Introduction: So You Want to Draw Manga-Style?
By Rio

If you're here to learn how to draw or improve your drawing skills - you've come to the right place! Almost everything you need to know will be posted here from basic shading to publishing your work. Of course, how far you get will all depend on you!

A few things you should know about this place first...

1. The tutorials here are meant to help you draw your own original work. There are no how-to's on specific characters. No how-to-draw Sailor Moon, no Kenshin, no Dragon Ball Z, none! Don't bother emailing me about it either - I'll tell you the same thing, and you'll just be wasting my time and yours.

2. All skill levels are welcome to check out the tutorials. Bashing other people for being a beginner or "can't draw well" will not be tolerated. Funny thing is, most of the beginner's have the guts to actually submit their work to the Gallery here than more advanced drawers. That says something there, don't you think?

3. I do not critique art work. Sorry folks but due to all my other projects on this site, it's pretty much keeping me busy. There is a site which does critiques only: The Art Corner. Go check them out!

4. These instructions are not the only way to draw things. If you are comfortable with another way of drawing, than you should stick with it, develop your own style, and learn what you can with what I have up.

5. I do not get paid to suggest any products or other sites that sell products. They get mentioned because they a) have good products, b) shows an example of something I'm talking about, or c) have useful info.
The only sort of payment I get is orders to in the Shop section and my affiliates which helps pay for running this site plus holding the contest (which I hope to hold at least once a year).

All that done and over with - here is a brief guide to some of the more popular terms and styles of Manga:

SHONEN — Boy's manga, usually action/adventure, are aimed at boys 8-18 years old. It is by far the most popular style, and is usually characterized by big battle scenes. Manga such as "Dragon Ball Z", "Yu-Gi-Oh!", and "Yu Yu Hakusho" fall into this category.

SHOJO — Girls' manga are usually story-driven, less action-oriented, and romantic. The second most popular format of manga, it is rapidly becoming a very major part of American manga sales. Titles such as "Sailor Moon", "Love Hina", and "Chobits" are among the most popular titles. Shoujo style manga is usually geared toward female readers ages 12-18.

SEINEN — Seinen manga are series aimed at male readers ages 18-30. While a variation on the Shonen style comics, Seinen series contain more graphic violence and adult situations. AKIRA is a very good example of Seinen manga.

JOSEI — Womens comics aimed at young working women and housewives from ages 21-30. The Manga equivalent of Soap Opera's.

HENTAI — Literally "pervert" manga. Hentai refers to pornographic comics and cartoons. Think any X-rated movie.

JIDAIGEKI — Historical manga, usually action-packed, and battle-oriented. "Lone Wolf and Cub", and "Rurouni Kenshin" are some Jidaigeki.

MECHA — Mecha manga refers to the "Giant Robot" stories such as "Gundam W", "Voltron", and "Big O." They are usually action-oriented with big fights, lots of explosions, and tend to have some kind of "save the world" angle.

BISHOUJO — A very popular manga style, full of cute girls and/or funny animals. Series that fall under this category are "Hamtaro", and "Hello Kitty".

BISHONEN — "Beautiful boy" stories — aimed at teenage girls, and featuring very pretty, almost effeminate looking heroes. Series that fall into this category include "Peach Girl", and "X/1999" by CLAMP.

A few subcategories of the above types are:

SHOUJO-AI — Literally means "girl's love" and covers female-female relationships, usually on a romantical level (aka Yuri).

SHONEN-AI — Literally means "boy's love", with story covering male-male relationships, usually on a romantical level (aka Yaoi).

KODOMO — children's manga, aimed at 6-10 year olds, an offshoot of Bishoujo, shonen, or shoujo styles. Kodomo manga include "Pokemon" and "Digimon".