Differences Between Japanese Comics And American Comics

There are plenty of differences between American comics and Japanese comics (manga). As an example, illustrators of Japanese comics tend to exaggerate their styles to produce certain effects and express character emotions. On the other hand, American comics tend to appear more realistic and are often less playful.

Manga is also produced in a different way. Manga comics are produced mostly in black and white format, while many American comics are produced full colors. When we look at the physical books, we could see that manga books are smaller than American comics with their magazine-like shape. Manga books are typically seen as more pocketable and can be easily carried by people who are travelling.

These digest-size comics books are perfect companion for travellers who want to read during their more relaxed times. Many American comics can have less than 64 pages, while many manga comics books could have hundreds of pages.

Manga comics books writers could produce single unified storyline that we can read more easily. However, the entire story could be consisted of multiple manga books and the complete storyline may run thousands of pages. This makes reading manga feels like reading typical novels, but with so many pictures in them.

Mainstream American comics are produced with assembly line system, where there are many different people who work to produce a single page of full-color comics. They may include:

  • Writers who create the storyline
  • Pencilers who create the initial sketches
  • Inkers who use ink to make sketches look firmer
  • Letterers who add text on dialog boxes
  • Colorists who make the final touch on the inked and texted sketches

On the other hand, manga books are created like personal artworks as the creator perform all tasks, except coloring. Also, people who read manga books tend to turn pages faster because the storyline may move at quicker pace. So despite the high page count, it is possible to read the entire manga book in a relatively short time. Compared to American comics, Manga books usually have less complex dialog and fewer panels.

On average, manga books could be more expensive than standard magazine-sized comics, due to larger amount of work that needs to be performed by the creator. Despite lacking color, manga books are particularly interesting due to the unique way of creators tell the entire story.

Unlike in Western countries, Manga is not consumed only by younger readers. There are dozens of manga genres that fit our unique preferences. However, there are three big categories of manga, such as Shonen for boys, Shoujo for girls and Hentai for adults. Shonen manga is geared more towards adventure, action, sports and topics that interest boys, such as Full Metal Alchemist and Bleach.

Shoujo Manga is appropriate for the opposite sex and it is focused more love interests and relationships. Hentai manga is obviously not for children, due to its sexual content. There are many other manga genres that are variations of these categories, such as ecchi with its light sexual content, josei for young female adults and sheinen for young male adults.