Episode 000: Pilot Cont.

Welcome back to the Manga Sensei comic! We've worked with native Japanese speakers, illustrators, and our team of Japanese experts to provide you with engaging language learning material for long term growth. We are very excited to begin sharing our new and improved comic with you. But before we officially begin our weekly releases of our new comic, we'd like to share the our old comic before our relaunch. Take this episode as a preface to the story and an introduction as to how we will be teaching you Japanese through our weekly comic.  


One thing that we found as we wanted to achieve with this comic was a steady stream of common situations and varying levels of formality, in unique situations. That is why we cchose a weekly theme. The comics below were part of the theme for days. Another way we tried to accomplish this was through our character choices. Which is why we settled on the idea of a family and why we initially liked the idea of doing a slice of life (nichijou) comic.


We figured we could show the powerful hierarchy of Japanese language, without having to make it feel like a negative thing; which is often the case. However, as we grew the story we also noticed our characters were too young and we were not seeing the true full scope of conversations. Teachers, peers, and enemies were important to understand how people talk, and what things native speakers can teach us that text books can't. 


Below are a couple of examples of the theme: Days. 


Grammar: Returning last week where we were talking about particles, the first particle is a slightly tricky particle that is used to mark the topic of the sentences. Again if you cannot read hiragana please check out our 30 Day Challenge free on this site. 


This Hiragana symbol, typically The first and most important particle is Wa/は. Wa marks the topic of the sentence. While this particle may read like the Hiragana “Ha” sound, and it is, when used as a particle it is read as “Wa.” The best indicator to know whether it is Wa or Ha is to check its location and function within the sentence. If は is found within a word, like はかる (meaning to measure) it is most likely pronounced 'ha', if it is found outside of a word or between two words it's most likely pronounced 'wa'. 


The next thing to learn is that Particles follow that which they are marking. 

WA is the topic marker. Is indicates what it is that someone is talking about. In other words, the most important thing in the sentence. Because it is the most important thing in the sentence the Japanese often omit this particle because it is often glaringly obvious. 


An example of this from English.If I introduce myself I would say something like this: 

Hi my name is John, I like Japanese and comic books. I also love Korean food and skateboarding. 


In Japanese it would me more like:

I は name John is. Japanese and Comics like do. Also, Korean food and Skateboarding like do.  


Notice that once the は, the thing marking myself, is only written once. In Japanese there is little to no reason to say “I” “I” “I” over and over again. 


They Simply mention it once, and then they add it again when there is a new topic, or they assume it is mutually understood. For today’s lesson, try and figure out which words are the topic of conversation. Most are marked with Wa, while others are not. 


Answers will be below.  


While the old comic was three times a week, Monday Wednesday and Friday, our new comic will be coming out every Thursday. 




あなた - Dear


は - Topic Maker

結婚記念日(けっこんきねんび)- Wedding Anniversary

よ - !

あ - uh huh

まさか - I don't believe it!

忘れてた(わすれる)- Forget

の - informal question particle

いや(いいえ)- informal version of no. Formal version in brackets

そんな - That

訳(わけ)- mean

ない - Not

じゃん - didn't

This four frame comic here was great for showing informal verses formal language. In Japanese to say yes and no there are levels of formality. This is because of the hierarchy of language. 


Yes (Formal)

Yes (Informal)


No (Formal)

No (Informal) 

We have put all the verbs in their current tense, once we show you how to conjugate verbs in a couple of weeks, we will also include the conjugation "base."

お父さん(おとうさん)- Dad

今度(こんど)- This coming

の - Connecting Particle

土曜日(どようび)- Saturday 

父親参観(ちちおやさんかん)- Fathers Outing

これる - Can Come

あ~ - Ahhh

土曜(どよう)- Sat

は - Topic Marker

大事な(だいじ)- Very Important

会議(かいぎ)- Meeting

が - Subject Marker

ある - Exist

んだ - Indicates an explination 

僕(ぼく)- I

だけ - Only 

いない(いる)- Exist

なんて - Saying that

嫌だ(やだ)- To dislike something (said in a childish way)


分かった(わかる)- Understand

とか - Or something

行ける(いける)- be able to go

ように - so that

する - to do


One thing you will notice about the WH question words is that they are never in the same sentence as the Topic Marking Particle Wa. It will either be omitted or another particle will be used in it's place. 


You will also notice that there are many "WH" question words in Japanese. Here are a few:


What - なん・なに

When - いつ

How - どうやって

In What Way - どんな

Which - どち・どちら・どれ

Where - どこ

Why - なぜ、どして

今日(きょう)- Today

何(なん)- What

の - 's

日(ひ)- Day

か - Question Marker

知ってる?*(しる)- To Know


知らない(しる)To Know

わ - ! (Feminine)

なに - What

ポッキーの日(ひ)- Pocky Day

だ - Predicate (We will talk about this next lesson)

よ - !

ほら - See!

11月(がつ)- 11th Month (Nov)

11日(にち)- 11th Day 

で - Time Particle

全部(ぜんぶ)- All

みたい - To look like

じゃん。- Don't it?!

友達(ともだち)- Friend(s)

が - Subject Marker

みんな - Everyone

学校(がっこう)- School

に - Direction Particle

ポッキー - Pocky

を - Object Marker

持って(もつ)- To Hold

きて (くる)- To Come

いた (いる)- To exist

よ - !

Topic Answers 


Comic 1: Anniversary

Comic 2: Dad & Outing (Saturday)

Comic 3: Today

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