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October 24, 2010

Japanese manga as books (Basic knowledge)

Today, I am going to write about Japanese books.

As you know, this post is for beginners, but I'm also going to write for basic, intermediate, and advanced levels eventually.

Some people already know about how to read 漫画 (マンガ, まんが, manga). Manga opens from left edge to right unlike usual English books.  This is because Japanese manga are written vertically from right to left. I know of a few mangas that are written horizontal like English, but most publisher companies prefer vertical. Japanese newspaper also open from the left edge to right side.

When mangas came to Europe and North America, publisher companies tried to publish them like books that open from the right side.  An example would be the first Dragon Ball were published opening from right in France.
The problem was all Japanese characters part of the manga, not the dialogue, appeared overturned because the publisher used a mirror technique. Mirror technique publishing causes some problems for the story.  For example, if a manga character is left handed in Japanese, the story the character will be  right handed when published using mirror image.  It might be a big problem later, who knows?  Therefore, it is very important to tell a story same as original. Translaters are also taking care to translate to other languages with the exact same meaning. Therefor, currently manga published in English are written the direction as in Japanese manga.

Mangas are  published in weekly or monthly manga magazines and the most popular manga will be published into a "comic book" or manga novel. Manga chapters are published in chunks of 10 to 30 pages in a weekly or monthly schedule with other mangas. Shonen Jump (240 yen published on every Monday), Shonen Sunday (260 yen published on every Wednesday, weired haha), and Ribon (450 yen published the 3rd of month) are common weekly and monthly manga magazines in Japan.  I know you can get Shonen Jump in the US or Canada. Manga such as One Piece, Bleach, and Naruto are still all published by Shonen Jump, and you can get the latest stories.

You read manga from left to right + top to bottom.
I give you an example of how to read manga.

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