Embarking on the journey to become an anime screenwriter involves understanding the unique nuances of this storytelling medium. This guide aims to provide aspiring writers with insights into creating compelling anime scripts, drawing inspiration from popular anime like “Akira,” “One Punch Man,” or “Your Name.”
How do you write an anime script?
You write an anime screenplay by first creating a popular manga, which becomes the selling point and background for your anime to a major studio. Then you write your script based on your manga story.
The Anime Screenwriting Process
Writing an anime script typically involves a longer process compared to traditional screenwriting. It can take about two to four years from concept to creation. The standard route involves:
- Creating a Manga: Most anime are adaptations of popular manga. Thus, creating a successful manga is often the first step towards getting your anime script produced. Consider your manga as a detailed outline for your anime.
- Adapting From Manga: Once your manga gains popularity, it can attract the attention of animation studios. Your script for the anime would then be based on your manga story.
The Differences Between Anime and Film Scripts
Fundamentally, anime and film scripts share many similarities in terms of scene descriptions, dialogue, and action lines. The key differences lie in the language used and cultural nuances specific to Japanese storytelling.
Cultural Considerations in Anime Writing
Understanding Japanese culture is crucial when writing an anime script. This includes:
- Mannerisms and Social Norms: The script should reflect everyday Japanese societal norms and mannerisms.
- Language Style: Incorporating filler language (like “umm,” “well”) is acceptable in anime scripts.
- Audience Expectations: The humor, values, and what is considered acceptable may vary significantly from Western standards.
Writing Anime Scripts Without Drawing Skills
While having drawing skills is advantageous, it’s not mandatory. Writers like Mari Okada have succeeded in anime scriptwriting without a background in art. Collaboration with manga artists or animators is a viable approach.
Finding Anime Screenplays
Anime screenplays are rare as most anime are adapted from manga or light novels. However, transcripts and story formats of some anime are available online. For example, light novels by Makoto Shinkai, director of “Your Name,” can offer valuable insights.
The Role of Anime Scriptwriters
Anime scriptwriters often work collaboratively with production teams, discussing story elements and making revisions. This process can involve multiple writers, especially for series where different episodes may have different authors.
History and Evolution of Anime Scriptwriting
Historically, anime scriptwriting wasn’t a lucrative or prestigious job. It was often undertaken by individuals with spare time, like housewives or field workers. The term “scenario” was commonly used for these scripts, and they often underwent significant changes during production.
Pursuing a career in anime scriptwriting requires a deep understanding of Japanese culture, a willingness to immerse oneself in the medium, and often, the ability to create or collaborate on a manga. It’s a path that demands dedication, cultural sensitivity, and a strong grasp of storytelling.
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