What is a characteristic attribute relating to the visual aspect for a manga, differential to western comics like from DC or Marvel? For example the way they draw the eyes. In mangas they are much more complex and they look not even real.

Are there other clear attributes like that? And why is it common to draw them like "unreal" persons in Japan?


2 Answers 2


One thing I noted for sure is that Manga usually is not drawn in the same style they use for X-Men, Batman, Superman (DC Comics or Marvel).

Muscles They tend to be drawn slimmer & less muscular. When they are drawn muscularly, the muscles tends to have more packs (not sure what's that called) than that in American comics. A simple comparison is between Goku of Dragon Ball and Superman. Goku has more packs than Superman.

Hair Also, Manga character hair tends to be spikey, while American comics are not. For example Tony Stark of Iron Man and Natsu Dragneel of Fairy Tail.

Eyes Manga tends to draw the characters with big, round eyes. This is especially true in girls manga (shoujo manga).

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Expressions Well, American manga don't draw jaw-dripping expressions like manga do, or panic character having >.< eyes.

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Sound Effects Another this is that effects in American comics are usually drawn inside a spikey bubble, while in manga, they are usually just written in big hiragana or katakana letter.

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  • 1
    Sound effects in manga, depending on the type, are usually written in Katakana or Hiragana. Also more here: mit.edu/~rei/Expl.html and ezinearticles.com/…
    – Jon Lin
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 7:25
  • Whoops. You're right Jon Lin. Will fix that ASAP. Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 7:27
  • Could you specify the sound effects a bit more? Because to me, writing English in big Roman letters vs writing Japanese in big Japanese characters, doesn't sound all that different. Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 0:11
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    @PeterRaeves the only different is in american comic, they usually put the word inside a balloon, while manga only use the letter, without balloon. I think that's what he was trying to say
    – Darjeeling
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 2:07

Some characters have massive heads

Very teenagey at times

Massive eyes

Lots of connection to Japanese school life

Uses nearly the entire colour spectrum for hair colour and eye colour choices

Can get very platonic/intimate to a point of rated x at times

More common in black and white than in colour

All of the above have been sourced from 10 years experience of reading manga

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