Elective Feature: Anime/Manga

Dylan Erlandsen, Guest Contributor

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Our school has been expanding the amount of elective classes that are offered to the students here. There are new art classes, a new aviation class, new music classes, etc. With the amount of new classes offered, not everyone knows about some of these newer classes. Today, you will get to learn all about one of these new classes that isn’t well known yet.

The anime/manga and cartooning art class is very new; this will be the second year that it is taught. Mr. Skinner teaches the class in the art wing everyday during third period. He started off the semester by teaching the students to draw people as realistic as possible before transitioning into drawing in an anime/manga style. Mr. Skinner has said to his students that in the class, they will go over how to draw anime/manga and cartoon characters, study film history of Japanese anime and manga, and watch some classic anime movies/shows.

Everyday, the class starts off with drawing warm-ups. They will draw something random start drawing and to get into the groove. Some days they will draw gesture drawings (a person’s gesture but without any details) and other days they will draw 3D shapes or  something similar to what they are working on. After their drawing warm-ups, Mr. Skinner will often put a picture on the board and students will have to draw it (whether in a gesture drawing style, anime/manga style, or some other style they are working on). They don’t draw everyday though; some days are devoted to film studies or watching anime/manga movies or shows. Before you ask, yes, they do have to answer questions about the movie or show, or complete an assignment based of the movie or show.

Kaden Clack, one of the students in this class, has said that she loves art and anime so this class was a great option for her. She also said that she couldn’t think of any improvements for the class. Most of the students in the class agree with her and truly enjoy the class. If anyone disagrees with her, they haven’t spoken up at the very least.

When I asked Mr. Skinner about the growing elective options, he said, “I don’t think it will become less popular thanks to other electives; however, depending on how popular anime itself is will depend on if the class grows or lowers in size.  I think it is pretty stable right now though so no worries about it right now.” He claims that this class shouldn’t be drowned out by other elective classes and will stay a decent size. Despite the elective classes that are new and becoming more popular, he thinks that this class should stay stable and possibly grow.

All the students have one thing in common: a love for anime or cartoon drawing. They are in the class because of their love for anime and drawing in new styles. Some students only like the class for the film study part of it.

Mr. Skinner claims to love being able to teach students that he knows want to be in the class. “I like to show the films, to talk about the style of art, and to see people improve on their ability to illustrate their own characters and stories.  The class is fun to teach because it is really driven by what the students want to do and what areas they are stronger or weaker in.”

The class was offered to students because Mr. Skinner had noticed that there were kids in the school who loved anime/manga and cartoons and he knew enough about this style of art to teach it to students. The school agreed to start offering this class to students.

If you like the anime/manga or cartoon art style, you should check out the class. It’s a mix of film studies and learning to draw in this style. There is a lot of free reign to learn a new style of art or to stick to the style of manga, anime, and cartoon drawing that you are used to.          

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