Thursday, September 30, 2004

Growth industry: Japan Today reports that the international success of anime is inspiring many young people to become cartoonists. But Ikuo Shimizu, general manager of the Tokyo-based cartoonist school Nihon Mangajuku, says, "what counts most is the comic book stories on which animation movies are based."

They're so important that his school requires second-year student to write four comics stories:

"It's a preliminary to becoming professional cartoonists. Professionals often have to write a comic under deadline. In order to produce a good story, one has to take interest in many things from one's earlier years."

The article also notes that the "Japanese contents industry" -- basically, video games, manga and anime -- is expected to rocket from a 200 billion yen a year to 17 trillion by 2010.