On Google’s Arts & Culture blog this week, the company unveiled a new interactive experience that lets anyone magically draw manga-style ink artwork while exploring and learning manga history. For those unaware, this popular Japanese art style originated in the 12th century on animal scrolls and rose to prominence in the 1950s thanks to the publishing industry. It was even used during WWII for wartime propaganda before publications like Astro Boy, Kimba The White Lion and others took the world by storm.
Most people reading this might be more familiar with modern “Shōnen” manga like Dragon Ball Z, Full Metal Alchemist, etc., but its roots go back much further than that. Indeed, the “Father of Manga”, Osamu Tezuka began drawing his first pieces at the age of 17, in 1947.
Anyway, if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself and have already spent some time learning all about manga through the new “Manga Out of the Box” series, you can visit Giga Manga on the Web to do yours. Don’t worry, if you’re not quite an artist, that’s what makes it special – Google’s AI and automatic machine learning with nothing but a few lines from your hand. Add some color and let the tech giant take over and make it look stunning.
In this unique experience, all you need to do is sketch a few simple lines and add a few splashes of color, then let machine learning do the rest. You can also draw a freeform to further customize your creation. And when you’re done, the tool will help you discover manga similar to the one you drew.
The key word
My favorite aspect of the experience is the row of related illustrations that appear under your own attempt. Google Arts & Culture has many experiences that often combine your face, your own drawing, etc., with famous works by past artists. You can tap or click on any of them to further explore their work and see who you are most like! It’s a fun little way to kill time, and I hope you try it as manga, or at least anime, has touched your life in some way this generation .