangas and animes are:

  • Bleach
  • One Piece
  • Naruto
  • Dragonball and Dragonball Z
  • Death Note
  • Astroboy Hayao

There are also anime films that are very famous even academy award-winning.

  • Spirited Away
  • Akira
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Kiki's Delivery Service

While these mangas, animes, and films all come from Japan, that's not to say you can't come up with something popular in the United States as well.

Famous Manga Artists and Illustrators

There is a long list of famous manga artists and illustrators from Japan. The most important thing about them is they keep adapting their material and style so that their material always seems fresh and new. Then there are anime film directors that make really amazing films that are famous worldwide.

It certainly isn't easy to be a manga artist. There is a huge demand that needs to be met every week, especially when the anime adaptation is catching up to the manga story. However, the best are able to do it and have had long runs and kept their mangas popular and selling over the years.

Some of the most famous anime, manga, and film illustrators are:

  • Akira Toriyama
  • Hiromu Arakawa
  • Eiichiro Oda
  • Osama Tezuka
  • Hayao Miyazaki

Demographics of Manga and Anime

If you are a beginner then it's also good to know that when you start to work on your very own manga that there are two basic demographics for manga and anime. Shonen and Shoujo. Shonen mangas and animes are typically made to target an audience that is interested more in infighting and battles rather than relationships, some have said this style is made more with the male audience in mind.

Shoujo anime and mangas are focused more on relationships and love interests. Many of these animes are set in a high school setting and not do not really involve fighting or battles or superpowers, although some shoujo animes do have superheroes or heroines, Sailor Moon is an example.

Where You Can Learn Manga and Anime Illustration

Streets of Tokyo animated
Learning how to draw manga and anime styles in Japan can be an amazing experience. Source: Unsplash

Learning to draw the Japanese style of anime and manga can be really different than what you have learned in your high school art classes. However, with practice, you can surely learn how to draw manga characters as well as backgrounds, faces, movements, and everything else that the Japanese style requires.

Practicing at home may not be enough, and even so, if you are passionate about manga and anime you should go out and try to learn from the very best. So what are some places you can go to learn how to draw mangas and animes?

Japan

The land of the rising sun is where manga and anime are most famous as well as the place where it was invented. Going to an animation school in Japan would be an amazing opportunity for you as a would-be manga artist or animator. Living in Japan and having so many resources available to you would be amazing as well, there are surely animes and mangas you've never heard of living in the United States that can easily be found in Japan.

Learning how to become a better illustrator is reason enough to go to Japan, but living in Japan could be an amazing experience for you as well. Surely your storytelling can even improve, and having the experience of living in such a country would be an amazing experience for you.

Art Schools

In the United States, there are a good number of schools of art and of the performing arts. If you are talented enough you can get selected into a very prestigious school and can grow your talents. At the high school level, you can find art programs in your state where you can focus on becoming an illustrator professionally someday.

College and University

While in high school you will be able to find art programs the same goes for college. If you want to study illustration and visual arts, something that will help you as a manga artist there are some prestigious colleges and universities that have excellent illustration programs.

Studying at a college or university like this can help you become a better artist and can help get you a fantastic job as an animator or illustrator someday.

Some of the most prestigious illustration programs in the United States are:

  • School of Visual Arts in New York
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida

Anime and Manga as a Professional

Anime character drawing
Becoming a professional artist is possible in Japan or in the United States. Source: Pixabay

If you've studied how to draw manga and anime and are a confident illustrator of course you want to be able to benefit from your talent. The number one and best thing to do would be to try and become a professional manga artist that has his or her own manga. However you may run into problems with that, however, it is definitely possible and if you can dream it you can do it.

Another fantastic option for you is as an animator on a cartoon. In the United States, you can find a job working in a studio that produces cartoons, many American cartoons nowadays are heavily influenced by anime. You can use your talent to help in the making of these cartoons and earn a pretty good salary.

Going to a Drawing Tutor

There are plenty of ways to find extra help if you want to improve your animating and drawing skills. Manga and anime isn't easy to learn, especially for beginners. Using Superprof you can find a tutor to help you master drawing manga and anime. Superprof has excellent tutors with reviews so you can choose the correct one for you.

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Chris