Learn manga and anime skills
Not too long ago, an Anime Fest hosted by Paradigm Mall, PJ caused massive traffic congestion on the LDP. Guests inside the mall had people browsing side by side at a snail’s pace.
Such a large number of fans presents the demand for anime and manga subculture in this country.
Add to that the 40th anniversary of Malaysian Look East politics, and you have a groundbreaking Japanese illustration and manga university in Bandar Sunway, Selangor.
Registration is currently open and classes are expected to start this September 5th.
Go beyond borders
The Nippon Designers School Malaysia College (NDS) is said to be the first Japan-based creative college to open in Malaysia.
Launching in June 2022, it will offer a hands-on curriculum integrating Malaysian and Japanese cultures. This is in addition to training in manga, illustration, animation, and other creative disciplines.
For example, Japanese language and culture lessons will be offered at the school, as the team is convinced that learning them can lead to new creativity.
“In addition, a deeper understanding of these aspects of manga and anime will help students develop their skills more effectively,” said NDS Malaysia representative Kai Yamashita (KY).
Since we didn’t know the difference between manga production techniques and those of conventional illustration and animation already offered in a few colleges in Malaysia, KY took the liberty of explaining.
“Unlike illustrations, which convey a visual impression with a single image, and animations, which are created by multiple people working together, manga is sometimes like a movie created by the creator alone,” he noted.
“It requires drawing skills and the ability to express how to convey to others the story that unfolds in the individual’s imagination. That’s why the interesting thing about comic book art is that unexpected stories can emerge.
Transfer to the Land of the Rising Sun
Originating in Shibuya, Japan in 1965, NDS also has a sister school in Kyushu, Japan with a total of 35,000 graduates.
Some notable projects the graduates have been involved in include the TV series Pazudora, Zekkaku Gakkyu, and the manga series Kotaro Lives Alone which is currently on Netflix, among others.
Students who are part of the NDS Malaysia course will have the opportunity to study in Japan through exchange programs, study tours and art exhibitions.
Transfer decisions will be based on the credits students have earned and coordination of credits with sister schools in Japan.
“Even if the students are not transferred and are still enrolled in the Malaysian school, they can receive employment assistance from the sister school in Japan, and depending on their achievements and abilities, there is a job opportunity in a Japanese company,” explained KY. .
Calling Malaysian Students
A two-year, seven-month diploma in manga illustration is currently the only NDS Malaysia course available at this time. Speaking to Vulcan Post, KY said the school would consider opening more if needed, such as a 3D animation department.
NDS Malaysia is targeting 80 students to be part of its first batch of admissions and graduates. Setting up the college near Monash and Sunway University is one of the ways the school hopes to approach its target group.
In addition, NDS Malaysia will organize trial classes, workshops, information sessions and individual consultations as well as school visits to help convince students to enroll.
Seeing that the latest digital illustration devices and established Japanese lecturers are involved in the program, I thought the course fees for the Manga Illustration Diploma would be high.
KY shared that the tuition fee is set at RM68,700 for the entire program. To justify the award, he said the college had more than 50 years of experience in Japan and many connections in the art industry.
Not to mention, there will also be events such as special workshops with famous creators in the program, hence the price range of the program.
Of course, scholarships will be offered in partnership with JAGAM, an organization in Malaysia that supports students studying in Japan. Five students will be selected for a full tuition waiver and another five for a first-year tuition waiver.
The selection system will consist of a three-step selection of documents, artwork and an interview.
Convince parents of an artistic career
Although Malaysians are beginning to see the arts as a viable career, some parents are still hesitant to send their children to such a specialized program as manga illustration.
KY agreed, adding that the team alleviated those worries by carefully explaining the possibilities of those skills and the different jobs available during consultations with parents.
“We also explain to them that they will receive full employment support not only from NDS Malaysia, but also from our partner companies, our advisor, the President of the Malaysian Association of Cartoonists and our sister schools in Japan, so that parents are fully convinced before enrolling their children,” KY acknowledged.
But suppose a student couldn’t pursue his dream career in Japan creating manga and anime for a studio.
What potential does the Malaysian creative market have then to nurture those NDS graduates with such specialized knowledge and skills in manga production?
KY pointed out that while manga and animation skills are used in many industries in Japan, they may still be rare in Malaysia.
However, this could simply be because there have been few previous programs to easily hone these skills locally, so the launch of NDS could be the catalyst to create change in Malaysia’s creative industry.
- Learn more about Nippon Designers School Malaysia College here.
- Read other education-related articles we’ve written here.
Featured Image Credit: Nippon Designers School Malaysia College