The Manga World Is In A Transitional Period, Says Monster Creator Urasawa

The creator believes digital mangas have transformed the world of manga considerably.

Naoki Urasawa

Naoki Urasawa, the creator of Monster and 20th Century Boys, revealed in an interview with Mantan Web that the manga world is currently in a “transitional period”, jumping between analog and digital productions.

According to him, digital mangas have transformed the world of manga considerably and this transformation is a blow to many artists including himself for which they are not ready.

“Digital has changed the world of manga considerably when reading and drawing. Many manga artists are particular about analog, and some say, ‘I wonder if I should retire when the screentone sheets disappear.’ On the other hand, some people haven’t drawn on paper since their debut. I myself recently got released on e-books with my own work, but when it comes to digital media for reading manga, I feel it may be a world where I don’t fit,” said Urasawa.

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When it comes to entertainment overall, Urasawa proudly said that Japan has always been the best in the world in the genre of manga.

He revealed that the power to create delicate expressions with only ink and white space is exclusive to Japan.

“…I think that the delicate emotional expression of Tetsuya Chiba is also an outstanding aspect of Japanese manga. The emotions expressed between the lines while drawing a scene makes us look down at the magazine. That feeling is unexpectedly not found in other countries.”

He expressed that after the Pacific War when Japan had nothing to entertain themselves “Godfather of Manga” Osamu Tezuka and his colleagues took to pen and paper. And that tradition passed on for more than 70 years.

Urasawa’s new series will mark the 6th season of Urasawa’s “Manben” venture which started in 2014.

In the new series, Wataru Watanabe of “Yowamushi Pedal“(March 2), Yasuko Aoike of “From Eroica with Love“(March 9), and Hideki Arai of “From Miyamoto to You“(March 9) will appear.

Urasawa Naoki no Manben (Naoki Urasawa’s Manga Exertions) is a TV Documentary airing on NHK Educational TV. It follows acclaimed mangaka Naoki Urasawa (creator of 20th Century Boys and Monster) as he sets out to break new ground for manga even further than he already has.

In an attempt to educate viewers about manga and preserve the intricate craftsmanship and process of Japanese artists on video for future generations, he invites a manga artist to have their workplace filmed for a couple of days, so as to display them in the process of crafting chapters for their current serialization.

In Manben, Urasawa closely interacts with various manga artists, to show the behind-the-scenes at their studio where Japanese manga is created.

One of such instances is where he featured Shin-ichi Sakamoto, creator of the manga Innocent, he showed the process of making manga in full digital drawing. Urasawa said that the world is moving in a direction where people will watch manga in movie theatres.

“When you look at Shin-ichi Sakamoto’s drawing scenery, that is the quality you see in a movie theater. It’s like a mural. It’s digitally drawn so that it doesn’t look inferior even when viewed on a huge screen. There may be an era of watching manga in movie theaters. “

Source: Mantan Web

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