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Author Topic: Question for Manga Fans!  (Read 262 times)

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Offline Gasha

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Question for Manga Fans!
« on: October 25, 2017, 01:59:55 PM »
So I’m in the process of writing a Manga with my girlfriend, and when it comes to characters, her and I are torn between what Manga readers truly value in a character name. We’re undecided on whether to create authentic Japanese names for our characters, or whether or not to use entirely fictional names. The Manga is set in a Fantasy Setting, so fictional names would work, but do you think it’s worth taking the time to create authentic Japanese names instead? Do you prefer authentic names in the mangas you read? Do you think they add authenticity to the work for aspiring western Mangakas?

Any and all opinions are welcome(As well as any Japanese names if you have some ;p)!
-Gasha

Online Forlorn Serpent

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Re: Question for Manga Fans!
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 02:15:25 PM »
I never understood Japanese names in manga. For example, in Naruto, Itachi means weasel right? How is that cool? Neji means screw right?

I’m just reminded how we have people named blue ivy and Apple over here in the United States. It’s rediculous to us.

I think you should go with exotic names, exotic from an Asian market. So I think westernized names would be cool. Plus you won’t be accused of cultural appropriation.

Offline Gasha

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Re: Question for Manga Fans!
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 02:32:15 PM »
I never understood Japanese names in manga. For example, in Naruto, Itachi means weasel right? How is that cool? Neji means screw right?

I’m just reminded how we have people named blue ivy and Apple over here in the United States. It’s rediculous to us.

I think you should go with exotic names, exotic from an Asian market. So I think westernized names would be cool. Plus you won’t be accused of cultural appropriation.


True, they do translate strangely lol. But I’m going to be moving to Japan, in about two years - which is why I’m wondering if it would be better to use more Japanese culture in the manga. We can’t decide though 😤
-Gasha

Offline Happytimedoggy

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Re: Question for Manga Fans!
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 12:24:35 AM »
Japanese writers typically stick to fantasy names when they do a fantasy world style manga.

Putting Japanese names into it would seem kind of forced and pandering to me, unless it's a Japanese style fantasy world.

Offline Gasha

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Re: Question for Manga Fans!
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 02:25:31 PM »
I’ve seen examples of both. Should I just go with whatever I want to? I’m trying to design a manga with a Japanese partner and she says Japanese names are more apt to attract a Japanese audience, but Dragon Ball is the biggest manga franchise in the world by far, and those names aren’t Japanese inspired - not all of them anyway.
-Gasha

Offline Coryn

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Re: Question for Manga Fans!
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 03:33:59 PM »
This comes up a lot for aspiring manga writers. You fall into the trap of thinking "This is manga, so I must throw in as many Japanese things as possible." The problem is thinking about it "as a manga", instead of "as a story". When someone in a Japan sits down to write manga, they don't think "I must make this as 'manga' as possible." (If they're a writer worth their salt that is). They just think "time to write a story", and the Japanese influence comes from the fact they are Japanese themselves, and are writing within that mindset. So, they write in the way that best serves the story, and the fact that Japanese things slip in, are apart of the subconscious effort, rather than the concious one.

I hope that all makes sense. But to boil down my advice: Give characters names that most fit the story they are apart of. Because at the end of the day, a kid growing up in a European fantasy style village, isn't very well going to be named Satoshi.

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Re: Question for Manga Fans!
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 04:54:21 PM »
i will add to know where you want to market your manga and what the market accepts. Be smart about it.

However, i would like for the term "manga" to lose its japanese connection and just become an artstyle like it should be. Anime/manga entered the U.S. 20 years ago and japan still controls it. We are the generation that will widen the manga scope to include our stories.

everyone likes something different than what they are use to. That is why fantasy is a big deal. Remember to keep an eye on the markets perspective of what is different.  Japanese names are different to westerners but just normal for the japanese market. 

I also want to add, be careful when you do name puns like how dragon ball does it. If you do have a japanese partner, i'm sure you can be checked for insensitivity or whatever.

to be more specific, if the MC is supposed to represent the normal reader, then use a common name. The side characters/ cooler characters should have crazier/badass names. Since they are the ones who are to be admired in the story.

Offline MadOxMalachi

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Re: Question for Manga Fans!
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 07:44:12 PM »
I saw your reply to a writer's wanted post. It reminded me of myself (I did the same). I checked your other posts wondering if I would find a sign suggesting we should work together.


Shonen artists like to use puns for character names. That's big with their audience. It's something storytellers do across cultures for this age group. These pun names is why its significance is often lost in translation. If not puns, names that instantly establish something about a character are used. If not that, their characters have names with secret meaning(s)--this is the least used of the three generalizations.

In the coming days since reading this if you happen upon names you two both like, use 'em. Don't let overthinking become an obstacle in--or what stops you from realizing--your desire to share your story.


Didn't find it.

Offline Vacant

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Re: Question for Manga Fans!
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 07:20:49 AM »
Depends on where the story's taking place for me. If its in the real world, then it would be logical to go with names based off of the location/country they're in. If your stories about a London high school, most of the characters would probably have English names.

If its fantasy you can play a bit more fast and loose with these rules. But keep in mind that names mean something and subtly influence a readers thoughts and feelings on a character. Calling a character Lucifer for example is going to give the reader some preconception of the character right off the bat, even if it isn't intended. Also, if you have a bunch of Japanese thrown in with fantasy names it could be confusing to the reader.  So I'd say go all or nothing. If you want to have Japanese names, maybe localise them to one region of your world, spanish names for another etc.

Offline eukocar

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Re: Question for Manga Fans!
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 05:10:40 PM »
Why not go the araki route and name your characters after your favourite bands.