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Japan Station 26: Manga Creator Minami Sakai

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On This Episode of Japan Station

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast we’re talking about manga and what it’s like trying to break into the Japanese manga industry with manga creator Minami Sakai.

About Minami Sakai

Originally from the U.S., Minami Sakai is a manga creator living in Tokyo. After studying abroad at Doshisha University in Kyoto and participating in the JET Program, Minami attended Tokyo Design Academy where she learned manga production techniques from professional manga artists (mangaka). Over the past several years, Minami has had numerous portfolio reviews with editors at major Japanese publishers like Kodansha and Shueisha, and in doing so she has managed to make significant progess on her way to making her professional debut as a manga artist in Japan. When not drawing manga, Minami currently enjoys playing mobile games like Idolish7 and A3. She currently works for a developer of games for mobile platforms doing translation and localization.

Topics Discussed

  • The origins of the penname Minami Sakai
  • The role Sailor Moon played in Minami’s life
  • Studying abroad at Doshisha University
  • Learning Japanese
  • The Kansai dialect
  • The bursting of the “manga bubble” that led to the fall of Tokyopop
  • The Rising Stars of Manga contest that was run by Tokyopop
  • Minami’s time participating in the JET Program
  • How Minami got into a manga school in Japan
  • How much it cost her to attend a manga school
  • The kishōtenketsu story structure
  • Portfolio review experiences at Japanese manga publishers
  • Minami’s love of mobile games like Idolish7 and A3
  • And much more!

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Links, Videos, Etc.

You can follow Minami Sakai on Twitter.

Minami Sakai on Twitter

You can check out Minami’s manga focused Twitter account via the link below.

@comicegg_en on Twitter

You can check out Minami Sakai’s blog from when she was a student at Tokyo Design Academy via the link below.

Mangaka no Tamago Blog

For more information on Tokyo Design Academy–the manga school Minami attended–check out the link below.

Tokyo Design Academy Website


Given that we talk about Sailor Moon a bit in this episode, here is a remix of the first opening to Sailor Moon, “Moonlight Densetsu.” It ws produced by Apol. Check out Apol on YouTube and Fiverr.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi)
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: A self-portrait drawn by Minami Sakai. Courtesy of Minami Sakai.

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