During the 80s, one of the biggest publishers in Indonesia, Elex Publishing, started translating manga in Bahasa Indonesia. Due to popular manga getting translated into their native language, this expanded the market not only for Indonesian webtoon but also international titles as well. Popular manga such as Candy Candy, Dragon Ball, and Doraemon getting licensed from Japanese to Bahasa Indonesia translation became a huge stepping stone for the market to grow globally.
The Indonesian webtoon market started expanding ever since Elex Publishing released their first translated manga. The biggest difference between a manga versus their local comics is the book binding. Traditionally, manga is read from right to left. However, in Indonesia, comics follow a left to right western binding format. To cater this, the publishing company decided to bind the manga in a western style instead of following the usual way to slowly introduce the literature to their consumers. Overtime, with more Indonesian licensed manga titles for translation, they have changed the book binding to match the original source.
Once people get used to a new culture, they will look for similar ones. Just like with manga, manhwa, and webtoon became more in demand due to manga readers branching out to other types of similar literature from different cultures. With more Indonesians open to the world of manga, naturally, it spilled over to manhwa and webtoon. Forty years later, the Indonesian webtoon market is the biggest in Southeast Asia.
Korean Webtoons get translated from Korean to Bahasa Indonesian due to demand. It usually starts with fan translations and scanlations until they release the official translation. And since the access isn’t a one-way street, a lot of Indonesian webtoons get translated from Bahasa Indonesia into English, Korean, and even Japanese. This phenomenon manifested the growth of the webtoon market not just in Indonesia, but worldwide as well.
We cannot deny on how popular manga, manhwa, and webtoon have gotten throughout the years. With diverse consumers, it has also brought in a huge wave of creators who are willing to share their stories to the world. With popular webtoon apps such as Naver and Kakao, it’s not impossible to create your own, with a guarantee that someone will stumble upon your work. However, it should not stop there. One way of reaching through your readers’ hearts is through language. If your work is translated into multiple languages with a huge number of users, then it will surely reach the audience you’re trying to connect with. So, go global with CCCI.