I came across an article about Microsoft’s recently launched Windows 8 which placed two packaging versions side-by-side. One was the “regular” version, which had vibrant and colorful elements while retaining a minimalistic and elegant look. The other was starkly different. It was the Japanese packaging, and it features an uber colorful, slightly over-the-top look, with a couple of manga characters thrown in for good measure.
Manga, the distinctly Japanese comic book illustration style, called anime once it is given movement through various animation and filmmaking techniques, has become so much a part of Japanese pop culture, inspiring a worldwide obsession among grownups and kids alike. It has seeped into the mainstream culture, and we see hints of it in Western movies, cartoons and comic books. Sometimes cute, sometimes dark and edgy, but it always reflects the unabashed quirkiness we have come to associate with J-pop, or Japanese pop.
I grew up watching Japanese animation. The earliest one, which I only remember vaguely was Voltes V, an anime in the giant robot sub-genre. It featured 5 pilots of 5 ships that in crucial moments somehow manage to come together to form one kickass giant robot.
Another one I remember following was Candy Candy. The main character was this nice blonde girl who had a lot of problems. She cried a lot. But she was good, sweet, and non-violent. I had a pencil case that had her face on it.
Anyway, I remember being so fascinated with these characters when I was a kid, and that I drew their likenesses on my notebooks, textbooks, and random sheets of paper that I found lying around. So, in a bout of nostalgia, I decided to revisit the old days and try my hand again at drawing manga style.
I found some resources online, such as Manga University, which has a whole lot of very useful tutorials. I also found Mark Crilley on YouTube, who has made a lot of videos on how to get it right when drawing manga style.
Want to see the results of my efforts?
Here are a couple. They are still kinda rough. And you can still see the guide lines. Hope make a better one this weekend, something worthy of coloring in.