News, Technology

Japanese AI Manga: A Creativity Booster Or Threats To Job?

Written by Senoria Khursheed ·  2 min read >

In Japan, sci-fi manga has become popular and admits “absolutely zero” drawing talent, so it turned to artificial intelligence to create the dystopian saga.

The intricate rendering of all the futuristic devices and creatures in “Cyberpunk” Peach John was done by Midjourney. A popular AI tool that has become a margin and rocked the art world. In addition, with other tools like Stable Diffusion and Dall E-2.

It is essential to mention that manga is an umbrella of various comic books and graphic novels initially produced and published in Japan.

After the invention, whether technology threatens jobs and copyright in the country’s multi-billion dollar has been questioned. The comic book industry, given that it is Japan’s first fully AI-drawn manga.

According to the author, who goes by the penname Rootport, a skilled artist would have needed a year to complete more than a hundred-page manga.

In addition, he also said that “it was a fun process. It reminded me of playing the lottery”, the 37-year-old told the news.

Rootport, a writer who previously worked on a manga plot, entered multiple text prompts, such as “pink hair, Asian boy and stadium jacket”.

Later, he laid out the best frames in comic book format to publish the book. The creation has already sparked a buzz online before its March 9 release by Shinchosha- a large publishing house.

According to Rootport, this gave an immense pleasure and a sense of achievement. When his text instructions created an image that chimed with what he exactly imagined.

“But it is the same satisfaction you would feel when drawing something by hand from scratch, probably not”.

Japanese Manga


Likewise, other AI-image-to-text generators it is incredible, fantastic, and sometimes produce creepy Inventions.

However, the tools also operated into legal difficulties, with the London-based startups behind stable Diffusion.

Though some Japanese lawmakers raised a question over artist rights. As experts say, copyright infringements are unlikely if AI art is for using simple text prompts with little human creativity.

Whereas many people thought that technology would replace humans. Especially pointed out the junior manga artist who painstakingly fills the background images for each scene.

For example, when Netflix released a Japanese animated story in January using AI-generated backgrounds. It was also argued for not hiring human animators.

“The possibility that AI will replace manga artists’ assistants isn’t zero”, said Satoshi Kurigara, Keio University’s professor.

Human Continue To Rule

Some manga artists’ welcomed the new technology with full enthusiasm.

“I don’t see AI as a threat. Rather I think it can be a great companion”, said Madoka Kobayashi, an artist.

In addition, she also said that “AI can help me visualize what I have in my mind and suggest rough ideas, which I then challenge myself to improve”.

The author, who trains aspiring manga at a Tokyo academy, argues that manga isn’t just built on aesthetics but also on cleverly devised plots.

In that way, “I am confident humans still dominate”.

However, at Tokyo design academy Kobayashi uses figurines to help improve the student’s pencil drawings, including the details ranging from muscles and everything.

According to Ginjiro Uchida, an 18-year-old student, “AI is great, but I find human drawings more appealing, precisely because they are ‘messy'”.

Alas, Rootport is not sure that AI-drawn manga will ever become mainstream, as real artists are better at designing their illustrations perfectly to fit the context.

But, “I also don’t think manga completely unaided by AI will remain dominant forever”.

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