Welcome :D

Let me show you some of my 4koma (about my life with cats).
Nao-p is my nick name my friend Mami Tachibana gave me. And I call her Mami-p. Of course it comes from Wedding Peach "Momo-p". No one calls me by the name except for her, but I love the 4 koma cartoon "Go Go Momo-pi (Gan-bare Momo-p)"(In the paperbacks) so I use it. :)
Oh, I'm a manga artist Nao Yazawa, and author of Wedding Peach, by the way. :)

These "comic strips" come from my 4-koma blog (in Japanese). You can see all of them in original here. If you have a request which 4koma will be next, tell me. :D
Other Japanese blog


A newcomer Mike 2

So, Mike is...

She is very cautions and friendly.(???) 

Mike sounds Mi-ke, not "mike(mic)" like English. ^^:


A newcomer Mike 1

She comes to me everyday and asks food. It's since this summer (July), 
but she won't let me touch her yet. T.T

Mike-Neko means three colors hair cat (calico cat)


A sort of Japonisme...?

The other day, I talked with guys from Amimaru
It's a new company(not a publisher) which gives a service for reading and buying manga on Facebook.Their service is in English now, but they are planning to have other languages.

The subject was, of course, the possibility of adding my works in their contents, but we also discussed (had a chat, more like ^^; - very interesting chat)  about the situation of the industry,  too.

We talked about some sites which are run by Japanese publishers (in English) . She showed one name, and said the site made by a local company, but you can see the page itself was done by Japanese, from the choice of fonts, color, layout so on. She said it didn't mean it was bad, but gave you some - some kind of  "unusual feelings", something different from they got used to.

It reminded me what I wrote about fonts in my blog(Japanese version)

I wrote about a challenge that you put all the things - fonts, periods, dots, dash, layout, etc. - in Japanese style, with a sense of Japanese, ignored all the methods of West ( I don't mean literally "vertical text", though) . Then show it readers -  "This is MANGA!" I wondered how it goes?  Is it acceptable and enjoyed? Or just makes readers annoyed? (unconformable to read. Well, it must had been annoying to read from right to left at first, everything has the first time after all, anyway)                                          For instance...

So how about -  if you made everything in Japanese style? From the site design to the contents itself?  Just wonder, sort of  ... "Japonisme"   People can follow or just be confused and hate it?

Just a thought.

To be honest,  I'd like to try the manga part someday, and see the readers' reaction, though.

 So far, I take the middle course. Tell the editor the principal, and leave the decision to her. 
Because easy to read is priority for entertainment. 

Still, because all the elements is connected composition manga deeply, it could give you new view about "how manga is supposed to read", so showing the un-adopted one is - wort a try, don't you think so? 

And deep understanding how to read manga means get the essence how to draw(compose) manga, I think. You might find some new things in manga you've read already,  by knowing that.   

*They are just one manga artist's impression, I don't mean "this is the right!" - just in case. ^^;


Manga fonts

Part 3 (Final)  Japanese
part1 Manga Translation (Japanese -> English) 

Blue= Kawaii Neko(DMG)

I’m not so much particular about the fonts/lettering, except the basic things;

Stick to the standard size (of course there is some range ±1-2point), you can change it, depends on the situation.
(The volumes of the vocals, the emotion, the space so on.)
To show the volume is loud, you can put the letters full of the balloon - it is nice, but you keep enough space in the balloon, basically.

There are 4 basic fonts we use.

1 Standard
2 Thought (Usually it's thinner than Standard. Like  スタンダード メモリー or could be italic.
3 Narrations(the voice from nobody)
4 Flashbacks
yes, in English eds, flashbacks where the dialogue is floatig in the air showing it as someone's memory, is generally in italics, though spoken in bubbles, it is usually in normal font, but there is usually a flashback indicator..narration such as "Earlier..." or the picture shows characters who are adults as children etc... So, how we handle it when there is an exception, we'll have to decide.

Thoughts and narrations are always in italic also.



This is one of Japanese standards, so you don’t need to follow. I show this just as an example. As you see, I use 3 types of fonts. One for standard, one for thought and talk(語り), one for memory. I didn’t take any particular font for narration (see “Prologue”).  Usually, memory scenes are indicated by different frame border(Finner than the standard, in my case) and by the font. And of course, depend on the situation, the editor use some special fonts. Such as a voice from a microphone, funny, so on. I'm looking for a diff font for that flashback page :)

As long as it can be nice to read, I don’t care so much what kind of font it would be.

Etc. (Itadaki! Panther) The editor's choice("PyonPyon Magazine", Shogakukan)
Above Soft voice                                        Loud voice(Shout)


<- Microphone (Moon&Blood)


All the fonts are acceptable - it might be too much to say this - as long as it has a good balance and it can be recognized the difference easily. The role is showing “the difference” to readers. This is utterance, thought/monologues, or memories. Or the voice from nobody. It would be nice if it gives you some extra information with it, of course.  And I realize from my experience, English tends to use many kinds of fonts, and bold, italics, rather than Japanese. It could be the result that they try to show some elements which can’t be shown by the translation. Japanese can show faint nuance without the sound (I mean “real voices”), by the written words, and it would be a few letters. But it might be difficult doing the same thing in English.That is pretty much exactly why we use fonts in English the way we do ^^

What you feel from the font can be different from the culture. So I think it would be good I don’t say many about the fonts, the choice should be done by an English speaker.
Okie dokie, I can handle that.

Actually, I wonder if the font you gave has enough difference from the standard one(the one you chose in this case), but it maybe because I’m not familiar with Alphabet. Interestingly enough, since in English, font use itself is very expressive, especially when used in manga/comics where it can add nuanes to the words, many people are very sensitive to changes in font that might otherwise be unnoticeable. There are actually "font junkies" who make a habit of identifying if it is serif or not, what font family, etc. They're quick to scream out if you mix up a font or if use what they call a bad font or "misuse" a font- for example, Comic sans is hated and fonts like Times New Roman and Arial are generally reserved for emails, typed  academic papers, newspapers, signs, and mobile phone screens etc.

All I’d like to ask is the layout, flow. If it was possible – I mean “not ugly” when English reads it – put them in vertically.

One thing at the end – compare with Shojyo/Syonen manga - like my other works such as M&B and Wedding Peach - Shinku Chitai would have less fonts, colorless I think.

Thank you!

part1 Manga Translation (Japanese → English)
Part2 The "Vertical" Layout of manga
Part3 Manga fonts


The "Vertical" Layout of manga

Continuation   Japanese
Part 2 (part1) Manga Translation (Japanese → English)

About the layout

Blue= Kawaii Neko(DMG)

About the “pg30”,

The example2.tif –
I did the dialogue in “vertical”. The font of the dialogues are same, because smaller letters might make them look like “aside-dialogue” . 

Changed Raiko’s dialogue from “of course” to “Yup” because of the space. It’s squeeze a bit , that makes the letter look smaller than actual size, comparison with “they only…”. But the “answer”(of course) can’t be smaller than other lines (it should be same or bigger)

I hope as much as you can, the dialogues are put in vertical way (I upload an example/example.tif at my folder). Because in Manga, readers eyes are supposed to move in vertically, that the way it is composed. The dialogues are horizontal in English, it can be interrupt the stream of manga. Putting the dialogues in vertical layout, it could make up for the gap, I think. I want to readers’ eye lead to around the bottom of the balloon every time they read the dialogues.

*in the example I uploaded, I changed “I promise,” to “I promise…” because of the space. If it was strange, put it back, please. I think that flows better too..I changed it on my endt o match
Above Horizontal-type layout / Below Vertical-type layout (I mean)

But I’m not an English speaker, so I don’t know how you feel when you see such sentence. Annoying? I leave the decision to you, how keep the “vertical” principal.
For instance, I don’t know if it is a good thing to make one word split to 2, like “inter-esting” If you could, I’m sure I use it a lot. ^^; I don't mind hyphenating :)

Keep it(vertical, and easy to read) in your mind, then I leave it to you. Let me see the result, and if I think we’d better to change the dialogue because the space, I ask you to translation again. Or you can suggest the new translation.


Pg11 (sorry, it's the part which has been done already!) Could you replace the dialogues of the last panel like I did? (I uploaded a file to show my idea at nao's folder) For guide of reading order. This could be confusing a bit, you might read these dialogue from the left one in the layout.

The one I suggested
The final image
The part I fussy about Vertically layout

pg20 More many lines is possible? I mean they are 3 lines (panel 1-2), can you make them  5-6 lines? Like..




That's what I mean "vertical" If the last line of the dialogu has just one word, it's ideal for me. Because it puts the readers eyes to the bottom of the balloon, I think...

pg 27 The same as P20,  Can you put the words like what I did?! (first panel) At least "FOR THIS..." could be "FOR/THIS/..."(I love the phont work of this page, bhw! Very nice :D)If you took the way according with some English principal, let me know.

pg33 panel 3, you can erase inside of the balloon completely, the space is too narrow, isn't it?

I stick to the "vertical layout" idea. Because I think it is one of essential elements of manga, "readers' eye is supposed move to right to left, top to down.The time on the paper goes in that way. So manga storyboard (name/ne-e-mu, manga jargon) is composed in that way. Sometimes, the spaces of top and bottom in the balloon, it makes me feel unsteady. But you should think how it looks to English reader - too much "the style" can make you annoyed, can be confusing with the dialogue in the side. it depends, balance of the designer, maybe...(I don't know other manga artists agree with it, it's my thought... and I'm fussy, I know it ^^;;)

part1 Manga Translation (Japanese → English)
Part2 The "Vertical" Layout of manga
Part3 Manga fonts


Manga Translation (Japanese -> English)

I'm working on Shinku Chitai (The Isolated Zone) from DMG now. The first volume is coming out as e-book in this fall -winter.

It is my long Dojin series, about 1,500pages, which has been closed at the end of 2010. What I'm doing is the preparation of the drawings(digitization) and reviewing.

I review the translation of it - as well as i did my other title from DMP, Moon & Blood. But in this time, the subjects are more expanded than works I've done before, not only translation, but also the fonts & the layout.

There are some documents and emails I exchanged with the translator/editor. We talked about from the translation to the layouts. I think it could be interesting to read for people who loves Japanese manga, especially someone who wants to become an manga-translator or editor. It even could give you some idea how a manga artist compose the work.

Thank you, Kawaii neko who agreed that I post it in this blog and has been patient with me. :)

Part1 -Translation -

Blue= Kawaii Neko(DMG group name)

Manga dialogue is hard to get the accurate meaning because it doesn’t tell everything, to make it short. Shorter is better; space wise and natural conversation wise. And you should make the drawings talk, that is the manga.

Daily conversations are very broken. Especially this one, I sometimes cut off the last half of the sentence and leave it to readers’ imagination. Some get exactly what I mean, but some might not, even you were Japanese. I don’t think all the (Japanese) readers get things what all I planned.

(In fact, I’ve found new things by letters from readers. They read the dialogue/drawings I made very thoughtfully and find something I didn’t intend. But the aspects they found are right, sometimes– fit the character and the situation because they got the characters precisely - so nevertheless I didn’t mean it when I draw, it almost looks like it was planned from the first –which impresses me. This is just an aside…^^;)

In that case (I cut the last half of the sentence), “Joshi助詞” (particles) at the end of the sentence is the key what it means. Joshi is very difficult subject of Japanese, even you were a fluent Japanese speaker you can make mistakes and confuse sometimes. Very subtle, faint nuance it has.

And there is one more element makes it difficult – or the biggest problem – because my composing /drawing skill was very immature (at that time, I say! XD it is my very early work) ; so it happens sometimes that “the drawings didn’t talk”. 
This has been very valuable for me both in learning more about Japanese language and manga, but also as an editor, seeing different ways to better express ideas :) The ideas in this manga are much more complex than the BL I've done so far, and the little notes for the art book, so this has been a big learning curve for me.

I’ve learnt that I put how many “meanings” in one dialogue, and how many backgrounds they have, during the process (review the translation). You’ve never realised it if you didn’t something like this, and explain what you mean to someone. It is totally new for me. I’m so fussy I know, keep saying “I don’t mean it” so often. It’s not only this time, but many time – it happens. Or every time, I dare say. (I maybe fussier than usual, because you are my friend, it makes me free.) I'm glad you feel comfortable enough with me for this to be so :) I know because you are my friend, I am comfortable to let you know when I am unsure, or don't know..and as you are the creator, I prefer asking you rather than just Google or another person- you know what you mean, and so we can distill the idea!

It can’t be helped you lose something during the translation process, it is impossible you deliver everything in it. You need many explanations and notes or long dialogues for that, it’ll kill the story. Still, I think the translation will be different if you got everything and digested them once. You can cut some parts depends on the situation. Just tell me and explain that, so that I can ask “don’t”, if the part was essential. I will keep this in mind.

2.2 It's the first time she's tried the food… 

If she hadnt eaten in days(This is the first day she tried the food)

Sorry, I should make these part italics This is the first day she tried the food’” 
Reiko says literally (if) she couldnt eat many days Subtext : She might not be able to eat many days, and she will be weak and die. Not OK at all. It could happen, so dont you (Tetsu) think wed better to give her special treatment?  
She is suggesting Tetsu to give Yumi special treatment and Tetsu answers to the subtext, I dont give her special treatment"

 I think maybe adding "so "to the end will put that across better.."It's the first time she's tried the food...so..." with the special treatment  as a treat/favor implied..what do you think? 

Ok, fine.-Nao
Example 2
Not for her. He means everything. They eat weed, sleep on the ground, and dying one by one. If he was strong enough, he could do something better, he wouldnt let them die. He felt he doesnt have enough power, skill, brain. 

 Mmm, remove like you said? 
The background is 
She said (thinks) Tetsu does everything well, he has enough capability. The fact she thinks he is a good leader, it makes him upset.  

He knows his friends think he is a good leader, like father who knows everything, but he thinks he isntBut he cant show his own feeling, he have to pull himself together for others  with great efforts. Its exactly same what he said to Yumi before. That the reason that Tatsu is cold to Yumi, he doesnt like her.  

He is always on the edge, can start to lose anytime - more than others, because of the pressure and the sense of isolation.(just like right now) He desires to be strong desperatelyso that he would been able to do something, protect them and get better life for them. Yumi touches the most sensitive issue of Tetsu naively. It gets on his nerves.  
"I would have been able to do something better…"  ?
Changed..think you've nailed that :) 


part1 Manga Translation (Japanese → English)
Part2 The "Vertical" Layout of manga
Part3 Manga fonts