Best quality digital manga?

So far I have roughly 15 physical manga and feel like eventually the list will grow as I finish them and want to read more. However, it already takes quite a lot of space, so I’ve been thinking of going with digital manga. I really like the idea: you don’t have to pay a shipping fee, it doesn’t take up physical space, and you can essentially carry your books wherever you want. But, there’s only one thing that’s really bothering me: the compression. In most free trials I checked, while it’s not horrible or anything, it does seem less sharp than the paper book, which is sharp. It is readable, but since I want to enjoy the art and sometimes read furigana, I feel like it kind of ruins it for me. From Googling, it seems ebookjapan is considered the best quality, but it still does seem not sharp to some extent.

Screenshot from ebookjapan (魔女の旅々):


(I really hope the forums don’t have compression)

Whereas on the physical manga it seems pretty sharp and if it looks bad it’s probably because of my poor 2017 iPad camera

So, if I’m a picky bastard, do I have any options besides physical manga?
It may seem unreasonable to have high quality manga online, but things like Webtoons exist which as far as I know have pretty good quality (I used it very little though).
Japan plz

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I only use Amazon/Kindle, but in my experience it varies wildly by series. I’ve read some series with really great image and text quality. I can zoom in a bunch if I want and everything is still perfectly legible. (Yes, at max zoom it gets slightly blurry, but at a certain point I think that’s expected short of increasing the file size 5 fold.) Meanwhile other series have slightly blurry text even when not zoomed in, or have completely illegible furigana, or have this distortion behind the text (almost as if low quality text was added after the fact).

Notably on Amazon, the on site previews are often complete garbage, but don’t represent the quality when downloaded. So personally I never rely on those and always download the sample to my tablet before buying.

I think print quality will likely always be better than digital. So my recommendation is to take it one series at a time. Sometimes there are great digital sales, where it’s worth reading digitally if the quality is “good enough”, even if the print version is better. That said, I have unfortunately skipped reading series entirely because they weren’t worth buying physically (for me) but had bad digital quality. This is all assuming you live outside of Japan of course. If you live in Japan and can get used 100 yen physical manga without paying huge shipping costs, it probably changes the equation.

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As far as I know, most, if not all manga platforms use jpg, which ironically is possibly one of the worst options for this, both blurry lines and illegible text.

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Hmmmm I see. Thanks for the reply!
I guess it can’t be helped then. I could mix it and get the digital mangas for more casual stuff that is available in good enough quality and get the physical ones for series I like, but it’s kind of tough with big 20 volume series.

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Oof

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You can maybe run an upscaler on it, like waifu2x, though that means that you’ll need to download the manga (so bookwalker is out), dedrm it most likely, convert it to images using something like calibre and then upscale it and convert back.

Would be nice to have a script that does this all automatically, but it probably takes quite a bit of time to upscale a whole volume.

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I’ve noticed this as well where some series have clear quality than others. I would get frustrated when the furigana is kind of hard to see/read so I zoom it and it’s even worse. So if you are getting digitals and don’t need the furigana your fine, but if you need them you may want to get physical. But yeah the physicals will always look sharper from what I have seen. I got physicals of all of QQ Sweeper and Queen’s Quality.

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That’s what I do. I buy a lot of Manga Time Kirara series in physical form because they are larger dimensions than typical manga and have really high quality paper. Those series also only come out with one volume per year, so it’s easy to manage ordering/shipping them. Other than those, I largely by digital these days simply so I don’t have to worry about the shipping coordination and costs, especially for series that release 3-4 volumes per year. (It’s really expensive to buy only a few volumes at a time.)

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For quality, I don’t know much the publisher impacts things versus individual comic series, but I’ve seen (what I consider) decent results from:

週刊少年マガジン

Example:

image

ゲッサン

Example:

image

電撃大王

Example:


(a bit blurry on the text)

ブレイドコミックス

But always check those (ため)()み previews to be sure.

And regardless of the quality of new releases, the older something is the worse the quality will generally be.

I haven’t had positive luck with this (having tried it maybe a few weeks ago), but maybe I was doing something wrong?

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Used a different ai model from here and it’s very nice.

Some furigana, saved into jpeg (still blows it up to be around 6 times the size)

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Hmm…I took one look at Bookwalker and was thinking “why is this so popular?” It’s too blurry.

that depends on the manga itself as well. If you find a digital only, or quite modern manga, then you will get decent quality. If you instead find hunter x hunter, you won’t have quality

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Ahh ok fair enough. I might give it another go once I finish my physical stuff.

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Quick question, would I have to use a VPN to purchase books for a kindle?
Because if my address tells them I live in Japan, yet I always buy things from the US… you know?

Every once in a while it will make you purchase through a vpn. But just get one of those ad riddled free vpns, turn it on for a whopping 10 minutes and you’ll be fine.

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Oh okay, thanks. By the way, is the Japanese to English dictionary default? Or is that something I need to install?

The kindle dictionary? It’s free, though you can buy (or install I believe) other ones. But unless you have a proper kindle, just don’t bother and get some actually good third party dictionary app. For some reason (though I suspect the reason is money), the kindle app doesn’t support conjugation detection, which makes it literally worthless.

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Amazon Japan lists the file size for each ebook. This can give an indication of the quality to a certain extent.

There used to be lots of low-res ones back in the day with quite a few series around 25-30MB, but I feel the situation has improved. Still, you can still find some scans with better quality online. The furigana is still not easy to read in my Amazon purchases.

Yeah, thinking of getting an actual Kindle not the app. So it would have the dictionary that conjugates already and I wouldn’t need to do anything?

Not sure about automatically, but there are plenty of free dictionary options on the internet, like this

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