Yonkoma manga (4コマ漫画, “four cell manga” or 4-koma for short), a comic strip format, generally consists of gag comic strips within four panels of equal size ordered from top to bottom.
Traditionally, yonkoma follow a structure known as kishōtenketsu. This word is a compound formed from the following Japanese kanji characters:
- Ki (起): The first panel forms the basis of the story; it sets the scene.
- Shō (承): The second panel develops upon the foundation of the story laid down in the first panel.
- Ten (転): The third panel is the climax, in which an unforeseen development occurs.
- Ketsu (結): The fourth panel is the conclusion, in which the effects of the third panel are seen.