How to Make a Good Anime Plot
Mechademia, an annual collection of scholarly essays on Anime, publishes articles that contain "imagined history," and "gothic politics" in their titles. The titles of these essays suggest a complex plot structure that uses satire and fantasy to make a larger point. But at the basis of plot-driven Anime is fundamental storytelling. According to Kathleen Dinneen and Maryanne O'Connor of the Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute, a story begins with character development.
Write a summary of each character. The summary will include a brief background and the current objectives of the character. The summary will include aspects of the character's personality which will later determine the character's decisions within the story. For example: A character who is a strong fighter but often acts before thinking may make decisions that change the direction of a story. Drawing rough sketches of the characters as you work will help guide their development.
Create a conflict. Your characters must have a conflict to overcome to keep the audience's attention. Refer to the work of Tezuka Osamu, one of the founders of Anime.Tezuka's stories Triton of the Sea and Phoenix 2772 use conflicts inspired by traditional fables and fantasy to tell epic new stories. Conflict such as war or unruly spirits will give your plot the foundation of a story from which the characters will be forced to make decisions.
Write your plot using only action. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. The actions of your characters will inspire the words they choose to use.
Tiffany Ross is a writer and actress who has been working in Chicago since 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting and is completing her Master of Science in Oriental medicine. Ross is a world traveler with experience working overseas.