Beginner manga to read in Japanese and where to read them?

Title, just want some easy manga to read and learn vocab from


Welcome to the community!

ComicWalker can be a good place to check for manga, but the selection can be a bit limited. On the upside: it’s free and legal.

BookWalker is from the same parent company (KADOKAWA) and it’s where I get most of my manga (both English and Japanese). Not free, but the selection is a lot broader.

If both of those fail you, you can check Amazon JP but personally I’ve never had any luck there due to licensing nonsense.

For manga suggestions, check out the Master List of Book Clubs - anything under the absolute beginner and maybe beginner categories would be good to start with. The ones I most often see recommended for beginners are よつばと!, しろくまカフェ and フライングウィッチ, but there’s plenty to choose from - just pick something you’d actually like reading, it’s going to be rough going, so you might as well enjoy the story while you’re at it.

The respective book clubs will also usually list suggestions on where to get the books, so you can check those as well :slight_smile:


while it’s generally speaking not free, they often have a selection of free volumes in japanese. I will link the thread dedicated to updating which volumes are free on there in case you’re interested, @Sleepo01

also yes hello welcome to your first post woot!


Also Aria the Masterpiece! I think that’s a great series for beginners. :slight_smile:


I thought やがて君になる was realistically about as easy as it could get for something that wasn’t just for kids, so maybe if easier stuff is too plain for your liking you could give that a try


I know everybody already says this one, but I just bought しろくまカフェ and so I can say from experience as a beginner that it’s awesome! I’ve learned lots of new words from it, and because the plot is so slow I can just focus on figuring out words (also the art is really cute! :3)


I’d argue よつばと! isn’t really for kids as much as it is childlike, but that’s pretty much splitting hairs :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I’ll second やがて君になる though, the story is engaging enough that I binged the whole thing, and it’s not really much harder to read than フライングウィッチ for instance, as far as I can judge.


Hmm I definitely think yotsubato was something an adult could enjoy, but it still had a childlike feel to me and wasn’t really something I was interested in. I don’t really set the bar too high in terms of seriousness as I’m sure everyone is aware, but there was a noticeable difference between that and yagakimu


Side note, considering your avatar, Gintama can be a bit difficult to be honest. Lots of colloquial language, grammar, slang and katakana. And comedy is always a bit hard to get right in a different language.

But, I’d go for any manga that strikes your fancy, that you think will keep your attention - as that’s the most important thing for me. Then I can stand looking up vocab and not feeling annoyed, since I’m invested in the story. :slight_smile:

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I’ve read manga in Japanese by making an Amazon account with a Japanese zip code and then went on Japanese kindle before.

Using my domestic account I also ordered some from Amazon JP in physical form. The shipping really adds up however. But when I ordered A silent voice it ended up being cheaper than buying the English versions from local shops (Sweden), when I ordered all 7 volumes at once anyways. Since individual volumes often are way cheaper in Japan to begin with.

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I read yotsuba, polar bear cafe and a few others. Would say yotsuba is great for starting to read manga. As the length of a chapter is roughly what you find in other manga. However polar bear cafe has very short chapters, so the barrier there to start is lower. It’s also one of the few that has horizontal text. They still have their quirks and difficulties.

And yeah pick what you like. Amazon and bookwalker have samples you can use to gauge the difficulty yourself or you could use natively. As a beginner there is always gonna be something you’ll struggle with. If you keep reading even if it is a tiny little bit every day, then you’ll see progress down the line.


Oh it’s definitely childlike, but that (and the way it’s childlike) is exactly why I feel it’s targeted more towards adults - the “charm” of the story is essentially Yotsuba’s childlike mentality and wonder at everything, and the way it’s essentially allowing the reader to “relive” that through Yotsuba’s eyes. The language is suitable for children for sure, but that’s more of a side-effect of seeing things from a child’s perspective, I think the target audience is a fair bit older (older teens/young adults maybe?) - and I actually think the story would be rather boring for actual children, though Yotsuba’s rather original way of looking at things might be entertaining all the same.

Basically a story targeted at (young) adults but suitable for children, rather than the other way around. Like I said, splitting hairs :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Not that that’s even the slightest bit relevant to how suitable it is to beginners. It’s simple beginner-friendly language all the same, and that’s the more important part in this discussion.


Welcome to the community and thank you for this post! It has helped me too. I hope you find this community as helpful as I do!

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I second that: in particular, if you are a parent, you will find the humor in よつばと!delightful. I’m in my 50’s with a four year old and a 5 month baby, I love it.


I have yotsubato volumes in english, love it a lot. Would definitely like to read it in Japanese sometime


That actually makes it even more perfect to begin with. Because you already know the gist of the story, you can read the Japanese and see why it means what the English translation says (and/or how the English version differs). And for the parts you don’t remember, you can check your understanding with the translation.

I’d fairly quickly move on to new material (i.e. stuff you don’t yet know the English translation for), because knowing the meaning does mean it’s more tempting to skip over the Japanese and fool yourself into thinking you understood more than you did, but knowing the story beforehand is a very good place to start all the same.


Do you know anywhere to learn vocabulary? Don’t understand much of what I’m reading

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I used Torii myself but something like Anki with a Core 2k/5k/10k deck could fill the same purpose.

I’d say you probably shouldn’t bother learning via that method past ~1500-2000 words though. By that point you’ve got a pretty solid foundation, and you can just look up words as you go in whatever you’re reading, and if desired add them to an Anki deck for memorisation.

Though it can’t hurt to go for more words. It’s just less likely to be as useful as learning from whatever material you’re consuming is.

Can you send the anki deck? I’m horrible at using Anki it’s very tough for me not sure why

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I don’t really have it handy, I don’t use Anki myself - but it’s as simple as just logging into Ankiweb and searching for “core 10k” - though from what I read the Tango N5 and N4 decks are apparently better for whatever reason.

I doubt it matters much which deck you choose. Just pick one and go for it - you’re not looking to learn absolutely all of Japanese vocabulary in the best possible way, just to get a solid foundation.

Though if you can’t work with Anki (can’t say I blame you - the UI is pretty terrible) maybe Torii is a better fit. You can just set your study mode to JLPT N5 and JLPT N4 or do the first 1100-ish words of the default 10k study mode (that should be roughly equivalent to N5 and N4), and by the time you’re finished with that you’ve got a good enough foundation to build off by sentence mining.