Manga, Manhwa, Manhua, What’s the Difference?

Now this is an interesting topic to discuss about. For those who just step-in to the world of comics, these terms might be confusing. Let’s talk about manga online, manhwa online and manhua online separately first so that you can tell their differences later.

Table of contents


Manga were comics or graphic novels originating from Japan. Most manga conform to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century, though the art form has a long prehistory in earlier Japanese art. Manga had various genres such as action, adventure, comedy, drama, horror, romance, shoujo, shounen, isekai, among others. Since 1950s, manga has become a major part of the Japanese publishing industry. In 1995, manga market in Japan was valued about 6-7 billion US dollar, with annual sales 1.9 billions manga books and manga magazines in Japan.

Manga stories were typically printed in black and white – due to time constraint, artistic reasons and to keep printing cost low although some full-color manga did exist (i.e Colorful, Fushigi neko no Kyuu-chan). In Japan, manga usually serialized in a large manga magazines, often containing many stories, each presented in a single episode to be continued in the next issue. Collected chapters were usually republished in tankobon volumes. If the manga was popular enough, it might get its anime adaptation. Sometimes, manga was also based on

previous live-action or animated films. There were multiple panels on each manga page and it was commonly read from right-to-left. Some examples of manga online would be Black Clover, Naruto, One Piece, Doraemon etc.


The term manhwa became popular in Korea during 1920s when applied to cartoons. The popularity of comics rose during 1950s and 1960s and the diversity of styles and subject matter lead to the creation of new genres such as sunjeong (or soonjung), equivalent with shoujo in Japanese manga. Manga influenced manhwa from the medium beginnings during Japanese occupation of Korea and continued to exert a powerful influence as the manga industry became a major force within Japanese culture and began to export comics abroad. The artist of a manhwa was known as manhwaga. Manhwa were not culturally isolated and the influx of manga in to Korean comics market had a strong effect on the art and content of many manhwa artists.

Manhwa stories were usually in full color although black-and-white manhwas did exist. Manhwa comes in single or multiple panels on each page and commonly read from left-to-right. Some examples of manhwa would be Tower of God, Noblesse, Orange Marmalades etc.


Manhua was a term originally used in Chinese literati painting in 18th century. In 1925, the political work of Feng Zikai published a collection entitled Zi-Kai Manhua in Wenxue Zhoubao. This particular publication has made the term manhua became associated with Chinese comic materials. Digital manhua, known as web manhua, are a growing art form in China. Web manhua were posted on social media and web manhua portals. Some popular web manhua sites include QQ Comic and U17. In recent years, several Chinese web manhua have been adapted into animated series, with some in co-production with the Japanese animation industry.

Depending on the region where it’s created, manhua can have differences in the way its formatted and presented. Besides the use of traditional and simplified Chinese characters, manhua can also be read differently depending on where it came from. Manhua from mainland China is read from left-to-right like Western comics and Korean manhwa while manhua from Taiwan and Hong Kong is read from right-to-left like Japanese manga. Almost all manhua were published in full-color though black-and-white manhua did exist. Unique feature presented by manhua lies in its storyline. Might be due to cultural differences, manhua’s storyline is very different compared to manga and manhwa. Examples of manhua were Star Martial God Technique, Versatile Mage, Battle Through The Heavens.

So, what do you think? Now you know the differences between manga, manhwa and manhua. Some people disregard these differences and just call them manga in general. If you are interested to read manga online, you can visit numerous online websites hosting for these manga. Happy reading!