Manga and Manhwa, both sounding so similar, words coming up with the best the imagination has to offer. Yet they are so different in more than just one aspect. I’m pretty sure a lot of you are more familiar with the former rather than the latter cause manga’s been around for a long while.
Even your pops is familiar with the word and used to read it back in the day. Well, If you’re a real ” Cultured Fan ” then I’m pretty sure that you’ve seen a lot when it comes to what manhwa has to offer or at least heard about it. But we don’t discriminate here and we will be explaining things from the very beginning. If I were to describe both of them in the simplest of terms out there, It’d be nothing more than the fact that manga is comics that originated from Japan and Manhwa is comics that originated from South Korea.
Despite both of them being comics and both of them coming up with plots and characters that make us see whole new aspects of the genres we’ve loved since day one, they aren’t alike at all and declaring them as “ Mirror Images “ of each other while being slightly off at times wouldn’t do justice to any of the two terms.
So, Let’s sit back, relax and look at what both of them have to offer and which one’s more suited to your taste. We’ll also be giving out some recommendations so be on the lookout for that as well. I know, we’re the kindest now, aren’t we? Plus, This isn’t like the 5th Great Comic or Fiction war where we make different titles battle it out in a tournament that occurs every twenty years or so.
Both manga and manhwa are the best at what they have to offer and it only depends on your personal taste and interest that makes one stand on top of the other.
CHIAROSCURO VS A WORLD FULL OF LIFE AND ENERGY
The main difference that catches the eye when you’re transitioning from being a manga reader to a manhwa reader or vice versa is the fact that manhwa is colored and manga isn’t. When it comes to manga, black and white are the only colors in the world, all you’ve got to make the story deliver it’s truest meaning to each and every fan out there. Of course, we get some colored featured pages at times but that’s not like every other week or so the main theme will always be black and white when it comes to manga.
Well, If you’re not Naruto that is. When it comes to me personally, I’ve loved that very fact since day one about manga. Cause that way I’m not restricted, shackled in any way and my imagination can go wild, giving the characters and the scenery any color that comes to my imagination, making the pages deliver something completely different than what the writer had in mind, Literally becoming your own personal take on the manga. It makes you add that ” Finishing Touch “ that makes reading manga all the more enjoyable, and all the more entertaining.
Manhwa however, Is always colored and created digitally, causes the colors to appear so vibrant and the world looks lively and full of energy, delivering a similar experience to that of someone watching anime. So, It’s all up to you really, whether you like your imagination to come up with some crazy stuff and let it go wild or want your world, and your pages light up the universe for you the moment you start reading that new chapter the moment it comes out it all comes to your choices as readers in the end and what you prefer as a material.
LEFT TO RIGHT? RIGHT TO LEFT? AAAHHH!
A lot of people who aren’t familiar with the usual reading style of manga get really confused when they first pick up a manga series that’s been the talk of the show for a while, and recommended by a friend or something. I know, that makes you drop the thing almost entirely and never pick it up again, right?
This is especially a problem if you’re reading manga digitally and viewing one page at a time making it hard to keep track of all that’s been going on in the story. Then you have to resort to those YouTube videos and explanations. Sigh, such a drag.
However, When it comes to manhwa, everything’s crystal clear and you don’t have to bother your head with this left to right, or right to left buffoonery since the pages are pretty much arranged in a perfect order in a way for you that everything is crystal clear. Everything’s self-explanatory and you can relax in your bed, have a cup of coffee personally I prefer tea, and if you’re like me, you will have a bunch of snacks lying around beside you so all you got to do is sit back relax and enjoy.
KOREA? JAPAN? WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?
It’s only natural that every comic/manga/manhwa should have it’s own unique world building and style to it’s story from the scenery to the geographic location all the way to the smallest detail in the pavements and streets. You can also see how much world building is important if you ever read DC and Marvel comics the world building is very important in those comics to acclimate the reader to the scenery and place and location they are currently in.
Same holds true when it comes to manga and manhwa. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen a dozen of cultural festivals, end of the year festivals, sports festivals. With all the school kids doing recreational activities and cultural rites together in anime and manga. I mean that’s exactly when those love confessions take place and a lot of anime take an entirely different direction after that very arc. Even the school uniforms are a characteristic of anime at this point cause we’re just so used to seeing those uniforms that even if we were to move to Japan right now, that change won’t bother us at all for we’ve seen it a million times by now we got used to the scenery and the culture of Japan and just by reading about them in manga.
However, On the other hand, when it comes to manhwa, things are different. Being based in Korea, you see entirely different school times, events, festivals, even the environment looks completely different cause most of the manhwa are based in popular South Korean locations such as Seoul, Busan etc…
While when it comes to manga, the first names that come to mind are Kanto, Kyoto, Tokyo, Chiba, in these popular areas we see those characters doing all kinds of different stuff. So, It might come to you as a major change which is natural really, cause they’re not just two different comic brands or two different comic names, they’re two different worlds, two different countries, and two different cultures.
MAKING YOU LIVE THE MOMENT?
When it comes to manga, There are a lot of titles that have managed to portray iconic moments better than what the studios adapted later on because of the writing, the panels, the expressions were so on point that it was impossible to find anything that wasn’t in it’s place it’s utter perfection puts the adaptation to shame.
But in my opinion, when it comes to manhwa, all those iconic and captivating, mesmerizing moments are captured way more perfectly and have much more of an impact than they do when we see the same stuff in manga the vibrant colors play a major role here, causing the panel to be much clearer and straight forward than if it was only black and white as some of the animations can be mixed up together.
Now I’m not saying that manga isn’t able to bring out the best the story has to offer or the character development is just weak and doesn’t blend well with what’s been going on all around the ones we’re seeing on those pages, but manhwa overall has that feel to it that makes everything hit differently and kind of like gets carved in our hearts, making us return to those very same titles years later just to be enthralled by them once again, over and over again.
Both manga and manhwa have brought us one some of the best titles that the world knows of today. We’ve had the big three, Naruto, Bleach and One Piece, when it came to manga, though I always include Dragon Ball as well. And the big three of manhwa, in case you don’t know, Tower of God, God of High School and Noblesse.
It’s all depends on your personal opinion and taste. Which one you personally prefer with both of them providing an exquisite taste of just how wonderful imagination can be, The events being so enticing and exciting you sit all day, doing nothing at all besides just making your eyes go on a stroll over and over again on all the events and memorize each and every small detail the both titles can offer.
Yes, been there done that and still doing that. If you’re new to manhwa then you better check the big three out at first and then move on to big names like Solo Leveling, Bastard and The Gamer cause they’re a must read trust me you will die happy knowing you didn’t miss on reading those titles.
I’m serious. See for yourself which one you prefer and I’m pretty sure you’ll have a lot more on your plate for a long time to come cause of the quarantine and all that we need stuff to keep our sanity intact don’t u think? Until next time! Till then, good bye stay healthy, stay safe and take care.