I can honestly say I don’t know how this happened. I don’t remember when or why I started watching anime/manga drawing tutorial videos on Youtube. Nor do I remember why I thought I should start drawing again. Or why I looked at these videos of talented artists and thought, “Yeah, I can totally do that!”. One day I happen to be at a store looking for something completely unrelated, and I saw some drawing paper on sale, and I thought, “Hey, maybe I should get that.” That afternoon I started drawing again for the first time in years. My first college degree (I have two) was actually in Fine Art: Pen and ink drawing. They say that things are like riding a bike, you never forget . . .
Drawing isn’t like that. My first drawing after many years of zero practice was so bad. Like so Soooo bad! Really, how did I get so bad! My drawing didn’t look like the art I made before I took formal classes in college, it looked like the art I made in grade school. Like, early grade school! I couldn’t draw a straight line. I couldn’t draw a circle. I couldn’t draw a box. I know what a flipping box is, why couldn’t I draw it! Though I seemed to have kept none of my drawing skills from college, I did retain the knowledge of how to practice to get better! So that meant that my lovely new drawing pad was not filled with lovely airy shojo manga style artwork that I was expecting, but rather with lines. Not lines that made anything, just straight lines. Pages and pages of them. And then circles, and then triangles and squares. It’s been a couple weeks now, and I’ve finally graduated to be able to draw chibi anime characters. And my artwork isn’t terrible . . . I have a long way to go.
And what better way to keep my spirits up as I groan over my latest drawing disaster than with some anime about drawing! (I know, that was an awesome segue, right?)
In this romcom anime, Ryouma Ichijou has had a crush on Izumi Sena since they were little kids acting as a wedding ring barer and flower girl in a commercial. Ten years have passed and the original actors have been called back for a reunion photo shoot, but much to Ryouma’s surprise the beautiful and delicate flower girl actress Izumi that he has secretly loved for so long is not a actually girl. Further more, though Izumi looks great on camera, has all the girlish charms a guy could ask for, and even comes from a whole family of actors and performers, he doesn’t actually want to be an actor! Izumi would rather spend his time polishing his lackluster manga artist skills. Though Izumi’s drawing skills are less than star quality (I can relate) he would rather pursue a career that he’s bad at but loves, than one that is easy but he has no interest in. Thankfully for this BL, Ryouma loves Izumi regardless of his gender or drawing skills.
Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun
This is an anime about a high school girl named Chiyo, who has a crush on the most oblivious boy in school. In fact, her love interest is so blind to her advances that when she tries to confess her feelings, he mistakes them for her telling him that she’s his fan. Little did Chiyo know, her crush Nozaki kun is actually a shojo mangaka (manga artist) and that her confession of fanship would lead her into the crazy world of manga creation. It doesn’t take long for Nozaki to recruit poor Chiyo to be his manga artist assistant and have her inking his drawings. Chiyo soon learns from her crush Nozaki kun that being a mangaka isn’t all about drawing, there’s also stalking his friends to secretly use their antics for story inspiration, and acting out the scenes of the his manga so he can clearly see what it would look like, and even dealing with managers that are obsessed with tanukis!
The anime Barakamon is about a calligraphy artist that thinks very highly of himself, but has a very short temper. During one of the main character’s (Handa’s) art exhibits a calligraphy expert criticizes his art, calling it boring. Having a short temper and a big ego, Handa ends up getting into a fight with the expert! Needing to get out of the public eye until the fight scandal calms down, the main character’s father sends Handa from the big city to the countryside. Though Handa got into a fight defending his artwork, even he knows that his calligraphy is lacking and he needs to improve. So Handa takes the move to a quieter setting as an opportunity to maybe make a breakthrough in his development as an artist. Little did Handa know, the tiny country village he moved to would be anything but quiet! With precocious small children, nosy neighbors, and overly helpful villagers stopping by his new home at every moment, his life and maybe his art has suddenly gotten a lot more lively!