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?”
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.
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.
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)