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CyberManga blog

From CyberManga artists in Japan

We won the Digital Ehon (picture-book) Award.

We won the digital picture-book award. 

A title is "Akari Tomosu Yubisaki" (Turn on a Light with Your Finger) written by Tsugumi nishino. 

We obtain such a splendid prize and appreciate very much. 

We will make app of this tale. 

Please look forward to it. 

Kohei Nishino

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We’re going to the US!

We’ll go to Kalamazoo (in the suburbs Detroit) to do manga workshop.
Western Michigan University invited us.
This is one of the sample of the workshop.

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Look Out for Dry Weather

The winter is extraordinary DRY this year!

I generally have dried skin, but these days, look at my hands…. They’re parched and itchy, and the fingers are cracked open and bleeding….

They hurt… :~(

Hand cream would help, but…
I can’t put it on my hands.
If I did, the grease of the cream would come off on the drawing paper and repel the ink.

It’s not just hand cream, though.

When I work on the paper, I almost always put the gloves on so that paper won’t get any stain.

Oh, I cut out the finger portions of the gloves so I can hold my pen with ease.

Except the pinky, ‘cause that’s what directly touches the paper. φ(.. )

How do other writers deal with it, I wonder?

To battle with this dry season…?

Tsugumi Nishino

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I assume everyone knows the voice actress Megumi Ogata, the voice of Shinji in famous “Evangelion.” She is also the voice of Kurama in “Yu Yu Hakusho,”to whom she is more strongly associated for our generation.

The words she gave us 10 years ago are still the very core part that supports our creative works in CyberManga. So, I’d like to share this story with you today.

In case you haven’t seen the ending movie of “Uzozozo Zombie-kun,” there’s a mention in it that the prototype of Zombie-kun was created in 2001, over ten years ago.

We had submitted our project to “Support Project for Individual Creators,”also called “Premiere Project” organized by Information-technology Promotion Agency (IPA). Our project was selected and Zombie-kun was created as a prototype of manga contents for next generation.
Although what we created was a Flash-based web-manga, as iPhone and iPad were nonexistent at that time, it already had almost all the features implemented in the current app, including the multi-casting function.

The support project had allocated us some budget, which gave us a chance to solicit voice actors/actresses to voice our manga characters…such a fortunate opportunity, when I come to think of it.

We went straight to Ms.Ogata and Mr. Nobuyuki Hiyama, who voiced the main characters of “Yu Yu Hakusho,” simply because we were a huge fan of the program.
Looking back, it was a miracle that they agreed to do it since it wasn’t a usual anime-work they are used to do, let alone the fact that we were asking them to do the voices for 3 persons simultaneously.

They both were already at the top-class voice actor/actress, so imagine our surprise and appreciation when we found out they were going to do it.

On the recording day…we just turned to groupies (lol).

Oh by the way, we, Konohana Sakuya (yes!), wrote the lyrics and music of the theme song of Zombie-kun. And at the recording studio on that day, all the voice actors sang it together. Very, very rare and precious audio source today.

In addition, as it was recorded 10 years ago, you can listen to a bit of Mr. Kousuke Toriumi and Ms. Sachi Matsumoto in it. So if you’re a fan of these two voice actors, you should definitely check it out!

Well, then, after recording was over, we walked up to the voice actors to greet them.

As much as we are excited by the fact that they had come all the way to collaborate with a minor manga artist like us, we were also feeling undeserving. So the word of apology came up first to my mouth.
“I’m very sorry to put you into this.”

Ms. Ogata, to my surprise, replied with a smile.

“Oh, I enjoyed it so much.”
“You did?”
I asked, and she continued.
“With anime, voice actors’ performances are inevitably time-constrained because of program duration and the mouth-movements of the characters on screen. But I was able to act out more freely without watching out for the mouth-movements this time. I think it enhanced my performance.”

That was a total surprise for us, as we had never thought about it.

But at the same time, we learned one thing; when people from various fields become involved in a project, new values are created in a way we’ve never imagined to be existed. That’s a very different experience from manga-creating process.

Basically, paper-drawn manga is under 100% control of a creator.

On the other hand, CyberManga involves various kind of people, including voice actors/actresses, audio directors, programmers and so on (although a very small group compared to the anime or game productions).

If the works can create some new values that have not existed in manga-creators’ mind frame as a result of such process, I believe that’s what gives a meaning to this new challenge of creating digital manga instead of a paper version of it.

Oh, and just as a sidenote, Ms. Ogata has announced the release of new CyberManga on her official Web-site before anyone did.

We always appreciate her generosity and her dedication to connect to the fans (think about it, we only worked together once, ten years ago!)

And I can tell, her personal quality passes on to her fans. They are as enthusiastic as Ms. Ogata.

When we created our prototype in 2001, we put Zombie-kun up on our display for the exhibition organized by IPA
On that occasion, Ms. Ogata had also announced the event, and her fans came to see it.
I remember it so well because it was such a pleasure to see them try all the multi-casting patterns voiced by Ms. Ogata.

It was then when one of the fans suggested if the frame could be played automatically, as it was taking her some trouble displaying them one by one manually.

As a result of the suggestion, our new CyberManga is has an AutoMode function.

So, to Ms. Ogata’s fan we met at the booth, I hope you read this and receive our thanks.

Your idea of AutoMode works!!!

Kohei Nishino

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(This is Dario voiced by Ms. Ogata. Check out her extatic performance. It’s the best.)

Initiation

Konohana No.1: We’re doing blog.

Konohana No.2: Me…? Oh, no, I’m not good at those things…

Konohana No.1: We’re doing it.

Konohana No.2: Only if you let me put“now” at the end of every sentence.

Konohana No.1: I reject. No“now.”

Konohana No.2: But it looks pretty on screen, see, “now.”

Konohana No.1:….

Konohana No.2: How about “geso”?

Konohana No.1: OK, you’re doing it, you really mean it, hah!?

Konohana No.2: Oh, no, I’m not writing that. It does NOT look pretty on screen.

Konohana No.1: We’re starting, from today.

Konohana No.2: Well…, not today. I’m going to bed now. Gotta take out the trash tomorrow morning….

This is how we started our blog.

Oh, and about what word to put at the end of sentences, we’ll put whatever we feel like putting, so don’t go deep into analyzing that, nyo. (sorry, was it obsolete?)

Tsugumi

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What We’ve Learned in 1996

 

Posted on 2011/02/14 

What We’ve Learned in 1996

I’ve already mentioned that cybermanga.com started in 1996, that’s when I bought a Mac computer for the first time.

The one I purchased for my work was a Power Mac 6300/120. A very dear price at that time…but it only had 1.2GB of HDD with 64MB memory. Just think about how technology has advanced.

In addition, I went a little further to buy another machine for communication, Performa 5210, a monitor-integrated PC.

With it, I started to create my “home page” (no one used the term “Web site” back then in Japan). I used now-vanished “PageMill, ”the web page editor developed by Adobe. When I showed my finished page to my work partner Tsugumi-san, the other half of the unit Konohana Sakuya, she commented,

”All right, and how do I watch TV with it?”

What!?

It took me so much effort to make this site, and instead of complimenting me all she cared about was how to watch TV?

I have to say, I was hard hit and quite annoyed…

However, it taught me something.

To ordinary people, computer monitors and TV screens ARE the same thing.

They surely look alike, no wonder Tsugumi-san thought she could watch TV on Performa. Then…

Then, if I was going to make web sites and CGs, I would have to compete with TV!!

If both were seen on the same monitors, or CRT, ordinary people would compare them with TV. That means if you were going to make something with web sites and CGs, they would have to be superior to the contents on TV!

I looked at what I had just created. The site was showing black-and-white manga pages, and looked very empty. No colors, no movements… .How could I beat TV with it??

From then on, I was determined to make all the original manga that I would put on our site full-color. I gave them movement by using GIF animation, the only means available at that time (!). Moreover, I asked visitors from outside Japan to name the character as well as to give me some idea about them, so that my manga would have interactive features. Well, if it were merely a “color manga that moves,” there would be no difference from an anime. I had to take advantage of the features that were only available in PC. And so gradually, I started my quest for the totally new means of expression that is distinct from the manga drawn on paper.

(By the way, the manga we created those days, called “Hanamaru Angels,” was spotted by one of Japanese publishing companies and published as a full-colored, Japanese-English bilingual book.)

15 years later, iPad appeared on the market and we developed our first iPad app. It renders colors, movements and interactive features….Making the manga exactly like I imagined back in 1996 is finally made possible.

The evolution that has set off with a comment from Tsugumi-san in 1996 will be in full force from now.

We’re preparing another very cute and silly app.

We hope to manage to release new episode in monthly basis. So please look for them kindly and patiently.

Kohei Nishino

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P.S. Here is an image from my original manga for the web site back then, “Hanamaru Angels,” and a GIF animation that I used in an actual scene. I feel a little embarrassed when I remember saying “Wow, look, it moves! It’s like anime!!,” with this level of technology…(lol)

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CyberManga.com is Now Re-born!!

Posted on 2011/02/12
cybermanga.com, a site that opened in 1996 that published manga in 9 languages online, has re-opened after 15 years, in 2011, as a site to provide the manga with a new style for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. We’ll do our best to create a lot of works that everyone will love. So we hope you’ll long enjoy visiting our site.

konohana Sakuya