Part 3

OK, I have NOT uploaded any examples of what I was originally talking about - amateur artists - because of that whole "not wanting to look like I'm ripping someone apart when they didn't expect it" thing.

So this is a slightly different question - what similarities and differences do we see between Japanese shoujo and OEL shoujo?* The pool of candidates I have here is a slightly biased one, being books that I have on my shelves currently, because I recently took all the manga whose art I didn't like and put it in a box to go to Half-Price Books. :D

* We're ignoring that purists will claim it's not true shoujo if it's not Japanese. Maybe not, but it's borrowing heavily from Japanese shoujo, and thus I'm using the term. So, bleeah.

The pictures link to larger versions. I chose these particular spreads based on them being enar the beginning or ending of the book, to make it easier to smash down on my scanner, and to not give away too much plot. There wasn't a whole lot of picking and choosing other than that.

What differences can you find between them, in general? What makes them similar?

Japanese shoujo:

Everyone's faaaavorite hate-to-love-it manga, Hot Gimmick:

And now we have the classic lovable-bad-boy MARS:

My candidate for the Most Number of Characters I Want To Slap Award, Peach Girl: Change of Heart:

And the so-shoujo-it's-a-parody winnar, Revolutionary Girl Utena (read left-to-right - this one is from an early, flipped, edition):

OEL shoujo:

YOU MUST FORGIVE ME - I'd scanned in all the Japanese ones, and when I was cleaning up Dramacon I realized - the most obvious thing that was making it look different, to me, was the size of the text and the lack of space in the text balloons. And I wasn't about to re-scan all the Japanese ones to leave the text in for you to compare, so you'll have to crack open your own Japanese shoujo and take a look at the amount of whitespace in the balloons.

Read all of these left to right.

Svetlana Chmakova's Dramacon, no messing with the text:

Dramacon with the text at 75% of the original size:

Marty LeGrow's Bizenghast:

Rikki Simon & Tavisha's Shutterbox:

Rivkah's Steady Beat:

And here's one that illustrates one of the major themes brought out in the comments on the last post: the importance of graphic design. In the four books of Clover CLAMP took that and pulled the graphic design out and made it the primary focus of the book. The pages are all beautiful and well-designed, often the design being focused on over the story and the coherence of the visual flow. It's an interesting experiment that, for the most part, works, and is the reason why this is the only CLAMP series to remain on my bookshelf, because I have a Thing about CLAMP.

Clover. Read left-to-right - this edition was flipped:

Differences I see:

1) Japanese manga lines are more delicate.

2) Use of tails on speech balloons in OEL manga to indicate speaker, instead of relying on location of balloon and context, in addition to the lack of whitespace. This is the most obviously Western-influenced aspect, to me at least. (I'm not mentioning the vertical orientation of the Japanese balloons and the horizontal orientation of the OEL balloons, because that ought to obvious why they're that way to anyone. XD)

3) More clear line of visual flow in Japanese manga.

4) The character designs in the OEL seem to be more reminscent of shounen manga than shoujo - they're more solid than the wispier Japanese ones. Partly a result of linework, but also partly the result of the Japanese character designs concentrating on and detailing out of ENOURMOUS DARK LIQUID INSECT EYEBALLS. All four of the Japanese spreads up top feature eyes prominently. None of the OEL ones do.

5) I get more of a sense of page-level graphic design in the Japanese ones than the OEL. Rivkah's is the most consciously designed of them, but isn't quite as ... er, fully designed? That's not the term I'm looking for, but I can't figure out what it is that I'm looking for.

Three out of four of the OEL examples are by artists comparatively new to the professional field, while the Japanese examples are all, to my knowledge, drawn by experienced manga artists. This may account for a lot of the differences - for example, I know the problems I see in Bizenghast are almost all due to LeGrow's (relative) inexperience, and in future years she'll be much more polished. The Japanese ones are usually drawn by teams, while three of the four OEL were drawn by individuals. I'm not sure how much division of labor was involved in Shutterbox, and I know a lot of the Bizenghast toning was done by someone else, but I think the most number of people working on any given OEL here was 2. Whereas, the Japanese could possibly have 4 or more for each, but I don't know for sure how many assistants worked on each given story.

Going to bed now. Eagerly await morning and the flood of OMG U DUN NO WUT UR TALKIN ABOUT LJ notifications. XD no, really, I loved all of the comments on yesterday's posts - they were *all* thoughtful and informative

Tags: manga_analysis
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →