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5 Things Comics Can Learn From Manga (& 5 Manga Can Learn) | CBR – CBR

Japanese manga and Western comic books share a ton of similarities, but they both a lot of differences. Here’s how they can learn from one another.
Although Japanese manga and Western comic books share many similarities, they both have even more differences. No matter what, both mediums have their ups and downs that have helped cement them in history as the homes to some of the greatest fictional stories of all time.
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That being said, there is a lot that each could learn from the other. A few mistakes that the manga medium has inherited have been corrected by the comic book side and vice versa. These mistakes aren’t the end of all things, but they can present problems to readers and fans.
One of the big issues that fans have with comic books is the fact that they can be borderline impossible to get into for any newcomers looking to show any interest in them.
From big events that are confusing to follow due to multiple series branches to gigantic histories of characters, it is never easy for anyone to get into comic books as a casual fan.
One thing that comic book fans have over manga lovers is the side stories that tell the tales of a world that differs from the original setting.
These “What If” stories are great for fans interested in events done differently within different series. The closest thing that manga has to this most of the time is a fan-created manga called doujinshi, as seen with the multitude of “What If” Dragon Ball stories.
Another huge barrier to entry for comic book newcomers is the endless amounts of reboots for just about any character that one can show interest in.
This is a huge problem as it can make it immensely confusing to find out where one should start the following anyone, whether it be a Marvel or DC character.
One thing that comic books undoubtedly have over their Japanese manga counterparts is the videogame spin-offs that debut for most series.
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These different games take many creative approaches and try to share the same feeling reading the stories give the fans. Sadly, many manga game spin-offs end up being a copy-paste of games, such as fighting games and even gacha.
Due to many characters of a comic book series being passed from writer to writer, they end up being written very inconsistently depending on the series being read.
Sadly, this presents yet another barrier to entry for potential comic book fans, as they’ll never be sure if the character they’re following will be the same when it comes to a new series.
Another adaptation issue that comes from manga that fans may be jealous of Western comic book fans over spawns from the live-action film adaptations of their many series.
Western comic book fans have become spoiled by the long-running Marvel Cinematic Universe, a few of the live-action DC films, and more. On the other hand, manga fans are either disappointed—or do not expect anything at all—about movies coming from a comic book series they love.
Much like the issue with comic book characters going from writer to writer, many readers may have issues with these series going from artist to artist as well.
This results in some series going from amazing to art that’s not drawn so clean on many occasions. Manga usually has either one artist or a group, so this is never really an issue.
At times, comic book series can become stronger when writers are replaced. This is the case with a great multitude of writers that seem to understand the characters better than others.
Some manga lacks in the writing department despite a great premise. Multiple writers sharing ideas could perhaps be the remedy to this problem.
A huge thing that manga characters have over comic book ones is the fact that readers are constantly following them and watching their growth throughout the series.
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Fans literally see these characters get stronger from chapter to chapter. On the comic book side, readers usually see characters stay at the same strength level the whole time.
Due to manga originating in Japan, it is usually very hard—and sometimes impossible—for readers to legally get their hands on physical copies of older series.
Thankfully, many manga companies are looking to remedy this situation with more digital issues and reissues of series in hardcover releases. On the other hand, it is much easier to get Western comics due to them originating in the US and having been reissued with hardcover books for decades.
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De’Angelo Epps is a writer that has been a huge fan of various comics, movies, anime, manga, and video games all his life. He’s an avid reader, fighting game fan, and as you can see here a writer as well! As a writer at Comic Book Resources, he hopes to put his skills to the test to bring the best content possible. Keep a tab on him if you enjoy his work here and enjoy!

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