Hello, my name is Keita Aoyagi, manga artist.
This time, I have published what is probably the first NFT in Japan in which you can actually read the manga, based on the concept of NFT x Manga.
I would like to tell you the story behind the creation of my NFT collection “CHAIN”.
- CBackground of “CHAIN” production
- NFT GATEWAY, a gateway system made in Japan, is now available.
- NFT x Manga “CHAIN” Future Prospects
- NFT×MANGA “CHAIN” Synopsis
- Episode 1.
- Episode 1 Sample
- NFT×MANGA “CHAIN” Creation Story
CBackground of “CHAIN” production
From “The Froating World” to “CHAIN
I came up with the concept of the NFT x Manga collection at a relatively early stage, shortly after I started NFT.
I started NFT in May 2021, which is probably rather early.
If you are interested, please click here for a separate article on how I started NFT.
（The following link is a Japanese page.）
At the time, there were still few Japanese creators and collectors, and I had no choice but to market our products to overseas markets, so we began work on “The Floating World,” the first installment of the NFT Collection, with the concept of “communicating the appeal of Japan to the world through Ukiyoe-style art.
The collection later became a collection that was developed with an overseas promoter for about six months. At that time, we were advised that the value of the collection would be enhanced if the works had a story or relevance, and for some of the works, the same people appear or are related to each other.
However, at that time, I felt that there was a limit to how much storytelling could be done with a single piece, so I planned with the promoter that the ultimate goal would be to make a comic book.
I could have made a normal manga adaptation of “The Floating World,” but that would have been just another historical manga, and I didn’t feel the need to publish it in NFT, so a rather long-term plan to create independent collections set in the past, present, and future, and then make them into a multiverse manga was launched behind the scenes.
This long-term plan started around June 2021, so it took almost 9 months to realize CHAIN…
Why has it taken so long to get to this point….
Partly because the promoter left “The Froating World” and it took time to rebuild, partly because it took time for each independent collection to grow, but the biggest reason was the complexity of the system that was available to display comics at the NFT at the time.
NFT GATEWAY, a gateway system made in Japan, is now available.
I myself had no knowledge of programming, so it was impossible for me to create my own system.
At first, I tried to create a manga NFT with a system called MINTGATE, but failed due to the lack of explanations and complicated process.
In March of 2022, with the advent of NFTGATEWAY developed by a Japanese company, this NFT MANGA plan was realized.
Let me briefly explain what kind of system it is in the first place…
It is a “gateway” system accessible only to the owner of the NFT.
When selling NFT on OpenSea, you can set “unlockable contents” as a buyer’s bonus, which allows you to display text that only the buyer can read.
Generally, you can put a URL for downloading and present a high-resolution image there.
However, if you do so, downloading becomes possible.
I wanted to avoid that, so we were looking for a system that would allow us to connect wallet addresses and display cartoons, and when we saw a tweet saying that NFTGATEWAY was ready for development, we installed it.
And the first episode of CHAIN began as a new NFT with 36 pages of full-color manga.
NFT x Manga “CHAIN” Future Prospects
CHAIN is a collection I started under the title of Japan’s first actually readable manga NFT.
One of the purposes of this collection is to explore and present a new form of manga publishing, and it is said that in the current form of manga publishing, the royalty for a manga artist is about 5-10% of the unit price of a single book, which is a very difficult figure for a newcomer to make a living, even if he/she is also paid a manuscript fee. I think it’s a good idea.
In addition, if a work is sold secondhand, not a single penny of profit is received, so even if the work itself is popular, there are still a few situations where the artist cannot make a living and cannot continue to draw.
However, in the case of NFT sales, the artist receives most of the proceeds, and royalties are paid even after secondary distribution, so I expect that this form of publishing will change the publishing format of the manga industry.
For this reason, I would like to be the first to succeed and present this collection.
NFT×MANGA “CHAIN” Synopsis
CHAIN is the fourth collection that I have started, and it is a story that connects the worlds of the other three NFT collections.
I hope that you will experience this new NFT experience and see how the collections, which are completely different genres with completely different worldviews, will intersect with each other.
I’m going to talk about it from here, based on the synopsis, the main page, etc.
If you wish to avoid spoilers, we recommend that you purchase the book first below.
The Floating World (Past)
In 1600s Japan is in a state of war….
A fallen samurai, who had lost his master and was defeated in battle, escaped with his life…
Instead of asking for help, the samurai reluctantly accepts the fallen warrior’s offer of an ore called ikeaumu, but a moment later, a mysterious torii gate appears before the samurai’s eyes. ……
CRYPTO PORK (Future)
Hundreds of years have passed since humans successfully performed interspecies transplants using pig organs and pigs began to be bred for organ farms.
Cryptoporks, having the same intelligence as humans, have secretly created a space-time portal and are now planning to rewrite history to take revenge on humans…
Crypto school girls (Present Day)
The protagonist leads an ordinary high school life.
One day, he touches an unfamiliar off-limits door, which opens a dimensional door…
CHAIN is a story of past, present, and future worlds that are independently connected into a single multiverse.
Crypto assets are important in connecting each of these berths.
In the first episode, Ethereum was used in the past as “Isariam” and in the future for transfer through the space-time portal.
Why can you time travel with crypto assets?
Polygon doesn’t show up?
Some of you may think so, but a reason will appear later that can be well explained.
We hope you will look forward to the second and third episodes and the rest of the series.
Episode 1 Sample
An English version is also available.
Episode 1 Trailer Video
Sales page (Opensea)
Title: CHAIN #1
Number of pages: 36
After purchase, you will be able to view it from the URL below.
▼Click here for the OpenSea collection page.
NFT×MANGA “CHAIN” Creation Story
I thought that the holders of each collection would be confused if I suddenly connected all the collections in a comic strip, since each collection is independent.
There is a samurai in the Crypto pork collection, a pig mark on the Crypto school girls….
I put them in so casually that most people would not notice them, but I added them in various ways for my own satisfaction.
By the way, about why you brought this collection as the fourth one. Partly because it was the next collection after the Past, Present, and Future collections. There is another major reason, which I would like to discuss as an aside.
The original plan was for me to appear at the beginning of the first episode.
My line there was something like this.
「The fourth is an important number in creative situations such as theater and comics.」
「Have you ever heard of the term “fourth wall?」
「The imaginary, invisible wall separating the stage from the audience is called the fourth wall.」
「Breaking this fourth wall is generally considered taboo.」
「This is a story of how each of the berths is connected in a new dimension by the power of the Crypt.」
「When the multiverse links together to form a single metaverse, they see a world that never existed.」
「I have done the taboo of breaking down the walls of each of the universes that would not normally mix.」
「What happens to the performers when the fourth wall is broken…」
「Enjoy the fourth collection.」
I had the beginning of a feeling of… until just before it was published.
It was too far removed from the work and too outlandish, so we rejected it.