Manga is a Japanese graphic novel, characterized by highly stylized art by the creators also known as mangakas, whereas Comic is a medium used to express ideas by images, often combined with text or other visual information.
We often talk about the success of comics, how to grow the readership, and ensure that the industry lasts more than a few decades from now. But, what we don’t talk about is that Manga actually wins over American comics in sales, popularity, and general viability as an industry.
Many people might not know about the difference between Japan’s Manga and American Comic Book. There are so many distinct differences between the two of these artworks. Both of these artworks have their own way of entertaining the people. But in this article, we are going to walk you through the reasons why Manga wins over Comics.
One thing about Manga heroes and Comic book heroes (like those of Marvel or DC) is that the Manga heroes (Japan’s) come out a bit stronger than before every time, while the American counterparts tend to retain their same level of strength, rarely coming out stronger. If a hero in a comic book does get stronger, usually the changes don’t last very long.
Another interesting thing to point out is the longevity of American Comic Book characters vs. Japanese Manga heroes. Captain America, he first appeared way back in 1941. Whenever things become too stagnant, things are refreshed, rebooted, and redone for better or for worse. Meanwhile, Luffy from One Piece debuted in 1997 and is still looking for the treasure. The point is, American Comic heroes never seem to die, where a Japanese Manga will run as long as it can, conclude the story, and maybe, just maybe get a spin-off instead.
Think of a genre, and there will be at least a dozen Manga for it. If you want giant robots fighting each other, it’s plentiful. If you want to see super-humans duke it out in epic battles of good and evil, be way more specific. But it goes much deeper than that. There is Manga for literally every age group and gender. There is action, comedy, adventure, demons, fantasy, drama, harem, historical, horror, post- apocalyptic, music, mystery, psychological, Sci-fi, supernatural, shounen, shoujo, super-power, sports, and others.
Aside from writing styles, genres, and intended age levels, Manga comes from a culture vastly different from America in terms of customs, education, locals. It paints a stark contrast to the sprawling cities, lonely farms, rolling hills and two dozen character models that proliferate the U.S.
Manga is typically wrought with emotion, as the characters give long composition about their mission or personal philosophy. It allows readers to empathize more with these characters because of their transparency. It also makes their conflicts feel more important instead of a monthly routine where things happen because they’re supposed to.
The themes in Manga generally run deep, one example being friendship. It is a common troupe in Manga that enemies of the main hero will become his allies later on. While the hero may save the day, he does it with the help of people who joined him on his journey. Not only is this representative of real life, in how relationships can change or develop, but also acts as a counterbalance to the solo hero acts we see so often in American stories.
If a Manga sells well enough, it gets adapted to an Anime. It is that simple. Mangas that are popular animated to reach even more people, which it does hundreds of times over. This ensures that a work will be rewarded for publishing success but also extend its shelf-life by having a new, growing readership flock to it. The Marvel/DC comics are rarely animated into movies. Adaptation of Manga into Anime can help in the economic field. This is also one of the reasons which ensure us that Manga wins over Comics.
The last one on our list of why Manga wins over Comics – Finality. Readers can follow a cast of characters or a hero for a run of 10-100 volumes, but they can see it through to the end. The Walking Dead has its trade numbering partially to thank for its success, allowing new readers to constantly jump on from volume 1 and catch up without getting lost. The same thing applies to Naruto, Bleach, and other popular Manga. We look fondly at classic comic series like Sandman, Y the Last Man, Cerebus, Preacher and those are standards because they ended instead of going too long and outliving readers’ interest.
For these reasons, it’s not hard to see Manga’s global presence on book shelves and websites. It has captured readers all over the world. The really sad thing is that Manga and comics are not totally different from each other. Both Manga and Comics are written with an own style of genre and story which makes them fun to read.
No matter how you look at the differences, both are filled with interesting stories, strong themes, and are a great hobby to get into.
Which one do you prefer the most? Do you think Manga wins over Comics? Please use the comments section to let us know about it.