So, doujinshi are rather common in Japan. However, it seems that doujinshi, especially ones that are derivative works of an existing series, usually only appear in limited non-commercial circulation, such as at doujinshi conventions, in doujin shops, or on art sites like Pixiv.

But sometimes, there are official doujinshi anthologies that seem to be officially endorsed by the publisher, and are published commercially alongside the source material?

These anthology volumes are typically collections of non-canon oneshots from various third-party manga artists. These stories are basically the same kind of stories that you'd find at a doujinshi convention; the only difference is, these stories are being officially published, so I guess they're not technically doujinshi, although they do feel very similar in spirit...

Some examples that I know of:

So my question is, what is exactly the process for the creation of an official comic anthology?

For example, how does the publisher decide whether to create one or not? Why do some series have official anthologies while others don't? Is the original creator involved? How do they decide who will be included in the anthology and who won't? Do they just call up various manga artists directly, asking if they want to contribute a chapter to the anthology, or do they put up a notice somewhere?

Just something that I've been wondering about.

1 Answer 1


First, we call the genre as "Anthology" or "Anthology comics". The main difference between "Anthology" and doujinshi is they get permission from original author and publisher or not.

The origin of "Anthology" is anthology of TV game. Ex. Mario or fighting game.

In late 80' and early 90', many book publisher starts create "Anthology" of TV game under permission from game publisher with the style (one book from multiple manga creator).

In middle and late 90', They expand the style to manga/anime.

Usually, a publisher doesn't give a permission to other publishers to create "Anthology" for their manga. It's because of conflict of business.

And some publisher always create "Anthology" if the manga is famous enough. But some other publisher never create "Anthology".

I think this is the main reason that some manga have it and others are not.

For example,

  • Kadokawa (Lucky Star, Haruhi) is supportive for "Anthology"
  • Houbunsha 芳文社 (K-On, Madoka Magica) is supper supportive.
  • "Anthology" page of Japanese Wikipedia has list of supportive publisher.
  • Shogakukan/Shueisha never create "Anthology", So there are no anthology from the manga from this publisher.(at least legally)

For who will join the "Anthology", I don't know the answer. But I can imagine that the editor ask manga creator (who already know in person) to join their "Anthology". I think that's the reason usually manga creator in "Anthology" also already have manga series in the publisher.

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