How to Create Your Own Manga Character

Written by manuel paucar
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How to Create Your Own Manga Character
Manga can be drawn by any enthusiast. (manga image by tomdoe5 from

Manga and anime are an overwhelming industry that has achieved great popularity among children and adults. The fact that simple cartoons contribute to the economy of Asian countries boggles people's minds. Many people have fallen in love with a certain character and personality. Even more people have wanted to create their own original characters (OC). There are no special requirements to create a manga character apart from creativity, imagination and--of course--art implements.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Fountain pen
  • A3 canvas

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  1. 1

    Decide which anime genre you will focus on. There are many kinds of manga genres, and each genre has stereotyped characters--for example, cute and naive girls for the "Magical Girls" genre or stout, well-built men for the "Shonen" genre. You can mix genres as well--perhaps a Shonen (action) and Shoujo (romance) genre merged into one.

  2. 2

    Decide on your character's gender and her personal traits. Start by elaborating a personality to have an idea of her attitude--for example, whether she is sweet, caring, carefree or frivolous. That way, it will be easier for you to assign a physical appearance that fits the character's personality.

  3. 3

    Create a physical appearance. The physical appearance of your character varies according to the genre you choose. For instance, if you chose a Fantasy, your character will have some physical traits related to the fantasy realm of your choosing, such as medieval attire and weapons.

  4. 4

    Choose a special ability for your character. Almost every manga character has a special ability or skill. This, again, depends on the genre you choose. You can give a superpower to your manga character, an incredibly clever mind or just a special ability for sports.

  5. 5

    Create a background story for your character. Characters without a past are just boring. The background story should define your character's personality even better. That way, people will feel more attached to him/her. A background story explains your character's fears, virtues, shortcomings and likes.

  6. 6

    Start drawing your character. Make a draft of what your character will look like using your pencil. Add shadows to the proper places. Once the drawing is well-defined, use the fountain pen to add ink to the drawn contours.

  7. 7

    Choose a name for your character. It is recommended that you think of names when beginning the first drafts and then select a final name when finished.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a pencil to make the draft. Use the fountain pen to make the line art (this is, the definite drawing).
  • Remember that each character has its own personality. Therefore, you have to follow this pattern with your character as well. Create an appealing personality for your character.
  • When creating your character, make sure it doesn't have the same traits as another existing character. Otherwise, you could be accused of plagiarism, and legal action could take place against you.

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