AI in Manga: Transforming Japanese Comics

Generative AI reshapes the Japanese manga industry, from creative processes to copyright concerns.

AI assists in manga creation by offering suggestions for plots and illustrations, aiming to make the creative process more efficient​​​.
Concerns persist about AI's potential impact on jobs and copyright infringement amidst legal ambiguities​​​.
The future of manga with AI involves a collaborative approach, enhancing rather than replacing human creativity​​​.

Embracing AI in Manga Creation

The manga industry in Japan is exploring generative AI’s potential to revolutionize the creative process. This innovative venture is highlighted by the launch of a project in Tokyo aiming to develop a new episode of “Black Jack,” a renowned manga by the late Osamu Tezuka, using AI technology. This project, spearheaded by Tezuka’s son, Makoto Tezuka, alongside Tezuka Productions, aims to demonstrate AI’s potential in supporting manga creation without surpassing the quality of Osamu Tezuka’s original works​​​​.

Potential and Pitfalls

Bringing AI into the process of making manga creates a lot of excitement and concern among creators. AI gives them a powerful new tool that could make creating manga faster and open up the field to more people. But, there’s also concern about how this might cause some people to lose their jobs and how it could make art less special because it’s so easy to make good-looking pictures by using AI image generators now. This has led some publishers to unofficially discourage the use of AI image generators by contributors​.

Legal and Ethical Conundrums

Currently, Japanese law permits the use of diverse content for AI training without explicit consent from the creators. This is causing a lot of talk about whether we need tougher rules. Many artists are worried about others stealing their work and how this could mess with their way of making a living. They’re pushing hard for changes in the laws to keep artists safe now that AI is becoming a big part of the scene.

AI’s Role in Manga’s Future

Despite these challenges, there’s a positive view of AI’s role in making manga. AI could open up new ways to share stories and express ideas by building a working partnership between people and machines. Projects like the AI-assisted “Black Jack” episode show the good things that can come from working together, highlighting AI’s use as a helpful tool, not something that takes away from human creativity.

Grace Angelique

An accomplished Art News Journalist with a decade of experience, Grace has passionately covered global art events, exhibitions, and emerging trends. With a keen eye for aesthetics and a pulse on the art world's undercurrents, Grace has crafted compelling narratives that bridge art and its societal impacts. Her work has graced major publications, offering readers a fresh perspective on contemporary art and its evolving landscape.

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