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4 Manga Drawing Techniques

Learn four manga drawing techniques from art instructor Chris Hart in this Howcast video.


  • Step 1: The relationship between manga and anime Understand that anime is a derivative of manga.
  • Step 2: Manga traits Manga is known for their intense characters and is read by more girls than boys.
  • Step 3: American comics vs. manga Compared to American comic characters, manga characters having more shading and detailing with delicate lines.


Manga is a unique form of comics and cartoons. It's been around since the early 1960's with the introduction of Astroboy, which you may or may not remember, as an anime. Anime, by the way, is animation based on manga. It starts as manga first, and then becomes anime, and not the other way around.

It has a unique look to it which all of us are pretty much familiar with. It's got dazzling eyes and delicate features. This is a style that takes teen romance seriously. They're intense and dramatic, rather than just sort of winking at the teenagers. I mean, there's lots of humor in it. The intensity really gets the audience interested in the whole thing.

Interestingly enough, unlike regular American comics, which are very predominantly male-oriented, and read by guys, manga is slightly more girls than guys, as far as readers are concerned.

Now, let's take a look at the difference between American comics and Japanese comics. You'll notice some specific differences.

Here's a vampire, done in a style called bishounen, which is sort of like the classic good-looking guy. It's a popular type. You can see that the features are delicate, even if he's a powerful character. There's a lot of shading, a lot of subtlety, and a lot of mood.

This is a hero in the American comics. There's a little humor involved, and he's fun, too. But there isn't that delicacy of line. There isn't all that shading. It's right out there, bold and powerful. Less subtle, less to sink into in a certain way.

Both are a lot of fun to draw, both are a lot of fun to read, but they are very different. Manga has its own type of style, and a lot of people who like manga are just 'mangaphiles'. People who like the American cartoons, like that. They don't always blend, which is a kind of an interesting phenomenon.

I hope this will be helpful to you when you give manga drawing a try.

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