Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Voices from Students

Do you have any feedback about Manga School Nakano what you can shear ? Please send it via the contact form (left). Thank you!

In person lesson

The class covers many aspects of drawing in a manga style, which also involved using fountain pens and cutting transfer stickers for shading (I know thats not the right name).

The teacher was very good and demonstration the different methods of drawing, speaking english, asking questions about what i wanted to learn and plus I very impressed with the speed she could draw characters which I recognised

The place was very easy to find if you have never been to Japan/ tokyo or Nakano before, just download the directions with photos of the buildings and your be fine.

great intro course and I wish i had time to do a follow up

Visited June 2017
Review from Voyagin.com

My son enjoys his session with Nao-san very much. He learned a lot about manga drawing and realized it is not easy!!! He says the teacher is very kind although there are times he couldn't understand her. Glad we made the choice to include this activity as part of the itinerary in our Tokyo trip.
Visited June 2017
Review from Facebook.com

We arranged this class for our 13 year old daughter who is a budding comic artist and a huge manga fan. She just loved every minute of it and felt that she was able to learn quite a bit. Yazawa-san was super nice, friendly and very dedicated and patient. She went well over the 2 hour time working with our daughter until the drawing was finished to her satisfaction. As a side note, the studio is close to the Nakano station (and the anime/manga Nakano Broadway shopping complex) and was very easy to find with the directions provided with the booking. Thank you so much again Yazawa-san for this fantastic experience!!!

Visited April 2017
-Review from TripAdvisor

The lesson exceeded beyond my expectations.
I was a complete beginner, and somehow in 2 hours Nao had me drawing manga and even completing my first picture. She was very patient, working with my pace, and able to answer all my questions. Her knowledge and passion shows for manga art and she enjoys sharing. Next time in Tokyo i will definitely book another lesson.

Visited November 2016
-Review from TripAdvisor

I signed up my 13-year-old daughter for this lesson during a recent trip to Tokyo, and it was the highlight of her trip. Among other things, she learned from a professional manga artist the manga creative process and how to use the various tools and materials involved. Her instructor was patient and kind. I highly recommend the experience. One suggestion, if you will want to purchase tools and materials, build in some time to do so after the lesson. The instructor was able to tell us where to go in Tokyo and what to buy, but we didn't have time in our schedule to make it happen. We were able to find all the things we needed at the International Manga Museum in Kyoto, though.

-Review from Viator


We wanted to study Manga in Japan and went to Nakana Manga School for a private lesson in December, where we were taught by Nao Yazawa, a Japanese Manga artist. Nao gives her classes in English (which is very unusual), and her school is just a short walk from Nakano JR station. Nao was very friendly and patient, even with absolute beginners like us. Our lesson covered basic concepts of Manga, then Nao helped us make our own characters and showed us ways to improve our drawings. It was a great experience. Manga is far from easy, but Nao was very enthusiastic and encouraging. We learnt a lot in our private class. I wish we could come back and work more from her. All in all, It was a fun experience. I highly recommend it to Manga fans who want to get to know more about this art form.

-Review from TripAdvisor

"Loved my experience there, very customized and in-depth approach to manga making, lots of fun. Thank you, Nao sensei!"
  -59 years old,  Canada

''I'm glad that I'm able to know more about writing manga! Each session is a new exciting experience!'' 
-20 years old, Mauritius 

"I wasn't a huge manga-fan before I had my first lesson, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But after that time I was completely fascinated by both the process and the amount of talent the manga artist possess. I've been having lessons once a month and I'm always looking forward to it, the more I learn and practice the more interested I get. This lessons have really opened my eyes to manga as an art form and the work behind it, so much fun!" 
-23 years old, Sweden

"I'm studying manga in France, first as spare-time, now to teach it. It finally appears to me that what I was doing was not really Japanese manga, but a kind of imitation. So it was necessary for me to go to Japan and learn Manga from a Japanese mangaka and teacher. But, the thing is I don't speak fluently Japanese and it was difficult to find someone in Japan who could have taught me until I came to Nakano manga school and met Nao-sensei and her English manga lessons ! Thanks to the school and to her, I can improve my manga techniques ... and my English speaking !!!" 
- 27 years old, France

Online lesson

"I learned so much from my course with MSN and it is incredible that I was able to do it all from home! Thanks to MSN's online courses I was able to join in, even though I couldn't travel to Japan!" 
-33 years old, Norway

"I feel very lucky that I can learn professional manga skills from the U.S.." 
-14 years old,USA

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Online Lesson Schedule August - September 2015

Here is the current schedule. We are thinking to have more online lessons (on Saturday or Monday Japan time) if we have enough applicants. So inquire if the time you want was not available.  

Pink  Booked  Green  Available  Yellow closed

August 10:40-12:00-13:20-15:20-16:40-18:00-19:20-
16JavierA.TR.V1R.V 2
23JavierA.TR.V 1R.V 2
30Open Class (Q&A) 23:00 - 1:00(1st June) Open for Public
13S.LA.TR.V 1R.V 2T.W
20A.TR.V1R.V 2T.W
27R.V 1R.V 2T.W
For father date, please check here. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Online Lesson Schedule

Every Sunday / from 17th May 
If you are thinking to take it, apply now! 3 periods left.
1st 10:40-11:30  booked

2nd 12:00-12:50

3rd 13:20-14:10
or 14:00-14:50

4th 15:20-16:10 booked

5th 16:40-17:30 booked

5th 18:00-18:50

7th (19:10-20:00)

Japan Standard Time (UTC+09:00). () is possible time but not run at the moment.

2nd 12:00-12:50,

3rd 13:20-14:10 
or 14:00-14:50,

and 5th18:00-18:50 
lessons are available now.

Depends on the situation, we might activate 7th class, but we can't tell at the moment. 

More detail
Online Lesson General Information
How to participate in a online lesson
Manga School Nakano TeamUp page

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Online Lesson General Information

Tuition  (1 hour /lesson)

6,000 yen / per lesson  
(Trial class is 4,000 yen)

20,000 yen /4 lessons

80,000 yen/8 lessons

60,000yen / 12 lessons

Schedule Every Sunday 10:30-18:00 Japan time.

All lessons will be held at Manga School Nakano online. (Video chat with Google Plus Hangout). This is a 50-min. private lesson.

There is no pre-requisite for enrolling into this class.  We welcome students at all levels.  (Our youngest student we had so far, was an 8 year old boy). Guardians are welcome to attend with students. For details, please visit our program page.

There will be a Schedule calendar with scheduled classes available for public access(Based on the handle name/initials of each student.)

Each course consists of four consecutive weekly sessions. Trial lesson is available prior to the beginning of a course.  Based on the trial lesson, the instructor will recommend the student to join the most appropriate course for the individual.  

Student can establish the focus of each session with the instructor. For instance, they can choose to create or design a new character,  creating a story, the rendering style of one or a set of characters, etc. A goal will be given to the students for each lesson.  

Student should also expect to be given some homework which will help to reinforce what was learnt.  
All classes will be hosted via Google Hangout with the webcam on both the instructor side and the student side.  Using a webcam, the teacher can demonstrate live drawing as necessary, and student can also share their work with the instructor in real-time. (recommended).

To enrich the one-on-one experience, course material prepared by the instructor for all private lessons and the recording of all private lessons will be made available to all students. 

This is to be done so that students can maximize their learning experience. They can review the material they had covered with the instructor.  And they will also get to see what are the subject other fellow students are learning!  

All lessons will be recorded, and stored in YouTube Manga School Nakano Channel. This is a private channel, only enrolled students will be given a password to access the videos.  

All the drawings which the teacher produced during a session will be scanned in high resolution and stored in Goodle drive. Students will be given the access to all course materials including all drawings done by the instructor during the lessons, and also the recording of all the private lessons. They can access them as well as videos. (Part of the drawing in low resolution will be posted on School website)

Students will be asked to scan and upload their work onto the Google Drive for the instructor. All scanning should be done at 300 dpi and save in JPEG format.  The student can choose to share their uploaded work only with the instructor, or make it available for other students to view.

All students will be invited to join a Private Google+ Community. The purpose of this private community is to enable students to have group discussion and for the sharing of ideas and questions.  

On every 5th Sunday, Manga School Nakano will host a free online Q&A session.  This is available to both our students and the general public to join.  Please refer to our website for the exact date. This free online Q&A session will also be recorded. The recordings of these sessions will be posted for public access on YouTube.  

It will be 2 hour session with a 15 minute break in the middle.

*Students = long term students or the students who had taken more than 4 (individual) lessons.
1 month = 4 lessons, and students receive an additional session every 2 months (Q&A session).

Time Table

10:30-11:30, 12:00-13:00, 13:30-14:30 or 14:00-15:00, 15:30-16:30, 17:00-18:00 (18:30-19:30 19:30-20:30) Japan Standard Time (UTC+09:00). () is negotiable time.
The class is open Saturday, Sunday, Monday. (At the moment, it's closed on Saturday/Monday)

The lesson is 60 minutes long, once a week.

6,000 yen / per lesson  
(Trial class is 4,000 yen)

20,000 yen /4 lessons

60,000yen / 12 lessons


All payment must be made at least 48-hours prior to the lesson.  We accept PayPal as a payment method. The fees for weekly lessons is as follows(paypal fee is included)

¥6,285 - One 60-minute private lesson

¥20,853 - One month's worth of private lessons (4 total)

¥6,2477 - Three months of private lessons (12 total)

¥4,204 - Trial lesson

By choosing to pay for one month or three months lessons in advance, you can save ¥1,000 for each lesson.  That is a huge saving!.

Once you decided your class, Manga School Nakano sends money request email. You can pay with paypal or your credit card.

Cancellation Policy

Payment of a lesson can be put forward to a subsequent lesson if a cancellation was provided 24-hours prior to a scheduled lesson.  If a cancellation was made within a 24 hours notice, only 50% of the charge will be available to be used for future classes.   

There will not be a refund for classes that students have missed without prior notification. Manga School Nakano will evaluate exceptions if there are unavoidable circumstances.

Manga School Nakano will send out any cancellation notice 48 hours prior to a class((Or shorter notice in the event of unforeseen circumstances). The tuition will be carried over to the following lesson.


One month’s notice is required in advance of a student exiting the program. The remaining portion of the tuition fees will be send to the student.  This will be done via Paypal or bank transfer, but the school may retain processing fees from the final balance to be paid out. 

Book a lesson/course

A student can book a 1, 4, 12 lesson course. (1 week, 1 month, 3 months). Either way, he/she can pay every time before each class, or entire tuition of 1 month / 3 months.

How to apply

1) Fill in the application form: Online-course   
*You can check what times are available on the School Calender.

2) Manga School Nakano emails you your schedule and payment request for tuition. You can pay with paypal or credit card. (Online lesson)
3) Once you receive a payment-confirmation e-mail from the school, your booking is completed.

*At the moment, we are recruiting 6-8 people. If we have too many, applicants will be booked on a first come, first served basis.
Or we might suggest a different lesson time to you.

Please pay your tuition at least  24 hours in advance. After confirmation of payment, your booking becomes valid.

What you need to attend an Online class?

High-speed Internet Access
Headset (for video chat)
(To film the student’s work. Not strictly necessarily, but you may not get as much out of the lesson without it.)
Pencil/mechanical pencil lead should be more than B or darker. (should be dark enough for webcam filming)
Plastic eraser (Don't use an eraser which attached to a pencil-end)

Please read this before attendance. How to participate in an online lesson

Manga Tools (Basic)


By participating in Online Classes run by Manga School Nakano, a student agrees that Manga School Nakano may use class videos in which they may appear, as presentation and promotional material, which may be used at the discretion of Manga School Nakano in broadcast, in print and in other digital media.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to participate in a online lesson

  1. Preparation
  2. During the lesson
  3. Quick tips
  4. Do’s and Don’t
  1. Google Hangout.  You may want to make sure you have an account ready and logged in before your session.  
  2. Webcam: You will need one directing toward your face and another one for your desk.  The camera facing your desk will allow you to share your drawings with your instructor.  You may also use additional devices as your secondary camera, as long as you can access your lesson’s Google hangout from that device.
  3. Lighting: A desk lamp is important to ensure clear visibility for your instructor
  4. Supplies: Depending on the agenda for a lesson, please make sure you have all your stationery or supplies ready.
  5. Clear the stage.  Make sure you have an area where you can draw and sketch comfortably and it is clutter-free.  This can also for ease to make any adjustment during the class.
  6. Soundproofing: Make sure you find yourself a location which has little or no background noise.  
  7. Internet connectivity. You may want to try a test call with someone ahead of time and see if you have everything ready before the lesson.
During the lesson
"Give your full attention to your teacher as you would if you were in the same room. Don't be distracted by email, social networks, Web, or texting. Try not to eat or drink so that you can be prepared if questions are directed to you."
Talking in Google Hangout should actually move at a slightly slower pace than a regular conversation or phone calls, as there maybe a lag with the audio. Make sure there are sufficient pauses after asking a question or comment. It is usually a good idea to pause for 2-3 seconds and wait for the other person to response.  
Bring attention to yourself before addressing the group by signaling with your hand or saying "question" or "comment" and then waiting a couple seconds before continuing."
You should always try to make eye contact by looking into the camera. It will make conversation among the participants more natural.
Quick tips
  1. Reserve 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning of your first lesson for make sure all things are setup correctly.  
  2. Be aware of background noise.
  3. Do not multitask and avoid interruptions.  It is a good idea to turn off all your online communication tools, social networks and your cellphone prior to the lesson.
  4. When you are listening to the other speaker, mute yourself can help with noise reduction.
  5. Audio feedback loop may happen. You can avoid that by using a headset to hear the other person.  This can help avoid your microphone from catching the audio from your speaker.
  6. If the connection is slow, you may want to try to take turns in using your webcams.
  7. Use the Chat window in the Hangout.  If you have a link or a document or anything you want to share real-time with your instructor, you can use the chat window.

The Do's
  • Do make sure you are in a quiet space, background noise can be very disruptive
  • Do speak clearly, check with the other person if they can hear you    
  • Do make sure you have good lighting on yourself and your desk    
  • Do give the other person a 2 to 3 second wait for their response
  • Do maintain eye contact by looking into the camera    
  • Do keep body movements minimal, check yourself in the playback on your screen.     

The Don'ts
  • Don't make distracting sounds, it’s a good idea to mute yourself when you are listening to the other person.
  • Don't interrupt other speakers, you can gesture to signal the other person if you would like to make a comment.
  • Don't carry on side conversations, check your emails or use your computer for other purposes.
  • Don't type on your keyboard. Everyone can hear you, clearly!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Programs/Online class

The number of lessons are shown as a rough guide. Depends on the students progress and request, it will be changed.


Pencil drawing / Inking / Tone-work

With manga tool (Manga pens, manga ink, manga paper and some screen tones)
Without manga tool (Ink with line art pens on Kent paper)

The process of manga drawing
For Beginner -  Intermediate

Drawing characters
4  lessons.

After a simple lecture and Q&A session, the student draws a character (Characters) Then, using manga tools, the work will be inked and put on finishing touches (Beta, whites, tone work).

If you don’t have any idea of the character, we offer some samples as references, or you can copy one of them. Also, you can get a line art data if you’d like.

Drawing expressions
Pencil drawing - 2 lessons
Complete with manga tools - 4 lessons

How to give characters lively facial expressions. After a brief lecture with some examples and Q&A, the student will draw character faces with 4 expressions based on the example. Joy, Angry, Sad and Pleased, for example.

Drawing “chibi” characters/cute mascots
Pencil drawing - 2 lessons
Complete with manga tools - 4 lessons

Covers some tips for drawing the “chibi” characters and cute mascots seen in many Japanese manga/anime. Explains the differences between normal characters and chibi characters. Observe an artist converting a character into “chibi” style, and see how it is done. Then practice drawing a chibi/mascot character.

Drawing a scene
pencil work & inking, 4-8 lessons

After a brief lecture with examples and Q&A, the student will draw characters with backgrounds based on the example . Also: Drawing backgrounds with perspective.

Character designs
Pencil drawing, 2 lessons
Ink&tone 4 lessons

The student will create a character and draw one scene in the setting provided. Then, after a lecture about character design, the student will draw from his or her own imagination with no example supplied. I will suggest approaches and help guide the whole process, with students free to ask questions at any time.

Four-panel manga
Pencil drawing, 2 lessons

We will use a relatively easy example of four-panel manga, “Essay Manga.” After lectures using real examples to show how students how they can draw upon daily life for four-panel manga material, and how to shape that into four parts with exposition, development turn and conclusion, they will begin to draw. We will finish with inking, tone work/coloring.

Special program (For intermediate)

For students who feel they are not prepare to draw one shot manga yet, or not interested in  making story but want to draw manga.

Drawing 2 spread pages manga.
Composing 4 lessons & Drawing 4 lessons

After a  lecture about composing the storyboard, students compose 2 spread page manga name (storyboard),  based on the script which was provided by the school. Then draw a manga from the storyboard.
Because 2 spread pages a minimum segment of Manga composing, you learn the essence of manga in this way.

Students can take their own script instead of the one school provided.

For Intermediate - Advanced

Character designs
4 lessons

Create a character and draw one scene in the setting provided. After a lecture about character design, draw from your own imagination with no example supplied. I will suggest approaches and help guide the whole process.

Add more
Design other character(s)

Choose one person from the setting which has been provided, perhaps one of the people around the character drawn in the previous lesson. Give him or her a face. This can be one of the character’s family members or friends, for example.

Creating your own characters
For students who have manga stories or characters in their mind.
Pencil drawing 4 lessons

After a brief lecture, the student will make an original character and give him or her a background (profile, settings). Students will give their character three-dimensional depth, and, if possible, draw other characters, such as friends. They will also draw one scene to illustrate the character's personality.

Drawing 4-8page short one-shot manga
Composing part & drawing part 6 lessons each.

Because it is difficult to draw short story manga, I suggest students draw based on their own experience, or a slice of everyday life. This is very much like an expanded version of the four-panel manga mentioned above. 

The student will learn how the frame layout should be arranged, and how artists lead reader’s eyes, etc. The students consult me with their ideas and storyboards, and I will advise them on layouts and sketches.

(If a student has a certain idea and story, of course he or she may use it.)

Composing part : Plot, story, character design, setting, storyboard
Drawing part: Pencil drawing(character) - Inking(character) - pencil drawing(background) - inking then beta, white and screen-tone.

4 lessons
Basic about Manga Style Watercolor painting

Digital work (1-2 classes)
(not opened yet)
Some tips with Manga Studio. I'm not an expert in this field, but there still might be something I can teach. If a student is a beginner, for example, I have plenty to teach. It also could be combined with other classes. This also covers finishing techniques (tone work, for instance) for drawing works, or for drawing a character with Manga Studio from scratch, for instance.

Long courses

For Intermediate - Advanced
Manga Production
Over 12 weeks - 24 weeks (3 -6 months)

Students will aim to complete a  8/16-page one-shot manga. The content is the same as the “Manga Production” course for Japanese student.

Course goals
Students will learn as they go through the manga production process by completing standalone manga works. They will experience the necessary elements behind manga production from beginning to end.


Plot submission:

Adapt your own plot to an exposition-development-climax-conclusion structure.
Outline the events, then separate them and reconstruct them with effectiveness in mind (bubble outlines).
Think about the characters’ lines (specifically speech mannerisms to match their personalities and ways to set apart their vocabularies).
※Write the profile of your main character.

Turn your bubble outline into a page list.
●Think based on each page spread (split up the pages while considering the layout in broad terms)

Thoroughly omit any unnecessary elements.
Cut out unneeded episodes/lines.
Think about how individual episodes and lines relate to each other. Make the artist’s intent clear when it comes to individual elements.

Rough character sketches

Make character designs based on the settings and stories you have previously completed. As you do so, keep in mind how you want to show characters’ personalities based on the drawings and how you want the readers to receive them. (Do you want them to be repulsed, to feel they can trust the character, to want to befriend the character?)

Making name (ne-i mu, manga jargon : Storyboard)

Settle on a flow of layouts and panels with awareness of how the reader will see the page.
Think of what you want to show for each page spread.

Think about opening up space for the parts you want to show, and boldly cutting other parts.
(You will often have to cut out sections during the naming step.)
Always be aware of the camera, of what you want to show and of how you want to show it while creating your compositions.


Rough character sketches + backgrounds

Be mindful of character expressions and poses. Are you using powerful expressions? Poses that conflict with the setting? Movement?

Inking characters + background (props)

Carefully select and arrange props. You can use objects to show characters’ personalities or elaborate on the story.

Rough sketches of backgrounds
Draw backgrounds with simple perspective. Learn what is typically omitted in manga and put the method into practice.

Inking backgrounds –Effects
Effect lines (集中線、スピード線、ベタフラ,eyc. Manga Special Effects.), psychological backgrounds, and more.

ベタ(beta)=painting black part(shinny effect, etc.) and ホワイト(White, correcting wrong lines & ink smudge with white ink)

Tone work

※Techniques will include perspective, tracing over photographs and tone work, as necessary for the individual student.