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Aug 13th, 2013 Comments: 20

This is How You Can Read Manga Legally in 2013

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Tried to find a reading manga related pic. Was none I liked. Decided to go with Danbo instead.

Well, I did the legal anime list so it was only a matter of time before I worked on the manga list.

Admittedly though, I already have to start with a couple of extra notes before actually starting with the list. For starters, there’s really not a lot of legal manga sites out there. (Unless I missed any, that means you need to tell me in the comments or shoot an email to me.) And with the amount of manga that is out there, you can bet you’re missing a lot. Another note, I didn’t exactly check to find out if other countries’s online/tablet manga services are around or not. You can let me know if this is the case, following the format I have set in this post. Final note is when you check out some of these places, you notice how a good portion of these also have user submitted content or are really old. This is the current state of legal online manga in 2013, and at this point, it’s not changing anytime soon. 

That being said, there is legal manga out and about, and a good portion of them are available to a large audience (so don’t say there’s none out there). I will need your help on a few of them, as you may be able to get access to some of them in your country, but I can’t be all that certain. Anyways, enough of me talking about much of nothing, and let’s get to listing.

Table of Contents

  1. eManga
  2. Manga Reborn
  3. Gen Manga
  4. Viz Media
  5. Weekly Shonen Jump
  6. Netcomics
  7. Kodansha USA
  8. Yen Press
  9. Vertical Inc.
  10. Dark Horse Comics
  11. Seven Seas
  12. SuBLime Manga
  13. Renta!
  14. Amimaru Manga
  15. J-Comi (JP)
  16. Crunchyroll

Emanga

Digital Manga

Where you can read it: It’s a worldwide service.

How you can read it: Bunch of ways: you can download it in 7 formats (PRC, MOBI, EPUB, PDF, CBZ, Apple EPUB, Kobo EPUB), for a bunch of devices, though it depends for some: PC, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle, Kindle Fire, Android, Nook 6”, Nook Color, Kobo 6”, Kobo Tablets, Sony Readers, Linux, Mac, Windows, and Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Motorola Xoom, Abode Digital Editions, Blackberry, Bebook, Aluratek Libre Pro, Cybook Opus, Digital Reader 1000, EZ Reader by Astak, Hanlin, iLiad, iRiver Story.

Anything Extra: Registration here

Email: customerservice@emanga.com

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

They have just about every type of manga you want: Shoujo, Shounen, Seinen, Josei, Yaoi, Yuri, Hentai, the works. They are pretty pricey though, ranging from the $9.99 range or higher for a good portion of their titles. As far as I know, most people don’t like to spend that much for physical books; they’ll probably just laugh at seeing the prices here. Otherwise, they’re one of the few publishers that actually allows you to have files for you to keep.

MangaReborn

Manga Reborn

Where you can read it: Anywhere it seems: US, France, Japan, etc…

How you can read it: Looks like you can read it online, though you can download the pages.

Anything Extra: About Mangareborn here

Social Media: Twitter

MangaReborn is the most interesting site I’ve come across with arguably the strangest design choice ever. Interesting in that it’s a legal translation site where translators can translate manga, people can upload their manga and get it translated into an assortment of languages, and there’s a ton of classic manga that you know you won’t find anywhere elsewhere (like The V Sign). The problem is it is such a mess of a design that I can already bet anyone without the foggiest idea of reading manga online, or someone who’s just trying to even get into manga, having trouble figuring out what’s worth a read, what’s actually readable and not just translations that need to be localized, and what Manga Reborn’s all about (for example, the about page/contact info is all the way at the bottom). If there is some good news, this is still in Beta. How long it will remain in this state who knows, but for the sake of good reading, let’s hope the design is a bit better than it is now.

Gen Manga

Gen Manga

Where you can read it: Looks to just be US, CAN, and UK only. Let me know if there are other locations.

How you can read it: You can download the manga to your PC, give it a read on iTunes.

Anything Extra: Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Tumblr, Pinterest

Out of all the publishers on the list, Gen Manga has been pretty out front with their intentions: they publish manga from unknown manga artists in Japan that, for various reasons, couldn’t get published in a JP Magazine. You can take that as either a sign that they just aren’t good enough or a sign that JP Magazines don’t know what they’re looking for/just don’t want good manga. Hence why you’ll get either some really fun manga (Wolf) or some pretty forgettable ones (Alive). However, at the price they’re commanding for a monthly subscription ($1.99 a month), it’s hard to say you’ll lose anything by not getting a subscription from them. Just make sure you have the time to read monthly!

Viz Media

Viz Manga

Where you can read it: US and Canada only.

How you can read it: On your PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire

Anything Extra: Email: customer_service@viz.com

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

Viz has been around the block too long, so mustering up any sort of critique is kind of useless for the most part. I do have one though, but I’ll get to that in the WSJ section. For now, they have some pretty cheap titles (nothing like Emanga’s), as they range around the $3.99-4.99 pile. Don’t know if that’s because everything’s on sale at the moment, but the point is the digital manga is way cheaper than print. And with their various demographic lines, you have plenty of options.

Weekly Shonen Jump

Weekly Shonen Jump

Where you can read it: US, CAN, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

How you can read it: Same as Viz Manga: PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire.

Anything Extra: Email: sjsupport@viz.com

Social Media: Twitter

I left a link to the WSJ page, but you’ll be reading your issues on Viz Manga.

Decided to separate Viz Manga and Weekly Shonen Jump for a few reasons. I think the obvious is that this is the only publication that’s actually concurrent with anything in Japan (though from what the all knowing eye tells me, it’s a simultaneous publication that gets negated when the most popular manga are out a few days ahead of this release every Monday). This also allows more readers in other countries as well, so that’s a few changes right there.

Now aside from it being a weekly issue, it’s the same as Viz Manga, which means the only issue that should be of worry for anyone is the fact that they say you can keep all your issues of WSJ forever, but I’m curious of that, since you can’t actually download it to your PC (You may be able to on your mobile devices though). If the unthinkable happens and the online site is gone, exactly how will one keep their issues of WSJ? For me, it doesn’t matter, but there are those who see it as a problem. Otherwise, this and for some, being able to get back issues of WSJ may be the only other problem here. I think people want to see more Shonen Jump manga on WSJ and I would be all for that too, but they’ve had a lot of stuff running for a while, so I’d say it’s not a problem right now.

Netcomics

Where you can read it: As far as I can tell, US and Canada? Might be more though.

How you can read it: Online

Anything Extra: At this point, I’m not exactly sure what’s there to say about NETCOMICS, because it feels like they’ve silently or are silently leaving the manga market. Ok, also manhwa. There’s rarely any news about them, they haven’t used their social media account in forever, and the website doesn’t look all that active anymore. It does look like you can still make purchases. Now whether you want to pay $.25c for a chapter of a comic, that’ll be up to you. And there might be some gems on the site. It’s pretty concerning though, when a company is not out there though…

Kodansha USA

Kodansha USA

Where you can read it: US and Canada (Edit: @Raindrops says it’s also UK too. Provided proof.) EDIT 2: Was notified by Ben, Manga editor at Kodansha USA, that if Nook/Kindle is available in your territory, you have Kodansha titles. I’ll go stay silent now.

How you can read it: You can buy their titles in eBook format for it looks like Kindle, Nook, and Apple’s iBookstore.

Anything Extra: Link to Ebook samplers on the Ebooks page.

I haven’t been able to test out any of Kodansha’s manga (aside from the print stuff of course) because it’s only stuff for mobile devices. The part where I go poor PCs everywhere. Although I did end up finding an Attack on Titan sample at Random House, but man is that not really visible on the website. Anyways, you’ll either like what titles they have, or don’t like what they have, and have to pay the exact amount for digital as you would in print. Otherwise, for those who have tested out reading Kodansha manga on various tablets, feel free to share what you think of them below.

Yen Press

Yen Press

Where you can read it: US it looks like. Canada might be as well.

How you can read it: Looks like they have their own online reader, and they have a Yen Press app.

Anything Extra: Subscription is actually fairly cheap ($2.99).

The one problem: they’re only serializing one manga (Soul Eater NOT), and the rest are either graphic novels or manhwa. I mean, you have a legit way of reading the series, but what’s up with that being the only manga being released monthly? Well, whatever the case, if you’re a general comic nut this could be worth a subscription, but otherwise, it’ll be up to you if you want to check out the magazine.

Vertical Inc.

Vertical Inc

Where you can read it: US and Canada. (Edit: @Raindrops confirms UK also) (EDIT 2: This article confirms Vertical’s manga is available worldwide.)

How you can read it: Kindle, Nook, iBooks

Anything Extra: As of this post, their only released digital titles are Twin Spica, 7 Billion Needles, and Drops of God.

Well, I think a number of people (that includes me) have asked Vertical (ok specifically Ed), “when are you guys going digital? What’s taking you so long? Why don’t speed things up–” and whatnot, and the finally managed to do so this year. Of course I can’t tell because they don’t have it for PC, but you have it for various apps. There’s only a few titles available though, but it will be interesting to see what will eventually be up for sale.

Dark Horse

Dark Horse

Where can you read it: Not sure for the most part. I say that because some titles have region restrictions, so it depends on where you are. Safe to say US and Canada will get most of the titles though.

How you can read it: PC, iOS, Android, Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kobo Vox, Nook, Nook Color,

Anything Extra: Entire Digital Catalog

Well, the issue is you don’t get to keep your files if pray tell the site ends up going down. But this is Dark Horse, and chances are they’ll be around for a good while. There are some pretty interesting titles that are cheap digitally, so you may want to take a look around and see what they got.

Seven Seas

Seven Seas

Where you can read it: US and Canada.

How you can read it: Kindle, Nook, iPad

Anything Extra: List of Ebook titles

Not really much I can say on Seven Seas, though the only thing I can say is that I remember a year ago where they were around, but not all that active. You can pretty much bet that that has changed from now, and at least these guys can hold the distinction that they are one of the few manga publishers to be on Comixology (along with Digital Manga). But if you’ve checked out any of their titles via the devices listed above, let me know and I’ll add that part here.

SuBLime Manga (Credit to @SinisterHands for letting me know!)

Sublime

Where you can read it: It’s a worldwide service.

How you can read it: You can download the content digitally or read it on their online player.

Anything Extra: Email: info@sublimemanga.com

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

SuBLime Manga, which is actually a partnership between Viz and Animate, Ltd., is literally your go to stop for Yaoi manga. You can own the manga and read it in PDF, or you can read it on their player. The digital prices I saw were around $5.99 (Saw one over that), so for either 170-200 pages, that sounds like a good deal. If that sounds like a good thing to you, then you definitely would want to check the site out.

Renta! (Also credit to @SinisterHands for letting me know.)

Renta!

Where you can read it: You can read it anywhere. No region lock here.

How you can read it: PC, iPhone, iPad

Anything Extra: Social Media: TwitterFacebook

You have to register to read their titles.

Newbies for Renta probably want to start here.

Renta! Is one weird service that I may or may not be wishing was a bit better designed (and actually wrote in correct English) because they seem to have a lot of titles you can’t read anywhere else. Granted, some of them turned out to be Digital Manga stuff, but there were some titles that I definitely would want to give a read to. The ticket system is pretty weird, but maybe, just maybe, people can get over that and maybe see if there’s a title that they like.

Amimaru Manga

Amimaru

Where you can read it: Anywhere

How you can read it: If you can access Facebook on your iPhone, iPad, PC, etc, you can read Amimaru, but it’s cloud based, so no downloading.

Anything Extra: Link to App page here

Email: support@amimaru.com

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

Amimaru is a Finnish start up company that started last year, and thanks to simply being followed by the one who manages the account (that would be @ptjtsubasa), I was reminded of this site and they also allow you to read manga online…on Facebook. Yeah, that probably is a weird thing, but that being said, while many people have their issues with Facebook, a lot of people use it, so who knows, that might be the best alternative. They don’t have much at the moment right now, but then again, that’s why I left their email as they’re open for suggestions.

J-Comi

J-Comi

Where you can read it: You can read it anywhere…but you probably want to know Japanese to actually know what’s going on.

How you can read it: At this point, I can’t even tell. Anyone who’s good in Japanese want to help me out with that?

Anything Extra: The only thing extra I can honestly provide is the fact that I remember some years ago an English version of J-Comi came out in Beta form. This was in 2011. It is now 2013, and so far, not a peep about it or the service (at least for everyone else not in Japan) since. With a site that allows out of print titles to be available, it would be great if it did get that English version up sometime soon…

Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll Manga

Where you can read it: In a bunch of countries…except Japan, France, anfd

How You Can Read It: Online, iOS, and Android.

Anything Extra: It’s $4.95 a month for 12 titles, with no ads and all the chapters. If you choose not to pay, you get only the latest chapters and ads. I’ve tested out the service on the web. It’s pretty good. You shouldn’t have too many issues with it. The titles, while all Kodansha, are pretty strong. Still have some work to do in terms of updating content and all, but I think they’re working on it. Otherwise, if they add more manga to their list and it’s still $4.95, that will turn into an steal. My expectations is once they reach a certain quota of manga, they might increase it. But that’s just me.

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Justin

Justin is the founder of Organization Anti-Social Geniuses. Anime & manga fan that likes to blog about anime and manga, is addicted to sports, and weak to crossovers. You can follow Justin on Twitter @Kami_nomi.

Comments

( 20 )
  1. […] Digital comics | Justin Stroman has an exhaustive list, with details and links, of all the places you can legally read digital manga. [Organization ASG] […]

  2. […] do I read manga—legally? Justin counts the ways and gives a detailed rundown of each digital manga service at Organization Anti-Social […]

  3. Daniella Aug 14th, 2013 21:58

    You forgot SuBLime and Comixology. :P

    • Justin (Admin) Aug 14th, 2013 22:56

      ummmm…I did add Sublime =p. Will fix the spelling though. And my understanding of Comixology is that it hosts comics from other publishers (like I know some DMP, Seven Seas manga is on there) so, technically, not considering them, unless you want me to add that you can get DMP/Seven Seas stuff on that platform?

  4. […] I was traveling quite a bit last week (a couple of my friends were getting married), so I’m a little out of touch when it comes to some of the most recent manga news. However, there is one thing that I want to be sure to pass along. I personally don’t read much manga digitally, but Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses has a fantastic post looking at all the legal ways to read digital manga in 2013. […]

  5. […] of working to support manga and its readers, Organization Anti-Social Geniuses blog has posted a handy guide to the current ways to read manga (legally!) online. They have a comprehensive list that also […]

  6. ????84 Dec 12th, 2013 17:54

    Thank you very much for such a full review. It helps immensely for such a rookie as me. ^_^ But just to make sure i understood everything right, could you tell me one thing. So can I buy a digital manga in PDF from emanga to save on my computer and read it from there? I don’t have any kind of tablet like IKindle or Nook etc. just my computer. And can you explain where exactly i can choose a manga format while forming my order on emanga? Thank you in advance.

    • Justin (Admin) Dec 12th, 2013 20:13

      Yep. When you place an order on the Emanga site, you’ll have an option on how you want to read it, and on what devices, and that means your PC as well. Nothing too difficult!

      • juju84 Dec 13th, 2013 8:28

        Thank you for such a quick reply. ^_^
        I went and checked the site today but in the list of devices there’s no PC but Windows OS. Can it be considered the same thing? If I choose Windows OS from the list will it be downloaded on my computer.?
        If only you could give me step by step instraction. I can’t download it myself so instead it’s my friend who’s gonna do it for me. But I have to explaine the correct way to her)

        • Justin (Admin) Dec 13th, 2013 9:39

          The device is Other. http://i.imgur.com/fFqnUwN.jpg http://i.imgur.com/yXxz5dH.jpg See, I went to MSpaint to prove my point! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!….

          …Merry Christmas xD

          • juju84 Dec 13th, 2013 10:05

            THANK YOU yet again! ^_^ And please forgive me my stupidity but I have another question. ^_^ When this selection is possible? I mean I registered, made an odred, payed for it and then what? Do I return to the manga page and there will be these options for selecting (’cause I can’t choose them befor puttting the manda into my shopping cart) or is the site will redirect me to the manga page by itself at the end of the ordering prosses? Once again sorry for so many questions. I’m from Ukraine and can’t seem to figure this foreign site. And i have to explaine it all to my friend who is going crazy with it. ^_^

            • Justin (Admin) Dec 13th, 2013 10:14

              You return to the manga page, with your purchased manga, and you can choose what to do with it because it’s yours. Just keep in mind you also have to have an account at Emanga. Anyways, FAQ that should also help you out.

              …On another note, you’re from the Ukraine? Can you let me know how the manga scene is over there? Pretty curious.

              • juju84 Dec 13th, 2013 12:54

                Thank you! ^_^
                You mean what we think of manga or do we have an equivalent of it here in Ukraine? ‘Cause if we talk about manga lovers here. Then we a very few I’m afraid. It’s not so common in our country.

                • Justin (Admin) Dec 13th, 2013 13:56

                  Both haha but I kind of figured it’s not all too much unfortunately. Like I guess you don’t even have any publishers or bookstores and stuff huh?

  7. juju84 Dec 13th, 2013 14:41

    Yup, we don’t have many publishers that license manga. No scratch that. Here in Ukraine there’s none at all. The closed available is Russian publishers and they are very few and as it’s not very popular among the masses. They are going out of business pretty quickly I’m afraid. ‘Cause it’s not profitable.

    • Justin (Admin) Dec 13th, 2013 15:01

      -_- That sucks…Well um…I hope some of the services I listed here will help a little. I know it won’t help a lot though.

      • juju84 Dec 13th, 2013 15:23

        Yes, thank you it helps a lot actually. :_: And also thank you for all your patient explanation. ^_^

        • Justin (Admin) Dec 13th, 2013 17:48

          Not a problem! Thanks for stopping by the site :)

  8. […] You don’t really see these discussed amongst forums and various social media sites. I did list some of them though, because they proved they’re legit somehow. Needless to say though, it feels that’s the […]

  9. […] Manga, the name of the immensely popular Japanese comic style, is widely available on the web, but most of the web sites and apps offer copyrighted material and are illegal. Sites and apps such as Manga Rock, Manga Stream, Manga Fox, and others rely on user scans to provide enormous archives of free Manga. To stay legal, avoid these archives and download from legitimate Manga publishers such as Viz Manga, where most issues are relatively inexpensive. Viz Media offers a multi-platform application, as do other mainstream Manga publisher (see this compilation). […]

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