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Will Japanese Manga Culture Be Left Behind by South Korean Comics?

“Vertical-scroll and full color manga are becoming the global standard,” according to Tokyo a publishing executive, while the merits of the different style of Japanese manga are not being conveyed to the world.

Rio Terada, for JAPAN Forward

More and more Japanese people are reading manga from South Korea.

Unlike monochrome Japanese comics, South Korean ones are full color, and readers can view the content easily by scrolling up and down on their smartphones.

Some experts believe that vertical-scroll manga will become the global standard. Certain Japanese publishers are also moving into this new market.

Will traditional Japanese manga – a proud part of the country’s culture – be left behind?

Japanese scrolling manga. | Image courtesy of © JAPAN Forward

Slick Reading

“We appeal not just to people who like manga, but also to those who enjoy viewing content on their smartphones. We have succeeded in creating a way of enjoying manga that can be habitual,” reveals a press officer at Piccoma, a manga subscription service.

Piccoma was developed and released by Kakao Japan, a subsidiary of the South Korean company Kakao.

Kakao’s vertical-scroll manga “Solo Leveling,” which was localized for the Japanese market, surpassed a monthly sales figure of ¥200 million JPY ($1.7 million USD) in May 2020 – gaining attention in the publishing world.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.