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In the high school library that I manage, I run a manga club that is very popular with the students. In the past eight years I’ve seen it grow and evolve with the students. Manga is by far the most popular kind of book we have in the library, especially with those who claim they don’t like to read “regular” books. From a librarian’s perspective, this is a win-win because reading is reading, if they’re reading manga all the better. You don’t need to lead them on to “real” books or to any other kind of reading if they don’t want to.
From my perspective, we have lots of kids who stick with manga for years on end and don’t stray to anything else unless they absolutely have to and this is perfectly fine with me. We’ve already written about great manga apps before, what I’m going to highlight below are the best manga web sites where you can legally read manga for free and sites that offer other manga related news or opinions. I see students reading manga on the computers in the library quite often and these are the manga websites that I recommend they use as I know how popular a medium it is.
1. Comic Walker
Comic Walker allows for free, legal manga reading without creating an account or signing up for anything that you don’t want to. It has notable titles like The Origin, Mobile Suit Gundam and High School DxD. There is a nifty calendar option that allows you to see when new titles have arrived. It also has a ranking system so you can see the best manga from its featured publisher, what other readers feel is the best and you can also add your favourites. Kadokawa, one of the major manga publishers in Japan, created the site an alternative to scanlations.
2. Tokyo Otaku Mode
Tokyo Otaku Mode has loads of news and information related to manga. Whether it’s anime or manga related, you can receive breaking news on any specific title or tv show name that you choose. It’s an easy to navigate web site that offers a ton of perspective on the industry, making it one of the best manga web sites out there.
Comico has several free manga on its site, and it has some for which you have to pay. It allows for you to connect with other manga readers and comment on specific titles or even chapters as you read along. It is rated as one of the best manga web sites available because of its selection. The downside is that if you don’t speak or read Japanese, you will have to translate information from the site.
Webtoons allows you to read thousands of manga entirely for free, most of which has been written and developed by members of the Webtoons community and message boards. This is an entirely new world that is opened up to fans of manga, the choice is seemingly endless. The web site is very clear and easy to use, with lots of different genres to choose from. You can also find the most popular manga that’s been written recently and reading them on laptops or even desktops works just as fine as on a mobile device.
5. Manga Planet
Manga Planet focuses on new releases which is a huge plus to anyone looking for the latest edition to their favourite manga. It also has a blog section full of lists and news, all manga related. This includes a monthly top ten and other great recommendations along with interviews from manga creators. One of the bonuses is that it has a viewable schedule of upcoming manga releases so you always be in the know when it comes to your favourite titles.
6. Yen Press
Yen Press is aimed at young adults as well as older readers. Their digital section is extensive and is easy to navigate. They focus primarily on manga being produced in North America which is a very different angle than many of the other web sites out there. This might be both a pro or a con depending on who is reading this but it is a change from the norm in many ways. The site has an up to date news section and they are prolific on all of the social media platforms, making it one of the best manga sites out there for sheer content and reliability.
7. Go Manga
Go Manga has been producing original webcomics/manga for nearly 20 years. Their imprint, Seven Seas, is considered one of the best independent manga creators around, focusing heavily on English-language manga making it very popular in North America. Their manga is available for all ages, from below 10 to a much more mature audience ensuring there is a lot of content for everyone who is interested in reading as much manga online as they can. Signing up for their newsletter allows you to keep up on all of their news and new releases.
eManga has a ton of different genres available to browse. They also carry digital series that have been created by fans for fans of manga. With over 50 different manga publishers at its fingertips, you can read them both online and in print with little effort involved. They carry a lot of manga news and one thing that stood out to me as I navigated the world of manga sites is that eManga’s webpage is very intuitive and easy on the eyes. I highly recommend it as one of the best manga web sites I found writing this post!
There are loads and loads of the best manga websites out there. Most require some fee to read their manga as you will discover as you click on the links above. However, there is a lot of free manga out there, specifically made by fans of manga that stands out as great pieces of work.