How To Make Manga

How to make manga panel layout. "Shisen Yudo" (= Viewpoint guidance) is important!

"Shisen Yudo" (視線誘導) is important for panel layout of manga.

"Shisen Yudo" is a technical term of Japanese manga, which means viewpoint guidance.

This is an article about what "Shisen Yudo" is.

What is "Shisen Yudo"

"Shisen Yudo" is to design the route of readers viewpoint.

For example, the reader first looks at the speech balloon, then looks at the face of character, then looks at the next speech balloon ... and so on.

In other words, it is designed so that the reader can easily move the viewpoint according to the order intended by the author.

Aim of "Shisen Yudo"


It is difficult to read manga which is poor in "Shisen Yudo". Because it is difficult to understand in what order to read.

Manga which is excellent in "Shisen Yudo" is very easy to read.

Dramatization effect

By designing viewpoint guidance of manga, it becomes dramatization effect of manga.

Readability and the dramatization effect are separate issues. There are viewpoint guidance which is hard to read, but has good dramatization effect.

In other words, viewpoint guidance is not obliged to be smooth.

Elements of "Shisen Yudo"

What part of manga can be seen by readers? In other words, what is the element of "Shisen Yudo" (viewpoint guidance)?

It is said that it is mainly 3 of the following.

Element 1: Character

First, reader sees the face of characters. Reader tries to read information from the characters face.

Natsume Husanosuke (夏目房之介), authority of the theory of "Shisen Yudo", stated as follows.


(When reading manga, the reader sees the face of the character. The manga artist thinks where the viewpoint moves after the reader sees it. Manga artist sometimes considers it unconsciously.)

from 「コマの基本原理を読み解く」by Natsume Husanosuke―別冊宝島EX「マンガの読み方」/ The inside of () is by me

マンガの読み方 別冊宝島EX

Element 2: Speech balloon

Speech balloons are also elements of viewpoint guidance.

After seeing a character, the reader sees speech balloons. Some may only see speech balloons.

Element 3: "Kakimoji"

Readers pay attention to words.

"Kakimoji" is words written outside speech balloons . For example, it is an onomatopoeia.

Kanno Hiroyuki (菅野博之), who wrote many books on viewpoint guidance of manga, said:


(All elements included in panels, such as speech balloons and Kakimoji, will guide the viewpoint)

―from「漫画のスキマ―マンガのツボがここにある!」by Kanno Hiroyuki / The inside of () is by me

漫画のスキマ―マンガのツボがここにある! (Comickersテクニックブック)

From left to right, top to bottom

The basic way of "Shisen Yudo" is to arrange the elements of viewpoint guidance according to the order of reading manga.

The order of looking at the panel of manga is "from left to right" and "from top to bottom". This rule also applies to one panel. (In Japan, "from right to left" and "from top to bottom")

View the elements of viewpoint guidance in one frame in the order "from left to right" "from top to bottom".

The viewpoint of the reader basically moves according to this rule. (It is not an absolute rule)

To arrange viewpoint guidance elements according to this rule. This is the basis of "Shisen Yudo".

The limit of "Shisen Yudo"

The theory of "Shisen Yudo" is not the theory of how to make manga but the theory of how to read manga.

Natsume Husanosuke (夏目房之介), the authority of "Shisen Yudo", says the following.


(The expression theory of manga is not the theory of how to make it. It is a theory to analyze the mechanism. It is a theory to analyze how humans read things. It is possible to convert manga's expression theory into the way of making it. But I have not done it.)

―from マンガナビ【「どうすれば、読みやすいマンガが作れるのだろうか?」『マンガ表現論』『視線誘導論』の夏目房之介】The inside of () is by me

So, "Shisen Yudo" has not been established as a theory of how to make manga.

There are several books on the way to "Shisen Yudo". However, it can only be referred to as "the author's own way".

Natsume Husanosuke also states as follows.


(We should not regard of each manga artist 's viewpoint guidance way as a manga grammar. It should be regarded as a unique way for each manga artist.)

―from マンガナビ【「どうすれば、読みやすいマンガが作れるのだろうか?」『マンガ表現論』『XXX論』の夏目房之介】The inside of () is by me

There is no absolute rule of viewpoint guidance. However, there are many methods of viewpoint guidance!

Even if the route of the viewpoint is precisely designed, it may not be as designed. So it may be difficult to establish as a theory of how to make manga.

How "Shisen Yudo" improves

As mentioned above, "Shisen Yudo" has not been established as a theory of how to make manga.

So, each one should think about how "Shisen Yudo" improves.

There are few "Shisen Yudo" books. Manga artists are also often unable to explain their theory.

Yoshihiro Togashi who is the author of "HUNTER × HUNTER" seems to theorize it. However, there are also manga artists who can not theorize.

Analysis and imitation of model cartoon, and draw manga by thinking oneself. This may be the only way to improve.


The main points of this article about "Shisen Yudo" are as follows.

  • "Shisen Yudo" (viewpoint guidance) is to design the route of readers viewpoint.
  • "Shisen Yudo" helps manga readability and dramatization effect
  • The elements of viewpoint guidance are characters, speech balloons and "Kakimoji"
  • Basically, arrange the elements of viewpoint guidance in the order of "left to right" and "top to bottom"


マンガの読み方 別冊宝島EX


漫画のスキマ―マンガのツボがここにある! (Comickersテクニックブック)

-How To Make Manga

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