Manga contains some of the best storylines, incredible characters, and surprising plot twists available. While these graphic novels and comics may originate in Japan, that doesn’t mean you can’t read manga online from pretty much anywhere around the world. The best part is that many websites let you read much of it for free.
What Is Manga?
If you’ve never had the chance to try manga, think of it as the comic book/graphic novel version of anime. In fact, it’s not uncommon for an anime series to become a manga series and vice versa.
Manga features the same exaggerated features and artwork as anime. However, some of the themes tend to be more adult. When searching for manga to read online, make sure you’re using sites that have translated it into English or your desired language. All of the sites listed here are in English, outside of a few titles here and there.
1. MANGA Plus by SHUEISA – Free
One of the top sites to read manga online is MANGA Plus by SHUEISA. The site’s created and controlled by the Japanese publisher SHUEISA, which ensures artists are compensated for their work. It’s owned by the same company as the popular manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump, which means you’ll be able to read what’s in the magazine on the website as soon as it’s published.
Surprisingly, everything is offered completely free and also has iOS and Android apps. This is why it’s a top pick among other options. It’s free and legal. You’ll find a wide variety of new and old titles, too, including “Leach,” “Naruto,” “Blue Box,” “Dragon Ball,” and “Black Clover.”
2. ComicWalker – Free
In an effort to battle illegal scanlations, manga publisher Kadokawa created ComicWalker as the free way to read manga online. While you won’t find all of Kadokawa’s manga on here, there’s ample variety to keep you entertained.
A unique aspect of the site is that you don’t have to register at all to enjoy any of the titles. However, if you’d like to create a library or save your spot, you’ll want to register, which is also free. There are no strings attached.
It’s also easy to filter via what’s most popular, check out release dates, and limit your options to specific magazines. Some of the more popular titles include “Sgt. Frog,” “Mobile Suit Gundam,” “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” and “Cross Ange.”
3. Crunchyroll – Free/Premium
You can’t have a list of the best sites to read manga online without mentioning Crunchyroll. Not only is there an extensive selection of manga, but you can watch anime as well.
A lot of Crunchyroll’s manga isn’t free, but there are some free titles. There are also free chapters to approximate trying before you buy. To read all you want, you’ll need a premium subscription, which starts at $7.99/month. Keep in mind you also get access to the library of anime.
You’ll find manga titles such as “Attack on Titan,” “Genshin Impact,” and “To Your Eternity.” There are also iOS and Android apps.
4. Shonen Jump – Free/Premium
Shonen Jump, the digital version of Weekly Shonen Jump, offers some of the latest chapters of their popular manga titles for free. While you can’t go back and start from the beginning, this is a great way to get newer chapters without paying anything.
Everything’s provided through Viz, so you’ll need a Viz account (free to create) to save your place or create a library. If you decide the free offerings aren’t quite enough and want to read previous chapters, you’ll need to subscribe. You’ll get over 15,000 chapters for just $1.99/month. It’s one of the cheapest manga subscriptions, especially if you love Shonen Jump’s titles.
Some of the more notable titles include “Dragon Ball Super,” “Black Clover,” “My Hero Academia,” and “Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.”
5. ComiXology Unlimited – Premium
ComiXology is an Amazon company that’s just for comics, graphic novels, and manga. The main site allows you to buy individual titles. However, the best deal overall is easily ComiXology Unlimited. As the name implies, you get to read all you want for one flat monthly fee.
The only downside is that not all titles are included in the unlimited plan. For instance, “Attack on Titan” is included but not “Black Butler.” While I’d love to see more titles included in the subscription plan, it’s still hard to beat the price of just $5.99/month for the variety that’s offered. Overall, you get access to over 25,000 comics, graphic novels, and manga. Plus, you get discounts on purchases.
In addition to reading online, there are also iOS and Android apps.
6. MangaKakalot – Free
You’ll find not only popular manga series on MangaKakalot but numerous lesser-known series as well. The layout of the site makes it easy to quickly sort by genre, check out what’s most popular, find the latest releases, or even stick to completed series.
Some of the most popular titles at the time of writing were “The Return of the Crazy Demon,” “The Millenium Alchemist,” and “Rise from the Rubble.” But you’ll also find more well-known names like “Attack on Titan” and “Naruto.”
It’s important to note that MangaKakalot lives in a grey area of legality. Titles aren’t officially licensed, but the artists also haven’t pursued any action. Plus, you don’t actually download anything, which makes it one of the safer grey area manga sites.
7. MangaHere – Free
MangaHere offers over 10,000 series completely free. You’ll find most any genre you could possibly want, including everything from supernatural to comedy. It’s easy to find something new to read based on what’s most popular, the genre, latest updates, new releases, and more.
You’ll find both popular and lesser-known titles here. Some of the currently most popular series on MangaHere include “Black Clover,” “Solo Leveling,” and “Tales of Demons and Gods.”
MangaHere states that all content on the site is licensed under a fair use license. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything on the site is technically legal.
8. Manga Fox – Free
Manga Fox is pretty much identical to MangaHere. In fact, the two link to each other in their site footers. You’ll find most of the same series, yet each has a different community of readers, so you’ll find a different variety of trending and popular titles.
Occasionally, you’ll also find some series that are on one site but not the other, so if you can’t find what you want on MangaHere, try Manga Fox and vice versa.
Since the two sites are so similar, Manga Fox also states content is available under a fair use license. You’ll find popular titles such as “Attack on Titan” and “One Punch Man” along with “Marital Peak,” “One Piece,” and “Tales of Demons and Gods.”
9. BookWalker – Free/Premium
BookWalker is an ebook store strictly for manga and light novels. There are always great sales going on, and pricing is fairly cheap. There aren’t any subscription models – just individual titles for sale.
There is always a rotating list of free manga and light novels available. The selection is admittedly limited. At the time of writing, only 54 options were available, but it’s still a good way to read for free.
10. OverDrive – Free
OverDrive is a service libraries use to provide digital books, audiobooks, magazines, and more. It’s completely free as long as you have a library card from a participating library.
Many libraries also offer manga to check out. OverDrive works just like a library. You’re able to check out titles and then return them, all from within your browser or mobile device. (iOS and Android apps are available.) Contact your library to see if they participate and what manga series are available.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are free manga sites legal?
It depends on the site. Free sites that have licensed content through the publishers are completely legal. For instance, MANGA Plus is free, but all content is provided through official channels, so it’s free and legal.
Most free sites aren’t technically legal, as they simply gather content but don’t pay any kind of licensing fees to the creators. Some have actually been taken down as a result, while others are still going strong. Those that don’t offer any type of download or offline reading options are less likely to be taken offline. However, don’t be surprised if any free sites that fall into a legal grey area are suddenly shut down due to a DMCA notice.
Another issue is whether the site is actually hosting the manga. A site that just provides links to other sites isn’t actually illegal. However, the sites that host or store the content are illegal. Until they’re required by law to cease operation, you can still read manga on them.
2. What’s the problem with scanlations?
The most common illegal manga you’ll run across is scanlations. These are translated copies that are scanned in to be shared with readers. These are done without the copyright holder’s permission, meaning they don’t get credit or compensation.
Once again, it’s a grey area of legality. You can read them legally, but the person uploading the content could face serious fines if copyright holders decide to pursue any legal action against them.
3. Is it safe to read manga online on free sites?
Yes and no. There’s always a risk that ads and pop-ups on free sites could contain malware. Ideally, don’t click on anything other than the manga titles themselves. Otherwise, you could be in trouble.
Reduce any risks by using an ad blocker in your browser to reduce ads. Also, make sure you have updated antivirus software running in real time to protect you.
4. Can I download manga online?
Yes, but in this case, stick with legal sites. There’s an extremely high risk of malware and other viruses if you illegally download manga or anything else online. While action isn’t usually taken against the downloader (mainly just uploaders), there’s still a chance that you could be tracked down and fined for illegal downloads.
While there isn’t a single site that has everything to read manga online, using a combination of the sites above should help you find nearly any title and series you could ever want. Yes, some sites aren’t completely legal, so use caution. However, the legal sites and subscriptions offer plenty of great reading material without any risks.
Looking for ways to read as much as you want online, including manga, ebooks, magazines, and more? Check out Kindle Unlimited and these Kindle Unlimited alternatives. Interested in watching anime? Check out the best anime streaming Android apps.
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