Today I introduce the new manga for Mirai-chan and co! But first...
Why does Japanese learning have to be so boring? This is a question I asked myself when looking at the state of Japanese learning text books and flashcards - boring monotone colors which are filled with too much info for a learner to digest.
It does not have to be like this.
About Moekana and Moekanji
Last year we released a product called Moekana - a set of cards which feature our mascot character Mirai Suenaga and friends who teach us the Japanese syllabary in a fun and simple way with cute color illustrations by Japanese artist Ikkyuu-sensei.
This year, we released Moekanji which teaches us first grade kanji - a pack of 80 fully illustrated cards that focus on teaching us the readings and meaning of each character.
Both Moekana and Moekanji have sold tens of thousands of packs worldwide and are displayed in store fronts such as Kinokuniya.
Today, we launch a new free Japanese learning series called MoeManga - a new way to learn through Japanese comics known as Manga [漫画] - specifically the 4koma type.
What is MoeManga?
The free-to-view MoeManga will be released periodically in both Japanese and English at the MoeSensei website which lives at moesensei.com.
MoeManga includes definitions and usage of key Japanese words that were used in the 4koma which are broken down and explained in English. Each strip introduces a wide variety of Japanese words and expressions used in everyday life which are great for beginners and intermediate Japanese learners alike.
What is 4koma?
4koma (read as "yonkoma") are comic strips that are restricted to only 4 panels, and typically meant to be humorous.
Traditionally, Yonkoma follow a structure known as Kishōtenketsu [起承転結]. This word is a compound formed from the following Japanese Kanji characters:
- 起(ki): The first panel forms the basis of the story; it sets the scene.
- 承(sho): The second panel develops upon the foundation of the story laid down in the first panel.
- 転(ten) : The third panel is the climax, in which an unforeseen development occurs.
- 結(ketsu): The fourth panel is the conclusion, in which the effects of the third panel are seen. This is also called the Ochi.
- from Wikipedia with some tweaking
Be a part of MoeManga
While the scenario of the science fiction story Mirai Millennium is written by Story Riders and Sato Dai (Ghost in the Shell, Eureka Seven, Cowboy Bebop, Eden of the East etc), MoeManga is written by you!
I regularly get mails from fans of Mirai who wish to contribute in some way and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to involve them and you.
I called for 4koma ideas but got completely swamped with Facebook messages and mail! I only managed to pick out a few which you will see later on but learned that we needed a better submission process so we came up with a Google docs form.
If you are interested in having your 4koma ideas illustrated by Ikkyuu-sensei and possibly featured in future publications, just fill up the form below with your idea and you're all set. Make sure to feature the mascot characters of Culture Japan and Mirai Millennium. If your idea is selected for the 4koma adaptation, you will be paid some coffee money so you can relax at a cafe and think of more awesome ideas ^^;
Before you submit anything please read
- You can submit as many ideas as you want whenever you want and if you've submitted ideas on Facebook before but it was not featured yet, you can submit them again through the form below - I just lost track of everything ><
- All submitted ideas are usually tweaked by myself for various reasons including making the idea more interesting or space restrictions in each panel.
- 4koma writers will be paid 10 USD by paypal for each idea that is used - you pay the paypal fee though. For example, if you end up submitting 100 ideas that get used then you get paid 1000 USD.
- If a few writers submitted similar 4koma then the first writer that submitted will be chosen.
- You will be credited as the writer of each 4koma in the body of text which accompanies each MoeManga episode.
- Do make sure that the ideas are yours and yours alone - don't copy them from anywhere!
- If you are worried that your 4koma ideas will be stolen by me then save yourself that worry and don't submit anything ^o^
- We may decide to make MoeManga into a publication for retail. In the event that we do, all writers that submitted 4koma ideas will not be paid any % of sales as they have already been paid for each 4koma idea.
- To elaborate on the above point, some folks decide to sell their artwork on Deviantart and let the buyer monetize from their work. Some artists however not only sell their artwork but expect a % of sales every time that artwork is used. Folks who are looking for revenue share should seek other opportunities instead.
How to fill out the form
For each panel you should generally write something like:-
Mirai: (In bikini on the beach) "its a nice day!"
Eiji: (in shorts peeks from behind a palm tree with nose bleeding
and for the second panel...
Haruka: "Mirai-onee-chan! Look out there is a hentai!"
If you are not interested in submitting anything then just head over to MoeSensei and enjoy!