You’ve decided to create your own Manga, but wonder how just much work that’s going to require. How many pages would you need to draw to release one volume of your Manga?
On average, one volume of manga contains anywhere from 180 to 220 pages. The total page count is dependent on the length of each individual chapter within the volume.
Rather than as individual issues like western comics, Manga chapters are published in Manga Magazines such as Weekly Shonen Jump and Manga Time Kirara on a weekly or monthly basis.
Once they have enough chapters, they are published in Tankoubon (単行本) format—what we know as a ‘volume’. Japanese Manga Artists (Mangaka) don’t think in terms of volumes, but chapters. Each volume is released whenever they’ve drawn enough chapters to fill one up.
The number of which differ depending on whether the series is released weekly or monthly and how many pages are in each chapter. But on average:
- Weekly: 8 to 11 Chapters per Volume
- Monthly: 4 to 7 Chapters per Volume
But how many pages are in each chapter?
How Many Pages Are in One Chapter of Manga?
The number of pages in a single chapter of Manga is dependent on a variety of factors. However, the most famous Manga magazines have set an unspoken industry standard on account of their popularity.
In general, a Manga chapter that is published Weekly contains anywhere from 15 to 20 pages; 18 pages is the average. A Manga chapter that is published Monthly contains anywhere from 30 to 50 pages; 42 pages is the average.
That said, no two Manga series have the same publishing practices. Those published in the same magazine are similar, but not perfectly so.
Furthermore, the length of each chapter is dependent on the Genre of the Manga as well as the ‘type’ of chapter.
Let’s take a look at each so you can have a better understanding of what might be expected from your Manga’s publishing schedule.
How Many Pages Are in a Weekly Chapter of Manga?
Manga series published weekly can be of any genre, but the most common are Action or Comedy. Given the low page count, it’s difficult to build the tension needed in a Drama or Romance series.
Fast paced battle scenes or gags are perfect for a quick read and readers don’t have to wait long to find out what happens next.
Let’s check out the average number of pages in some different Manga series published in a couple different magazines:
Weekly Shonen Jump
- Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – 19 Pages
- Boku no Hero Academia – 16 Pages
- Death Note – 19 Pages
Weekly Shonen Sunday
- Inuyasha – 17 Pages
- Gin no Saji – 18 Pages
- Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic – 18 Pages
Somewhat random, yes, but all fall into the average of 15 to 20 pages. If you want to release your Manga weekly, you should aim for a page count within that range. Readers will be expecting that much and will be disappointed if you underdeliver.
All that said, just because a Manga series is released in a Weekly magazine doesn’t mean that the Mangaka publishes a chapter every week. Instead, he draws a new chapter every two weeks. This is known as a Bi-Weekly release.
Many are published in Weekly magazines, but they’re also published in Bi-Monthly magazines. They typically have the same page count as weekly releases. However, because the Mangaka has more time to work on it, some contain upwards of 22 pages.
How Many Pages Are in a Monthly Chapter of Manga?
Manga series published monthly can also be of any genre, but the most common are Drama, Romance, or Slice of Life. Given the high page count, you have more room to go for a slower pace and build the tension necessary for dramatic moments.
Because each chapter only comes out once a month, it’s important to provide a complete, more satisfying story. Cliffhangers are still viable, but they don’t work as well given how long readers must wait between chapters.
Here’s a few different series’ chapter page counts in different Monthly magazines for reference. Because of their randomness, I’ll be including the specific chapters as well.
|Platinum End||Ch. 11 – 44 Pages||Ch. 25 – 34 Pages||Ch. 40 – 41 Pages|
|To Love-Ru Darkness||Ch. 06 – 37 Pages||Ch. 27 – 35 Pages||Ch. 38 – 39 Pages|
|Blue Exorcist||Ch. 18 – 44 Pages||Ch. 26 – 41 Pages||Ch. 36 – 36 Pages|
Monthly G Fantasy
|Pandora Hearts||Ch. 08 – 31 Pages||Ch. 23 – 42 Pages||Ch. 32 – 49 Pages|
|Nabari no Ou||Ch. 17 – 32 Pages||Ch. 28 – 38 Pages||Ch. 37 – 34 Pages|
|Kimi to Boku||Ch. 18 – 50 Pages||Ch. 26 – 39 Pages||Ch. 48 – 43 Pages|
All over the place, but hovering around 40 pages is ideal.
If you plan to release each chapter of your Manga monthly, you should probably aim for the higher end of that 30 to 50 average. Readers will be waiting a long time for each chapter. You need to make each one really shine so they don’t forget about you.
How Many Pages Are in a 4-Koma Chapter of Manga?
Yon-koma Manga (4コマ漫画), or 4-Koma as they are commonly known, are a bit different than standard Manga. Each ‘story’ is told in Comic-Strip style arranged in 4 panels and read from top to bottom.
Nearly 100% of the time, they are either Comedy or Slice-of-Life series. This is due to the comedic nature of a comic strip.
Because of the genre and style of presentation, 4-Koma Manga chapters are typically shorter than those of standard Manga. So, how long are 4-Koma Manga chapters?
On average, 4-Koma Manga chapters are 8 pages long. That said, they can range from anywhere from 4 to 14 pages.
Here are the average chapter page counts of a few:
- Bocchi the Rock – 10 Pages
- Is the Order a Rabbit? – 8 Pages
- Slow Start – 8 Pages
Pretty much every 4-Koma Manga stays around the 8 page range. Most of the stories are very easy to digest and don’t need to be especially memorable. Readers just come for a quick laugh or to fawn over the moé characters.
While those are the standards, not every chapter meets the average page count, but shoots past it. There could be any number of reasons as to why, but in general, these ‘special’ longer chapters fall under three categories:
- A chapter celebrating a Milestone (Chapter 50 or 100), Anniversary (1 Year Since Publication), or Special Occasion (A Character’s Birthday Celebration)
- The Epilogue Chapter. The very last chapter of a series should be and is treated special by giving it a much longer page count.
- The first chapter, or Pilot, is typically much longer as it was likely once a ‘one-shot’.
Special chapters aren’t something you’ll have to worry about to often, but it can be a nice treat for readers to include them where applicable.
And speaking of One-Shots—
How Many Pages Are in a One-Shot Manga?
A One-Shot Manga is a single ‘chapter’ of Manga that aims to tell a complete story in that single chapter. They are not designed to have a follow-up, but are rather used as a ‘sales pitch’ to potential publishers.
If the reviewers like a One-Shot enough, they’ll likely approve it for serialization. In which case, it becomes a Manga series. Most Manga series start out as One-Shots; many end up becoming quite famous.
So, if you wanted to experiment with an idea, it’d be best to test it as a One-Shot before making an entire series out of it. But how many pages should it have?
On average, a One-Shot Manga is 50 pages long. However, depending on the genre and goal of the Mangaka, they could range anywhere from 15 to 70 pages.
The ‘big three’ all started out as One-Shots with these page numbers:
- Naruto – 45 Pages
- Bleach – 50 Pages
- One Piece – 50 Pages
All three ended up as Weekly Manga, but lower Pilot page counts are typically not enough for readers to get invested in your story.
If you’re planning on writing a One-Shot Manga, aim for a much higher page count than what the Weekly and Monthly averages might suggest.
A Successful Manga Artist Delivers the Expected Page Count
Now that you know the average page counts for each type of Manga, you can deliver what readers expect.
If you set a precedent by releasing your manga Weekly or Monthly, readers will be expecting you to deliver a specific page count. If you fail to meet it, readers might be disappointed and may not return for the next chapter.
Don’t overwork yourself in trying to meet their expectations, but don’t skimp on a chapter—just take a break instead. Your readers aren’t so sadistic as to hate you for taking a couple weeks off (probably…).
And if you’re curious as to just how long meeting that expected page count will take, I wrote an article on how long it takes to draw a single page of manga. Check it out to find out what you’re really getting into as a Manga artist.