As a current artist-in-residence on the Facebook Social VR team, Goro Fujita has been making some pretty impressive “quillistrations” as a part of his daily creative regime using Quill, Oculus’ first-party VR paint and drawing tool that he helped develop. In a few of his latest creations though, Fujita has been plumbing the possibilities of bringing comics to life in VR. As Fujita puts it, he’s now convinced “VR comics will be a thing.”

Taking inspiration from the Dragon Ball manga, Fujita recently recreated the iconic moment when Piccolo sacrifices himself for Gohan, the eldest son of series protagonist Goku. The animation effects lend the work a decidedly more manga-like feel than anime per se, something Fujita calls “manime.”

First, the original inspiration for Fujita’s quillistration:

Image courtesy of Akira Toriyama

Now for Fujita’s interpretation—you can check it out for yourself in Facebook Spaces, the company’s social VR app that lets you chat, share 360 photo and video, and now Quill projects too.

In a tweet, Fujita maintains the VR illustration is “more like a proof of concept,” and that he doesn’t currently have plans to produce any VR versions of branded manga like Dragon Ball at this time, as he prefers to make his own original content. He says however designing the scene in VR allowed him to create it more quickly than any medium he’s experimented with thus far.

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“Something clicked when I drew Spiderman yesterday and I wanted to spend a bit more time into a daily painting. I took a Dragonball page and did my VR interpretation for it. That key moment that made me love Piccolo! How rewarding this experiment was! I would totally read comics like this! Quill comics will become a thing!”

As a former visual development artist at Dreamworks, Fujita is credited for his work on films such as Megamind (2010)Madagascar 3 (2012)Penguins of Madagascar (2014), and Boss Baby (2017). Fujita joined the now shuttered Oculus Story Studio as art director in 2014, and then moved onto his position as artist-in-residence when Quill’s development was picked up by Facebook’s Social VR team.

Fujita shares Quill content most days via his Twitter, and hosts a monthly livestream teaching session for backers of his Patreon.

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While virtual stalwart Fujita isn’t the first to hit on the idea of creating manga exclusively for VR headsets—Square Enix recently released a long-term manga project called Tales of Wedding Rings VR (2018)and last month MyDearest’s VR manga game TOKYO CHRONOS reached its Kickstarter funding goal—he makes a strong case for the burgeoning genre. With the right understanding of the tools (in this case Quill), a single developer can quickly create a VR comic without the need of voice actors, and without having to master a game engine.

For aspiring VR comic creators, Fujita offers a quick look behind the scenes of how he created the Dragon Ball scene:

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • impurekind

    Yeah, I can totally seeing this being a very exciting future path for motion comics in VR.

    I saw this recently and was totally blown away by the potential for this kind of motion scene in VR:

    VR is just awesome for everything basically.

  • Luke

    this is simply awesome, maybe I prefere to read a manga like this on my ipad. is it possible to do?

  • He has insane skills

  • I like to watch Dragon ball Z very much and this is nice Facebook Artist Makes a Case for VR Manga in Homage to Iconic ‘Dragon Ball’ Scene but i like the Goku most.

    Employment Verification Letter

  • Mr. Moon

    I am looking forward for the future of the manga

    it’s seems like we are just two years away, with Playstation 5.0 and next Xbox the VR will go mainstream.