Monday, 29 August 2011

My Dilemma: Of Manga, Art, and Nationality.

Err... actually, I kind of realize this already and decided to believe and do the things that makes me happy instead of thinking and making thinks complicated, so this post is actually just to state my opinion and I don't really need any advice, well, scratch that, it's ok if you wanna comment to state your opinion regarding the matter but be informed that it'll not affect what I think anymore (yes, I'm so sure of myself regarding this matter), not that I'm close-minded, 'coz I'm not.. urruuu~ I just refuse to do the things I don't wanna do, I decided to do things my way 'coz it makes me happy, and in the first place I decided to do this to make me happy so why be bothered?

Anyway... like what I said in my latest deviations in my Deviant Art Account, I'm plotting a new manga (I actually started working on it yesterday)... and the setting is here in the Philippines, therefore the characters are filipinos. And the problem, well, actually not a problem anymore, but I do admit that it bothered me before... anyway the thing that bothered me (note the -ed in the end of 'bother' it is past tense, so I mainly resolve this) is that I can't seem to make them look like Filipinos, well except for the clothes, 'coz they are wearing our national costume, because the setting will be the 19th century Philippines.

Ohhh... I'm gonna quote myself, I told a friend about this before, sorry for being a lazy ass, but I'm just gonna copy paste this from one of my comments.

Ok so someone told me that my character have to look more filipino, 'coz incidentally he looks like some j-pop idol. LOL, but I take no offense, 'coz seriously, I think so too. couldn't agree more... but err... it bothers me... anyway... here's my reply:

"That's the problem. Saowie (my supergirlfriend and partner in life, lol) told me that he looks like a Samurai of sort. He looks japanese. But what the hell? I can't draw a handsome and sexy guy without it being deemed as samurai/japanese? Why? because animu came from Japan? LOL They don't even have large eyes, yet society never had a problem with japanese character having beautifully big eyes, so why can't I make my pinoy OC as beautiful as the heroes in japanese anime? Honestly, i don't want him with dark skin, flat nose and a boring hair cut. I want him to look good. And this is what looks good in me. Fair skin, angst-y face, long haired guy. I know that Pinoy gentlemen from back then keep their hair short and clean, but who says he's a gentlemen of the standard social norm? LOL, he doesn't abide to anyone's rule or standard.  Oh, you have yet to read my manga.
(lol, another thing about japanese heroes/samurai of historical manga, THEY ARE BALD!!! Yet japanese animators/character designer draw them with long hair and long bangs... they do as they please and what will make the character look good, so, I'll do as I please too.)"

Hahaha~ I sample samurais because really, this thing bothers me! haha. It's a perfect example of what I'm trying to say. Japanese are well aware that people in real life are not that pretty, I mean, they cannot make them look bishounen if they have bald hair and thin slice eyes right? So they opted to give them long hair and wide eyes. And that's what I'm doing, I have to make my character look good too, nevermind if that's not the norm before (in terms of physical aspect).

Quoting myself again.

"I asserted my self already, and realized that i don't have any choice but to do things my way if I want to please my self too (in terms of character appearance ha) because this supposed-ly "pinoy look", which I don't have any idea on what actually it is (other than being dark skinned and pango) to begin with don't really please my eyes and passed to my standards of a beautiful character. lol"

And sooo... I decided to draw them the way I wanted to.

But then, another problem came up. The problem daw is that my supposedly "filipino manga" is too japan-esque and that I have to come up with a style that will depict and show more filipino feel to it. Oh nooo... don't make things too complicated guys. So what am I supposed to do? Create a manga with these filipino style? So my manga will look like some kind of "Pugad baboy" or kind of "Zsazsa Zaturna" style in terms of drawing? Not that there's wrong with that, it's actually wonderful, but what I'm trying to say is... guys, I'm going to make a manga. And yes, I'm doing it the way how Japanese draws, with those beautiful girls and boys. Because in the first place, this is what I really want. It's just a style guys! OK? It's just a style. And I love anime style art. My manga being in the anime style will not be a hinder to it being a  Filipino made, and the characters being Filipinos, 'coz really, I'm going to say again 'coz I can never stress this enough, it's just a style and I love this style.

I have my own style in art, well atleast when I'm painting in canvass and designing things. But I choose to do this manga in a way that will make me happy and satisfied (that is "anime-style"). I'm not actually bothered if it'll be mistaken as Japanese made, 'coz honestly, if someone mistakes it to be Japanese, I will take it as a compliment, that means that I'm a bit good as them. And quiet frankly I like their art better than ours. So does this make me less-filipino? I think not. I just have my own taste and opinion.

Maybe someday, I'll came up with my own distinct style THAT WILL MAKE ME PROUD AND HAPPY. But for now, this will do. This makes me happy. I'm not a hypocrite.

SOOOO... AHHHH~ time is up... I wanna say more but I really have to go. I might update this later.

Sorry if there are any grammatical errors, I really am in a hurry, cannot check it.

I'll leave you with these. I read this somewhere, and they have a point:

"About Filipino art.... I am a natural born Filipino and I have some questions.
If I paint a "Bayanihan" scene, or a "Pahiyas Festival" scene using a style which is clearly influenced by Van that considered Filipino art? Will I lose my national identity, or am I degrading myself, because I interpreted my culture using a style popularized by a foreigner? Let's all be open-minded about these things. "

"You got a point there, man! Heck, Juan Luna painted the Spoliarium (tama ba spelling noon?) in a style which is distincly European plus his Subject matter was European (you know, gladiator fights and stuff) and yet we are proud to have him as a national hero! Why? Well maybe because his painting, the style and the subject matter is just skin deep and what the people really looked into was the meaning and content of his work. Just a thought."

Anyway, If I may add, I assure you guys that you don't have to worry about my characters not being Filipino enough. Ok, so I draw them the way like the Japanese did it, but really the style won't tell if they have the heart of a true blooded Filipino, like my friend (oh, I hope she don't mind calling her my friend) Van said in the comments below, (and like what I just said above) anime is just an art style. I couldn't agree more. She's right. There are other more important things to determine if a character carries the blood of a Filipino... their behavior, their culture, they way they react to things, their traditions, basically how they will live their lives. And these things, I assure you guys that you don't have to worry, because I'm making my characters live the Filipino way. Yup pinoy na pinoy kaya pwede na kayong matulog ng mahimbing, ok? hahaha. Oh... part of me actually wish that the generation today have the vast knowledge on how our great great great grandparents live in the 19th century, and that they'll be able to relate their lives in my manga, since Filipinos live their life differently now compared to before. Oh well papel. Basta, I'm going to do this my way, you guys just have to sit back, and relax. :P

OOOHHH~ I'm talking like I'm a very good mangaka and that I know everything and that I don't need any help. LOL. Guys, I am far from great and I actually thinks that my works are mediocre, heck I even hate my artworks sometimes, I feel that it's not enough and that I still strive to be at my best. I'm just saying these things to not let you guys worry too much about me, but I'll tell you these, I think it's safe to inform you that I know what I'm doing and there's no need to instruct me on what and what not to do. But of course, constructive criticisms are always welcome. But make sure that it is indeed constructive and not just to show me how supposedly knowledgeable you are about the thing I'm doing. Because to tell you guys honestly, I hate know-it-all people. And I know when a person is actually concern and is actually giving me helpful tips and critics and if a person is being a show off and know-it-all that likes to poke their nose into someone's business without being helpful at all.  Just saying.

All the artworks above are my works. :)


  1. You're amazing at drawing! ^.^

  2. :O nice drawings! you're have a very particular lineart, i think ^^ it really reminds me the manga style, nice works ^^
    Love * Sofia

  3. I've always had that problem as well--I think it's a natural progression of sorts if an anime artist wants to develop their awareness and skills. You make a good point about how Japanese characters don't look like themselves in real life, so why should your Filipino characters? I think that one great thing about anime/manga is that there is a tremendous range of artistic license, and no matter how much non-otakus out there complain about how anime/manga looks and deviates from realism--they underestimate how anime/manga can tell a good story.
    So, in my opinion, I think you should illustrate your story however you would like it to look like, and keep in mind that considering all your options and aesthetic issues connected to making anime/manga is really good and essential to growing! :)

    (Btw, lovely drawings!)

  4. Holy mother of.. you are amazing! You're very talented Raysh. I love how you added the Filipino vibe and flavor in your works. =)

    Good luck on your decisions and always follow your heart and passion. =)


  5. SO PRETTY! you are really amazing at drawing! ^^

  6. omygoodness. you're so talented! nice read and i love the drawings!


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