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



Increasingly Eastern individuals are studying manga from South Korea.

In contrast to monochrome Eastern comics, South Korean ones are complete colour, and readers can view the content material simply by way of scrolling up and down on their smartphones.

Some professionals consider that vertical-scroll manga will develop into the worldwide usual. Positive Eastern publishers also are transferring into this new marketplace. 

Will conventional Eastern manga – a proud a part of the rustic’s tradition – be left at the back of?

Slick Studying

“We enchantment no longer simply to those that like manga, but additionally to people who revel in viewing content material on their smartphones. We now have succeeded in growing some way of taking part in manga that may be ordinary,” unearths a press officer at Piccoma, a manga subscription provider.

Piccoma used to be evolved and launched by way of Kakao Japan, a subsidiary of the South Korean corporate Kakao.

Kakao’s vertical-scroll manga “Solo Leveling,” which used to be localized for the Eastern marketplace, surpassed a per thirty days gross sales determine of ¥200 million JPY ($1.7 million USD) in Would possibly 2020 – gaining consideration within the publishing international.

Piccoma’s annual gross sales figures jumped from about ¥13.4 billion JPY ($117.6 million USD) in 2019 to roughly ¥37.6 billion JPY ($330 million USD) in 2020.

Vertical-scroll manga more or less makes up 1.4% of the corporate’s virtual content material vary, but it accounts for approximately 50% of the company’s gross sales.

South Korean vertical-scroll manga also are known as “webtoons.” In contrast to the cut up frames unfold throughout two pages that one sees in Eastern manga depicting quite a lot of scenes, there are rarely any cut up frames in vertical-scroll manga.

The reader scrolls from scene to scene, gliding easily in the course of the tale, making it simple to revel in as a result of no time is wasted between pages.

Two Main Apps – Additionally South Korean

In step with the Analysis Institute for Publications, estimated general gross sales for the home comedian marketplace in 2020, together with each paper and virtual, reached $12.6 billion JPY ($110 million USD)– the best to this point.

Particularly, virtual comics noticed an build up of 31.9% in comparison to the former 12 months, and hits similar to Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) attracted new readers as extra other people stayed indoors due the pandemic.

With the virtual comedian marketplace increasing, there have additionally been some primary vertical-scroll hits. In step with “LINE Manga,” the South Korean love comedy “True Attractiveness” has been considered 580 million instances, and 5.1 billion instances globally.

The Tokyo-based knowledge research corporate Values informs us that the selection of manga app customers in Japan has larger dramatically since March 2020.

Particularly, LINE manga and Piccoma have pulled clear of the likes of “Maga-poke” with estimated customers of about 6.4 million and 5.5 million other people, respectively.

“LINE manga’s mother or father corporate Naver (South Korea) and Piccoma’s mother or father corporate Kakao Leisure (South Korea) are vastly increasing their vertical-scroll vary, as a part of their international technique,” explains a advertising marketing consultant at Values.

“The benefit of this structure is that there’s no wish to regulate the format in line with each and every nation/language, so all you want to do is translate it,” provides the marketing consultant.

World Domination

In step with LINE manga and Piccoma, Eastern publishers and writers had been inquiring extra about vertical-scroll manga, and feature even been coming into the marketplace.

Firms concerned within the structure also are having a look to accomplish neatly globally, which raises the query: Will Eastern manga, with their monochrome “top-right-to-bottom-left” frames, be left at the back of?

“Vertical-scroll and entire colour manga are turning into the worldwide usual. At this fee, with the deserves of Eastern manga no longer being conveyed to the arena, the business will shrink,” warns a senior govt on the Tokyo-based vertical-scroll manufacturer Cork.

“The content material marketplace, together with manga, is amazingly massive. Alternatively, there isn’t a lot that is still in a single’s soul. If you’ll produce vertical-scroll manga this is actually value studying, you’ll most probably dominate the worldwide marketplace. Although the structure adjustments, manga tradition won’t disappear,” provides the manager.

In the meantime, Jimpei Yoshida, president of Beaglee – which supplies a virtual comedian provider – believes that monochrome manga with the a couple of body structure can be successful within the international marketplace.

“Numerous data may also be put onto one web page. There may be room for creativeness in the ones frames – making Eastern manga extra expressive,” says Yoshida. “To guide the worldwide marketplace, it comes down as to if you’ll create a content material marketplace that may pass international. Our undertaking is to amplify out of the country with our provider.”

Firms are looking to win over smartphone customers with a variety of content material. And it may be mentioned that Eastern manga is being threatened by way of international pageant.

(Learn the Sankei Shimbun file in Eastern at this link.)

Writer: Rie Terada