Table of contents:

How to read manga correctly
How to read manga correctly

First of all - from right to left. But there are other nuances to be aware of.

How to read manga correctly
How to read manga correctly

Manga are traditional Japanese comics. Literally translated, manga means "whimsical stories in pictures."

In Japan, it is customary to read from right to left, so manga pages are viewed the same way.

But in order to correctly grasp the meaning of each specific story, you need to know a few more nuances.

How to prepare for reading a manga

1. Make sure you read the comics in chronological order

Manga is a story with a sequel. Therefore, one comic series can include several books. To understand who is who among the characters, why they relate to each other and to life exactly the way, what motives dictated their actions, it is important to read the story from the very beginning.

Start with the first release. The number is usually indicated in large numbers on the cover. Then read the continuation in chronological order.

2. Decide which side to start reading from

Traditionally, manga is read "backwards" compared to the books we are accustomed to. That is, from the last page to the first.

If you have a paper comic book, place it in front of you with the spine on the right side. Under the back cover, where the word "End" is usually written in Russian-language books, there will be the beginning of a manga story.

However, there are books adapted for the European or American market: they are flipped through in the way we are used to.

In order not to get confused, be guided by the notation inside the book. Most often these are arrows indicating the direction of reading.

How to read manga correctly
How to read manga correctly

If you are viewing an electronic version of a manga in any of the applications, you will not have problems with the direction of reading: as a rule, the pages are numbered and you just need to read from the first to the last.

How to read manga

The “right to left” rule is unbreakable and the same for all versions of manga - both paper and electronic. But to read it correctly, you need to know something else.

1. Read each page sequentially from right to left and top to bottom

How to read manga correctly: panel order
How to read manga correctly: panel order

The manga page, like any other comic book, is divided into sequential information blocks (panels). They should be read line by line, from the right image to the left.

2. Read messages in each block in turn, from right to left

Information blocks in comics are both simple, without words, and complex: filled with phrases, emotions, feelings of the characters.

Read all messages from right to left too. If they are located at different heights, the top is read first, then the bottom.

How to read manga correctly: the order of messages in blocks
How to read manga correctly: the order of messages in blocks

3. Pay attention to the color of the panels

Sometimes in the manga there are images on a black background. This suggests that the events in question in a particular block took place in the past. Perhaps the hero recalls something, or the author of the manga tells the reader about a situation that happened many years ago.

The panel can be colored with a gradient - from a black background at the top to a light gray or white at the bottom. This is how the transition in time from the events of the past to the present is reflected.

4. Consider the emotions of the characters

How to Read Manga Correctly: Consider the Emotions of the Characters
How to Read Manga Correctly: Consider the Emotions of the Characters

Most often, the feelings that the heroes experience are obvious: anger, fear, joy, sadness can be recognized by the expression on the character's face.

However, you need to pay attention to additional details in which the authors encrypt some of the emotions. Color can be used to indicate their intensity, and in black and white manga, shading of different densities.

Here are some common examples.

  • Embarrassment. It is conveyed by blush or short lines-strokes on the cheeks. The richer the color of the blush or shading, the more area of the face it occupies, the more the hero is shy or ashamed.
  • Shame mixed with anger. Looks like a blush with shades of blue or as thick, intersecting shading. This complex emotion can be accentuated by dilated, whitened eyes or drawn swollen wreaths on the face or neck.
  • Embarrassment, but not too serious and not related to romantic feelings. It can be recognized by the large beads of sweat that are painted on or next to the character's head.
  • Lust. Japanese manga artists traditionally draw it as a nosebleed. Usually, male characters have nosebleeds when they look at a beautiful, arousing girl.

5. Pay attention to the shape of the bubbles

How to read manga correctly: pay attention to the bubble shape
How to read manga correctly: pay attention to the bubble shape

Bubbles are information bubbles that contain words and sounds that accompany a story.

Sometimes the windows are empty. This means that the character would like to say something, but cannot find the words or is very perplexed. An empty curly bubble bubble can also represent a quiet sigh of relief.

In the form of bubbles, manga authors convey the loudness and sharpness of sounds and speech. The usual rounded bubble is a sign that the character is speaking in a calm tone, maybe slightly higher or lower than usual. The softer the outlines, the more they resemble a curly cloud, the more insinuating speech. "Bubbles", which have a distinct geometric shape with sharp corners, mean something loud and unexpected: an exclamation of surprise, a cry, a sharp frightening sound. All this adds to the emotionality of the manga story.