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Manga Character Creation Process

When creating a manga, coming up with the main characters is one of the most important steps. The readers have to be able to relate to them, and they need to have enough personality to be memorable.

Today’s tutorial is a special one because it diverts from explaining the process of drawing something to focus on demonstrating that of character creation.

The Junialamen team is now working on a book to help you become better at drawing manga using tips and techniques that are guaranteed to work. 

As one of the chapters will be dedicated to drawing characters, we were thinking about creating a black teenager from the future: A half cyborg with a strong personality. In a nutshell, a young dude created like it was freshly coming out straight from “My hero Academia” by master Kohey Horikoshi. As you can see, we set the bar very high!

The next step in character creation involves creating a personality. For that purpose we used the character sheet shared by the one and only Hirohiko Araki, creator of the acclaimed manga series “JoJo’s bizarre adventures.” we filled it out and fleshed out the character’s personality, profile, background story, and so on.

Characters sheet by Hirohiko Araki

 

We had the concept, we had the backstory and personality. All that was left was to have the character, so we started to draw.

One of our members released this first representation.

Character creation step 1 by Odai Jini, Junialamen Team

 

The character above isn’t so bad. When brainstorming designs it’s important to just let the inspiration flow and see what happens. But after discussing the matter, we concluded he didn’t really look like a black man at all, his clothing was futuristic enough but the design wasn’t that original and the drawing looked… Well, a bit old fashioned. So we went back to drawing board. It’s also about having fun after all.

Character creation step 2 by AJ De Michel, Junialamen Team

Another member came out with another idea, as shown above. In this case, the character looked more like the famous Robocop from the ’90s and unfortunately doesn’t look like a teen at all. So we kept on digging in our imagination, while using inspiration from contemporary sources.

Character creation step 3 by AJ De Michel, Junialamen Team

After the character show above came around, we knew we were closer to the goal. The character looks the right age group and has a great presence, but lacked a few dynamic elements, many things still needed some corrections. We used him as a model for the final result, adding and removing where we deemed necessary.

Below is an inkling of the character’s head shape and style, as envisioned by a member of the JUNIALAMEN Team.

Character creation step 4 by Odai Jini, Junialamen Team

After taking all these elements into consideration, we reached a. more balanced character. He has flair and personality. Notice the headphones he carries around that tell you he’s very hip and cool, but his clothes are shredded from being recently in battle. He also have a very distinct and recognizable look.

Character creation final step by Odai Jini, Jjunialamen Team

Character creation is in fact not so easy, particularly when coming up with the main protagonist.

You have to keep on gathering ideas and study references. If you have no satisfaction so far in the process, you have to be willing to restart everything if need be. Practicing with our free tools will help you in improving your skills; keep doing it.

We Really hope this small story was fruitful in inspiring you. Please do not hesitate to share it, if you feel like it could help someone. And do not hesitate to visit our Facebook and Instagram page and share your work with us.

Thank you for reading, stay alert for more.

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