Ever heard of the Yonkoma or the 4Koma? It’s actually a type of manga bearing 4 panels on each page or chapter. They sometimes run in a right-to-left horizontal style or in a hybrid 2×2 style. The variation depends on the publishers and the drawing style of the mangaka.
Most 4komas are created for gags and comedy, and they consist mainly of the basis of the story (Ki), the foundation of the story (Sho), the climax (Ten), and the conclusion (Ketsu). They are mostly published first in newspapers, manga magazines, graphic novels, and the like. Some of these 4koma series are later reprinted, but sold in a single volume.
Some Popular 4komas
Below are some titles of popular 4komas that have been published in Japan and overseas.
– This is a slice-of-life and comedy 4koma series written by Kiyohiko Azuma from 1999 to 2002. The manga was later turned into an anime series with a total of 26 episodes. It tells the everyday life stories of ordinary high school girls and their two teachers. One of the protagonists, Chiyo, is a gifted child with intelligence that’s highly advanced as compared to her classmates.
– This is a story of ordinary girls forming a band while balancing their studies and extra-curricular activities. The 4Koma also had an anime series, which gained instant fame worldwide. The known characters/protagonists are Yui, Ritsu, Mio, Tsumugi, and Asuza.
– Kana Nakamichi is an orphan who decides to work in a newspaper delivery service to start a new life. The people who worked along with her are all girls, and together they experience different daily situations while balancing school and work.
Hetalia: Axis Powers
– A story that features personifications of countries with a mix of political and historical references. The series started as a webcomic then later gained fame when it was serialized into a manga and anime.