New People Questions! ~~~<3 [Lost?! Confused?! We're here to help!]

Welcome!

Usually the bigger barrier to entry into manga is grammar knowledge rather than kanji or vocabulary - it’s easier to look up words than grammar, and many manga (particularly shounen and shoujo) have furigana on all kanji to tell you the reading, which makes it easier to look them up. I don’t know where you are on your Japanese learning journey - so I’m going to point you to some resources for beginners, and if you’re looking for something else, please ask!

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend looking at The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List! to help you find a resource for more grammar and vocabulary. WaniKani gives you lots of specific vocabulary to help you learn kanji, but it’s not always the most practical beginner vocabulary (because a lot of common, conceptually simple words have fairly complex kanji)

If you know some beginning grammar (or are like me and like to hit your head against things that are too hard for you repeatedly until something sticks), よつばと!is a common recommendation for beginners because it features mainly every day vocabulary. Fair warning though, it uses lots of casual grammar, which often is not what you learn first in grammar in general. I find Flying Witch uses more polite grammar, which is helpful for learners, and can make for an easier read (I didn’t personally find it that interesting, but it was relatively readable).

My main rec for starting in on reading native material would be to check out the Absolute Beginners Book Club to look at past choices, which would have a reader populated vocabulary list, along with threads for the chapters where people have asked and answered questions. This can be super helpful for starting reading, and often if you post a question, even on a long dead thread, someone will come along and answer it for you.

I know it’s not exactly what you asked, but that’s the best insight I have for you - if you really want to read soon, and have high tolerance for frustration, learn some grammar, and then hop into native material and be prepared for it to take a long time to read anything (I’m currently sitting at 15-20 minutes per page of my first light novel - but more like 30 minutes per chapter of a manga - depending on the amount of dialogue). Look up a lot of stuff. Ask lots of questions. Try to memorize more vocabulary.

Good luck!

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