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Manga The Story Idea of a Manga I Want to Write


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Hey, I'm new to this forum and I'm hoping to get some unbiased reviews of my manga story (my friends all say they like it though). I'll post the basic beginning and backstory of it as well as profile some of the characters.

The story is set throughout the known world during the 14th century (though many parts are very anachronastic). It follows three men who are pushed together through the story to travelling together under the shadow of a mysterious organization (that supposedly controls all of the forces in the world).

First of the three is a European (English to be exact) named Desmon. He learned in his teens that he was to be recruited into the organization, known as the Prophets, but treasured his personal freedom and refused to join. Hating the thought of being controlled by the Prophets, Desmon left home and began to travel the world making use of his rare ability, that all possible recruits of the Prophets are blessed with: the Language of the Birds, understanding all spoken languages and being universally understood by all men and beasts alike. Desmon is not a skilled fighter, though he is very clever; rather than fight his own he will use his skill of wordplay to manipulate others into doing his work for him (something he is very good at). He is calm in every situation, is usually likeable, and has tremendous self confidence. Desmon's devotion to Roman Catholicism is also worth noting.

Second of the three is a homesick, lovesick, and young (though extremely talented) samurai who goes by the name Keitaro. When Desmon's travels reached Japan, certain authorities began pursuing him. Keitaro was, inadvertidly, swept along in a rather turbulent series of events and forced to leave Japan. Being a lover of his homeland he instantly has a strong dislike of Desmon. He is an honest and kind person, which often puts him at odds with Desmon's manipulative nature. Feeling he has no choice, Keitaro begins to travel with Desmon across the world. (Did I mention he is a highly skilled swordsman?)

The third is a german warrior who calls himself Zigil. Zigil does not come into play until later in the story but he is important to the story. When he is found, Zigil has no recollection of his past, though he learns he speaks the Language of the Birds and is an extremely skilled fighter. He has little control of his emotions and is prone to impulsive and rash actions. He fights with both his twin axes and his rage in battle which mystifies Keitaro with his practiced methods. He travels with Desmon and Keitaro in an attempt to regain his memories, the loss of which he is sure that the Prophets caused in some way. He is often at odds with both the subtlety of Desmon and the good-naturedness of Keitaro as he acts only for himself and without planning ahead.

When the story begins, Desmon and Keitaro are journeying in the Middle East (in the Ottoman Empire). They are very hungry, very hot, and very broke. They begin arguing instantly and, as they bicker, a young and talented thief named Yasir manages to steal one of Keitaro's swords. At the start of the story they attempt to recover the lost sword though the situation almost instantly complicates severely.

Though it is completely unknown to the, Desmon interfered with Keitaro's recruitment into the Prophets when he came to Japan and that was when the leader of the Prophets decided that Desmon could no longer be merely allowed to do as he pleases and certain members of the Prophets begin to pursue them using their own methods. The Prophets have a large array of powerful members including a former rival of Keitaro's, a woman who fights both with a katana and a discus-sized shuriken, a mysterious man who can conjure lightning from his fingertips, a girl who controls a vicious pack of wolves, and a shockingly talented swordsman who seems to know Desmon rather well.

As the story progresses it turns into an epic ordeal with over forty heroes and villains (though most are in small parts, there are around 17 main characters) across Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. Most of the main characters and villains have deep back stories and relationships. It will rely on all of emotional story, fight scenes that I am very proud of so far, and some modestly funny comic relief.

I know it is kind of a lot, but thanks for reading and please tell me what you think of my story (and be as brutally honest as you can).

*I posted this on the "Manga Workshop" forum earlier but realized that it was better put here and I apologize for posting it twice.
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Okay. Let me try this again! I wasn't thinking during my first post and well I'm afraid that if I don't post something half-way decent the Mods might hate me. ><; Not to worry though, I'm not that biased. I'm a nice person. ^_^

You don't have to answer these questions. I kind of wrote them for you to ponder over and help you as you write. That's the way I work although you're free to share your answers with me too.

1.I think it's extremely important when you are creating a story that's set in an historical era that actually happened that one should do research on that era first. Read up about the history, the geography, religions, clothing etc. Even if it is a manga it would be pointless to say that it is in the 14th century and it not have anything to do with that period at all. If you have done the research then kudos to you!

2.Nice but why exactly do the "Prophets" want him if they supposedly have the power to control the world?

3.I didn't see much wrong here but why is he being chased by "certain authorities"?

4.How does Zigil figure he will regain his lost memories through traveling with Keitaro and Desmon?

5. Lastly, what about language barriers? Since everyone comes from a different country how will they communicate? Language of the Birds? I kind of didn't understand how that works.

Other than that it sounds like an interesting idea. Go for it and see where it takes you.
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[size=1][color=#B2566B]Hey there[/color] Monkatraz[color=#B2566B]. It's great to see you wandering around the [B]OB Anthology[/B] but I'm sorry to say that this thread belongs in the [B]Manga Workshop[/B] where it has been moved to. If you have any questions, please first refer to the [B]FAQ[/B] located on the left panel. If you still have questions, please PM myself or [B]Lady Katana[/B], the Moderator of Manga Workshop.

THREAD MOVED.[/size][/color]
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For starters that unusual setting is fantastic. However, someone will inevitably find fault with something you do. Don?t let it bother you too much. Your story is a fantasy world, and so you can get away with saying that it takes place in a universe parallel to the fourteenth century. The pseudo-medieval setting is one of my favorites because of the freedom to do pretty much whatever you want.

What part of the fourteenth century are you considering using? That is, is this set before or after the bubonic plague? The ways of thinking throughout Europe changed completely after the plague. There was depression, renaissance, new ideas, a distrust in the church, the destroying of the feudal system, and many other fun things. Since the main character is Roman Catholic I?m going to assume that this is before.

Are the Prophets based on the Illuminati conspiracy? It?s a fun conspiracy to work with, and I?ll be interested to see how that develops

The names of your characters irked me for some reason. The first one, Desmon, just feels like a typo that you continually repeat. The only name I know of that is similar to Desmon is Desmond, and I?m fairly certain that it?s an Irish name. Keitaro right off the bat makes me think of Love Hina. This probably wasn?t on purpose, and for all I know Keitaro could be a very common Japanese name. Still, you should be cautious with that. Did you come up with the name Zigil on your own? I have never heard of that name before in my life. With the traditional setting you might want to use an authentic German name. There are a lot of very interesting ones out there.

The ?Language of the Birds? is very creative power idea, but make sure you can make it so that the ability has some draw backs. Don?t make it an all powerful thing like ?oh, he can understand everybody all the time and can reply to them in that language too.? It?s a little bit far fetched. Any supernatural ability needs to have rules (i.e. not being able to use the power without limit). Even fantasy has to be believable on some level.

The drawbacks you give to Desmon?s character are good with one exception. No one is calm in every situation. There has to be one thing that will make him mad. When developing characters never use the words never or always. Try to figure out at least one situation that will break the rule, however bizzare and unlikely, and your characters will seem that much more real. Keitaro sounds way too much like an archetype. Be sure to infuse some new ideas into his personality. There are entirely too many kind-hearted Japanese swordsmen in the world of manga. Zigil also sounds like an archetype. I?m sure you like the idea of him losing his memory, but I have seen entirely too many dramas with this scenario to find it even mildly interesting any more.

I wish there were more main female roles, but I understand that during this time period perhaps it would be odd for a woman to be strong and adventurous. But with two guys traveling together you are very likely to have yaoi fangirls out of the wazoo (I kid, I kid).

A large cast of characters is fun to do, but it is really a pain to design. Making each one as different from others as humanly possible is quite a challenge. Would you be drawing this? I?m just curious because whatever artist deals with this will have quite a job on their hands.

I am so happy that you are relying on characters and that you?re taking the time to give them histories. It really shows through in a completed product when the creator knows every single character inside and out.
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All right thanks for the feedback and I'm going to try and answer as much as I can without large spoilers. I'll start with Ashwolf's questions

1. Don't worry I'm doing a lot of research to the settings. The story lines will usually have at least a little to do with the historical events of the time though I have, admittedly, taken a few liberties in changing things. Don't worry, I only change it when it is small things hindering big plot elements.

2. As was Desmon, Keitaro was simply a recruit that they had been planning on for a long time. THe truth is that neither Desmon or Keitaro were valuable to them in their grand plan, but the Prophets are a proud organization and Desmon's unintentional meddling came across as an insult and a hindrance to them; taking their lives would be nothing for the Prophets to do.

3. The certain authorities pursuing Desmon were legal authorities. Japan was often a closed country throughout history and he entered the island with the help of a pirate ship led by a man named Kisho (who appears again later in the story mostly because he's one of my favorite characters).

4. Though it may have been due to a twisting of words by Desmon, Zigil speaks the Language of the Birds and then believes that his past MUST be with the Prophets. I explained poorly but he is not driven by the possibility of regaining his memories as much as he is by the anger he feels at the Prophets, who he does remember hurting him (I don't want to say how just yet).

5. I'll admit that I am exploiting the Language of the Birds as a way to allow a story across all of the 14th century world. Basically all spoken languages are heard as the person's native language and what a speaker of the Language of the Birds says is understood by all humans and animals (though of course, animals can't respond).

OK, Chikara Kokoro, you really gave me a lot of feedback, and I'll try to address all of the issues you mentioned.

The story is set in the later of the 14th century. It's between the Renaissance and the black death (though elements of both do surface in the story). And as far as the Catholic Church goes, it will be somewhat crucial to the story through corruption, Desmon's faith, and even a modestly funny incident involving Keitaro tagging along with Desmon into a chapel and having a slight misunderstanding about holy water.

Yes, I did draw some of the Prophet's elements from the Alluminatti but they are much more ancient and ceremonious in their official meetings (though outside the Prophet's they look somewhat normal).

All of the character names are real names, though I tend to make a typo and then look back at it and think it was right. I am going to double check their names before I start.

I did not do much to limit the Language of the Birds, mainly because I use it as a way to overcome language barriers (though a comic moment has Keitaro over confident in its usefullness).

Desmon is not actually calm in every situation, though he is calm in most. An example would be when he first realizes that the Prophets have a reason to be after him: he locks himself in a room, cusses out Keitaro, and completely freaks out. Keitaro also has his lapses from kindess. Most of his kindness is from his code of honor and not from his instincts meaning that he doesn't always maintain his kindheartedness (in fact, through much of the earlier story he is rather cruel to Desmon). Zigil does not just fight because he believes the Prophets somehow hold the key to his memories (and he may believe that simply to Desmon's manipulation), he also fights to get revenge on them (I don't want to say for what though). Zigil is usually guided by his emotions (chiefly rage) in and out of combat.

As far as female roles, I admit there are not a ton but many of the minor characters are women and several of the Prophets are (one of them could be considered nearly as important as the three main characters).

The large cast of characters appears over a large space of time. It seems much larger when you state it in a series like this (try going through every episode of Inuyasha and naming all characters who have important roles to at least one episode to get an idea of what I mean).

BTW, as far as the yaoi comment you made... I'll just say it made me shudder.

Thanks again for your feedback and I am going to try and get some preview pages on the forum soon. They will likely be a fight from much later in the series that shows Keitaro, Zigil, and one of the Prophets fighting and give a feel for their personalities.
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I look forward to seeing some of those pages. Are you planning on posting this on a website?

I'm sorry that I wrote so much, but you wrote a lot to go off of ^^; You seem to have everything under control. My main suggestion for your actually creating the manga would be to be very careful about your dialogue. Bad dialogue can destroy an otherwise well done manga. Reading it out loud can help.

Also, I was kidding, but yaoi fangirls can show up when you least expect it XD

[quote name='Takanutsu']Now I understand, this is how my manga description should be. :animeangr[/quote]
Takanutsu, yes, this is how your manga description(s) should be. Not necessarily this long, but it's clear that Monkatraz has thought through his (?) idea. The characters are realistic, and the idea is original. Please don't be angry if you aren't willing to try to learn from critiques of your own work.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Right now I am still in the stage of sketching out the characters so it may be some time before I get any pages online, but in the meantime I am having some debate on an aspect of the Prophets and I thought I'd try and get some opinions here. I can't decide wether the Prophets should have names given to them when they join (most of the names would then be Greek or Latin and may have some historical reference to them) or if they should use their true names (as in the ones their parents gave them) which would give a better since of the character's background but the fact of the matter is a lot of Greek/Roman names are just cool sounding and can represent some very interesting historical figures... an example would be that the second biggest antagonist in the story may be named Nero, after the Roman emperor (I can proudly say that anyone who would read through the whole story will hate him with a passion- I know I do). But for the moment I am leaning towards giving them both names, which would be used differently depending on who is talking to them and in what context (the Greek/Roman names would be somewhat ceremonial).

If anyone has an opinion about this little aspect, please post it... Once more, I am trying to get the sample pages up but it will likely be some time.
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If you go with the title name, then you have to consider the inner implications of that name. For example, Osarseph was an Egyptian term for Son of Osiris. It was also given to the Hyksos Pharoahs. The Great Architect is another title. The names normally have a hidden meaning that the uninitiated of the temples or so were not aloud.

I suggest you consider the culture before you pick a mode for the name. Is the culture open enough to allow the ambassadors of the Gods to be so open? Or is the culture have a sort of status leveling that would suggest that they would have initiation rights? Otherwise than that, your ideas sound really good. Keep up the great work.
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  • 2 weeks later...
The story is really coming along but I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to get any artwork done so I thought I'd make another post with some more characters who become very important to the story. Each one important to either Zilgin's, Desmond's or Keitaro's own backstory or the story as a whole.(Also, Zigil is now Zilgin, and Desmon is now Desmond)

The first I'd like to bring in is [B]Alden Gray[/B], as he is one of my favorites from the story. I can't put much about his past without giving out MAJOR spoilers from the story (though I will say that his back story is really interesting and becomes important for many other elements of the story). His persona is very dark and brooding, he has an aura of darkness about him nearly at all times. He has extremely long black hair that runs all the way down his back, he wears a black cloak that covers his fighting outfit and a long, long white scarf that flows behind him when he moves (which really adds a whole level of coolness to his fighting style and the way he looks in general). He fights with a large number of throwing knives and using supernaturally swift movements and high jumps. Trust me when I say that I don't use much magic unless its necessary or really cool and stylized so it doesn't stick out too much (think the way some of the characters from the Metal Gear Solid series have supernatural abilities like End's photosynthetic abilities). In the plot he appears at the Gray Manor when Zilgin was suggested there to find out about his past. Who is this Alden, why does he shut himself away from the world, and why does he know so much about the past of Zilgin?

Next is a member of the Prophets named [B]Garrick[/B]. He appears to warn Desmond about the impending danger that surrounds him as well as ask him to return to the Prophets. Though he often seems very unwilling to participate in combat he is incredibly skilled with his spear, the Dragon Tail. His head is shaved bald, he wears a hardened leather set of armor (when not in his Prophet robes), and is noticeably chivalric in his personality. In many ways he represents the late era knights of Europe, with his almost naive hopefulness and brutal combat skills. He seems to be younger than many of the Prophets though has been a member for long and seems to be very familiar with Desmond before the beginning of the story. He mentions things that would parallel everything that Desmond told Keitaro and Zilgin which causes them to question their understanding of him.

[B]Ryujin[/B] is a beligerant and young member of the Prophets. When the meet, he is somewhat overeager to engage in combat with the protagonists, Keitaro in particular. Even when he has no real reason to fight he will spar with whomever he can, and seems to be oddly calm. Though he never gave his name or removed his mask, Keitaro is very concerned about his true identity when their fighting style is nearly identical and their skill equal. Who is this young Prophet and why does he show such an interest in Keitaro?

[B]Nero[/B] is a senior member of the Prophets, and the second biggest antagonist in the story. He has been known to lock himself away from the rest of the world to conduct his biological, alchemical, and necromantic experiments and boasts a supreme understanding of the world. His actions in the story instantly extablish him as a man who cares not about what he disturbs as long as he furthers his knowledge of the world. He has supernatural abilities and has an aura of power and malice about him. When he first meets Zilgin he shows an alarming interest in him and claims to know all about him though he mockingly refuses to tell him.

Here are just a few of the many character who become important to the story. I just wanted to post a bit more information about the story to give a better feel of what it will be like when it gets done. I would have liked to post more about Ryujin and Nero but couldn't give away spoilers, though I will say they are very interesting characters. I'll update this thread at a later time or make a new one ones I settle on a name for the story.

Also I may post more character tidbits on other ones to show more of the many character I made... one I really wanted to post was the Butterfly Knight (he is much more bad *** than the name implies) but a lot of things about him are still not set in stone plus he's only a minor antagonist who furthers the backstory of one of the Prophets (I haven't described her yet either).

So any more feedback would be greatly appreciated, or even if someone would do a sketch on what the envisioned a character to be like would be awesome (I would have posted some on this but I'm a horrible artist and am still not sure who I'm going to have animate this).
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