What Manga to Read as a Beginner

So…A lot of people come up to me and ask “Hey, Khatzumoto-sensei [yeah, they call me that, you know…], what manga are good for beginners? What manga should I read to get me started?”

And you know what? I tell them Doraemon because that just seems like the right answer, the 正解. I mean, it’s what you’re supposed to say to people; it’s famous, a “classic” even, and therefore, you know, l33t.

But, dude, Doraemon is boring. Bawring (bee tee dub, this spelling only holds water if you have the same accent as me…HA!). OK, “boring” is a little harsh. It’s just…not interesting to read? More effective for insomnia than sleeping pills? I read a bit once and it was cool in the sense that it was Japanese and I was reading it, but not in and of itself. I dunno. Maybe I am being harsh. Like, I enjoyed how it had everyday action verbs, that was nice and educational, but it didn’t make me want to part with my precious fiat currency for the privilege of casting my eyes on it.

Anyhoo, I didn’t come here to make libelous comments about Doraemon, which sucks by the way, along with Sazae-san; Japanese people know this but they’re just pretending to like it because if you don’t, your Japaneseness gets called into question. Kind of like how I used to pretend to like all classical music and War and Peace, because that’s what “smart people” seemed to like. But I digress. I came here to tell you something that I’ve already essentially said before, but which other people seemed to think was worth saying again. Other than the obvious, early-stage super-beginner material (stuff like All About Particles); there is no other stuff you “should” read. To quote my neighbor and gaijin-in-arms, Tkyosam:

“Don’t read according to your level, read according to your interest.”

I can hear the rebuttal: “but Khatzumoto, what if I’m interested in it but it’s too hard?” Well, if it feels that hard, then it’s not that interesting. By definition, then, even a “hard” book, if it matches your interest, will not seem hard at all. For example, I’ve read lots of science and engineering-type books in English, so Japanese books of that kind are easy and fun for me. I remember one time my Japanese-Korean friend (I’ve mentioned her before in comments, but, she was (is?) the cruelest corrector ever – I don’t think I have ever been slammed down more times in public by anyone else; and I am grateful for every time she did it – every time she talked super-fast and told me that if I didn’t understand then I’d better get on that; every time she said I sucked) said: “wow, a Japanese physics textbook? You must be smart.” But I told her “No, it’s not like they’re going to be presenting a new physics or anything. And the format is the same – explanation here, diagram there, a bit of equation action to make it all kosher – i’s so simpo! There’s no intelligence at work here, just habit.”

So, don’t worry about what your “level” is. Just worry about what you’re interested in and get into that. Anime or TV show you’ve seen before and liked? Get the manga. Like tennis? Get a tennis manga. Like cooking? Get a cooking manga. Like Stargate SG-1? Get…OK, there’s no manga for that one. And this goes beyond manga. What this article, indeed this site is about is this: whatever it is that moved you to want to learn the language in the first place, DO IT! (Or something as close to it as possible). That’s how you’ll learn…And we’re done. I think.

Oh, one other thing: I wasn’t sure whether or not this post was worth putting up. I feel right now that this site has reached a level of completion in terms of what (I think) you need to know is all up here and all that’s left is to go and do. Then again…that may just be a lack of imagination on my part? Unlike Dragon “291 Endless Episodes” Ball Z, or One “46 volumes and counting” Piece, it’s not like it directly costs people money if this blog gets a little long, but at the same time, it seems like conciseness is a good thing. Either way, let me know what you’d like to read about, and also whether or not this post was useful to you. Tank ye kindly.

  52 comments for “What Manga to Read as a Beginner

  1. April 27, 2008 at 14:00

    I agree — as much as I love nearly all things Japanese, there’s a lot of boring shonen manga out there — stuff I tried to read for practice and gave up on. What’s more, “written for kids” does not necessarily mean “easy for non-natives to comprehend”.

    Personally, I’d like to give a plug for イリヤッド, a modern archaeological mystery (think “Da Vinci Code” but better-written and more interesting) with a story arc that spans 15 volumes, and dialog that is both natural and fairly easy to follow.

    • Shannon
      April 30, 2016 at 08:41

      How can I look this up? I am a super beginner and don’t know where to find stuff! Can you post a link to this on amazon?

  2. taijuando
    April 27, 2008 at 16:44

    cool–i thought there was something wrong with me…I have several Doraemon collecting dust around the apartment….I like Death Note…the language is way above me but it’s an interesting nuanced story…I like that I watched the video in Japanese and could actually make heads or tails of it…at least the parts that I’d SRS’ed

  3. April 27, 2008 at 17:49

    It’s funny how this is common sense but it takes a bit for people to realise it. Of course if you are doing something you love you’ll a) enjoy it and b) keep doing it. And I think “Keep Doing It” is one of the main factors in success with Japanese learning.

  4. ジェームズ
    April 27, 2008 at 19:33

    Hello Katz,

    I was wondering if you could write an article about the bilingual career forum you got your job at. What would be particularly helpful is how you prepared for it and how you responded to any tricky questions etc.

    cheers

  5. Tony
    April 27, 2008 at 19:35

    Back in December around Christmas time there was a 50% sale off down at my local book-off (really awesome if you live in Japan and want to read Japanese books). I wanted to read a manga that was already finished, mainly because I thought that with the idea of narrow reading I could get all of one author’s style up to the end of a story without having to look for something new right off. So I bought Rave by Mashima Hiro. 32/33 tankobon (1 was missing :() and the プルー日記 which was 2 tankobon, プルー is a character in Rave. Mashima Hiro also writes フェアリーテイル which is ongoing at the moment. I thought, hey! I can read all of these Rave and then start reading Fairy Tail too! It’ll be great! I thought that since my Japanese friends read manga fast I would be able to read them really fast too and get tons of entries for my SRS. Sooo..the reality is that I started the first one a couple of weeks ago. At the beginning of April, I’m on book 4 now (just started yesterday) and I’ve entered pretty much everything I don’t know so far. I might’ve skipped a total of 10 lines because I don’t think I really need to know the special type of metal that this door was made out of, etc. But yeh, to put it in perspective – 40 entries a day, about a week per book. Each book is 175 pages. I’ve skipped the omakes and character biographies though. The first book might’ve taken a little over a week to go through, I had to ask for a lot of help because the way the characters talked was really freaking strange for me like “あるまい” and “早くせんか!” but now on book 4 I’ve got a good grasp on the way most of the characters talk, and I’m mainly looking up new words. Some words I don’t know how to look up, like one time it said ”なんてよほどの事情” and I thought it was なんてよ - ほどの事情 and my friend had to point out that it was なんて - よほどの事情. Also, a lot of Jdramas lately are from manga, so you could get the ごくせん, GTO, 花よりだんご, or ドラゴン桜 mangas and get listening from the dramas and reading from the mangas.

  6. Savara
    April 27, 2008 at 19:37

    Thanks for this post!

    I know the first ‘manga’ (ok anime comics ;)) I grabbed were my sister’s card captor sakura (she has a few Japanese things around because she collects manga stuff etc. etc. she can’t read it). At first that was just… “I CAN READ JAPANESE!!!” and it was cool just because of that fact, I was reading something – anything – in Japanese. It was even cooler when I realized I could understand the basics of the story (but man, this is card captor sakura we’re talking about ^_~)

    Now… well that time is just over. Something isn’t cool *just because* it’s in Japanese anymore.

    Now I’m reading D.gray-man (I had the first 4 volumes in German, decided I might as well read the rest in Japanese) which is fun (fun enough)… And I have this book (1リットルの涙) which I can’t exactly *read* yet. I am ‘reading’ it though. A few sentences at a time, with my DS dictionary next to it. …

    It’s my new goal, I *want* to be able to read that. So… it’s what I’m reading.

    I’m also reading Death Note (there’s a website out there with the text, with some explanations of hard words… but rikaichan comes in handy as well, obviously… but I do have the manga with it :)) which is in a way too hard, but because I’ve watched the anime it doesn’t matter as much.

    Anyway… I really agree. After the first few steps the coolness of “OMG I’m reading *something* and it’s in Japanese!” goes away and when it does… you have to find stuff you actually *like* and want to read… or it won’t work.

    … Although I have to say, I’m still reading anything I can find… On noodle packages and tempura flour… I just have to see what I can understand and what’s still too difficult. It’s fun (but that means it’s still something I want to read, no matter how silly that sounds.).

  7. khatzumoto
    April 27, 2008 at 20:22

    @ジェームズ
    いいナァ、其れ!書くわ!
    ご提案、ありがとう!

  8. Nivaldo
    April 27, 2008 at 21:14

    I really think that everything ABOUT learning japanese is already on this site.
    And if I may I would like to give some suggestions for future posts.
    Well, as (I think) everything about learning japanese is already here, I would like to see more posts on resources like those articles about japanese websites and japanese bands.
    Also, something you might want to write about Japan.
    And, at last, please more posts in japanese. Although I don’t know enough japanese YET to understand your posts, they are surely a way of keeping japanese as the primary goal. Maybe a way would be japanese and english versions of the same post.

    A little off-topic question for you and anyone else who wants to add: How is my english in terms of politeness? I read too many chess books in the past and now I think I got some kind of super polite english.

    Thanks in advance

  9. Luke
    April 27, 2008 at 23:10

    Khatzumoto, The day has finally come that I leave a comment on your blog, and it`s been a long time coming! (Leaving blog posts in English isn’t exactly AJATT now is it?) However this time, the exception had to be made. So, let me say:

    You are a legend. Period.

    For so long I had been dragging my feet being a once every six months monk, feeling guilty for not studying or listening to my text book cds. However I was getting Remembering the Kanji out of the way. After 4 years and multiple starts, mid last year i was up to about 1600 kanji (thanks to Reviewing the Kanji website) but about to stall badly when I came across your blog. And DAMN! it hit me like a bolt of lightning through my skull.

    I finished almost the last 500 kanji in 2weeks and I and started having a blast playing (none of this study cr*p) in japanese and I now realize that I can and will be fluent like a native. Not cause I`m smart (so not) but because like my one and a half year old daughter who absorbs both japanese and english without asking WHY, you have turned me into an INPUT seeking machine.

    Which (finally) brings me to my point: You are right, Doraemon IS boring (at least for you and I) and it was the first manga I ever bought here in Japan for all the reasons you mentioned. Now, I`m into Evangelion, Fullmetal Alchemist, Vagabond, Patlabor, Planetes..etc and LOVING it. Zero effort is required and there no more excuses or guilt trips. Just fun in Japanese. It`s good times for all!

    As you have said, people are quick to argue that the language is not pertinent, or it`s too difficult and so on, but whatever the arguments, comebacks or excuses, I. Don`t. Care. because for the first time I am absorbing japanese 24/7. (Yes I`m listening to japanese music as I type).

    So, I wanted to post this, on this particular blog entry, because for me it sums up all that is great about AJATT.

    Cheers my friend, you made it all fun!

  10. Chiro-kun
    April 28, 2008 at 00:00

    “Unlike Dragon “291 Endless Episodes” Ball Z, or One “46 volumes and counting” Piece,”
    Am I the only one who found that funny? Lol 😀

    I too, believe that everything relating to learning Japanese has already been covered here. Anymore and its just making the simplest (and the best) way of learning a language more complex.

    What I’d really like to see here are links to sites with ripped anime dialogues or more links to interesting podcasts with transcripts.

    Here’s a question I’ve been putting off for a long while:
    Exactly how many times should I read the same manga chapter/article after you’ve extracted the juice from it (as in put the difficult words with sentences in the SRS)? Even for my favourite manga (魔法先生ネギま! or アイシールド21), I get bored after going through a chapter 3 times in a row.

  11. Yousef
    April 28, 2008 at 00:25

    ジェームズ’s suggestion is a good one. I’d also like to see more posts like that. Since I studied Korean first and am learning Japanese through Korean, I like your Chinese Project posts as a how-to way of learning two languages. I think you mentioned in a few comments some “controlled output” methods like imitating the actors on TV. A more in depth post about those kind of methods would be awesome.

    Thank you for all the articles you wrote so far. They were very inspiring and helpful. I’m sure you’ve helped a lot of learners along the way. We appreciate it!

  12. khatzumoto
    April 28, 2008 at 01:53

    @Chiro-kun
    >Exactly how many times should I read the same manga chapter/article
    IMHO, there is no fixed number.
    My guideline was — as many times as is fun. That could be 0, it could be 0.5, it could be 2, it could be 10. As long as it’s fun. If it stops being fun, stop right there, in the middle. Switch to something else.

  13. Kahm
    April 28, 2008 at 02:23

    I’m unfortunately still only 1/2 way through Heisig, but I think I can see my way through that. Once I do, the first thing that I want to work through will be the ハルヒ涼宮 light novels. Not the easiest task in the world, but definitely the thing I want most to be able to read in Japanese…

  14. 名無し
    April 28, 2008 at 02:39

    Hi Khatzumoto. Something that would be very appreciated would be a list of sources to find scripts/transcriptions for books, mangas, anime, movies, etc.

  15. Nivaldo
    April 28, 2008 at 02:58

    I forgot to say that the off-topic question I launched in my previous comment was just a curiosity. I don’t really intend to focus on english. Indeed, I’m going to switch to J-J in about two days. Tired of speaking english. I’m LOVING the kanji. I think I’ll marry them starting with Death Note manga. :)

  16. Nivaldo
    April 28, 2008 at 03:02

    One more correction, switching to J-J right now… See ya! 😀

  17. Mark
    April 28, 2008 at 04:57

    I agree that, from a process perspective, this website probably contains pretty much everything needed to become fluent in Jp. But, I’d still like to see more posts on resources (movies, tv, etc, etc, etc) – this is an ever moving thing, so even if you have posted on a certain type of resources before, I’m sure we’d all appreciate an update/addendum.

    Then there’s the inspirational and motivational posts!! I think a lot of people (myself included) very much enjoy these – and given that constant cultivation of one’s enthusiasm is a must for us all, a whole new series of these types of posts would be great.

    Finally, I’d love to hear how your Chinese is going – please keep us informed about your 2nd great language challenge.

    So, definitely keep posting, mate!

    Cheers,

    Mark

  18. April 28, 2008 at 05:45

    I definitely agree with you about finding your interest – I read a book about beer brewing in Japanese and learned a ton.

    As for manga and stories, my personal recommendation is to start with short stories (they have short manga, too) so that you can build your confidence. Murakami has some great “super-short” stories.

    Your work ethic is inspiring…not sure how you can keep it up.

  19. Ryan
    April 28, 2008 at 06:15

    You mean you don’t like the “hey let’s make my life easier by doing THIS, and then uh oh it all goes wrong, lets spend the next 10 pages fixing it” stories of Doraemon? I kept wondering if the next one would be different…but, nope not so much.

    As for the reading (or watching) what made you want to learn Japanese in the first place, while the concept is good, I suppose it depends on what it was. 16 years ago when I was 10 Dragon Ball Z was the coolest thing ever cause NO ONE in my school knew what it was. Watching it at 26 when I could FINALLY understood most of what they were saying…it wasn’t quite what I was hoping it to be.

    Right now I’ve found that what works best for me is reading novels for elementarty school kids. Not the ones with ZERO kanji, but books like 星の王子様, or the entire いっきよめる!series. These are fantastic cause each book progresses in difficulty, but even the first grade book still has a decent dose of Kanji so it’s not impossible to read. The stories are all fairly short as well. Reading novels really forces you to make sense of what is being said cause there are very few pictures to help you.

    I’ve got nothing against reading manga. (quite the opposite) Like you said, read what you enjoy, but I’ve found I recall more from a novel than I would from a manga since so much can be inferred by what’s going on in the picture and little imagination is required.

  20. Jimmy
    April 28, 2008 at 08:54

    I agree with Mark; I would like to hear more about the Chinese project. Your hard core Japanese phase may be over, but you’re still hard at work on Chinese. Also, maybe you don’t have much more to say about it, but I am curious about how you used Japanese language text books without falling behind in classes.

    Thanks for all the encouragement and great posts!

  21. khatzumoto
    April 28, 2008 at 10:50

    @Ryan
    >when I could FINALLY understood most of what they were saying…it wasn’t quite what I was hoping it to be.
    I know exactly what you mean! Before I could follow all the Japanese, *any* and *every* anime and/or drama and/or variety show was good for me. But now I’m like: “what the CORNY DIALOGUE is wrong with you people?!”…

    So, yeah, there is some “growing up” and “growing out of” that happens. I guess I should append that to: “do whatever interests/is making it worth it for you right now”…

  22. James
    April 28, 2008 at 11:07

    I’d also like to see more of the old articles in Japanese; it’d be helpful for explaining study methods to Japanese people.

  23. April 28, 2008 at 14:16

    I completely agree with you. To build up my Japanes I’ve been reading manga and what I really like about it is that the pictures help you understand even when you don’t know all the words, there is furigana above the kanji which helps both teach you new kanji and enables you to look up new words more easily, and it’s interesting. I’ve found that manga about daily life builds up a lot of vocabulary that is useful for living in Japan.

    It’s also a lot more fun that just using study books!

  24. April 28, 2008 at 17:16

    Khaz – Bilingual career forum you got your job at, would that be the Disco career forum?
    That’s where I got my 1st job in Japan as well! Way back in 2000.

    I’m old. I would love to see the write-up to see if anything has changed since I experienced it!

  25. Tommy
    April 28, 2008 at 17:26

    Hi Khatzu,

    As always, I always can’t wait for your next post! 😀

    I don’t know if it’s yours or not, but I found some flashcards on a flashcard website that had i think the complete “Pimsleur I” collection of sentences. It was under the name of AJATT. If it is you, would it be possible to send them to me (and also II, and III)

    Thank you

  26. Rob
    April 28, 2008 at 22:04

    I’ve often wondered how much of a burden this website actually is for you in terms of trying to do Chinese all the time yet also feeling the responsibility to respond to readers’ questions and come up with new posts. I agree that all the instruction/motivation to carry out AJATT is here, but for me personally, I get enjoyment from just reading your posts regardless of the subject matter. They are always insightful, peppered with humor, wit and a brutal honesty that often smacks the reader upside the head and has him thinking, “This dude really GETS it.”

    In terms of the future of this site, some suggestions I have would be more Japanese posts, posts about general learning methods/experiments not necessarily language related, and perhaps a forum where readers can exchange ideas, links, etc. As always, any future posts are appreciated!

  27. April 28, 2008 at 23:23

    I love those manga rental places… in Taipei thats all I do

  28. Jerry
    April 29, 2008 at 02:37

    I will just vote with the majority here…. I think probably the best future articles are those that provide good resources for language learning or Japanese language materials. I’ve already found a lot of native Japanese content thanks to this site. More is always better. Also a little bit about life in Japan would be interesting.

    Also, I heartily agree with not concerning yourself with the difficulty level of the manga and just reading what you want. My first manga was Blade of the Immortal. Reading it as my first manga was like climbing a mountain of razorblades. Almost a year later and there’s still stuff in there that I don’t get. I’ve moved on to other stuff that motivates me and I find interesting. (Like 寄生獣 or the very sexy セキレイ) I had thought about Doraemon, but figured I’d hate reading it. Then my learning would stall, and it would end up being counter-productive.

  29. Nivaldo
    April 29, 2008 at 02:52

    Hey, Khatz! What did you do about japanese handwriting? When I get the chance to see some japanese handwriting, the characters seem so different from “computer characters”. I try to imitate them by writing them as fast as I can while making copies of things. But I’m afraid of getting the “ugly characters” before I learn their “pretty” form. Much the same with kana.

  30. Nivaldo
    April 29, 2008 at 02:54

    Oh, I said characters thinking of kanji only. Don’t mind about the last line. 🙂

  31. Charley Garrett
    April 29, 2008 at 04:55

    I’ve not started any manga yet. I’d like to have a recommendation that I trusted.

    I remember in Mangajin there was one about a young guy learning the ropes of Japanese business, like from a mentor or something. That seemed interesting, but I don’t recall the title.

    I used to like this TV show (back before I could speak Japanese, but lived in Japan) about a dude with an awesome tatoo. He’d be disguised as a merchant, and he’d get the goods on the bad guy, and then at the end he’d be some big-wig, and he’d show them his tatoo, and slap his arm, and they’d all cower and grovel and stuff. I did enjoy a bit of anime that I found at a used DVD swap place. “Tales of the Meiji”, it seemed like just part of a TV series. So, a manga about the samurai days might be fun.

    I’m not so much interested in fantasy/samurai stuff. Ghosts, shamen spirit guides, spirit possession, alternat universes, etc. I can skip that.

    But living in the USA, I don’t want to just order some titles without being pretty darn sure the subject is going to be interesting. If any of the AJATT readers (or The Man) would like to share a recommendation, that’d be cool.

    Charley

  32. April 29, 2008 at 06:03

    First I have to say manga of Sazae-san is magnificent. I agree that the tv animation Sazae-san is boring, but I think the manga is completely different from the animation and it makes me laugh a lot. Sazae-san isn’t so sophisticated as Mafalda by Quino, however it still amuses us with a tipical japanese sense of humor.

    Anyway manga should be really usuful to study japanese and also to know japanese mind and habitus.

    Bono-Bono by Mikio Igarashi could be simple to read, however it’s not for kids. It is considered as a very philosophical manga.
    And I love Yoshida-Sensya’s manga, too, such as 伝染るんです。ぷりぷり県. Or Shiriagari-Kotobuki’s ヒゲのOL薮内笹子, 真夜中の弥次さん喜多さん etc. They are Fantastic. I wonder what foreign people find in this kind of japanese humor. I’m really curious, because the sense of humor is, in effect, the very cultural.
    I like also Hinako Sugiura’s manga. It’s not only beautiful and elegant but also useful to understand Edo era society. I’m sure you’ll like it if you are interested in japanese history.

    みなさん、勉強がんばってください。

  33. Madamada
    April 29, 2008 at 07:30

    Oh dear, so many people who don’t like Doraemon or Sazae san. I’ll feel just a little less safe walking the streets from now on.

  34. hicks
    April 29, 2008 at 18:16

    I Love this website. However there are a few things I think need to be discussed a bit further..The first is that of using these methods after getting to intermediate stage using the uneffective conventional methods. In particular i would like to ask James or anyone else who started the sentence method at intermediate level, what was the rough timeline of your progress. I studied Japanese full time in Japan for over a year and reached the (JLPT) 2級 level, but low and behold found that my speaking was still a bit stilted and that I couldnt really read real things! I have now come to my senses and found and have started follwing the method in this site….but i would like some feedback from someone who has started halfway through as it were. The second thing i wanted to mention was the wisdom of learning the language before actually moving to Japan…I think this is a very very wise move.

    Also for job resources try: careercross (they dont mention any qualifications)
    or Japan career (you generally need 2級 level or above but if you can actually speak the language that might be even better!)

    Also no mention of Dr Slump on this site…this comic was easy to get into the swing of and he repeats alot of the same vocab plus its pretty funny.

  35. AJ
    April 29, 2008 at 23:45

    Heya Khatz,

    In regards to your request for more ideas for articles, I think an interesting article would be about how to compose a resume in Japanese. Maybe include examples of how you did it and the like.

    That could also tie in with an article on that job fair you went to, as well.

    Good article!

    -AJ

  36. quendidil
    April 30, 2008 at 00:53

    Maybe you could also write a log on your Chinese/Cantonese studies?

  37. nacest
    April 30, 2008 at 15:25

    Regarding manga, my suggestion to beginners (and people at any other level) is to read “よつばと!”. It’s so funny and fun and the vocabulary used is very simple, while still being of everyday use. Right now it’s the only thing that I can read (almost) entirely without the help of a dictionary. But don’t worry, it’s not meant for children.

    Also, you may want to try げんしけん, because it’s another great example of everyday Japanese, and it’s not excessively difficult. It’s also very interesting, because it depicts the lives and adventures of a group of otaku.

    Those are the ones I’ve found to have the best balance difficulty-enjoyment for me, as of now. Hope you check them out!

  38. April 30, 2008 at 15:30

    Thanks for the souht out buddy 😉

    Dude, today I found a website with all the Gantz manga in English(scans of course).
    So now I get some clarity of I miss somethin 😉

    stay black

    -Sam

  39. April 30, 2008 at 16:57

    Hey, Doraemon isn’t totally boring. 🙁 His kanji book helped me too, haha!
    But yeah, よつばと! is quite amazing. It’s the only manga I’ve really gotten into. Tried Berzerk and GTO, nothing. Got bored of One Piece. There’s so much manga out there but I’m too picky or something, haha.

  40. X3R0
    April 30, 2008 at 19:06

    I agree with whoever said more resources, I recently got a game which is perfect for me, ゼルダの伝説 夢幻の砂時計 for DS, because there’s a lot of kanji, and the furigana is only visible when you click it. With fixed furigana I can’t help but look at the furigana first before giving the kanji a chance. I’m not sure if a lot of games have that, the only other game I tried to play was Pokemon Pearl which I love, but got bored of because it’s kanji-less 🙁

  41. Cush
    April 30, 2008 at 23:23

    Crayon Shinchan is a good manga for beginners also, because the japanese is simple and all the kanji have furigana.

  42. Ron
    May 1, 2008 at 08:25

    If it would be possible, I would love to see a video of you speaking Japanese! Thats would be awsome!

  43. captal
    May 1, 2008 at 19:35

    Is there anywhere to read よつばと in Japanese online, or will I have to order them from Amazon.co.jp? (I’m in Australia & American till August then off to Japan, so if necessary I could always wait 3 months)

  44. beneficii
    May 3, 2008 at 04:25

    Chibi Maruko Chan…so cool, so cute.

  45. May 3, 2008 at 09:56

    If you’re anywhere near a Kinokuniya, which is a Japanese bookstore that I know has chains in big US cities and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have them in Australian cities, that would do you proper.

  46. khatzumoto
    May 4, 2008 at 17:52

    @Ron
    OK…anything in particular you’d like to see me DO in it?

  47. takegimi
    July 6, 2008 at 16:06

    Hi! I’ve been reading this site and think it’s great. The ALTs in our community have also used this extensively when preparing for orientations on how to learn Japanese.

    I just wanted to add to the list of suggested reading:
    Real Real Japanese Series
    www.amazon.com/Read-Real-Japanese-Fiction-Contemporary/dp/4770030584/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215327828&sr=8-1
    There are two; one for fiction and one for short essays. The books are arranged in order of increasing difficulty and there are English translations on the left side with Japanese on the right. The thing is, the translations are really by phrase, perfect for Anki input.

  48. August 18, 2008 at 21:49

    I like Chi’s Sweet Home; bought the first five volumes from Kinokuniya’s SF store. It’s mostly hiragana but does have kanji here and there, always with furigana. And the onomatopoeia! There’s sound effects in katakana for everything. It’s a lot of fun.

  49. Haruka.
    April 11, 2013 at 16:05

    What about novels? I like Japanese culture but am not huge on manga, and own a few Japanese novels but find them difficult. I’d say I’m at an intermediate level, it’s just kanji I have trouble with, and want something that has as much furigana in it as possible.

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