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Doujinshi – A platform for artistic freedom and a gateway to the professional manga industry

Doujinshi are amateur mangas that are made by art groups in small quantities and sold on certain conventions. Some of these conventions are small-scale, while others are notoriously large. The largest doujinshi convention – Comic Market (or Comiket for short) – attracted more than 590,000 visitors in December 2011. Doujinshi can present characters from popular mangas with a new storyline or other environment, but also offers original stories, characters, and worlds. Since Doujinshi are self-produced and do not have to adhere to the strict censorship guidelines of professional publishers, the artists behind them have almost a free hand when it comes to their two doujinshis. Stories and their presentation. The conventions in which doujinshi are bought and sold tend to be lenient in their approach to nudity, but to a certain extent enforce violence or political views. Problematic doujinshi must be redrawn or censored before being released for publication.

The relative freedom offered by Doujinshi allows artists to express themselves without legal or physical limitations. This has led to experimental, avant-garde and artistic doujinshi. It also allowed Doujinshi to be published on the basis of known manga series without the need for complicated legal approvals. The freedom allowed by Doujinshi releases has not been ignored by professional manga artists. Some famous artists such as Yoshitoshi ABe and Akamatsu Ken draw Doujinshi as a breather between their professional work. Creating Doujinshi gives them the freedom to create what they want (as opposed to the instructions given to them by their supervisors and editors in their respective companies), as well as allowing them to interact more closely with their fans.

While doujinshi are a non-commercial item, they can attract many fans if skilfully drawn. Circles of talented manga artists tend to get more popular and sell all their copies faster than others. As talented artists tend to attract attention, the Doujinshi conventions have attracted talent scouts from large publishers looking for new and promising artists to join their businesses & # 39; Arsenal. Some famous manga artists started as Doujinshi artists and were later tracked down by publishers and went to professional manga drawing. These professionals include Akamatsu Ken (Love Hina), Takahashi Rumiko (Ranma 1/2), Clamp (Cardcaptor Sakura) and Tony. Since some of these artists continue to publish their own original doujinshi in addition to their professional manga, there are cases in which a doujinshi of a well-known professional artist is adopted by the publisher and becomes a professional product. Such cases include:

  • The Haibane Renmei Doujinshi by Yoshitoshi ABe, which has been adapted to an anime series.
  • Tony's illustrations of Crypton's Hatsune Miku, later approved by the official company and published as an official commercial art book.
  • The Aqua Doujinshi by Amano Kozue, which was transformed into the commercial Manga Aria (and later spawned an anime series).

Some of these artists, who began their amateur career as doujinshi artists for small events, have contributed immensely over the years to the development of the visual presentation of amateur and commercial manga.

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