If you’re just recently getting into comic reading, aside from the word Manga, you might have heard or read Manhwa and Manhua. But what exactly are these and why are they so confusing when it’s all comics at the end of the day?
For starters, Manga is from Japan. The comics that people from Japan produce and most of the time adapted to anime which we then consume are what Manga is. The one who creates a Manga is what they call a Mangaka. However, it is important to know that not only one person makes a Manga, there are teams of people behind a single work.
The manner in which Manga is presented makes it different from both Manhwa and Manhuas. Manga is monochrome and the manner of reading is right to left. It may be confusing at first, but it’s really just a matter of getting used to it. Once you’ve read enough chapters, reading from left to right would come naturally.
Now let’s travel to Japan’s close neighbor, Korea. Manhwa is a comic that people from Korea produce. One would usually find these works on the application called Webtoon. Personally speaking, among the 3M’s of eastern Asia literature, Manhwa is what I find most visually pleasing. You have to give it to the Manhwaga (Manhwa illustrators) for always producing top-notch arts for these Manhwas.
While not as popular as its Japanese counterpart – Manga, Manhwas are slowly starting to take over. The recent adaptation of popular Manhwas to anime and live action makes it more accessible to casual consumers of the art. Manhwas are colored illustrations that can be read from the usual left to right manner making it completely different from Mangas.
Unlike, Mangas & Manhwas that are produce solely in Japan and Korea respectively, Manhuas hailed from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Manhuajias are the one who creates Manhuas. Colored visuals and illustrations of Manhuas makes it similar to Manhwas and the complete opposite of Mangas. Anime is the adaptation of Mangas and Manhwas, while Donghua is for Manhuas
The most unique feature of a Manhua would probably be its flexibility in its reading manner. Unlike Mangas and Manhwas that strictly follows their respective reading manner, Manhua can do both. This however depends on its origin of publication. When hailing from mainland China, left to right is the reading manner. If it’s from either Taiwan or Hong Kong, the usual right to left manner is applied.
Those who are looking for a good read, regardless of its origin, be it Manga, Manhwa, or Manhua, will surely find their perfect cup of tea from the infinite tales these eastern Asian works of literature has to offer.
Cristine Joy is a broadcasting major with a deep passion and obsession for reading and writing. She's the type of person that would lie to herself saying "one last chapter is all I need for a good night's sleep" then proceeds to finish the whole story until dawn. Her tenacity is what makes her believe that writing is not simply just a talent, rather it's a skill that one can continuously improve upon practice.