Muscat: Japanese art and anime (animation) have gained popularity among the Omani youth, with one of them publishing her own Manga (Japanese comic) in both English and Arabic.
Fatima Al Lawati was interested in Japanese Manga and anime from a young age and wanted to portray the complexities of the art and its emotions for viewers and readers.
On December 20, 2015, she self-published the first volume of Manga, entitled “Black Night Symphony,” which is available in Arabic and English.
At four chapters and 212 pages, comedy/supernatural/fantasy Manga is a story of a girl, who is being exploited at her wizards’ academy due to her hidden, special abilities to perform magic, which prompt her to escape and find the truth behind her abilities and the reason for her exploitation.
“This Manga took me eight years when I was working on it by myself since I was a student in school,” said Al Lawati.
“I began to write the story at the beginning of 2004 and started drawing the storyboard and main characters in 2009. Between 2009 and 2014, I was learning new techniques and gaining some experience by reading original Japanese comics and participating in Manga contests in Japan,” she added.
Al Lawati also published a shorter story prior to ‘Black Night Symphony’ entitled ‘Okami no Kami,’ which translates to ‘The Fox Hair,’ which is based on the famous fairytale ‘Red Riding Hood.’
“Japanese Manga and anime have a different style than other comics and fine arts. You can express your emotions, feelings and ideas, as well as knowledge of other cultures into this style freely,” explained Al Lawati about Manga.
“Reading other people’s Manga work makes you feel what they feel and what they want to say about life, culture or themselves. That’s why Manga caught my eyes and I became interested in mastering the [art] since I was a child,” she added.
Since Manga and Japanese art is a relatively new concept for the Omani community, Al Lawati hopes they can learn the culture and accept it as one of the arts to be practiced in the Sultanate. Due to a lack of support, Al Lawati self-published her comic, which gained her more popularity among her readers.
Advising youth, who want to chase their dreams, Al Lawati said, “Stop waiting for someone to push you; start moving and chase your dreams even if others see it as fiddling.”
“Have the courage to take the first step and never be afraid to try something new—nothing will stop you. Do what you love, love what you’re doing and never look back,” she added.
Al Lawati’s Manga is available for sale, to book a copy, contact her at [email protected] or send her a direct message and follow her on Instagram @f.jay