best manga for Japanese learners

10 Easy To Read Manga For Japanese Learners

06 May 2024Shopify API

Bored of reading Japanese textbooks? Here are the best Manga for Japanese learners that can help you improve your Japanese with great storylines! 

Struggling with kanji but craving manga? Don't despair! We've got a list of fantastic manga titles perfect for beginners. With clear grammar, limited kanji, and engaging stories, these picks will have you reading Japanese comics and leveling up your skills in no time!

 

Best Manga for Japanese Learners: Quick Summary

Best Manga For Japanese Learners Genre Difficulty Level
Doraemon Comedy, Sci-Fi 1/5
Naruto Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy 2/5
Dragon Ball Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy 3/5
My Hero Academia Action, Adventure, Fantasy 3/5
One Punch Man Action, Comedy  4/5

Which is the best anime for learning Japanese?

For those looking for an excellent manga to learn Japanese, Doraemon is an excellent choice. The Doraemon manga has an incredibly clear and simple language structure and is easy to read for new learners. It offers a great way to learn about the basics of Japanese culture and language, as well as build a good foundation for further studying. 

By using Doraemon, learners can make a solid start in learning the basics of the language. With its simple sentences, everyday conversations and a range of characters, the manga simplifies the necessary grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation required to make swift learning progress. It provides a great introduction with its exploration of the daily interactions between its characters. 

Top Manga for Japanese Learners

Doraemon

Doraemon is one of the ever famous and loved anime by most kids around the world. Not just kids love Doraemon but we also find adults who still can’t get over their childhood favorite anime. 

Best Manga For Japanese Learners

The narrative mixed with comedic episodes makes Doraemon the perfect manga to start learning Japanese with. Not only does it spark the interest of Japanese learners, but it is also great for anybody who is just starting to learn the language. 

Its clear and simple language structure makes it an easy read, but it also touches on interesting dialogue and complex topics. Furthermore, the illustrations are a great visual aid, conveying important concepts in an entertaining way.

There are over a total of 45 volumes of Doraemon manga which were published during the years 1969 and 1996. Doraemon mangas are ideal for beginners in learning Japanese.

The storyline of Doraemon revolves around an elementary school boy called Nobita. Nobita is quite a mischievous boy who’s known to have issues with his friends and is also not a bright student in school for which he usually falls in trouble. 

Nobita is usually bullied by his classmates who are named Gian and Suneo.

doraemon manga

Nobita’s life changes when he meets a cat robot called Doraemon from the 22nd century. Doraemon was sent by Nobita’s future grandson, Sewashi Nobi to take care of present-day Nobita so that Nobita’s future progeny can have better lives. 

Doraemon has futuristic gadgets which he uses to help Nobita with. Doraemon stores all the gadgets in his four-dimensional pouch. Most of the gadgets used by Doraemon are to reverse time so that Nobita can correct his mistakes. 

Since Doraemon is targeted towards kids, the manga will consist of easy vocabulary which will be ideal for beginners in learning Japan.

Apart from its value as an educational tool, Doraemon also provides delightful entertainment with its exciting stories and humorous characters. 

With its cute visuals and charming storyline, Doraemon is one of the best manga for learning Japanese, as its simple yet stimulating narrative encourages students to pick up on subtle nuances in the language.

Pokemon

When it comes to learning Japanese through manga, Pokemon is an all-time classic that is great for Japanese learners of any age. 

pokemon manga

From the original generation of Ash and Pikachu to the slightly altered image of the Sun and Moon, Pokemon is nothing short of iconic. 

Not only is the manga entertaining, but it can also be used to teach simple and easy vocabulary and grammar points.

The Pokemon manga series is great for children and adults alike, as it covers a simple and understandable storyline that is easy to follow. 

pokemon journeys manga

The images are also cleaner and less complicated as compared to some other children’s manga out there, adding to its appeal to children and language learners. 

The stories are full of adventure and comedic moments that make learning fun and enjoyable.

For older readers, Pokemon manga can be a great weapon to help you learn Japanese. The manga series is made up of finite, self-contained volumes which are great for learners who want to break down each chapter and get a better understanding of the language. 

Each chapter is made up of simple, easy vocabulary and new sentences accompanied by often colorful dialogue that makes it ideal for language learners. 

People who are studying Japanese through Pokemon will also be able to master the grammar associated with the language. 

From basic verb tenses to intricacies of polite language, the Pokemon manga series covers plenty of elements of the Japanese language. 

For example, Nihon-go speakers can learn polite Japanese words such as “watashi” and “anata”, which are used in casual-formal dialogue. 

At the same time, the adventures that the characters go through during each episode help to keep the language-learning process interesting. 

Using the classic examples of battles and friendship, learners can quickly pick up useful expressions while they follow the story. 

Overall, Pokemon can be an enjoyable and educational way to learn Japanese. With its well-defined episodes, simple and easy vocabulary and grammar, the Pokemon manga series can be a great tool for language learners of any age.

Your Name

Your Name manga is a worldwide favorite that is beloved for its enthralling narrative and deeply moving story. It follows a tale of a boy and a girl, Taki and Mitsuha, and their epic journey across two cities and one lifetime. 

The story resonates deeply with readers of all ages and backgrounds, and is often described as “unforgettable” and “a work of art”.

The Your Name manga also provides a unique opportunity for those learning Japanese. 

your name anime

The manga is unique as it has an English-Japanese version with translations in the margins, making it an ideal manga for Japanese learners. 

The manga is set in both modern-day Tokyo and the rural countryside of Japan, providing a wide variety of useful vocabulary and the modern Japanese language.

The story follows Taki and Mitsuha as they swap lives and time travel into each other’s bodies between Tokyo and a small rural town called Itomori. 

During their journey, both characters have to come to terms with different attitudes to a life dictated by their respective homes. The cross-cultural exchanges between the two characters allow readers to understand the language and culture of Japan, while also exploring their own personal identities. 

The Your Name manga also includes plenty of symbolism, unique stylized language, and complex characters that allow readers to get to the depths of the story. 

Each chapter tells a poignant story about discovering the power of friendship, the hope of true love, and the importance of family. 

It provides readers with a window into the soul of Japan and serves as a great educational experience for those looking to improve their Japanese language skills.

In conclusion, Your Name is a classic manga that has captured the hearts of readers the world over. It is a must-read for those who wish to learn even more about Japan, its culture, and its language. 

The series offers an intriguing window into a unique and unforgettable tale that teaches readers valuable lessons about life, love, and friendship as two unlikely protagonists cross paths in two cities and embark on a remarkable adventure.

Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk is a classic sports manga and undoubtedly one of the best manga for learning Japanese. 

It follows the story of Hanamichi, who joins the basketball team of Shōhoku High School. 

This manga is a great way to learn useful everyday phrases, as it is always set in the present day, usually at high schools. The stories are always based around basketball, which makes it incredibly fun to read and gives a great context to learn various language skills.

slam dunk manga

The language used in Slam Dunk is current Japanese, and it is easy to understand the conversations between the characters. 

As the story progresses, the conversations become more complex and the phraseology used is often advanced, making it great as a tool to help you understand the language. 

slam dunk manga

As well as being full of useful everyday phrases and vocabulary, this manga also teaches you about Japanese culture and how different phrases and expressions are used in different situations. 

Hanamichi's journey on the basketball court is entertaining and exciting, and you can't help but cheer him on as he struggles against the opposing teams. 

This manga contains some great lessons about the importance of never giving up, working together, and supporting your friends, and it is sure to inspire anyone who reads it.

Slam Dunk is the perfect manga for learning Japanese and is an excellent choice for beginners. 

Reading it is an enjoyable experience, and with its mix of classic manga elements and realistic dialog, it is an accessible way to learn Japanese. 

Reading this manga is sure to improve your language skills and give you a greater understanding of Japanese culture. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed; it's one of the best manga out there for learning Japanese.

Shirokuma Cafe

Shirokuma Cafe (also known as Polar Bear Cafe) is a 5-volume manga series that was published from 2006 to 2013. 

This comedy manga is one of the best mangas for learning Japanese and is highly recommended for those looking to learn practical Japanese.

The manga follows the conversations and interactions of an array of random topics with animals of all shapes and sizes. The main characters of the manga, the Polar Bear, Panda, and Penguin all represent the typical everyday lives of the Japanese people.

The conversations flow naturally, with conversations and interactions easily understood even if you aren’t completely familiar with the terms being used. 

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The characters use simple phrases and common expressions to help illustrate how Japanese people talk, making it easier for those who want to learn to understand and also apply the phrases to their own conversations.

At a glance, Shirokuma Cafe may not appear to be much. But, in Japan, this comedy manga is beloved and highly recommended to learn Japanese – even the rather less known manga outside of the country recommend it.

Shirokuma Cafe

Each chapter brings together the funny conversations between the animal characters as they explore topics such as friendship, social trends, traditional Japanese culture, and everyday customs. 

With every chapter, readers learn new phrases, sometimes colloquial, which help them to become more familiar with how Japanese people communicate naturally.

While some of the conversations between the animal characters may seem odd or funny to those outside of Japan, for those within Japan the conversations between the animals represent some everyday scenarios, making the series much more relatable.

In the end, Shirokuma Cafe is a great way to learn some practical language to use in everyday conversations. With its five volumes, readers can practice the language with different scenarios and character conversations, as well as learn new words and poses with the help of the animal cast.

Yotsuba&!

Yotsuba&! was started in 2003, and 15 volumes have been released as of 2021. It's a heartwarming story focusing on the life of a 5-year-old girl named Yotsuba, as she experiences new things and figures out the world.

The charming and endearing story of Yotsuba is perfect for those starting out to learn Japanese since it’s written in simple sentences with basic vocabulary and easy grammar. 

Yotsuba&!

It has plenty of other examples of common phrases and everyday language, so the reader can learn some essential language skills. 

The manga is entertaining enough to keep readers of all ages engaged and laughing. 

It follows Yotsuba's misadventures and misunderstandings with plenty of slapstick humor that both children and adults can appreciate. There's also a lot of heart in the stories, and Yotsuba's ever-optimistic attitude is infectious.

Yotsuba&! is used by language teachers in classrooms for its simple yet accurate language use. Every sentence is written in the typical Japanese style, making it a great resource for beginners learning the language. 

Even readers who have learned some of the language basics can improve their reading skills with some practice.

In each chapter, Yotsuba’s curiosity gets the best of her and she goes on an adventure to try something new, like playing with the neighborhood kids, building a go-kart from scratch, or taking a trip to the beach. 

These adventures are a great way for the reader to learn many common everyday words and phrases. 

Additionally, Yotsuba's interactions with her new friends and family are relatable, and learning the realistic Japanese language. 

For example, during a family outing, Yotsuba can’t help but make a few silly comments, as most children do. Readers can get an authentic feel of Japanese words in casual day-to-day conversations.

All in all, Yotsuba&! is a wonderful choice to start learning Japanese. With its simple yet accurate language use, endearing humor, and relatable characters, it’s sure to entertain readers of all ages and make learning the language a fun and enjoyable experience. 

So whether you’re an absolute beginner or an intermediate learner, grab your copy of Yotsuba&! and enjoy learning Japanese!

Naruto

Basically, every anime enthusiasts’ journey to anime began with famous anime like Naruto. Naruto mangas are one of my personal favorites and are quite enjoyable to read through. 

The story of Naruto has a fantasy theme that begins with the introduction of a powerful fox called The Nine Tails which attacks a mystical village called Konoha in The Land Of Fire. 

The leader of Konoha, Minato Namikaze who’s also the fourth Hokage seals the fox inside his newborn son’s body. This son is called Naruto and he’s always frowned down on by the villagers as they see him as the host of The Nine Tails. 

Naruto knows nothing about The Nine Tails but he eventually learns about the incident through a ninja whom he later fights in combat. This impressed Naruto’s teacher, Iruka Umino, and Naruto becomes a ninja under Iruka’s teachings. 

The Naruto manga has 72 volumes which were later adapted into 220 anime episodes and it’s also one of the most bought manga online. If you’re a major Naruto fan then this manga is the ideal pick for you. 

Naruto mangas are mostly enjoyed by teens and adults and they are suitable for Japanese learners who have crossed the beginner’s stage.

The vocabulary in this manga is mostly action-related hence you can converse with your friends who are Naruto fans and are also learning Japanese.

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball is one of the greatest mangas of all time. The Dragon Ball manga was written by Akira Toriyama and was initially released in 1984. 

The manga consists of 42 volumes and it’s divided into two parts which makes it convenient for the readers to understand the storyline and also will be quite helpful for Japanese learners. 

The first part of the manga focuses solely on the childhood of the protagonist Goku and the adventures he comes across. Japanese learners can learn vocabulary for beginners in the first few volumes of the manga.

The second part of the manga depicts the adult life of Goku which involves the main storyline that consists of intense actions and turning points of Goku’s life.

The storyline of Dragon Ball starts with Goku trying to learn martial arts as a kid. Upon his learning days, he meets a girl called Bulma who reveals to him about the legend of seven mystical balls known as Dragon Balls which will summon a dragon that will grant your wishes when gathered. 

Eventually, Goku masters martial arts and becomes a renowned champion, and also makes several friends along the way.

As Goku grows up he gets married and leads a normal life with his family. But however, everything changes for Goku when he meets an alien called Raditz who claims to be Goku’s long-lost brother.

Reading Dragon Ball manga to improve your Japanese language skills is the best way to go. It starts off simple and with easy to comprehend words and gets complicated as the story goes in-depth and you can ensure to keep learning Japanese as you read.

My Hero Academia

You might know My Hero Academia for being one of the iconic superhero anime in recent times. If you’re learning Japanese and also a fan of this anime then you’ll be glad to know that there’s a manga for this anime. 

The storyline of My Hero Academia features a fictional world where most people are superhumans who have ‘Quirk’ powers. People without Quirks are deemed as ordinary people and are often looked down upon by the superhumans. 

In a world where superheroes defend the city against supervillains, lives a boy called Izuku Midoriya who’s the protagonist of the show/manga. 

Izuku is an ordinary high school boy who has no Quirk powers but he dreams of becoming a powerful superhero. He frequently gets bullied by his childhood friend, Katsuki Bakugo for not possessing any Quirks.

 However, that doesn’t stop Izuku from pursuing his dream. Both Izuku and Katsuki dream of being the most powerful superhero in the city known as All Might.

One day Izuku meets his idol All Might and impresses him. After seeing the strong determination and will of Izuku, All Might decides to make Izuku his successor and passes his Quirk powers to him.  

However, Izuku who has no prior experience of being a hero struggles with controlling the powers. Hence, his journey as a superhero begins as he joins a school for superheroes called My Hero Academia.

This manga would be suitable for those who are already thorough with the beginner level of the Japanese language. The eye-catching animation in the manga would keep you invested in it. 

Anime weebs would definitely love this manga and it’s recommended for those who are seeking to improve their fluency in Japanese.

One-Punch Man

To those who have watched One Punch Man, you know that this anime is filled with great action scenes and subtle comedy. The manga is no exception as it consists of the exact details of the anime. 

The storyline of the manga introduces a Sci-Fi theme and depicts a world filled with evil villains and monsters who cause chaos. 

To combat the villains and monsters, a millionaire called Agoni creates The Hero Association which recruits superheroes. 

In this world lives a man called Saitama who’s obsessed with martial arts. He began practicing martial arts from a young age and became a self-proclaimed fighter. 

In fact, he has mastered martial arts unlike anyone that he has the ability to put his enemy into defeat by just giving them a single punch.

However, Saitama eventually gets bored due to his powerful punching ability and not gaining any thrill while fighting. 

Then he meets a cyborg called Genos who pleads to Saitama to become his mentor in martial arts. As the story continues you’ll find both Genos and Saitama joining The Hero Association. 

This manga is ideal for advanced learners in Japanese as it contains quite complicated phrases. However, it’s overall an intriguing manga, anime weebs would love, and the comedic phrase gives you a burst of good laughter. 

Is manga good for learning Japanese?

Manga is one of the best ways to learn Japanese as it’s generally very interesting and would keep you focused on your reading ability and also help improve your vocabulary in Japanese.

 

What manga should I read for beginners?

Beginners can read manga such as Doraemon, Naruto, Dragon Ball, and My Hero Academia.

 

How long does it take to learn Japanese to read the manga?

It may take up to 1-2 years of learning Japanese to read manga.

 

What level of Japanese should I have to read manga?

Basic knowledge in Japanese is the minimum requirement for reading and understanding manga.

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