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Manhua Manga vs. Manhwa (Easily Explained)

Manhua Manga vs. Manhwa (Easily Explained)

Manga, Manhua, and Manhwa sound the same, but there are a few differences that can help you distinguish between the three.

In recent times, Manga has become quite popular around the world. This popularity has led to an increase in interest in Manhua and Manhwa.

Manga, Manhua, and Manhwa sound pretty similar, and the truth is that they’re quite similar to each other in terms of artwork, and layout.

Because of this similarity, you might categorize these comics as Japanese in origins. However, there are some differences in these comics, which make them different from one another.

What Is Manga?

For people, who aren’t familiar with the anime industry. Manga is coming produced in Japan, the name Manga was introduced in the nineteenth century. Though, the comic culture was already present in Japan way before the Manga appeared in the industry.

There’re a few criteria that make a comic labeled as Manga. The first requirement is that the comic should be produced in Japan or by Japanese, and also the drawing techniques should be respected and followed.

Manga artists have a special and unique drawing method that should be followed to produce Manga. If you’re not a Manga artist, you might notice that Manga artists have a different way they exploit spaces. One more thing that’s unique in Manga is that it doesn’t have any color.


Doujinshi are independent stories of anime, also known as Manga. the events and incidents of these stories are designed by the author’s desire and preference.

The majority of the Doujins are drawn by amateurs, or by the mangaka (manga artists). However, you can only find these on the internet. There’s very little evidence of it offline throughout the globe. In comparison with doujinshi, the fan events planners desire a more transnational community of cosplay.

What Is Manhwa and Manhua?

Manhwa is the name of the comics issues in Korea (South Korea) written in the Korean language. These stories are based on Korean culture. Whether in the way of storytelling, or it’s about the life of the heroes, their culture, foods, names, customs, and places mentioned in the story are all according to the Korean culture.

Manhua is the name of a comic used in Chine or used by the Chinese. People say that the label Manhua is the parent term for both, Manga and Manhwa.

Manhwa (so for the Manhua) is quite different from Manga. Manhwa artist has their own unique way of drawing. If you compare both of these, you’ll notice that Manga artists have a lot of shots on the same page with the drawings. Whereas Manhwa artists take more freedom of drawing, large areas are dedicated to drawing with only one snapshot.

Another feature that’s different in Manhwa is the colors in the drawings. Manhua and Manhwa both have colors in their comics, while Manga doesn’t have any color. It seems that Korean Manhwa has a bright future. Although it was introduced recently and doesn’t have a lot of distributors, still it’s making its way around the world.

Manhwa and Manhua Stories

Manhwa and Manhua magazines are mostly suitable for teenagers since the stories in these magazines are more about high schools.

The main plot of these stores is about gangs, criminals, and love triangles. Unlike the Manga, Manhua and Manhwa don’t contain any special chapters.

Webtoons and Manhwa

We toons is a branch of Manhwa. These are designed by amateurs manually, or on computers. They get published on websites, not through regular paper magazines.

The webtoons are the basic cultural representation of Korean youth because of the confluence of the media industry. But Korea isn’t the only country to relish these toons, it’s also the first nation in making a unique format of Manhwa.

Webtoons and Manhwa
Webtoons and Manhwa

The History of Manhua, Manga, and Manhwa

The names Manga and Manhwa have originally come from the Chinese term Manhua. The meaning of this term is “impromptu drawings.” These terms were used for all comics and graphic novels in Japan, Korea, and China.

But now after the popularity of these comics, international readers also use these terms for comics that are published from a specific country: Manga is used for Japanese comics, Manhwa is used for Korean comics, and Manhua is used for Chinese comics.

The names of the artists who draw these comics have also been specified by the creator of these East Asian Comics, an artist who makes Manga is called mangaka. An artist who creates manhwa is a “manhwaga,” while an artist that makes manhua is a “manhuajia.”

Most scholars acknowledged that the origin of Manga began earlier around the 12th to 13th century, with the publishing of the Chōjū-giga (Scrolls of Frolicking Animals), a collection of animal drawings by various artists. 

American soldiers brought European and American comics with them during the American Occupation (1945 to 1952) which influenced mangakas’ creativity and art style. There was a rise in demand for Manga because of an increase in readership in the 1950s to 1960s. Later in the 1980s Manga started getting popular internationally as well.

Manhwa has its own history of development, it was introduced in 1910- 1945 during the Japanese Occupation of Korea, and Japanese soldiers brought their culture and language into Korean society. Manhwa was used as propaganda for war efforts and to impose a political ideology on civilians from the 1950s to the 1906s. However, it became again popular when digital Manhwa was published on a website.

Manhua is the Chinese name for comics, this term is used in Taiwan and Hong Kong as well. Manhua was introduced in the early-20th century with the introduction of the lithographic printing process.

Some Manhua was politically influenced by the stories about the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong. Yet, a censorship law was introduced after the Chinese revolution in 1949, which made it difficult for Manhua to publish internationally. However, manhuajia started publishing their work on social media and webcomic platforms which made it popular again.

The History Of Japanese Of Manga

The Ideal Readers

East Asian comics have unique and specified content designed according to target different demographics, usually based on age and gender.

In Japan, there are different comics that target boys. Comics drawn for boys usually contain high-action and adventure stories like My Hero Academia and Naruto. While Manga that is designed to attract girls have stories about magic like Cardcaptor Sakura and romantic stories like Fruits Basket.

There are also Manga specifically designed for old people that have natural content. Similarly, Manhua and Manhwa have comics that target a specific audience.

In Japan, a new chapter of Manga is published on weekly basis in weekly or biweekly magazines like Shonen Jump. If a Manga becomes popular among people, then it’s published in tankobon collected volume. On the other hand, digital Manhua and Manhwa chapters are uploaded on weekly basis on webtoons platforms.

Manhua Comic Book
Manhua Comic Book

Cultural Content & Reading Direction

The content of the East Asian comics is a reflection of its original values and culture. In Manga, there are several supernatural and fantasy stories about shinigami, such as Bleach and Death Note.

On the other hand, Manhwa stories are based on Korean beauty culture like True Beauty. Whereas, Manhua has numerous martial art chivalry theme comics. Although often criticized for a foundational lack of a coherent narrative.

Manhua and Manhwa are read from top to bottom and right to left. Manhwa has a similar reading style to American and European Comic since they’re also read from top to bottom and right to left.

If we talk about digital comics, the layouts are read from top to bottom. Printed Manga has restrictions when it comes to depicting movement in the artwork.

The Artwork and Text

Generally, Manga doesn’t contain any color. It’s usually published in black and white. They only have colors with white pages when there’s a special release.

While digital Manhwa is published in color, the printed Manhwa is in black in white similar to Manga. And same is the case with Manhua, like digital Manhwa, Manhua is printed in color as well.

Manhwa and Manhwa’s characters are more realistic. They have proper human proportions and appearances. Manga and Manhwa also have detailed background settings with photorealistic drawings.

Whereas digital Manhwa has a simpler background without any detailing. If you compared it with Manga, you might notice that printed Manhwa is more similar to Manga in terms of background setting and detailing.

Manga has a unique set of onomatopoeia in its narratives to describe not only the sounds of animals and inanimate objects but also the sounds of psychological states and emotions, it’s more like American comics.

Similarly, Manhua and Manhwa have their own unique onomatopoeia to describe emotions and movements. Plus, digital Manhwa uses music and soundbites to enhance the reading experience of the readers and to make it more interesting.


Each one of these comics has its own certain style of storytelling and unique appeal. Due to differences in values and cultural differences they have their own content specially designed for a specific audience.

If you’re a fan of comics and you like reading these types of magazines, then you should definitely check out Manga, Manhua, and Manhwa. Each one has its own unique content, you can choose according to your preferences.

Manga is a component of the extensive culture of present-day Japan. The admiration of webtoons enabled the spread of manhwa to the readers globally.

Most civilized countries create graphic or pictorial art which has a sequence of pictures. Whatever it’s called, still these visual art forms have alikeness and distinctions in different countries.

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Click here to view the web story that differentiates Manhua, Manga, and Manga.

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