It is, of course, totally wrong for me to talk about a country’s manga, since only one country can claim to have manga, and that country would be Glorious Nippon. Comics in that style written and distributed in China are called manhua; in Korea, they are known as manhwa.
Today’s column will feature sweeping and poorly justified generalizations based on the offensively unscientific sample of the manhwa section of onemanga.com.
It may strike some of you as strange that this post focuses on Korea, especially in light of the fact that word weeaboo (as used here) stems from a forum filter on the portmanteau “wapanese”. On the internet, “weeaboo” is a pejorative term to describe a white person who think they’re Japanese– people who post wanted ads on Craigslist for kawaii pinku bento boxes, own wall scrolls, or push their glasses up the bridge of their noses while going, “Ummmm actually it’s pronounced ‘mahn-ga’.” The reason why I am going beyond the jurisdiction of this column as its title would suggest is that while Kyle is definitely a weeaboo (white, thinks he’s Japanese, owns wall scrolls), I am not (Korean, thinks she’s white, does not own wall scrolls).
Kyle Smith, Comic-Con 2009
I do know a decent amount about shoujo anime and manga, but does this make me a weeaboo? No, this just makes me really susceptible to lame shit. Just like I own over twenty Star Wars novels, just like I spent finals week two semesters ago watching hundreds of hours of The West Wing, just like that time last winter break when I spontaneously spent an entire night watching Hugh Grant movies back to back, just like that time the winter break before that when I watched the full 16 hours of the acclaimed BBC drama Life on Mars in a span of 48 hours while writing a final paper. When I get on a roll, I really get on a roll. It just happens that I’ve been on a roll with anime and manga for about three years.
oh man is that the new chapter of Princess Resurrection?
So why not write a post about Japanese shoujo manga? Well, it’s a much much larger field than shoujo manhwa. (Or at least, the number of shoujo manga I’ve read exceeds the number of sunjeong manhwa I’ve read by an exponential amount). It would require me to sit down, think really hard, and then do a lot of intense categorization. On the other hand, I could just spout a poorly advised opinion that reflects embarrassingly on my hopelessly broken relationship with my parents, whose calls I have been ignoring for the past four days because they keep calling while I’m playing World of Warcraft.
From left to right: Red Lion, Hot Blooded Woman, H2O, Goong, Cutie Boy, It's Love
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