Attention all Manga Artists.

Discuss the future, present and past of sequential art.

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Attention all Manga Artists.

Post by ArcTanGentleman »

The characters are the plot.
The 'plot' is irrelevant.

Neon Genesis Evangeleon

"Okay, so a spastic ninja in an orange jumpsuit with a demon sealed inside of him..."
"A demon..."
"Uh, huh, and he has to go through ninja school to be a training ninja, but he's really awesomely powerful."
"Uh huh..."
"And people..."

From the character's point of view. "I just want to gain everyone's acceptance, I want to be recognized. I love her... but she likes him."
The character is relateable, this drives acceptance of the rather rediculous plot, which actually has vending machines in the beginning, they apparently forgot about them later.

I'm not saying the plot is bad, I'm just saying the characters are the epicenter, not the plot.

K-ON... Yeahhhhh. Haven't seen it but hear it was a great example.

You could literally have a manga about 'The Quest for a plot' and have it not suck.
Seriously, imagine this. A bunch of teenagers decide that their life IS a story, from various manga-like clues around... one of them breaks the 4th wall and manages to show it to the rest of them. They make some comments... are we in a horror, drama, WHAT??? Panick. The melodramatist says, "WHAT IF WE'RE ABDUCTED BY UFO'S!!!

One of them (the conspiracy theorist) thinks it's a sci-fi mystery... but the plot hasn't started. The sarcastic douche thinks it's a horror story. The Anime Addict thinks it's a comedy, based upon the fact that it's already The narcassistic popular girl is convinced it's a love story (ABOUT HER). The ___Jock/Goth/Emo/whatever___ doesn't care.
Now flush out the characters and let their curiousity drive the plot. DONE!

Name: Not Disclosed.

In anime, actually, I'm having trouble separating the plot from the characters.

Anyway, to anyone trying to write an anime/manga style comic, the characters drive the plot, the plot does not drive the characters.

Please, don't post your plot here (make a new thread). I may flush out the above plot below... to... Comic: The quest for a plot! Yeah... so... I'm bored. Anyway, this is for those who don't get the difference between western and eastern animation. The difference is the focus of the driving force. In western animation, even focusing on the character, you would focus on their would be more of a journey with the character guiding you. In japan, it would be more like a story from the characters point of views, with their emotions at the forefront.

That's just my opinion, feel free to disagree.

In western animation, characters act stupid for plot's sake... (plot induced stupidity) in japanese animation, the plot acts stupid for the characters sake. "We will defeat him with the power of friendship!" I think that's part of the reason 'malletspace' 'any color hairstyle' and various other comedic tropes, in addition to the popularity of the specific style.

"Probably should have mentioned, 'The Power of Friendship' is what we named our pet monkey, YOU WILL CALL HIM KONG!"

TVTROPES Plot induced stupidity.
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Post by LadyDeath »

tvtropes is actually a great website to start looking at common tropes with, but it's based primarily out of western culture.

I could easily think of lots of examples where the characters are irrelevant and the plot is everything (especially if we involve games - and yes I count games because it's just another form of story telling, a more interactive version.) But I genuinely think anything is possible when it comes to storytelling and I've made quite a living off of proving people wrong. XD

Also the difference between eastern and western (in my opinion) comics (I'll cover subject matter in a second) mostly has to do with the origins of the mediums in both countries. America thinks comics are superheroes and children's shows. It's only recently that we've started to get great adult cartoons (am I the only person super excited for venture brothers season 5? Only took them 10 years!). Japan thinks animation is just another medium for telling a story - which is why you get a much wider range of stuff. Now if we're only looking at the most stereotypical american and japanese comics and animation we're mostly going to get wish-fulfillment, fan service, or comedy. Eh I could ramble more about this and the cultural differences but I won't for time's sake :P (Plus I can think of 7 western comics/animations off of the top of my head that completely defeat your western animation assumptions and 12 that defeat the japanese ones XD - maybe I should get a life.)

As for characters driving the plot, they kind of have to (in most instances, like I said there are stories that essentially have no characters - I also have stories that have no characters haha so it can be done!). If the characters don't do anything typically nothing happens, we often follow them as they try to do something about the plot. Now that being said the plot isn't always irrelevant - some stories don't need one because there isn't anything happening except friendship and interaction of characters and in their particular story it's irrelevant, sure. But that doesn't mean a plot is always irrelevant.

Most of the time when a story has a plot and it becomes irrelevant I would argue it's because the writer isn't very good. There's nothing wrong with not needing a plot but if you include one and it seems irrelevant that's the writer's fault for not realizing they shouldn't have included it in the first place. Unfortunately I've done an ungodly amount of peer editing and read some wonderful examples of this. One was the first 8 pages of a girl's story that takes place in a mystical middle earth type world. The first 5 pages of the story explained the world, magic powers, the court system, and all kinds of mostly irrelevant details regarding the world. She also introduced a large war which was meant to be the central plot of the story, then we finally meet the main characters. A girl (who was oddly similar to the author of the and three different very attractive men who were all lusting after her (oy, wish fulfillment stories - shoot me). She spent so much wasted time on the supposed 'plot' and details of the world that she didn't even realize her story was a love triangle (or...quadrangle) and really didn't need the magical world and the war to function. She made her plot irrelevant.

If you're going to incorporate a plot it still needs to be relevant (although it does depend on the type of writing your'e doing - I am mostly referring to traditional writing. I like to write literary nonsense a lot (as an example) and this piece of information is hit or miss in that type of style.) But everyone should master basic traditional writing before venturing and experimenting. There is nothing worse than an experimental writer who's never done traditional writing and doesn't have a basis. You have to know the rules in order to understand how to break them!

I mean ultimately my feeling on this subject is that anything is possible and as long as you do it well who cares. :P