One of my colleagues, Michiko Ito, Japanese Studies Librarian at the University of Kansas, recently put together a truly fantastic library guide that lists tons of links to online, Japanese-language manga (including comics, graphic novels, and anime) and manga resources. Her collection definitely deserves a shout-out and share, so I am shamelessly copying much of it verbatim here. As Ito notes herself, a word of caution and a disclaimer is in order: This online guide is meant to provide links to web resources created by third parties. Contents available through these websites may contain materials not suitable for educational purposes. The compiler of this guide has no control over these websites and cannot be held responsible for website contents.
To jump down to the various sections below, click on the section guide you want to see first:
Open Access Comics
This section lists individual Open Access (=free) manga, selected by Ito:
- Short manga stories (読み切りの作品) selected by COMIC メテオ
Links to a selection of short and complete comic titles.
- マンガ図書館Z = Manga Library Z
Formerly known as J komi, this website provides access to out-of-print comics with authors’ permission. All are free.
Sukima (スキマ) is an e-comic store but includes some free comic works and free previews of commercial comics. Registration may be required. This link leads directly to the list of titles which are all free.
- 日刊月チャン (秋田書店)
Designed for SNS. This is similar to a short comic published in a newspaper. 1 page-length episodes are added and updated frequently.
Websites by Comic Publishers
The following websites are operated by major comic publishers to announce their new comic publications. Some publishers separately operate serialized web comics (see the section immediately below.) Free previews are available:
Serialized Web Comics (includes free previews)
This section lists selected websites for serialized web comics, most of which are operated by well-known comic publishers. Each website includes dozens of titles, and in most cases, the first few episodes and the most recent episodes are available for free. Registration and/or purchase is often required to read full contents, such as when users are required to purchase “coins” or “points” to read chapters. Note: some of these services are limited to within Japan, and some require credit cards issued in Japan.
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Many of these E-comic store websites provide free previews, and they typically require membership or registration for purchase. As with the list above, some services are limited to within Japan and/or require a credit card issued in Japan. (If your membership is canceled, you may not retain access to the materials you purchased.)