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Old 13-02-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
Gen_Spark
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Default Manga questions! And other such things.

So I'm in the process of writing a story, the first chapters skeleton is done.

Buuut, I'm wondering about one or two things, you are all the audience so your views are important.

Okay, so first- how much fanservice is acceptable..

Theres the Rosario + Vampire amount, the odd relevant panty shot,
or the Negima amount, clothes blown away every few pages,
or the Ikki Tousen amount..yeah.

Trouble is I don't know what my audience prefers, and honestly I have a feeling that most of them are girls and aren't crazy for it.
I could be wrong, but girls seem to be the majority in the UK that go for less known works.

Okay next, is "the WORLD WILL END!!!" scenario good enough anymore? As a motivation for the main character.
I was discussing this lasnight with another person from Generation Spark and we came to a pretty decent conclusion but what are your thoughts?

The involvement of romance in a plot, I didn't want it to be just a sub-plot. But how do you feel about romance driving the plot?

and finally, do you prefer a main character whos kind of brave at the beginning, or runs away until they get the guts to do something?

I don't want to say too much about the actual story, that'd ruin it

But if you have any advice please let me know below!!!
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Old 13-02-2011, 09:11 AM   #2
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Man, I can't believe I've not posted for a while...

Okay, fanservice, personally I think the limit is pretty much what you deem necessary - if there's no reason to it, then don't do it (unless it's *that* kind of story), otherwise there's no real limit. (I can't help but think of Strike Witches though.)
If you think that most of your audience will be girls, then give them man candy to drool over. They're just like guys when it comes to seeing something that they like, it's just that they're usually better behaved and better at hiding it than guys.

The world will end scenario does still work in context, I'm interested to see how romance will affect this though. Seriously, I can't see how it'll tie in yet.

As for your description of a main character with either of those traits? Why not both? It's more realistic - I know people who'll go charging in, something will happen and then they have to rebuild their courage to re-enter. The more measured approach - still going in, but with caution on every step, is the trait of someone more professional at doing their job.
It depends on what their motivation is, whether any undue delay will cause things to happen for the worse part or any rush can set off a chain reaction in events that go wildly out of control.

So a few considerations there and that's my tuppence for the moment. Hope some of that helps.
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Old 13-02-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
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I think if you need to ask the fanservice question then you need to stop and think about it yourself for a moment - what are YOUR limits? You're not being commissioned by anyone to write your story, so it's up to you - the sky's the limit.

I would however add that if you need to rely on fanservice to 'sell' your story, you need to give that a rethink as well Ahaha. Stories need to have a hook other than "OOH, PANTIES".

Ah! Seems you already have one. End of the world huh? Everyone still likes a good apocalypse scenario - you just need to make it seem fresh and interesting

As for the character - dude, have you SEEN Gurren Lagann? Or Evangelion? ALLLLL about the same guys doing a hefty amount of running away and being badass in equal amounts. DO SOME RESEARCH
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Old 13-02-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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To Luke Peirce:

Agreed on the fan service thing, nothing wrong with a bit of lady fan service, its probably a measure of letting it go with the story, and not being the story...TO-Love-Ru...

Hmm...yess, people interested....

Yeah you're right, I guess to make a character more 3 dimensional she needs not to only have one attitude.

True, one thing can set things into motion- so I need to sort out how the motivation is set into motion!

Thank you for the help!

To Lyco:

First of all!! I go to Lincoln University too!!!! Are you still there??
And are you part of Jams?

Yeah I had discussed that with another member of Gen Spark, fan service shouldn't be a selling point!
And yeah! You're right, its not like I'm writing for anyone else but myself. hmm, my limits? As I put up there I'd want to have fanservice to work its way into story, not be the story!

To-Love-Ru is a good example.

Hmm, well I wasn't thinking apocalpyse, sadly I'm going to avoid sci-fi for a while until I get better, for this story its going to be more of an "emotional end of the world," Yeah, I'm really going for something unique, but also something that readers will enjoy, imagine coming up with something like Death Note.

You know its funny, I keep meaning to see both of those. I'm assuming you're referring to Shinij? I saw the film, the really confusing film.....it put me off. But I'm gonna try and get the seasons and watch them start to finish!!!

Thanks for the help!
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Old 13-02-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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Good advice given here

Which Evangelion Film? There are... what, 4, at the moment? (TV compilation, 'End Of Eva' with "that" ending scene, and the Remakes... 2 made out of 4 remakes.)
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Old 13-02-2011, 07:07 PM   #6
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theres four??

I know very little about Evangelion, this shows quite well!
Hmm, they become God or something?
The girl is in hospital at the beginning, all hell breaks loose, and then I get confused..
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Old 13-02-2011, 07:17 PM   #7
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I personally have never been big on fanservice, so I'll echo the general consensus of "Whatever you're comfortable with".

About the end of the world, that's great, but not as motivation for the character. They are fantastic dramatic stakes, in that if they don't meet their motivation, the world will end. A character's motive should always be a single, concrete statement in the positive. I.E "I want to rob Bank X" or "I want to marry Ann" Overly abstract motives like "I don't want the world to end" can lead to flat characters.

Romance is great, I don't tend to read a lot of romance, but some of my favorite anime and manga I love because they ran a romantic plot right along side their other plot, giving them both equal import.

Again, I'm in agreement with everyone else about character bravery.
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Old 13-02-2011, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen_Spark View Post
Trouble is I don't know what my audience prefers, and honestly I have a feeling that most of them are girls and aren't crazy for it.
I could be wrong, but girls seem to be the majority in the UK that go for less known works.
I would say, don't write for an audience. Write for yourself. Yes, it's true that professionals can and do write for an audience, but they're getting paid by that audience and they've got experience. You are quite new to this by your own admission, and not getting paid. If you try to write something aimed at other people, you run the risk of getting it wrong so no-one likes it and not enjoying the process of creation yourself. If you write something you want to write (and read), you'll know your audience so be able to do a good job, and have fun creating it.

It's your comic, though, so your call
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Old 13-02-2011, 07:59 PM   #9
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Gen_Spark: You're welcome.

An emotional end of the world?

Actually, there's quite a few things you can play with there and it opens it up to all sorts of imagery and interpretation. For a story like that, it'd be very difficult to do any sort of fanservice unless it was for something that someone was immediately embarrassed about.

Ahh, I'm just spouting random stuff there.


Speaking of romance, there's a really handy analogy that's just occurred to me which can set in so many wheels, it's unreal.

Girl approaches boy. Girls says "I LOVE YOU!" at the top of her voice. Girl runs off, embarrassed that she's done something that she feels out of character for her. Avoids the boy like the plague, who wonders what he's done wrong. Girl eventually faces up to it and then some stuff can happen (will they? won't they? Enter some powerful new rival?)

(As for Shinji: I see him as doing nothing BUT run away, get bullied into doing something, then running away AGAIN! Have a meltdown, run away some more, then he powns the entire world. Heroics. Go figure.)
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Old 13-02-2011, 08:13 PM   #10
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Personally I recommend approaching fanservice on a character-by-character basis. While I'm normally not into it, I don't mind so much if I feel it fits with the character, after all, some ladies and men are flirtatious, uninhibited or dress skimpily or overtly sexily in real life.

I think Gurren Lagann does this quite well; there's a lot of fanservice from Yoko, who is established from very early on as being uninhibited, flirtatious and a very provocative dresser. She's not a character who feels in the slightest bit embarrassed about being ogled, so it makes sense with her character. On the other hand, in the same show, there's next to no fanservice for the other female lead, Nia, because she is meant to be a very pure and righteous, serious kind of character. Fanservice of Nia would either degrade her character's purity, be out of character and weird or might feel a bit creepy and voyeuristic on the audience's part. Nia's purity and inaccessibility, her placement on a pedestal beyond reach, is what makes her character appealing, just as Yoko's relaxed demeanor and outrageously overt sexuality is for her. This allows the show to have a lot of fanservice, but focused around characters designed for that purpose so that an intentionally pure character isn't undermined for that purpose.

Romance can drive any kind of plot. The desire for love is a pretty universal motivation that works in any story. People never get tired of romance-driven plots; that's why we've been making and enjoying them for thousands of years!

The bravery thing, I think you should consider what kind of character you want, and how you want him to develop. Either:
-The character is a coward who gradually matures into a strong and capable hero who takes anything on.
or:
-The character is incredibly hot-headed, afraid of nothing and charges in relentlessly, but grows into a more level-headed leader who understands what he has to lose and to think before he acts.
or:
-The character has no real issues with bravery, he's pretty brave. His character flaws and development lie in other parts of his life and personality.
What you choose should depend on what you think will make your character a compelling character who the audience can empathise with. Pick flaws which can generate interesting storylines, problems, tension and jokes and will complement other cast members you create.
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Old 13-02-2011, 10:04 PM   #11
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Wow, thanks everyone for the advice, and I'll reply in turn

To Monkipi:
Yeah true on the fanservice, I guess a better way of rephrasing the question on it would have been, how much is acceptable, or.. i,e, how much would you stand before you thought the book was just an excuse for the artist to draw girls skirts being flipped. or guys kilts..

Yeah I agree on the end of the world thing, thats the kinda reply I was looking for, it seems too selfless and standard for someone to just say, hey I've got the power to stop this, I'll use it. Spiderman had motivation through his uncle (I mentioned him cause I was so close to saying wih great power...comes great responsibility)
But I agree how that character would appear flat and that a personal motivation would make it more believable.

Good points on the romance, I find it hard to enjoy a story if there isn't romance, but then again I'm a sucker for a good love story.

Thanks again


To Sun Kitten
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Good point there actually, and I don't want to dismiss it because its a really good point. But I feel as though I'm not just drawing this for recreational purposes, ever since I started drawing manga I've always loved that moment when someone said, "hey, you're really talented," I guess in a way I'm an egomonster, (maybe even a raptor) though its not like I'm big-headed.

What I'm trying to say is that I'd want the manga to get read by people, and for people to like it. And to want more.

Disregarding all this, I'd say (like you say) I could mess it up by trying to appeal rather than creating something natural that comes from the heart (ah Disney) and isn't tailored to an audience.

Thanks for the advice on this, I think I'll stick to what I like to draw, if that fails, I'll go all calculating on the manga world.

To LukePierce: No probs, thanks for commenting twice

You're right there, my only defense to that is Negima! a story that started as just fan service is now about the end of a (albeit possibly imaginary) world.

I'm making this sound much darker than I'm intending somehow.

And thank you, I figured an emotional end of the world would be more impacting...I mean, the world ends, so, then what? Boring, no more stories right?

(just for the record, I disliked "She," with a passion)

I love that idea, and personally I also relish the thought of multiple love stories in one manga, not like Friends where all the main cast end up together save Joey, making crappy spin-offs. But where valued characters come together, or one-shot characters romances.

Its always good to interrupt love, that keeps it going for as long as possible....

heh, Shinji, one reason I need to watch the whole of Evangelion.

Thanks again ^^

To DarthMongoose:

Yeah thats a really good point, I hadn't quite considered that up till now. Although I feel as though that if it wasn't made sexy, it'd be kind of like bullying
But yeah, thats given me something to think about. Different situations on characters, depending on their figures and personalities.

I haven't watched Gurren Lagan myself (yet!!) but I can get what you mean by this, Also without even watching it I can kind of already see their personalities, and the characters themselves too just by your descriptions.

Thats good, I tend to be driven by romance in both stories and real life. And I'm glad I'm not alone.

Wow, that was really helpful, So a character' traits and flaws, even something like their bravery level, can help to create stories, and how other characters react to them.

Though this sounds obvious saying it now, when you're planning a story, its kinda like juggling with a million ideas and influences floating around.

Thanks again!

Thank you everyone who commented!

You've all really helped me so much!

I'm still open to suggestion, but just as a side-note, if there are any people here who are in the process of making a manga, whether planning, penning or finishing with a dormant manga on your shelf, then let me know.
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Old 13-02-2011, 11:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gen_Spark View Post
Disregarding all this, I'd say (like you say) I could mess it up by trying to appeal rather than creating something natural that comes from the heart (ah Disney) and isn't tailored to an audience.

Thanks for the advice on this, I think I'll stick to what I like to draw, if that fails, I'll go all calculating on the manga world.
Do that Once you've had fun a few times, and seen the way things go, then you can start being mercenary about it

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Originally Posted by Gen_Spark View Post
I'm still open to suggestion, but just as a side-note, if there are any people here who are in the process of making a manga, whether planning, penning or finishing with a dormant manga on your shelf, then let me know.
Ah, that would be most of us Check out our signatures, and for the members of Sweatdrop itself, our shop and webcomics sections
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Old 14-02-2011, 01:29 AM   #13
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It simply cannot be expressed how important the context of fanservice is. On a character-by-character basis like Darth Mongoose said, but also bear your genre in mind. I'm not sure flapping skirts and falling groin first into shot have any place outside of comedy in this postmodern age. For a more action-oriented story, if you must include fanservice, perhaps consider a revealing outfit of sorts (for sexually powerful characters only, of course)... catsuits, short shorts or a jumper made entirely out of belts or whatever it is kids are into these days. If you want to make it gratuitous, I'd stick to tongue-in-cheek narratives, outside of that I think you might jar your readers a little bit. Then again, your readers will likely be a lot more light-hearted than I am

Love should most definitely drive your plots and subplots, but it doesn't necessarily have to be your nuclear one woman, one man nuclear romance. It can be love for family, friendship, or just good old-fashioned love for humanity, just look at the Pokemon anime - friendship has been the driving subplot in that for about 100 years now. Does anyone really ever do anything that isn't for some form of love? And that romantic form is debatably the most powerful, so go for it.

I like it when the romance is subtle. You can make it obvious by having your characters give their crush a long, brooding stare as they walk away, or even more obvious by making them blush and putting hearts in their eyes... But I prefer it when the reader has to do the work - for example, slight personality changes (eg. becoming more caring and gentle whenever they're alone with their person of interest or more aggressive and frantic as they overcompensate - whatever fits the character best). It makes it feel all the more surprising and rewarding when they finally bump uglies.

Above all, just create a story that excites you, and your narrative will be all the better for it. Enthusiasm always shines through in a piece of work.
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Old 14-02-2011, 12:19 PM   #14
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Thanks Sunkitten, it makes sense to go with what I know for as long as possible!

And I saw pocketful of Clouds, I was very impressed, its funny and well-drawn. Well done with that!!

To Squiddley:

Yeah totally agree with that, my genre is aiming to be a light-hearted episodic manga, that can if it chooses go serious for a couple chapters or so, I mean Cardcaptor Sakura was light-hearted, but then the consequences of her failing were quite severe.

Yeah good point, its mostly comedy that does that, its good to have another kind of perspective on this, so more revealing outfits as oppose to blatant skirt flipping etc. I think battles (which will be commonplace in this story) are another good way, from angles, to battle damage. Also, leaning on Akamatsu, magical spirits that take a more ecchi approach to attacking their victims.

Yeah I totally agree with that, I would want a romantic love, but I also love the idea of portraying a brotherly love, Not like Ouran High School Host Club, but like what Sherlock and Watson have, a bromance. Good points!

Yes! Love that, I also prefer to pick up on it myself, I also think its much cuter and enjoyable for the reader if its not overly thrust into your face, picking up signs and clues is as you say a method to make it more rewarding for the reader.

Thanks for the advice, you've really helped me out!
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