How to Read Manga

By FPL_Jazmin

Have you ever opened manga and thought to yourself, “what is the proper way to read manga?” Not to worry! Most of the time, manga have instructions on how to read the panels and warn you that you are reading from the wrong way.

Why is Manga read right-to-left?

Traditionally, manga stories are read from right to left and from top to bottom, in the same way as Japanese writing. Japanese was written in vertical columns, which these columns were read from top to bottom and from right to left. This way of writing is called tategaki (縦書き) which refers to ‘vertical writing’. All traditional Japanese manga reads from right to left, the reverse of English, which reads from left to right. Manga-style books, the action, the word bubbles, and sound effects are all written in this direction.

Why and How are Comic Books not read from right-to-left?

In the English language, words flow left to right and for comics from the western world, we read the pages from left to right and from top to bottom. For comics, pages are meant to be read from left to right and in a "z-like" pattern. You can read the rows as they're tiered and make your way down a page. Each page consists of panels, single illustrations, usually sequential, that tell the story.

Check out this short video on how to read Manga!

For additional information on how to read manga, check out this link on how to read facial expressions, exploring many genres in manga, and popular manga series: Read Manga, opens a new window

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