I have a character template to sell on Graphic River, and I did it by designing on adobe fireworks, as GIF image.
My personal suggestion is follow the ladder of learning curve.
The first thing to learn and try is the basic movements using templates, where you can buy on many sites, or get it for free searching on google, or on sites like deviantart.com, then, try to do simple animations to start practice, 4 frames per second is a good start. After it, drawn the intermediary animations, what we call by "transitions".
You can check infinite number of tutorials of how to animate movements (specially when talking about anime and manga) on youtube.com.
I personally like to think in efficient way of animate a 2D character when I do like the castle crashers did, drawing a modular character, so the arms and legs animate independent of the body and head.
<img src="https://www.scirra.com/images/articles/multi_part_body_2.png" border="0">