What Are Manga, Manhua, and Manhwa (Webtoon)? [Explained]

A new era of comic books

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what is manga, manhua, manhwa, webtoon

You must have heard about Manga and Anime from your friends, family, or coworkers. So what exactly are manga, manhua, and manhwa (webtoons)? This article will explain what they are and their most popular series.

Manga, manhua, and manhwa (webtoons) are umbrella terms used for various comic books and graphic novels. The most significant difference between these three is their art style and country of origin.

In the world of comic books, there are many types of formats. Here is a brief description of manga, manhua, and manhwa (webtoons).

TypeOriginColorHow to readFormat
MangaJapanMostly black and whiteRight-to-leftMulti-panel
ManhwaSouth KoreaFull-color panels that look like paintingsTop to bottomScroller
ManhuaChinaFull-color panels that look like paintingsRight-to-leftSingle issue format 
Western ComicsU.S.AFull colorLeft-to-rightMulti-panel

What is Manga?

What is manga
Source: Mangaplus

Manga is a term that describes comic books produced and published in Japan. These comics are primarily published in black and white format. These are hand-drawn comics made by a mangaka (comic artists).

They are drawn in tabular frames called Koma (blocks). Unlike Western comics, manga is read from right to left and top to bottom.

Almost all mainstream anime series adapt their stories from mangas, and some even become famous internationally. Thanks to the success of anime in the western market, manga now has more readers than any other comic book format.

Most manga characters are known to have big eyes and flashy hair. Manga also has various exclusive genres, such as Shounen, Seinen, Shoujo, etc.

Here are some of the most popular mangas you can read right now.

  • Death Note
  • Naruto
  • Dragon Ball
  • Tokyo Ghoul
  • My Hero Academia
  • One Punch-Man
  • Attack on Titan
  • Bleach
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Berserk
  • One Piece
  • Rurouni Kenshin

What is Manhwa (Webtoon)?

What is manhwa webtoon
Source: Line Webtoon

Manhwa is a term that describes South Korean comics. Many also refer to them as webtoons due to the popular website of the same name. Manhwas are fully colored and filled with panels that look like paintings.

Manhwa characters look more natural and photorealistic. Most of these comics follow a scroll-type format to accommodate mobile viewers better. To read a manhwa, one has to scroll down just like they do with a webpage.

Like manga, manhwas are source material for various anime and K-drama series.

Here are some of the most popular webtoons you can read right now.

What is Manhua?

what is manhua

Manhua is a term that describes comics made in China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong. Manhuas are fully colored and use panels in a single-issue format. They are similar to South Korean manhwas and use realistic drawings resembling real people.

Manhua also has unique genres, such as Wuxia (martial arts stories) and Xianxia (fantasy and magic stories). Among all the comics, manhwa is the only one that has not embraced its rich culture and thrived on it.

The terms manga and manhwa come from the Chinese language and share the same root word as the Chinese word “manhua.”

Here are some of the most popular Manhuas you can read right now.

  • Feng Shen Ji
  • Doulou Dalu (Soul Land)
  • The Ravages Of Time
  • Song Of The Long March
  • Tales of Demons and Gods
  • Here U Are
  • SQ: Begin W/Your Name!
  • Release That Witch
  • Martial Universe
  • Battle Through the Heavens
  • Spirit Blade Mountain

New Era for Manga, Manhua, and Manhwa (Webtoons)

We have entered into a new era for comics with the rising popularity of manga, manhua, manhwa (webtoons). More and more people are beginning to notice this medium after realizing its untapped entertainment potential.

This new era also paves the way for the appreciation towards light novels, which are pretty popular and often adapted into manga and anime shows. Hopefully, we can share the appreciation of these mediums with everyone in the coming future.

What age is the manga for?

Manga caters to a diverse age group. You can find series aimed towards kids, teenagers (Shounen), adults (Seinen), and senior citizens.

What is the difference between manhwa and manhua?

Manhwa refers to Korean comic books and graphic novels, whereas Manhua is Chinese comic books and graphic novels. Another difference is that manhwa has a scroll-type format suitable for mobile readers. On the other hand, Manhua has a single-issue format consisting of blocks and tabular frames.

Are manhwa and webtoon the same?

Yes, Manhwa refers to Korean comic books and graphic novels, often called webtoons. There is also a very popular website called Webtoon that lets users read manhwas for free.

What is the difference between anime and manga?

Manga is the term given to Japanese comic books and graphic novels, whereas anime is the name given to Japanese animation. Most anime are adapted from popular manga series.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our Short Bytes section. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

Nalin Rawat

Nalin Rawat

Just a big nerd for everything pop culture and geeky. In love with movies, comics, games, and awesome new gadgets. I have been writing about technology and gaming since college.