February 3rd, 2022 | Updated on June 6th, 2023
Many people may say that Manga are only Japanese Comics, while Anime is the Japanese term for animation. But Anime is not always the animated version of the manga. Any outsider would say that Japan has stolen comic ideas from western countries. But this is not the truth. Japan has been working on cartoon art for a very long time.
It is a fact that some of the aspects of Manga were copied from the west, but the main aspects like the lines and its styles are primarily Japanese creations. We can say that Chinese art has a better influence than the Western style.
Apart from that, Japanese manga and anime are available in all types. On the flip side, in the US, comics are created only for kids. Japanese manga is often written for all kinds of people ranging from young children to sex-starved adults.
But even this kid stuff is not simple like the American versions. Children’s manga and TV anime shows show death, while US kid’s shows stay away from depicting such vital parts of our life. For example, the US version of “GoLion” removed all the references that were there to the protagonist’s death.
Most of Japanese manga and anime show scenes of the students in their class or finishing their homework or people in their offices. This work ethic is clearly present in the background. Manga and Anime show technology somewhat sympathetically, while some of the US comics just try to avoid, revile or simplify it.
What Is Manga?
Let us first begin with the definition of Manga. These are comics created in Japan. That is what Manga actually means; it is Japanese for “comic,” But this is not the accurate definition as some Manga creators are not Japanese.
Korean comics have been converted into Japanese comic anthologies. One Manga is from a French creator. But, still, we think this is a good beginning for those who want to know about Manga.
One thing that most people find difficult in understanding about Manga is its genre. They are not the same as the genres we see in the US. So, first, we will try to tell you about the different types of Manga.
Where Can I Read Manga For Free?
When we think of Manga, it is very tough to separate the official English translations from the fan-made ones. More so now, as the quality and quantity of fan-made translations have increased multifold.
For many years Manga was not translated into English nor available in digital format. This caused the rise of “scantalations,” where the fans scanned the pages of manga books. They then used image editing programs and changed the original text with their own translations.
Things have changed a lot since then. If you want to know where to read Manga for free, we are ready to guide you. Here we mention some of the best apps and websites that you may visit and legally read any English translations of Manga comics.
Kadokawa is one of the biggest manga publishers in Japan. The company was fed up with the scanlations and decided to launch its own service where the fans could read the comics for free.
However, they do not share their popular titles here. But here, you can use the service without having to sign up. When you register for the account, you get some excellent features like you can create a library of favourite comics and get notifications when they publish a new issue.
Comic Walker is popular because of its straightforward approach. This is the one platform where you should go if you wish to read manga without any problems. Moreover, it can work in the browser so that you can read from the office as well.
This is also run by Kadokawa and is a one-stop place for any legal and official digital comics. This service gets you all the famous publishers like Viz, Kodansha, and Yen. You can consider it like purchasing something from the Kindle store, except that it is for Manga.
Every month they offer free titles, but unfortunately, the paid content is more than the free content. Yet, you can download their app on the mobile or go to their website on the PC. You get to browse by genres, categories, publishers, and authors.
When you purchase something on BookWalker, it remains in your catalog forever, and you also get coins that you can use for any future purchases. There are membership rankings that are influenced by your spending. The greater your ranking, the more the coins you earn for every purchase.
Weekly Shonen Jump is a hugely popular manga anthology magazine in Japan. Its series like My Hero Academia and Jujutsu Kaisen is entered in serial form in its pages.
VIZ is the publisher of their English language version that shows chapters of a series as soon as they are released in Japan.
Some old-time manga fans would remember the days when they got the English version years after the Japanese release, so it is nice to see that nowadays, Manga lovers don’t have to deal with that.
Shonen Jump lets you read selected chapters for free. But if you want to read everything, you will have to pay $1.99 per month. Since the Shonen Jump catalog is very vast, this is a great deal for manga readers.
Renta is an excellent place to start reading romance Manga. It has English language romance manga in all Genres like shoji, erotica, boys live, etc. The site comes with its own translation and adaptation team, which means it has multiple exclusive titles. However, here, purchasing a title is different from the west.
You could rent the title for 48 hours or an unlimited time. Or you may upgrade to unlimited from the 48-hour rental. In order to do that you could pay directly or buy the points which are helpful in taking rentals.
If you use the site often, then taking the points is better. Renta also gives discounts on these point bundles.
This is a fairly new entrant in the Manga scene. Manga Club offers you an option as per your budget. It offers many genres; however, the primary focus remains on romance manga and that too of the mature variety.
You get the option to read a few chapters without creating an account. But if you want to rent and buy Manga, you must register to the site.
The registered users also get tickets daily that let them rent the chapters for a duration of 72 hours. However, depending on the series that you want to read, you may not have to pay anything, but you have to wait.
Or you could use their coin system to purchase Manga. You will have to buy coins to read their mature comics.
This is the official service of the Japanese Manga publisher Shueisha, and there are many titles in their catalog. Shueisha is the home to Shonen Jump and also the sister company to the North American manga publisher Viz Media.
Apart from the Shonen Jump series, the users can also get first looks at titles coming from other manga magazines that the company publishes. For example, Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family was first launched on Manga Plus. It is now one of their biggest hits.
Their service is completely free, but it targets towards those readers who follow every serial of a particular title. This format means giving the first 3-6 chapters and then the next 3-6 and so on. Some of the manga series would not follow this pattern, but that could change.
Before getting licensed by VIZ, you could read complete Spy x Family here for free. But now it comes with the “first 3 and latest 3” format. So if you continue reading here, you get to read further chapters. In the mobile app, you get alerts if a new chapter is introduced.
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Is Manga The Same As Anime?
Anime and Manga became very popular with the English-speaking audience. Their style of storytelling had rich stories that were filled with vibrant settings and exciting characters that both kids and adults could enjoy.
But it is natural for people to think about the difference between Anime and Manga. Both forms started in Japan, and they come in similar visual styles. But there is one crucial difference between both the genres.
When To Use Anime
Anime is a style of animation that was first introduced in Japan. It is depicted through high contrast, bright colors, and elements of fantasy and science fiction.
Nowadays, media is created in an Anime style. Some people consider only the Japanese productions as anime. On the other hand, the others consider any animations following this visual style as anime irrespective of where it is produced.
The word anime comes with an interesting story behind it. Japanese word animēshiyon originates from the term English animation that came back to English as anime. Basically Japanese borrowed one word from English, and the English borrowed the same again.
When To Use Manga
On the other hand, Manga is a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels. Just like anime, it is showcased by special facial features and bright colors.
Ashley skimmed through her new manga while she was riding the bus.
Students in Universities debated the merits of manga series into morning hours.
The word Manga has its origins in Japanese. It means Man- or aimless and ga- which implies pictures,
Why Is Anime Called Manga?
To make it simple for you to understand manga vs. anime, anime are basically TV shows or movies while Manga are comic books or graphic novels.
Both the media have a unique visual style, and a lot of manga serves as the basis for anime. However, most manga is not made in Anime series, and not every anime series is based on Manga.
The word anime is quite closely associated with the English term animation. So anime means animated shows or films.
What Is The Number 1 Anime Manga?
# 1: Berserk
Kentaron Miura created Berserk, and it enjoys a very high rating of 9.39 on MyAnimeList. This makes it the highest-rated manga on their website. Berserk led to many other series like Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
Berserk is a seinen manga, and it showcases the life of a young mercenary called Guts. The story starts with showing Guts as a loner with no friends. Later he finds a group of friends in the Band of Hawk. When tragedy occurs, he sets out to find out answers and seek revenge.
9 Other Highest Rated Manga According To MyAnimeList After Berserk
#2: Steel Ball Run
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Steel Ball Run is the seventh installment in this series. Steel Bull Run is treated as Araki’s blockbuster. In the beginning, it was not planned to be a part of the JoJo series, but Araki decided to do otherwise.
Johnny Joestar, the main protagonist meets with an accident and cannot walk anymore. But he touches one of Gyro’s steel balls and gets back the ability for some time. This leaves Johnny shocked, and so he decides to participate in the Steel Ball Run race to find out about the spin and Gyro Zeppeli.
#3: One Piece
This is one of the viral manga series. The first chapter was released in 1997, and until now, they have released around 1000 chapters. One piece is probably the steadiest Manga of all times.
This adventure Manga follows the life of a young boy called Monkey D. Luffy as he wants to become the Pirate King. But the realisation of his dream is followed with many obstacles, so he gathers many other team members to help him out.
Vagabond is the second Takehiko Inoue Manga that we include in this list. It is one of the few manga masterpieces that are unfinished. Readers wait patiently for the start of the series, but the chances of it restarting are significantly less.
Vagabond is based on Eiji Yoshikawa’s novel Musashi. This manga traces the life of Miyamoto Musashi, a famous swordsman, as he moves around Japan. In 2015, the Manga was removed, and most likely, it is going to remain unfinished.
Naoki Urasawa has created some of the best manga series. He created Century Boys, Pluto, and Monster. Amongst all of them, Monster is probably the most popular one, and they have even given it an anime adaptation.
Kenzon Temma’s life changes for the worst when he saves the life of a kid named Johan Liebert. Temma has no idea, but Johan later becomes a serial killer. When she is told the truth, Temma figures out how to stop that monster.
#6: Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist is again a very popular manga series. It is written by Hiromu Arakawa and has won many awards. Till now, it has sold around 80 million copies. The manga mentions the journey of the Elric brothers, who try to revive their mother through Alchemy. However, they do more harm than good.
Edward loses his leg and arm while Alphonse loses his full body. The story later talks about their quest to get back what they have lost and the secrets they secrets they unravel as they move ahead.
7. Oyasumi Punpun
Many call this one of the best manga series. Oyasumi Punpun talks about many challenging aspects of human life as well as interactions. That is why manga is so popular and, therefore, nothing less than a masterpiece.
Onadera Punpun’s life already has many troubles. This manga showcases different stages of his life and tells how he deals with love, family, depression, and many other problems.
8. Grand Blue
Next, we talk about Grand Blue. This manga is written by Kenji Inoue. Grand Blue is a seinen title, and he started serialization in the year 2014. The manga also got an anime adaptation in 2018, which further increased its popularity.
Grand Blue talks about the life of Jori Kitahara as he starts college in the Izu Peninsula. Izu rents a room above his uncle’s diving shop, where he gets to meet the local Diving Club members, and he starts meeting new friends.
9. Slam Dunk
This is the second of the two Takehiko Inoue manga present on the list. Many consider Slam Dunk as the best sports manga. It sold more than 120 million copies and is the 13th best-selling manga of all time.
Slam Dunk helped to make basketball popular in Japan. This manga traces story of a boy named Sakuragi, who is a student of Shohoku High School. He joins the school’s basketball team so that he can impress one girl. Those who love this genre will enjoy the manga.