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.

2 Answers 2


It is difficult to answer this question because as far as we are aware, there may not be a standard way of creating these anthologies, and it can vary completely from work to work. Different publishers may also choose not to reveal their procedures when creating and publishing works.

By looking at some anthologies, we may get a glimpse at how they are created based on the authors’ notes. In volume 1 of the official anthology for Yagate Kimi ni Naru, several of the authors write that they are thankful for being invited to contribute to the anthology.

Whether they are thanking the publishing company or the author of the series is unclear, however the author for the series writes in her own notes that she read the different authors’ manuscripts that had been given to her.

This tells us that either the author herself found the different artists and had them send in their manuscript to her, or the publishing company sent out the invitations to the different authors and had them send back their manuscript where the series’ author then was tasked with reading the various manuscripts.

Again, I want to stress out that my answer is simply based on one anthology. This doesn’t mean that other anthologies are created in a similar way, but more than likely there will be similar traits.


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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