Manga Needs Sound Effects

Every writer who has submitted to Yaoi Press to date has done poorly with sound effects. Either they’re practically nonexistent, or they burden the letterer with them, which they should not do. (They write notes in the script like: ‘Moaning Sound Effects here’ instead of actually writing what sounds they want depicted).

I think sound effects are more important in Manga than in Western Comics because we’re coming from a tradition of 3 second average page scans. If there isn’t text in a panel the reader often does not register the image. They think this is a transitional panel to establish the scene or something else they can gloss over.

In general sound effects add to the reader’s experience. They should be considered just as important as dialogue. Especially when dialogue is not present.

Below are two pages from Yaoi Vol. 1, Copyright © 2007 Yaoi Press. The first one is how the writer turned it in. A page with no dialogue, and just panel descriptions. I’ve seen Western Comics like this, where a silent page works some how.

Silent pages do not work in manga.

Here is the page after the letterer fixed it. It’s not her job to add all this. The writer should have had a care for sound effects:

In this case the letterer is yours truly. That’s why I’ve been inspired to post this. I didn’t realize how bad this problem was until I ended up having to fix it myself. I will be keeping a sharp eye for the lack of sound effects in future scripts.


2 Responses to “Manga Needs Sound Effects”

  1. January 22, 2007 at 2:53 am

    Hi, following up from my own blog…[I posted at the The Engine early asking advice on sexual sfx]. Personally, I think all comics needs sound effects, they’re a mainstay of sequential story telling. Yet in manga, the overuse of kakimoji, especially in BL *rolls eyes* often turns me off.

    I’ve seen many titles where even pre-cum oozing gets a sound of it own and while it looks lovely in katakana…seeing it rendered in English as ‘ooze’ is a real corker. LOL!

    I had a great time lettering the SFX for Roulette

    Drawn by Laura Carboni – but when it comes to sex…=_=; I still stuble a bit.

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