You fancy yourself a pretty good manga artist. Your drawing skills are decent, and your storytelling capabilities are good enough to keep your friends and family interested in your creations. But do you think your manga could make it as a legitimate anime series? If so, you might be interested in a recently announced contest from Animator Supporters.
Animator Supporters is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping animators in Japan’s anime industry fight for better working conditions, better pay, etc. They recently launched a campaign to introduce new and up-and-coming artists to the industry. Part of that campaign is a contest designed to identify emerging manga content creators.
They are seeking manga contributions through September 30, 2022. Animator Supporters will be awarding prizes of $4,500 for first place, $2,700 for second place, and $1,350 for third place. The winner will also have their manga adapted to five-minute anime production.
Grab and Hold Their Attention
No doubt that a lot of budding manga artists are going to submit their work for this competition. And why not? It represents a possible ‘big break’ for the winning creators. The question they all face is how to come up with winning material. The answer to that question is pretty basic: grab and hold their attention.
The judges who actually analyze each entry will have their criteria. We do not know what those criteria are. But one thing we know is this: grabbing a judge’s attention and keeping it ticks a lot of boxes. A judge so captivated by manga content that they cannot put it down is a judge likely to give it rave reviews.
As for how content creators actually pull it off, that is for them to decide. They will need a compelling storyline, compelling characters, and some sort of hook. Those are the three things that keep people interested in manga.
Other Paths to Success
Unfortunately, there will only be three winners out of the many who submit their original manga creations. Only one will have their work adapted by professional artists for the anime arena. But that does not mean the rest of the creators who enter the contest will have failed. It also does not mean that their aspirations of making it big are dead.
According to the people behind the Umai anime apparel label, there are other paths to success. For example, all the artwork featured on Umai T-shirts and sweatshirts is created by one of the company’s founders. His creations may never make it into a manga or anime series. Still, the company has a loyal following of customers who cannot get enough of the original artwork.
As an aspiring manga or anime creator, you could do something similar. If you are not into T-shirts, sweatshirts, etc., you can try publishing your work through one of the many mobile apps that seek out independent content. There are also independent print publishers built around the concept of self-publishing.
Do Not Depend on the Contest
Animator Supporters does great work on behalf of anime artists in Japan. They are doing the greater manga and anime community a valuable service by holding this contest. And as a content creator, by all means enter the contest. But do not depend on it to determine your future.
Whether you make anime apparel or earn your living publishing manga series, your future is entirely up to you. Go make it happen. Look for every opportunity to get your work out there. And when you find opportunities, seize them. When you don’t find them, make them.