Episode 000: Pilot 

Welcome 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. 


We’d like to explain a few important points of the comic with you before we jump in. You will notice that none of the comic is in English, however, we have provided translations for words in a panel below each frame. The next thing that you will notice is that the first frame of every episode includes block of text, which will be key to understanding the different aspects of Japanese we will be analyzing in each lesson. This will constitute a large part of the lesson each week. As we progress through the story, each week will have an explanation about one or two grammar point and core concepts. Each week will build on top of the past weeks and will develop slowly through the basics of Japanese into more intermediate and some advanced Japanese. The aim is to help you grow through the comic. Now, if you are thinking “I already can speak Japanese I just want to practice, no worries, just don’t look at the cheat sheet below each frame. You can just enjoy the exciting story and native conversation. But just in case, they are there to help you. 


Also, you will need to know Hiragana and Katakana to read this comic. If you don’t know Hiragana, Katakana, or any of the other basic principles of Japanese grammar, please check out our 30 day challenge.  You can download our free Hiragana and Katakana Chart, look over grammar you don’t understand, and learn Japanese grammar day-by-day if you are brand new to Japanese.


Now, on to your first lesson!


Grammar: Japanese is a SOV language. That means that the sentence order is Subject – Object – Verb. Which you will notice very distinctly in the original first episode of Manga Sensei. The subject/topic of each sentence is distinctly said in the beginning of each frame. 


You should also notice that there are no spaces in Japanese. All the symbols crunched together. There is no need for spaces because of something called particles. Particles are markers that indicate what each part of the sentence is doing. While we will explain the particles each individual as we go along, notice that there are a couple of hiragana symbols that have the * symbol beside them. This is to indicate that it is a particle. Particles are the key to understanding Japanese and are easy to get used too. In the beginning you will want to seek the particles out so you can break down everything that is happening. 

*For more information regarding particles in Japanese, check out our 30 Day Challenge starting at Day 3 and read onward. 

Our initial idea for the comic was very slice-of-life. Each episode was short and sweet, connecting you to the Yamaguchi family. 


The Family consisted of:

Father – Shunnosuke

Mother – Yukiko

Daughter – Natsuki

Son – Masa




あと – After

10分 (じゅうぷん)- 10 minutes

*で – (In this particular instance) indicates time period

学校 (がっこう)- School

行く (いく)- to Go 

時間 (じかん)- Time

*よ – ! (Emphatic sentence final particle)

早く (はやく)- Quickly

起きなさい (おきなさい)- Wake up


お母さん (おかあさん)- Mom

6時 (ろくじ)- 6 o’clock

*に – Time Marker

起こして (おこして)- Wake up

って言った (っていった)- Said

じゃん – Didn’t I

なんで – Why

くれなかった – Didn’t ___ to/for me

*の – ?!

バス – Bus

*が – Subject Marker

あと – After

1分 (いっぷん)- 1 Minute

*で – Indicates Time period

行っちゃう (いっちゃう)- Unfortunately go

*から – ’cause

走って (はしって)- Run

行って来ます(いってきます) – I’ll Be Back

Our first comic was a Yon-Koma-Manga, meaning it only had four frames. We have since abandoned this for a more fluid longer form where you can read more frames at a time – like 3-4 time longer. 


Plus, instead of a short slice of life, we adjusted the story to be center around a linear story-line that allows the reader to be more engaged as the comic progresses. 


One of the key things we wanted to relay was the fluidity of native speech. Everything in this episode marked with ** is a contraction. Which means that it is a common phrase or group of words that often get crunched together. One thing many textbooks fail to include is natural language, which ends up leaving the student with only stiff and formal Japanese. 


However, on the grammatic side of things, it is important to notice the written use of each type of script. Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. 

Katakana is used with foreign words – or loan words. Hiragana is used with just about anything relating to grammar and native words. Kanji is used for nouns, verbs, adjectives and counters, and acts as the stem of words if you will.

パスタ – Pasta

まだ – Yet/Still

固い(かたい)- Stiff

んだ – Indicates Explanation*

けど – But

ぐらい – About

で – Period of time particle*

できる – Can

かな?- I wonder*

あと – After

5分 (ふん)- 5 Min 

(い)行かないといけない* – Have to Go

よ – !*

あれ – What

会議 (かいぎ)- Meeting

って – Saying

何時 (なんじ)- What Time

**だったっけ?- Wasn’t it?

7時 (しちじ)- 7 o’clock

*から – From 

帰り (かえり)- Head Home

*は – Topic Marker

*を – Object Marker

過ぎる (すぎる)- Past

*先に (さきに) – Before you get home

晩ご飯 (ばんごはん)- Dinner

**食べといて(たべ)- To eat (in the future)

いい – Good/Fine

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