Kawaii Newsletter - MAJI BLADE vs the various yarou

(too many pages to post in full here on the Tumblr)

This was a challenge. I don’t know how well it came out, but it got me pretty motivated.

Basically, I storyboarded this using Comipo and my head, then filled in the panels using screenshots from Xrd figure mode, zooming and panning as I needed to in order to get the shot. This took quite a lot of wrangling!

The underlying joke, which was a little too meta to have in the comic itself, is that Comipo doesn’t have action poses. You’ve got generic sports poses that you can retrofit, a punch, a kick, but basically you can’t do a full-on action comic. Ironically, if you go digging for Comipo webcomics, you’ll find a lot of people trying to make their dream shonen manga… and best of luck to them but it’s inadvisable.

Xrd figure mode is even more limited than Comipo is, but being from a fighting game there’s one thing it doesn’t lack for: action shots. This comic was really tens of hours in the making as I had to grind out matches against the computer over and over again to (randomly) unlock enough poses for an appropriate character to get this comic going. Ultimately I went with Millia, for whom I had blue hair and 6 out of 7 available poses. Masaka was Chipp only because I had a cool pose for Chipp, a “ah, I got hit!” pose for Chipp, and nothing else usable. (His usual crouched posture means that he’s never standing at eye level with the other characters and thus can’t have a normal conversation.)

The title page is of course modeled after the kind of proclamation you see for a new series in Shonen Jump and others. When a chapter runs in a magazine, rather than a collected volume, there’s a lot of added editorial text that’s effectively hype narration. You’ll see this stuff in scanned versions and in some English simulpubs. This gimmick is fun, so I stuck with it.

The legal notice is on every image made in GGXrd if you use the PS4’s native video capture, and I honestly wasn’t going to spare Arc their credit when I’m using their materials. A capture card would get me 1080p screenshots, though! Maybe I should just get one to have one at this point…

The “sucker yarou” are the rarely-seen Comipo “Maru-Maru Characters.” These little guys were added to the program a year or two ago so that people could make things with the program that didn’t look quite so “anime”. The main use Comipo has been getting in Japan is not with otaku, but with folks who need to make good-enough-looking flyers for work with appealing-enough cartoon characters. Schools use it, office workers use it. So the little guys kind of make sense for your office Powerpoint.

I wanted to mock up the Jojo “To Be Continued” arrow in Comipo but you can’t even fudge an arrow of that shape and size in the program.

The very last page is meant to be “post-chapter” as it were; I should have marked it as such. Majide’s mad that somebody intruded on her Mary Sue fantasy battle comic.