Illustrator Reacts to Good and Bad Manga Art

Even though it’s a really rushed drawing
that isn’t great there are elements of good art in it. And, boom, very easily
you’ve got a decently composed image right there. Really goofy looking
artwork and without it we never would have gotten one of the most popular
manga and anime series out there today. A lot of the artists that people have
asked I covering the illustrator react series have been manga artists. So I
figured, ‘hey, let’s do a whole episode based around manga.’ Besides the fact that
at some point in this episode I’m gonna slip up and call it MAN-GA I think it’s a
pretty good idea. And also I have covered a bunch of manga artists in the past and
a lot of people have been requesting I talk about artists that I’ve actually
already covered in previous episodes, so in the pinned comment on this video
I’m gonna put a list of all the artists I’ve talked about before and the episode
that I talked about them in so if you’re looking for someone specific that I
don’t cover in this episode check there cuz I might have already gone over some
of their work. But now without further ado let’s get into some MAN-GA. F-** Now you’re
not seeing this wrong this is officially published artwork from Weekly Shonen
Jump in the generally very well-regarded series Hunter x Hunter, by Yoshihiro
Togashi. And before I talk about this artwork specifically I want to show you
this; some other art done by Yoshihiro Togashi. He is an incredibly skilled
illustrator. This isn’t just a case of a guy who can’t draw somehow managing to
get a job doing manga art he is an incredibly skilled artist, but one who
was working under a weekly time constraint while going through some very
serious chronic back pain. And even looking at this piece I saw a bunch
people online talking about how ‘oh this looks like a five-year-old did it’ or ‘I
can’t draw it all and I could do this’ but at least I get what’s supposed to be
happening in this image. There’s a character coming towards two people that
are standing in front of a building and they’re all in a forest and then there’s
a panel of the character at the other before us giving a little wave. And I do
always think it’s kind of interesting looking at what an artist can do when
they’re in a rush because generally they’re just going to do what they
consider most essential to decent artwork. So in this panel here you can
see he’s at least made this main character the
point of contrast in the image by making him generally all white except having
the only section of solid black in the image in the hair and his shoes. And then
emphasizing him even more by framing him in the trees and in a section of lighter
washed ink that makes him that much more high contrast and pop out more in the
image. Even though it’s a really rushed drawing that isn’t great there are
elements of good art in it you can still see that he’s a guy who knows what he’s
doing. And Yoshihiro Togashi recognized that
this wasn’t fantastic artwork and well. This was the art that was published for
the Weekly Shonen Jump issues he later on would take a whole bunch of the art
that didn’t turn out so great and took the time to redraw it for the volume
releases of the manga. So you can see here it’s almost like watching someone
do the 10 minute 1 minute 10 second art challenge where you do the same piece in
a very short amount of time and in a little bit more time because you can see
how his brains working keeping in mind how much time he has to do something.
When he has a lot more time, he really renders out this crowd, has a lot more
variety in terms of the people you can see in there. As opposed to the other one
where he was working quickly and in pain and the heads are just a bunch of half
quickly drawn circles. So Togashi; incredibly skilled artists working under
some bad conditions, I think we have to give him a pass on some of the less
flattering artwork. Wow! I mean you- you tell me that I have to draw one building and
I brace myself. I really don’t like drawing buildings
and here’s Otomo just casually rendering out dozens and dozens of
buildings flawlessly page after page. This is one of the most gorgeous
sequences of pages I’ve seen in comics and there’s no dialogue and no writing
and very few character images. A lot of people get into comic book art because
they really like drawing people and specifically people in action.
Environments can be kind of boring for a lot of comic artists to draw and they can
often kind of just become an afterthought in the artwork. And not only
that, cities are one of the hardest kinds of environments
to draw because with things like nature there’s mountains, trees, rocks that can
all be a bit weirdly shaped and deformed and wonky. It can be round or sharp it
doesn’t really matter, you can make nature bend and warp in different ways
and it can still look pretty normal, but with buildings there is a much smaller
library of shapes that people will be willing to accept because we all know
what cities look like and buildings are all generally rectangular prisms with
some different bevels and different tops and lots and lots and lots of repeating
pattern windows. I think that’s personally the reason I hate drawing
buildings the most is I just hate drawing windows there’s just so many of
them it’s so irritating. And of course you have to be a lot
better at perspective when drawing shapes that are a lot more rigid like
this and cities are often in grid patterns, there’s just so much more stuff
to keep in mind and Otomo is just doing such an incredible job doing these
buildings. Even though they’re being destroyed it’s page after page of
gorgeous building and it’s really incredible. And even people who don’t
read manga or don’t watch anime have likely seen a bunch of Katsuhiro Otomo’s work. He’s not just a manga artist, he’s also a screenwriter and
director responsible, most notably, for Akira both the comic and the movie. He
directed the movie. In fact, he started working on the movie before he’d even
finished making the manga and even today, more than 30 years after its release,
it’s still a very well regarded and well remembered movie, which he’s actually
currently working on making a TV series out of it with an animation studio along
with a new original feature film that he’s working on so I’m super excited for
that. And before I move on from him I also just want to take a look at this
image here because it’s just this image just strikes me so much anytime I go
looking at some of his work. I just love how… I mean I’m very partial to things
that are central focused and it’s composed in a nice funneling triangle
but it’s also the the triangle is kind of built up by a bunch of circles that
are getting smaller and smaller. And it- I don’t know what it is, it really makes me look
through the image and kind of jumps that feel a little bit uncomfortable almost.
But like it’s really lurching you through the image and it’s such a
bizarre image and then you get down to this character in the middle that’s
sitting on this sort of moon and take one last look at him before lurching
down to the last circle and then your eye just leaves the image. And I don’t
really know how to explain this one it’s just… I really love the composition of
this piece. And of course the rendering on this this sort of second circle in
the series… it’s so bizarre and cool and has so many weirdly detailed elements to
it. Those teeth they’re just very unsettling. And yeah, it’s just one of
those ones but I can’t totally explain what I love about it, but I really do
love it. I think it’s incredibly fascinating
looking at ONE’s original One Punch Man artwork versus Yusuke Murata’s
redraws. For anyone that doesn’t know, I mean most people probably have heard of
One Punch Man in the very least. I mean, it’s a hugely popular anime series and
manga series but this is where it started. This is the original artwork for
the One Punch Man webcomic, which is the origin of the series. And it’s obviously
a little bit lacking in the artwork department. But I’m not bringing it up to
make fun of it, I think it’s an incredibly inspiring story for any
creator out there. See ONE wasn’t an incredibly skilled illustrator but he
started the series anyway and did it as a webcomic
because he wanted to get this story out there. And people really latched on to it
because, despite the art being a little bit goofy and simplistic, ONE was a
really great storyteller and did some really great characters and it was funny
and entertaining. And the point that I think a lot of creators should take from
this is that he just got started. He didn’t wait until he thought he was good
enough. A lot of people will spend so much time trying to get good enough, get
good enough to make the project they want to make but odds are you’re never
going to feel good enough to make that project you’ve been thinking about so
just get started because maybe it’ll be something like this series, where there
could be one part of the process that you’re not great at, in this case ONE’s
artwork, but people might still latch on to the other great parts of your work.
And in the very least you’ll get better and better from working on this thing
because the more you’re working the faster you’ll improve. And if you have a
project that you’re working on you’re gonna work more I mean seriously look at
this artwork. This goofy simple art is the quality of work that was made to
create what is now one of the most well known anime and manga series out there. I
don’t think there’s any better inspiration out there to convince you
that if you’ve got a story you want to start telling, just start telling it. And
when I’m looking at this artwork between ONE’s and Yusuke Murata’s redraws it
kind of makes me think of this speech by Ira Glass that’s a sort of motivational
speech about how artists are people with really good tast,e but for the first
years that you’re a creator you’re not making something that
represents that taste because you don’t have the skill set yet to visually
represent it. So looking at ONE’s original artwork than Yasuke Murata’s
redraws, it’s kinda like looking at what one was picturing in his head but he
just didn’t have the visual, artistic skill set to get it across which is why
I think it’s such a cool pairing these two working together. And Yusuke Murata
saw the One Punch Man webcomic and went to ONE and said ‘hey, let me redraw this
and we can kind of reboot it with better artwork,’ that’s probably not what he said
that’s me paraphrasing. Yeah, that that’s one busted looking thumb and
busted looking leg. So yeah, really goofy looking artwork and without it we never
would have gotten one of the most popular manga and anime series out there
today. This piece has such a simple composition but it’s such a gorgeous and
well executed one I just I love it so much. I don’t know Q Hayashida’s work
work that well but I saw this piece and I just had to talk about it because… I
mean if you’ve watched the series you probably know I’m a little bit obsessed
with composition and how people use the way an image is framed to guide your eye
through the piece and I just think it’s a really important part of artwork and
that even if you’re not great at anatomy or coloring or rendering if you can
frame an image well and get people to look through it in an appealing way,
you’ve got a huge leg up on other artists. And it’s not that hard to
practice good composition because you can copy other people’s compositions
with totally different visual elements. For example this piece here; you can
distill the composition down into really simple stark black and white blocks like
this. This could be turned into anything composition wise. In that part of the
black that’s sticking up you could put a tree there a mountain there anything
there and as long as you compose the colors like this and keep that
as the highest point of contrast people are inherently going to focus on that
part of the image. And you can do that with a whole bunch of other pieces if
you take any artwork that you really like, as long as it’s a little bit more
fleshed out it’s got to have an environment to it or at least a
background to it, and if you either blur it or just put it into Photoshop or
something and crank up the contrast and you can just distill the idea of this
composition down into where the points of contrast are and then draw whatever
elements you want into there. As I said I’m a bit biased, but I think it’s a
really fun thing to experiment with where you’re placing things in your
image and how you’re making them a higher point of contrast and how you’re
getting people to focus on them. And as this image shows it doesn’t have to be
complicated, a really simple composition can look really good. And of course the
composition isn’t the only thing that’s great about this piece the coloring is
absolutely gorgeous. It’s a sort of grungy watercolor I think as I said I’m
not super familiar with Q Hayashida’s work process so it might not be, but looks
watercolour-y to me. And I love how there’s pretty much only two, sort of
three colors in this whole piece. There’s red, there’s blue and there’s a brown-y
yellowy sort of color for the skin tones. So that’s just another thing about this
piece that’s pretty simple. There’s a limited amount of color, it’s a pretty
simple composition and it’s just such a nice looking piece of art. And I believe
this is a cover for a series called Dorohedoro. I’m not super familiar with
it but apparently it’s getting turned into an anime next year so that’s pretty
cool too. This series look absolutely fascinating; specifically with the rendering of it. Now this character here
go- Gon? Gon. I think Gon, is one that I seen slash heard of, but the only images
I’d ever seen looked like this. So when someone recommended it as a manga I was
surprised. I said ‘that little cartoon dinosaur?’ This is a gorgeously rendered
series; I never would have imagined that this is what a comic about this
character would look like. So now that I’ve looked more into it I
can tell you Musashi Tanaka does this series called the Gon which is a
totally silent series, I mean I guess all books are silent, but I mean there’s no
dialogue or writing it’s just the visuals and none of the characters talk
and it’s just this little kind of cartoony dinosaur interacting with other
very realistically rendered animals. And the animals in this series are all
gorgeously done. They’re so realistic it’s so incredibly impressive how well
he can draw… it seems like every kind of animal in existence. There’s so many
types of animals in here that he’s just rendering out so realistically. That’s
got to take a ton of practice, I mean there are recurring elements obviously
between different types of animals, but all animals do have differences to them;
different head shapes and muscle structures, textures of skin… So this is
just incredibly impressive. And the environments are also so gorgeously done
when they get a good resting shot of just a landscape. And I know I talked
about how buildings are a more difficult environment to render, but it’s still
incredibly impressive when someone can render out a natural environment like
this. And I really love- this is a great example of an action scene in the series.
This… Gon just full-on explosively head-butting this bear. There is so much
movement in this piece it’s incredible. You can… like, I can hear a- almost a sonic
boom when I’m looking at this impact image.
And the way the bear is crashing through these trees in the- in the follow-up shot.
I don’t know if I’ve ever read a comic that doesn’t have any writing or
dialogue in it, so I think as much as there’s a ton of artists whose work I’ve
been very impressed by in this episode think I’m most fascinated and interested
in going and taking a look at this series now. And I just think that’s a
really fun concept; the main character being a pretty cartoonily shaped
character and everything else being incredibly realistic. And you have to be
an incredible artist to pull that off so that’s this is super cool and
interesting. All right everybody, that’s all for this episode. Be sure to go check
out a bunch of other videos on this channel. I take a lot of the lessons that
I learned from studying artists and these videos and apply them to my own
work in videos like turning Overwatch characters into Dungeons & Dragons
characters or Pokemon into superheroes or I did an episode where I tried to do
all of inktober in a day, I’ve got weird art challenge videos. Illustrator reacts
is just a small part of what this channel is, so be sure to check out a
bunch of my other videos. Alright everybody, thanks so much for watching
I’m Christian Pearson of PopCross Studios. This is the home of the nerdiest art
videos on youtube and I will see you all on the next one. Goodbye everyone!

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