Machine magic or art menace Japan to release first AI manga

The author of a sci-fi manga that is about to hit the shelves in Japan admits that he has no drawing skills, so he turned to creativity to create a dystopian saga.

All of the futuristic contraptions that were created in “Cyberpunk: Peach John” were made complicated by Midjourney, a viral AI tool that supported the art world, along with others such as Stable Diffusion and DALL-E 2. Manga drawn by AI, and the project raised questions about potential technological threats to copyright and copyright in the multi-billion dollar comic book industry. It took the author, who calls himself Rootport, just six weeks to complete a 100-page manga, which would have taken an artist a year, he said.

“It’s a fun process, it reminds me of gambling,” the 37-year-old told AFP. Rootport, a writer who has worked on manga designs before, covered it with a collection of text such as “blonde hair”, “Asian boy”, and “stadium jacket” to make the image of the hero of the story about a minute.

He then introduced the best comic book directors to create the book, which has already gained buzz online before it was released on Thursday by publishing house Shinchosha. Unlike traditional black and white manga, the brainchild is fully colored, although the same character’s face sometimes appears in different forms.

Still, AI image creators have created a way for people without artistic skills to enter the manga industry – as long as they have a good story to tell, the author said. Rootport said he felt a sense of accomplishment when his text guide, which he described as a magical “space,” created an image that matched what he envisioned.

“Or is it the same satisfaction you would have if you made something from scratch by hand? Maybe not.”


Midjourney was developed in the United States and became popular around the world after its release last year.

Like other AIs that create textual images, strange, illogical and sometimes scary things can be surprisingly confusing, making people a reflective painting. The tools have also run into legal difficulties, with the London-based startup behind Stable Diffusion facing court alleging that the software took large amounts of copyrighted material from the web without permission.

Some Japanese lawmakers have raised concerns about artists’ rights, although experts say copyright infringement is unlikely if AI art is made with simple text, with little human creativity. . Others have warned that the technology could steal work from young manga artists, who painstakingly draw background images for each scene.

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