Where to read Japanese manga for free

I realised I made a small number of guides over the years about Japanese services like manga ebooks and very recently, drama CDs!

Here’s a recap post with additions that didn’t seem worthy of a new post on its own so here we go 🙂

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Where to buy Japanese manga

Exactly where and how can one buy Japanese e-books and digital manga? A lot of Japanese publications have gone digital now so hefty import and shipping costs no more!

This post is not comprehensive and while I try to cover key points for each website listed, let me know if I’ve missed anything.

Want to read manga for free? Read here instead.

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Changes to new eBookJapan registrations

Note: As of Feb 28, 2019 onwards, the original eBookJapan site no longer accepts new registrations and existing users can migrate their account and books to the new website.

I will go into detail about the merging of eBookJapan with Yahoo! Japan’s Bookstore (their ebook retail arm) soon. Read about it here.

This post is originally published on September 21, 2017 with major revisions made on June 13, 2019. Some revisions are still ongoing.

Contents

Page 1 This page is for existing users. Read more after the cut.
Page 2 for creating a new account.
Page 3 is how to login on Android.
Page 4 is the out-of-date guide for the now defunct eBookJapan Initiative website.

Note: This post is heavy on graphics/screenshots.

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The old eBookJapan is coming to a close

eBookJapan finally sent out that email.

June 27, 2019 is when the old site shuts down. There are still methods to continue reading what you already have.

Reminder! If there are still e-books you want to buy and it’s already released, BUY IT NOW.

New! Guide on registering/logging into the new website and Android app.

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Kinoppy now available overseas!

Kinoppy is Kinokuniya’s ebook service and originally limited to those residing in Japan (I’m not sure whether it’s already news and I’m the one who’s late to the party 😂) is now available overseas.

According to the site, you can use foreign credit cards to purchase ebooks that are only made available for those outside Japan. This also reminds me of BookWalker, Kadokawa’s ebook retailer who also limits titles in the same way for their Japanese ebooks. (BookWalker now has a global store offering English ebook releases)

You can only search for the titles at a specific page and the main page meant for overseas purchase can be found here.

Kinoppy’s reading app is available on iOS, Android, Windows (desktop and Windows app) and Mac. Apparently, they also charge taxes/VAT for applicable countries.

This service is also not available for the following countries: South Korea, Mongolia, Philippines, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, Russia, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tunisia, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia.

To be honest, I’m not sure what Kinoppy offers that would rival other ebook retailers.

Hakusensha had revamped their own ebook retail site and released an exclusive reader (they previously used Sharp’s book-in-the-box) on iOS and Android and made Shueisha’s Ribon, Margaret and Bessatsu Margaret titles available for purchase. If memory serves me right, their newsletters are interesting and also contain Q&As with manga authors. And they also accept foreign credit cards.

Guess it boils down to your preference. What device do you read on and what site is your go-to retailer for ebooks? (*‘ω‘ *)