Scripted voices: script's role in creating Japanese manga dialogue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The construction of dialogue in comics often involves both visual and graphic considerations, with changes to the shape, size, font, colour, and even orientation of text and speech bubbles used to establish characters’ identities and voices in the medium. However, while many styles of graphic manipulation in comic dialogue have been discussed and researched to date, the variant use of script has seen little attention. In this study, I examine if and how locally variant uses of the Japanese hiragana, katakana and kanji scripts are used to index information about speakers and speech acts in three series of Japanese manga (comics). The findings show that marked selections of each script are used to index specific effects and social voices, with the interplay between script choice and the surrounding visuals often working together to establish information in the analysed texts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-105
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Issue number1
Early online date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Japanese
  • lingusitics
  • manga
  • comics
  • indexicality
  • voice
  • script
  • orthography
  • Japanese writing
  • visual speech
  • dialogue


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