Asuka Kawaguchi has published her first manga at the age of 13 but for the six years since then, she couldn't produce anything new despite desperately trying to. Her problem is lack of topics she is interested in enough to write about. Noticing that Boys' Love Genre and Yuri Genre works are selling well, she decides to take a shot at the genre, but first, she needs to "gather experience" and starts dating her kohai Morishita, who has previously professed her love for her. Very soon, she discovers that Morishita is actually "Sachi", her favorite manga artist writing under a pen name. As the story progresses, the two experience highs and lows in life but by supporting each other, they make it through anything and the bond between them grows ever stronger.
Manga no Tsukurikata (How to Make a Manga) is an on-going manga about mangakas by Auri Hirao. It is also about Girls' Love, although it's mostly hidden in subtext: Kawaguchi and Morishita don't kiss or openly announce their relationship, and the former is still reluctant to acknowledge her feelings, but she doesn't deny it either, and there's a plenty of hugging and tender touches. The drawing style is rough (maybe, deliberately so) but slightly more realistic than the usual Moe style, probably to emphasize the realism of the story. If you are searching for Fanservice and comedy, you may move along now, but in case you look for an evenly paced, laid-back yuri romance, Manga no Tsukurikata is the right choice. Also, take a look if you are a fan of Hiyori from Lucky Star.
This manga contains examples of:
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Kawaguchi's younger brother tries being one but fails.
- Becoming the Mask: Kawaguchi started dating Morishita as a way to break her writer's block but ended up feeling for her real—even though she is still not quite clear whether it's truly love.
- Fanservice: Nope, nothing here.
- Filler: Chapter 38 is a non-canon story about the cast gathering for Kawaguchi's birthday. Someone even points out the obvious Plot Hole of Morishita being present for the party despite her having moved to Tokyo by that point, and she just laughs it off by breaking the fourth wall and saying it doesn't matter since this chapter isn't related to the overall story anyway.
- Gayngst: Don't look for it here, either. Morishita is happily in love with Kawaguchi, Kawaguchi herself doesn't mind dating her, and her parents have nothing against it either.
- Girls' Love: It is a meta-GL manga: it's about female mangaka, at least one of whom wants to write yuri manga and the other is in love with her.
- Hide Your Lesbians: Meta-subversion: Although Kawaguchi is advised to keep her relationship with Morishita from public, she does nothing to hide it.
- Actually, Kawaguchi's often hides her feelings from Morishita, of all people, leaving the audience wondering whether she really loves her or not.
- Identical Stranger: Nomura looks a lot like Morishita.
- Incompatible Orientation: Masato has a crush on Morishita, who in turn falls for his sister.
- Intertwined Fingers: Kawaguchi and Morishita do that regularly.
- Love Triangle: Kawaguchi's brother loves Morishita, Morishita loves Kawaguchi, Kawaguchi is thoroughly confused about her own feelings. But it all gets resolved by chapter three.
- Mangaka: All principal characters who aren't Kawaguchi's brother draw manga.
- Moe: Only on the in-universe manga pages that are glimpsed every now and then.
- Replacement Goldfish: When it becomes clear that Yoshinaga is not going to give up on Morishita, Kawaguchi tries to trick her into falling for Nomura, who greatly resembles Morishita.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: At one point, Morishita thinks that Kawaguchi will abandon her when "she grows up" and marries. Kawaguchi assures her that since she is already an adult, it won't happen any time soon.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Morishita is still a student.
- Sempai/Kohai: Kawaguchi is Morishita's sempai.
- Slice of Life
- Subtext: The primary medium that contains yuri in this manga. Fortunately, there's enough of subtext here to send any Yuri Fan into uncontrollable Squee!.
- Tsundere: Discussed Trope, Kawaguchi acts it and gets called on it.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Kawaguchi's brother. It must really suck to discover that the girl you love is in love with your own sister.
- Will They or Won't They?: Kawaguchi maintains an ambivalent attitude toward her relationship with Morishita, even though she admits they are dating for real. So far it looks like they haven't even kissed yet.
- Actually, one topic of debate seems to be in Chapter 32 whether or not Kawaguchi and Morishita did anything in bed. Kawaguchi gets on top of Morishita after they both confess to being lonely without each other. And then the chapter ends.