Manga and anime originated in Japan but their fanbase has grown across the globe. If you are a fan of anime and manga, chances are you have sketched your favorite characters on your sketchbooks, the back of your notebooks, or your computers.
Many art supplies brands have designed and manufactured markers and pens specifically for manga. You can choose from a broad range of colors and nibs that suit your budget and style.
In this article, I have curated the best markers for manga to help you take your illustrations to a whole new level.
- Best Marker for Manga Reviews
- 1. Prismacolor 1759444 Art Markers
- 2. U.S. Art Supply SM-A024 Manga Dual Tip
- 3. Sakura 50201 Manga Comic Pro Drawing Kit
- 4. Copic Markers MLB2 Multiliner Pen Set
- 5. Pandafly 807A-10 Precision Micro-Line Pens
- 6. ADAXI Skin Tone Dual Tip Marker Set
- 7. Shuttle Art SHTAM-26 Dual-Tip Markers
- 8. Copic Markers SKST6-SKIN Sketch Set
- 9. Alchilalart A80-001 Alcohol-Based Markers
- 10. Boxun BX-805A Black Fineliner Pens
- 11. Too Copic Sketch Marker Set
- 12. Keebor Premium Alcohol Art Markers
- What to Look for When Buying Markers for Manga
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Marker for Manga Reviews
1. Prismacolor 1759444 Art Markers
Give your anime-inspired illustrations a beautiful blend of hues with this set of Prismacolor manga markers. Made especially for anime and manga-style illustrations, it is a must-have for professionals and hobbyists.
When I tested the markers, I loved how they blended seamlessly, which helped me create 3-dimensional illustrations using shadows and highlights. Aside from that, I can produce new hues by blending two different colors.
Speaking of colors, the selection is versatile. The set gives me ample options for skin tone but I can also make the characters more colorful. Plus, I can add scenery for the background if I want to.
The double-ended markers from this set are extremely convenient in both sketching and coloring. I find the bullet nib useful for coloring tight spaces or sketching outlines. On the other hand, the wedge nib is useful for coloring large areas.
Another reason to love these markers is that the nibs are sturdy and hardly frays. Consequently, I can draw intricate details with ease. Even if I use it for a long time, the nibs let me render the same quality of lines.
2. U.S. Art Supply SM-A024 Manga Dual Tip
Cartoons and comics like anime and manga have characters with distinct costumes and wild hairstyles. In order to capture this unique style, you will need the U.S. Art Supply’s Super Markers for manga.
One feature that parents will like about these markers is that the inks are non-toxic. With that said, I think this could be the best gift for young anime and manga lovers who love to draw. Judging by the quality of the ink and color vibrance, professionals and hobbyists will surely enjoy using these markers.
Besides the primary colors, this set also includes skin tones and other bright hues that I can use to design characters. With 24 colors to choose from, I use these markers for adult coloring books, realistic portraiture, and other genres. Since the inks are acid-free, I don’t have to worry about discoloration.
Furthermore, the dual-tip feature comes in handy for precise sketching, coloring, and blending. Meanwhile, holding the marker feels light on my hands. They are very easy to control as well. Apart from the superb ergonomics, the tri-oval shape of the body prevents the marker from rolling off the table.
3. Sakura 50201 Manga Comic Pro Drawing Kit
If you are thinking of making your manga-inspired comics, this 6-piece Sakura drawing kit is a great starting point.
Everything I need to sketch panels for comics is in this set. Aside from the micro-tip and graphic pens, I also get a mechanical pencil and brush pen. The variety of tips come in handy whenever I need to draw facial expressions and color in shapes.
What sets this product apart is the ink. For one, the fast-drying quality allows me to erase the pencil sketches neatly after I ink my drawing. I can use these pens to outline watercolor and marker-based illustrations. For another, the archival properties of the ink safeguard my artwork against signs of aging.
More importantly, the black ink flows so smoothly that it never skips. Thus, I don’t have to go back and retrace the lines. Not only does this save me time, it enables me to write or sketch neatly. Despite its rich pigment, the ink does not bleed to the other pages of my sketchbook.
Overall, the pen design makes it possible for me to create a precise rendition of my sketches. The same can be said for the mechanical pencil. Both the body of the pens and the mechanical pencil are comfortable to hold. The tips are held by metals, which makes the pens more stable when drawing.
4. Copic Markers MLB2 Multiliner Pen Set
Made by a brand known for blending markers, Copic is the top choice for manga art. It should not come as a surprise that the brand’s line of manga drawing pens is a staple for illustrators.
Whenever I use watercolors and waxy colored pencils, I prefer using inks that are fast-drying and smear-proof, which is why I recommend this set. This has become my go-to pens for finished artworks because of their archival quality.
Without skipping issues, the smooth flow of ink lets me render sharp lines and opaque shapes that I need to produce in manga-style artworks. Even if I make rapid strokes, the ink can keep up. Another reason why I like this is the permanent ink that cannot be picked up by erasers whenever I rub off my initial pencil outline.
Apart from fine-tipped pens, this set includes two brush markers. I find them extremely useful when I draw hair, swirly lines, or Japanese letters. Meanwhile, the tips glide smoothly only on paper, which helps me achieve crisp and neat lines. Thus, I often use this for cross hatching and shading shapes.
Gripping these pens feels comfortable even after long hours of drawing. The combination of a lightweight body and sturdy tip makes each pen easy to control. Plus, it does not require brute force to remove the caps.
5. Pandafly 807A-10 Precision Micro-Line Pens
Do you write and draw manga comics? Then, let your ideas take off with this set of micro pens from Pandafly.
First of all, I’m all in for this set because I can pair them with blending markers and watercolors. Inking with these pens guarantees no smudges since they are composed of waterproof ink. Plus, I can comfortably use them on notebooks and sketchbooks with thin sheets because the ink does not bleed.
Thanks to the smooth flow of ink, I can write and draw continuously. Regardless of whether I write fast or slow, the pen does not skip or blot. The archival quality of the ink makes my artwork fade-proof. Considering its price, I can use the same set of pens for both commissioned pieces and casual sketching.
The brush pen is my favorite since it enables me to color backgrounds and create stylish hand lettering. Using it feels like using a real paintbrush in the sense that it is easy to manipulate. For manga, the variety of the micro-line pens’ point sizes is extremely useful for detailing and outlining my illustrations.
Generally, the nibs are stable despite their thinness. Even after frequent use, the tips do not wear down or widen, which gives me a consistent line thickness throughout the lifespan of the pens.
6. ADAXI Skin Tone Dual Tip Marker Set
You may already have a set of markers and notice that the skin tones are limited. Well, with this set of skin tone markers, you will never have to worry about that again!
All 29 blendable markers in this set enable me to produce varied skin tones. In other words, the possibilities are endless in designing diverse characters. What’s more, I can use these markers for other features like hair and makeup to make my characters stand out.
Featuring professional-quality inks, I don’t see streaks or tonal gaps when I blend. The rich inks give solid coverage that makes my job easier when creating smooth skin for a character. There were no smudging or smearing, even when I applied fine-liners for the outlines. Moreover, with the fade-proof and non-toxic inks, I can use these markers for commissioned artworks.
Thanks to the chiseled tip, I can draw poster-sized illustrations and finish coloring faster. On the other hand, the medium rounded tip can work for detailing or coloring tight spaces. Generally speaking, the sturdy tips glide smoothly on paper and release the inks continuously.
Meanwhile, the squarish body of the markers do not feel awkward to manipulate even for a first-time user like me. I also like that the set included a fabric casing for storage. Even though the bag is a little flimsy, it still serves its purpose for those who need to carry the set with them to work or school.
7. Shuttle Art SHTAM-26 Dual-Tip Markers
When it comes to character design and portraiture, skin tones and hair colors are fundamentals. Thankfully, Shuttle Art gives you a myriad of options to complete the physical features of your beloved characters.
Besides subtle pastel peach and luscious chocolate, this set includes a handful of pinks and staple colors like black and grey. This assortment of colors allows me to add blush on the cheeks, make the lips more prominent, etc. Since these are blending markers, I can create even more unique colors that are not readily available in most marker sets.
Blending is easy as the inks do not leave streaks. As such, I have the option to produce either the 3-dimensional version of characters or the usual flat anime-style renditions. Because the colors are opaque and vibrant, the characters I produce look lively.
For the record, this brand boasts that the markers release 300 meters of a continuous flow of ink. True to its promise, I find this quality very useful for coloring large drawing spaces or filling in several pages of e my comic. The fade-proof inks also make sure that my artworks remain vibrant.
Drawing can cause pain to my hands, especially when I work for hours. What I love about these markers is that they are very easy to grip due to the design of the body. The triangular shape prevents the marker from slipping from my grip and from rolling off the table as well.
8. Copic Markers SKST6-SKIN Sketch Set
Copic has set a high standard for blending markers. After all, this Japanese brand specifically developed markers for anime and manga. Unlike other marker sets, this set only offers 6 colors. Nonetheless, its quality is unmatched!
Rendering smooth gradients with these markers is a breeze because of their brush tips. While the brush is slightly soft, it has firmness to it. For me, this is great for sketching and coloring physical features like eyes, lips, and hair.
Meanwhile, the chiseled tips make coloring backgrounds and large parts of the body easy. By nature, both the brush and chiseled tips are durable. It takes a while before they start to fray and the even better news is that they are all replaceable.
When it comes to color quality, the skin tones are not too bright and not too dull. I find it much easier to render anime-style characters with skin colors that look closer to human skin. These markers also make it possible to create realistic depictions.
Aside from that, these markers are compatible with the brand’s airbrush system, which helps artists render smoother colors. Even if I use up the inks, I can always get a refill. This way, the colors of my illustrations are consistent.
9. Alchilalart A80-001 Alcohol-Based Markers
When designing manga-style characters, you need a marker set that lets you complete features from head to toe. From physical looks to a fashionable wardrobe, you can design original characters with Alchilalart’s markers.
If this is your first time buying alcohol-based markers, this rainbow set is a great starter pack. It includes plenty of warm and cool hues, as well as skin tones and staple colors like black and grey. This way, I can draw illustrations of characters with colorful outfits and sceneries.
In terms of vibrance, the inks are well-saturated but the skin tones appear natural. Therefore, I have the option to create both human-like and whimsical characters. The inks are highly blendable so I can add dark, light, and mid-tones. Moreover, the inks do not smear beyond the lines, keeping my drawings neat.
Furthermore, both the chiseled and fine point tips are sturdy. Despite having juicy inks, I can spread and blend the colors with precision. That said, the fine point tip is especially helpful when I want to color small areas or add in details.
Another contributing factor to the ease of use is the set’s superb ergonomics. No matter how long I’m working, sketching and coloring feel painless with these markers. To make things more convenient, the caps are all labeled. I can quickly grab the color that I need!
10. Boxun BX-805A Black Fineliner Pens
Black fineliners are the most versatile drawing tools. Whether it’s for black-and-white comics or outlines of a colored illustration, Boxun’s set of professional black fineliner pens are fitting!
Offering a wide array of nib sizes, this set is all I need to finish a full black-and-white illustration. For instance, I can draw details with the finer nibs while I use the slightly thicker ones for outlines. The fine brush nib comes in handy for drawing hair or eyelashes, whereas the thicker brush helps me blacken shapes faster.
In conjunction with the tips, the rich black tone of these pens renders nice coverage. The sturdy fine point nibs enables me to create precise lines. Moreover, the brush nibs respond well whenever I change the direction of my lines.
With fast-drying inks, I never had any problems with smearing or smudging. Even if I use them along with alcohol-based markers and watercolors, I can add lines neatly. What’s more, these pens’ archival quality keep the inks from fading.
Where pen design is a concern, the body gives me substantial space to grip. I can draw and write for hours without feeling pain in my hands. Also, a casing is included in the set, which provides slots for each pen, making it easier to organize.
11. Too Copic Sketch Marker Set
It should not come as a surprise that another Copic set made it to this review. After all, this brand is the gold standard for blending markers!
While the labels say this is a “basic set” its ink quality helps me produce complex illustrations. In this marker pack, I get skin tones along with blue, green, red, yellow, brown, grey, and black markers. Each color has its own dark and light tones so I can create many smoother blends.
What I love about this brand is that the alcohol-based inks are well-saturated. Since these are waterproof, I can make mixed media artworks using fine-liners and watercolors. Also, the archival quality of the inks keeps the colors from discoloring.
With dual tips, these manga brush markers also include chiseled tips on the other side. Usually, I draw small details, such as hair, lashes, lips, and ribbon-like lines with the brush nib. On the other hand, I fill in large areas using the chiseled tip.
12. Keebor Premium Alcohol Art Markers
Sometimes, an art product’s price tag can be discouraging and gets in the way of making professional-quality illustrations. Luckily, this is not the case with Keebor’s marker set!
After swatching, my first impression of the colors was that they were all vibrant. There is more or less the same number of warm and cool colors. Besides character design and backgrounds, I can create outfits and accessories to make the character easily identifiable.
In terms of blending capabilities, this set includes a colorless blender. It comes in handy whenever I want to smoothen the gradients. Moreover, these markers are ideal for mixed media because of the waterproof inks. I can apply watercolor on the other parts of the paper and not worry about ruining the areas that I inked.
Equipped with a bullet point and a chiseled tip, each marker functions as a drawing and coloring tool. This feature allows me to simultaneously draw lines and color shapes using the same shade or hue. Plus, these nibs release ink continuously. Without skipping issues, I get to focus on working on my illustration.
Design-wise, the markers’ squarish body is comfortable and light. For those who like to draw for long hours, you can be rest assured that these markers are not a pain to hold. Meanwhile, the caps indicate the color of each marker so I can spot them easily.
What to Look for When Buying Markers for Manga
Not all markers and pens are appropriate for manga or anime-style illustrations. Here are some of the things you need to consider if you want to buy the best markers for manga.
Type of Ink
We can’t use whiteboard markers or colored fine-liners to blend colors. You need comic book markers with blendable inks to bring out the smooth gradients. When it comes to fine-liners, you need something that does not smear, smudge, or skip. For mixed media art, be sure to get water-proof pens and markers.
In terms of bleeding issues, this usually depends on the type of paper you use. Most alcohol-based markers bleed through thin paper. That’s because they are meant for heavyweight sheets such as cardstock or mixed-media papers.
In a black-and-white manga, you will notice that the artists have taken advantage of the various nib sizes to show foreground and background, as well as intricate details.
Aside from the size, you can use different types of nibs to sketch lines and blend colors. For instance, the colored anime shows and merchandise feature characters and environments that have smooth, well-saturated colors. You can achieve the same illustration style with markers that have chiseled tips, bullet nibs, or brush tips.
If you plan to create black-and-white manga, you need pens and markers that have rich black inks. On the other hand, colored illustrations require a different set of markers.
Blending markers are often sold in sets of 3, 30, or even 100+. If you want to buy a set of blending markers for manga, you need to determine the style of illustrations that you want to do.
Do you plan to use mixed-media? Are you inclined to draw portraits of characters? Do you want to add scenes and backgrounds? Your answer to these questions will guide you in purchasing the set that is most appropriate for your needs.
In terms of demographics, no one is ever too young or too old to watch anime shows or read manga comics. It is no surprise that many kids want to draw their favorite characters, too!
If you are buying markers for a young aspiring manga artist, be sure that they are safe for children. The good news is that these non-toxic art products are not hard to find.
Some markers have replaceable nibs and refillable inks and these features make the product more expensive. However, it can be practical in the long run since you will only have to refill when these markers run out of ink. Sets with replaceable inks and nibs are highly recommended for those who use markers heavily.
In some cases, inks refills and spare nibs may not be a necessity, especially if you use other mediums like watercolor or gouache more than markers. Nonetheless, most markers have inks and nibs that last a long time.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What are markers for manga? How do they work? Who are these for?
Markers and pens for manga are designed for manga or anime-style illustrations. If you have read a manga, you will see that the panels feature very distinct characteristics.
For instance, the character’s facial expressions are exaggerated to show extreme emotion. To show movement, artists draw speed lines. With the right markers and pens, you can sketch these elements and create your anime or manga-inspired illustrations.
Many brands have handpicked pens and markers with nibs and inks that are appropriate for the genre. This helps people like you and me to make drawings appear like manga or anime.
Whether you are a manga artist or a fan who loves to draw, you can take advantage of these markers and pens to create beautiful illustrations.
What are the different types of manga markers?
Art supplies manufacturers are attuned to the needs of artists. Since manga and anime are getting all the hype, these brands developed markers and pens specifically for the genre.
If you want to create your manga or fanart of your favorite anime, here are the different manga markers that you can use:
- Rainbow marker set
- Skin and hair marker set
- Fineliner pens
- Brush pens
Why do you need markers for manga?
Manga and anime-inspired artworks require the right type of nibs to help you illustrate motion, facial expressions, thoughts, and sceneries. In art and design, the slightest change in line thickness can affect the overall illustration.
The ink quality is equally important. Through colors, artists show the character’s physical features and personality, as well as the mood of a scene and time of day. To achieve this, you need markers that can produce well-saturated colors. With the ability to blend, this marker allows you to add depth and dimension to your illustrations.
Even the design of the pens influences the way we draw. Long hours of drawing can make our hands tired, so it is crucial to have markers and pens that are comfortable to hold. Besides producing eye-catching manga art, investing in the best markers for drawing anime will also make your work easier!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted manga marker brands?
Every set of manga markers and pens have a fancy fabric or plastic casing with attractive labels. When we read the product description, they all sound convincing! How can we tell which ones are the best markers for anime?
Brands like Copic, Sakura, and Master Markers are popular because of their quality. However, I also recommend Prismacolor, U.S Art Supply, Pandafly, ADAXI, Shuttle Art, Alchilalart, Boxun, and Keebo.
Understandably, different folks have different strokes so feel free to try other marker brands and variants!
How to color manga illustrations with markers?
For first-time users, be sure to swatch your markers and test how each color blends together. Some markers work best when you lay down the light tones first. Then, you can add the mid-tone and dark tone.
Now that you have seen what these colors look like on paper, you can start by drawing some outlines with your pencil. This way, you can erase the lines and correct mistakes. Once you are happy with your line art, you can fill the shapes with color using your markers. You can use the fine-liners to add outlines to shapes, objects, and characters.
What markers do comic book artists use?
Most comic book artists use fine-liners or felt-tip pens, brush pens, and art markers. These can either be alcohol-based or water-based.
Professional artists have a supply of felt-tip pens with various nib sizes, as well as a wide collection of markers to color their illustrations. For commissioned work, illustrators use pens and markers with archival inks so their artworks will not fade easily.
The world of anime and manga is filled with interesting stories that have entertained many people around the world. Behind the scenes, thousands of artists work tirelessly to put together comics and shows that have captured the hearts of their fans.
Making your own comics and anime-inspired artworks is a craft. Whether you are practicing or working on a masterpiece, you deserve to have high-quality tools. After all, the quality of the tools that you use will affect your drawing. With the best markers for manga, you can create gorgeous illustrations and tell stories eloquently.