Stop! You’re making manga in the wrong direction!

This used to be heresy, but I actually think it makes sense: Japanese manga critic Kentaro Takekuma makes the argument for creating manga that reads left to right, to make it more accessible to English and Chinese readers.

The Kaori Yuki Manga Moveable Feast has wound up, but Foxy Lady Ayame has an archive page up so you can check out any posts you missed.

The Manga Bookshelf team has a digital Pick of the Week this week.

Michelle Smith and Karen Peck have undertaken The CMX Project—that’s right, they are reading all those classic manga that CMX published back in the day. The latest selection: Minako Narita’s Cipher.

News from Japan: The historical manga Kingdom has won the 17th annual Osamu Tezuka Award; it’s just the latest in a string of historical manga to take the honor. Both Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gantz will be wrapping up soon.

Reviews: Three Steps Over Japan reviews Sekai no Hatedomo Mangakaki, a travel manga by Thermae Romae creator Mari Yamazaki. The Manga Bookshelf team takes a quick look at some recent releases in their latest set of Bookshelf Briefs. Ash Brown closes the books on another week’s worth of manga reading.

Victoria Erica on vol. 1 of Attack on Titan (Anime Expo)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 5 of Bleach (Blogcritics)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 8 of Bunny Drop (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Matthew Cycyk on vols. 1-5 of The Flowers of Evil (Matt Talks About Manga)
A Library Girl on vol. 2 of Gamerz Heaven (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Ash Brown on vol. 1 of Grand Guignol Orchestra (Experiments in Manga)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 8 of Kamisama Kiss (Blogcritics)
TSOTE on vol. 12 of Moyashimon (Three Steps Over Japan)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 38 of Negima (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
TSOTE on vol. 1 of Sanshiro^2 (Three Steps Over Japan)
Derek Bown on the April 29 issue of Shonen Jump (Manga Bookshelf)
Helen on vol. 1 of Sugar Sugar Rune (Narrative Investigations)
TSOTE on vols. 5 and 6 of Tamashin (Three Steps Over Japan)
Anna N. on vol. 1 of Tiger & Bunny (Manga Report)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 7 of Tsubasa (Blogcritics)

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  1. Hmm, in the end, shouldn’t content matter?

  2. WonderSteve says

    Ah..I want to add, traditionally, Chinese is actually supposed to read from top to bottom, right to left (just like Japanese). All the books and manga published in Taiwan and Hong Kong use this style today. It is how Chinese has always been.

    Now in mainland China, simplified Chinese are often written from left to right like English.

    This is not a big issue for breaking into the mainland China market. I would worry more about the censorship instead.

  3. Considering that manga didn’t take off in the U.S. until after TokyoPop started publishing manga “authentically”, I don’t find the argument to have any validity. Further, Fruits Baskets was a massive seller for TP as it pulled in girls who weren’t manga readers. They weren’t put off by the right-to-left format.

    In the end, it is a good manga, combined with a good adaptation that will make/break a manga. Plus, manga companies need to advertise more.

    • Alexander Callos says

      I think that, combined with copious amounts of “stop! you’re reading in the wrong direction” inserts alleviate any problem that may arise from publishing things as close to the source as possible.