series are adapted from Japanese comic books called manga
. Manga artists
have their own set of conventions that frequently make their way into the final animated series:
- The use of "screen tones" (prefabricated printed background patterns) as backgrounds behind one or two characters during important scenes, representing the characters' emotions rather than showing the surroundings behind the characters. This practice roughly equates to a closeup shot on TV or film with a shallow Depth of Field that throws away the actual background. Examples of this practice include:
- Conversely, introductory or concluding material, or particularly important emotional moments, are represented by an especially elaborate rendering of the scene in greater-than-usual detail, sometimes as an Aspect Montage, sometimes as a single realistic or allegorical scene splashed across two facing pages. Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame evokes this sort of "frozen moment" on screen. This is much more common in shojo than in other Anime Genres. For the index:
- Meanwhile, if the events being depicted are a flashback, the empty space between panels will often be colored black. In flashback heavy series, this is almost necessary to avoid entering Mind Screw territory.
- Manga artists include more on the page than just the actual action. Little explanatory notes to the reader are common, and show up especially in comedy series as on-screen footnotes. Likewise, there's no soundtrack to a manga book, so Written Sound Effects need to be included on the page... and find their way onto the screen in the same sorts of anime series.
- A fairly frequent problem, though, is that mangaka are used to drawing in black and white but may not have the same level of expertise to colour their drawings for e.g. covers.
- Most of anime's trademark exaggerated emotional iconography is adapted from manga equivalents.