Michael from Aurora Publishing, producer of much manga, has a question for y’all, and has asked if I would query the Bitchery regarding a new project they’re working on. Aurora is looking into the possibility of taking romance novels and converting them to manga format:
However, there are limitations. First of all, we wipe out the entirety of fiction and history. [They] must be modern stories. Second, no mystery novels (cop/suspect, murder scenes, etc). I know that kicks out many, many, many, many, many (you get the point) romance novels, but those types are bad in the market right now.
So, we are left with modern-day women going about their daily lives, encountering hot men and having their way with them, or being had… whichever. Great manga have big character development, like someone having a low in their life, then by the end of the story, things have perked up (in more ways than one).
So, if you have any suggestions that might fit in that narrow field, I would love to hear of them…. [O]ur first goal would be to sell in the Japan market to start things off, then bring to the American market. For the latter, we would DEFINITELY broaden our horizons…
Now, I’ll be the first to admit I know diddly about manga – though Michael was kind enough to send me a sample so I’d at least somewhat know what I was talking about – so I asked how one goes about taking a romance novel and translating it into the visual feast of graphics that is manga, and what types of stories would work best.
(NOTE: Update below the fold)
What we would do is write a synopsis of the book, explaining the characters and their goals (the character has to have some kind of goal in life, or be so down that they think nothing is left, but then find a surprise that makes it all better). I have to make a plot summary, including a more detailed description of the climax (not the sexual one) and the conclusion of the story.
For the Japan side, it would be great to have a character start at a personal low, then their life improves during the novel, then move to a euphoric high at the end. The bigger the gap in their personal growth and happiness, the more the Japanese like the story. In Japan, there is an overabundance of shy girls, so they tend to relate to that character. However, they also like to see the overly outgoing character, as it shows them something they wish they were. They tend to like characters of those extremes.
I really appreciate your help with this, and kindly let me know what the American novel readers love, since I’m hoping to look into that as well.
So – what do you think? What American stories of low-to-high emotional and/or euphoria might work, in your opinion? What books do you love that you think would make great manga?
UPDATE: Michael contacted me to let me know he’s received a few inquiries asking how one might submit recommendations. He says:
First, please send an email to info @ aurora-publishing.com with the subject: Manga, Manga, Manga!
Basically, we want the following information. It doesn’t have to be overly detailed, but the more so it is, the more serious of a recommendation we would consider it.
– Top seller position
– Good reviews
– Official ratings
– Main Characters
– Plot summary
– How character strives for goals
– Brief list of accomplishments / failures
– Brief synopsis of book
– What is the high point of the story?