Are you an aspiring anime writer? If so, you're in luck. Here are 7 expert tips for anime writing to help you write your best work yet.
1: Choosing Your Genre
Most people do not think about different genres within anime script writing and think there is just one style (anime itself). However, there are several options to choose from, including action, comedy, drama, romance, and more. It's important to pick a genre that aligns with your story and target audience.
Yes, this is a basic step, and not much of an expert tip, but as it governs the overall tone and direction of your anime, I thought it was relevant to mention, especially for a new writer.
Once you know what genre you are going to be focussing on, you can begin to research other bodies of work in the same genre for inspiration and ideas and move on to building your own world.
2: Anime World-Building Tips
Your world is a huge element in writing a compelling anime story, and there are a few tips to keep in mind when creating one:
Your world must feel believable, even if it is filled with supernatural elements. Consider how these elements fit into things like the world's laws, history, culture, etc.
In terms of history of your anime world, consider what events have shaped the world up to this point and how they've affected your people living there.
You also want to start fleshing out the races and different species that exist in your world. Give some thought to their own history and how they interact with each other.
Consider what kind of technology exists in your anime world and how it impacts the everyday lives of your characters. Whether set in a futuristic or traditional setting, there should be a clear understanding of how technology functions in your anime world.
- What kinds of technology are available in this world?
- How advanced is it?
Social Structure & Culture:
Consider the social structure of your world. Who is in power? What social classes exist? What prejudices or superstitions are prevalent?
Religion is another important factor to consider. Does a god or gods exist in this world? If so, what role do they play in the lives of citizens?
Don't be afraid to mix elements from various time periods and cultures to create something unique. Just make sure it all fits together cohesively.
Don't forget about magic! If it exists in your world, what are its limitations? Who has access to it and for what purpose do they use it? How is it used in day-to-day life?
3: Designing The Perfect Anime Protagonist
Create a clear motivation for the protagonist:
What do they want and why? This can also be tied in with their backstory, explaining their beliefs and actions. Their motivation should be clear, relatable, and drive the plot forward.
Make the protagonist relatable in some way:
This can be through their struggles, emotions, and conflicts they face. The audience should be able to connect with the character on some level, making them root for their success or growth.
Let the protagonist undergo development throughout the story:
This can be through their growth in skills or character, learning from mistakes and past experiences. This adds depth to the character and makes them feel more realistic. Whether static or dynamic, they should have some kind of growth or change.
Create a strong relationship between the protagonist and antagonist:
This is very important in anime, as the dynamic between these two characters drives the plot and conflict. Their relationship should have a clear history and reason for their opposing beliefs or actions.
Use foil characters to contrast with the protagonist and drive the plot forward:
Foil characters can highlight certain traits of the protagonist, creating a contrast that adds depth to both characters. They can also add tension and conflict to the story, spurring the plot forward.
Consider giving your foil character traits or goals that oppose those of the protagonist, creating a dynamic and interesting dynamic between them.
However, don't make the foil character too one-dimensional – give them layers and depth to avoid making them seem like a mere device for the protagonist's development.
It is also important to create an emotional attachment to the protagonist through their personality and motivation, as well as their relationships with other characters in the story.
Overall, there is no one formula for creating a perfect anime protagonist – it is all about finding the right balance of traits and development to make them compelling and relatable to the audience.
4: Writing The Perfect Introduction For Your Anime
Writing an anime introduction that hooks viewers in just one episode can be tricky. However, with the right balance of characters, goals, and surprises, it is possible to create an anime intro that leaves the viewer wanting more.
It is important to have restraint when introducing characters and ideas so that the audience does not get overwhelmed. But how can you do this?
Once you've established your main character and their goal, slowly introduce important side characters and conflicts whilst keeping to the anime's central theme.
Another tip is to leave room for surprises and plot twists. These unexpected moments keep the anime fresh and exciting, leading to more viewer engagement.
Another key element to writing a great anime introduction is leaving the viewer wanting more. One Punch Man's introduction to Saitama is a great example, as it provides a great sample of focusing on just one character.
Likewise, Sword Art Online has one of the strongest first episodes out there, as it effectively establishes a compelling goal for its characters.
5. Tips On Introducing Your Villains The Right Way
Before I get into these tips, I recommend studying the following villains to get a glimpse of the anime writing aesthetic and their introductions:
Madara Uchiha's introduction in Naruto:
This is one of the best examples of a villain introduction, as it shows him to be an unstoppable force that the heroes have to reckon with.
Kaguya in Naruto:
This is also a great example of a villain introduction, as she is revealed to be even stronger than Madara.
Hunter x Hunter:
Hunter x Hunter has two great examples of villain introductions in Hisoka and Meruem. They are both extremely powerful and have clear motivations for their actions, making them intriguing and memorable villains.
One Piece has Kaido, who falls from a sky island and immediately gets up unfazed from the impact.
Death in Akame ga Kill!:
Takahiro's character, "Death", conquers an army and treats their soldiers like dogs on a leash. Akame ga Kill introduces this character with a powerful and imposing presence.
Now, onto the tips:
- Show their power or influence early on – make it clear to the audience that this character is someone to be feared. But, with anime writing, you don't want to reveal too much too soon.
- Establish their motivations and beliefs – why do they do what they do?
- Build up the tension and suspense
6. Creating Your Power System
A power system is a set of defined rules that explain the extraordinary powers and abilities of characters in a story.
Your power system! This is the glue of your anime. Think about how power is assessed and or used in the universe you create.
To make a good anime power system remember these three key items:
- Make sure the abilities are diverse and original.
- Justify where the powers come from.
- Place limitations on the use of powers.
You don't want your power system to be lacking or too overpowered. Make sure there is a clear power hierarchy and that each character's abilities complement one another.
Additionally, consider how your power system affects the anime's plot and conflict.
Will characters have to strategize or rely on their wits instead of just relying on their powers?
How do powers factor into social structures and relationships within the anime's world?
In creating a well-rounded power system, think about what limitations and restrictions there may be for characters to acquire and use their powers.
Is it genetic?
Can it only be attained through training or special items?
Also consider how power is measured – does it have a numerical value or rank?
7. Writing a Winning Anime Ending
A bad ending can ruin the entire anime for viewers, so it's important to plan ahead and keep the end goal in mind.
Here are some key tips for writing a winning anime ending:
- Pace yourself. Pacing is one of those intangibles in writing that's really hard to nail down precisely, but when it's not done right you really notice.
- Consider tying up loose plot threads and giving closure to both main and side characters.
- Avoid cliffhangers or open-ended conclusions unless they serve a purpose in setting up for a potential sequel.
- Stay true to the anime's central themes and messages, and don't stray too far from what has been established throughout the series.
- Create a satisfying resolution that leaves a lasting impact on the audience.
- Think about how the ending will be received, but ultimately write what feels right for the story.
- Consider leaving room for a sequel if appropriate, but don't rely on one to wrap up loose ends.
- Most importantly, plan ahead and make sure the ending is a natural progression from the events that have taken place throughout the anime.
8. Bonus Tip!!
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