A Yonkoma is a four panel vertical gag comic strip. This format is used by mangas such as Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh or K-On!.

Yonkoma appear in many publications in Japan, such as magazines newspapers and graphic novels. More serious series such as in Death Note have used yonkoma strips to add non-canonical humor in places like extra volumes or at the end of canonical chapters.


Panels are usually equal in size and read from top to bottom.

Traditionally the story is given in kishōtenketsu format. Kishōtenketsu is a compound of four Chinese words:

Ki 1st panel Introduction
Shō 2nd panel Development
Ten 3rd panel Plot twist
Ketsu 4th panel Conclusion.

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