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Manga Answerman - What Are The Best Digital Manga Services?


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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1777
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:56 pm Reply with quote
You forgot j-novel's late entry to digital manga, which obviously includes several manga adaptations of their novel licenses. It's not fully out yet, for example how/when/in what form are the individual volumes going to be purchasable, that even we readers there do not know yet. For now, you need j-novel sub to be able to read any of them...

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For fans of the “all-you-can-read” subscription model, then Crunchyroll Manga is the way to go. A subsite of the popular anime/drama streaming service and included in the price of the monthly premium subscription at $6.95/month, Crunchyroll Manga provides fans with unlimited online access to a 50 or so current and backlist series. No Shonen Jump stuff here, but you can read the latest chapters of Kodansha manga like Attack on Titan and Edens Zero, and the manga version of the current anime, The Rising of the Sword Hero from One Peace.

Crunchyroll manga is pretty broken and quite cumbersome to use, I'd be interested to know how many of those able to actually use it to read manga there and not elsewhere?

Quote:
There are also smaller, niche sites such Digital Manga Publishing's eManga site, which has a lot of Tezuka manga titles, as well as some of their BL manga titles from their June Manga imprint and Manga Club (which has a mix of genres, including adult content).

I'd regard DMP as a zombie entity at this point, or has that changed?
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alconnow_



Joined: 15 Jan 2019
Posts: 74
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:57 pm Reply with quote
The Crunchyroll Manga iOS app is terrible. It never works for me. I prefer Comixology and Book Walker...
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FukuchiChiisaia



Joined: 31 Oct 2015
Posts: 78
Location: Indonesia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:03 pm Reply with quote
I left this here in case someone needs it.
A worldwide list of legal manga platform: https://github.com/otakulogy/manga-reading
So far, it only covers Japanese, English, and Indonesian. Will expand more soon as more data available.
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rizuchan
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 808
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:15 pm Reply with quote
As someone who has switched almost entirely to digital manga, I can give these tips:

For the most part, digital manga sales are set by the publisher. So if something is on sale at say, BookWalker, it is probably also on sale at Amazon, or wherever else. Knowing that, you don't have to buy books for a zillion different platforms. I like to check Comixology's website to see what publishers are having sales each week.

Buy from Amazon Kindle instead of Comixology. You get both a Comixology and Kindle copy that way, and for whatever reason, Amazon is cheaper sometimes.

Kobo also has a points system like Bookwalker, and they will price match + give you an additional 10% credit if they are not the lowest price. You have to fill out a form for each volume individually, which is a pain, but probably a good value if you're persistent.

Speaking of Bookwalker, I've heard lots of people talk about how great their points system is (or looks, at least) but I thought their app was too terrible to be worth it, especially the PC reader.

And finally, check if your public library offers anything through Overdrive! I saved a ton reading Naruto and Attack on Titan that way. And if you're patient, you can make requests for them to purchase new titles too.
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tuturuu



Joined: 03 Feb 2018
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:19 pm Reply with quote
If you're not from the anglosphere you're shit out of luck, I'm afraid. Funny how I can easily import physcial books from another continent, but buying digital is harder than slave trading. Then there's the whole thing with DRM... Let people read their heckin manga with the devices/software they want to.
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MikeNeko San
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 02 Dec 2015
Posts: 47
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:39 pm Reply with quote
In olden days I used to tell myself that if this career thing didn’t work out, I could always get a job as a manager at Borders. I was so sad when they closed that I stopped buying from Amazon and switched my business to Barnes & Noble whenever possible.

In November I had sales agents at the B&N counter download manga (Noragami!) on two different Nooks, and I was able to flip through manga side-by-side before I chose which device to purchase.

(Full disclosure: BookWalker is my first choice for digital manga. I wait for sales on BW before I buy, because otherwise the digital manga prices at B&N are usually better.)
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Morry



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 546
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:47 pm Reply with quote
Comixology is my go-to. I've had no issue with buying for my digital library and they have practically all the manga I'd want to buy digital.
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RedSwirl



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 291
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:29 pm Reply with quote
I haven't bought any of this stuff from manga or book sites directly, but a while ago I did get that Kodansha Humble Bundle which for like $20 gave you something like 70 volumes of manga (Alita, Ajin, Inuyashiki, 7 Deadly Sins) that's all DRM-free, downloadable in a bunch of formats.

For DRM-free stuff, what software or apps do people use to read this stuff? I have a couple phone apps I usually use but the Kodansha stuff is extremely high-res to the point where most apps actually choke on it. I had to download the EPUB versions and actually read them on Apple Books.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1777
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:50 pm Reply with quote
RedSwirl wrote:
For DRM-free stuff, what software or apps do people use to read this stuff? I have a couple phone apps I usually use but the Kodansha stuff is extremely high-res to the point where most apps actually choke on it. I had to download the EPUB versions and actually read them on Apple Books.

For Android and drm-free;

For manga Challenger Comics Viewer, can handle pretty much any such format, or just unarchived folders(to prove the point, I have a 14000image/70GB unsorted gallery folder on my tablet, with individual image sizes sometimes exceeding 100+MB, it...works..)

For books, ebup and the like Moon+ Reader, consider it an Android equivalent of Calibre viewer in terms of capabilities...
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DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
Posts: 711
Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:51 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
Crunchyroll manga is pretty broken and quite cumbersome to use, I'd be interested to know how many of those able to actually use it to read manga there and not elsewhere?


Though the Crunchyroll manga Android app is broken in a variety of ways, I find it relatively easy to use. The Crunchy manga PC (browser) reader however.... <*shudder*> Is a horror that surpasses all human understanding or attempts to describe it. Even by Crunchy's standards for web content (which are very low indeed), it stands out by it's sheer awfulness.

That being said, I wish the Answerperson had addressed PC/browsers as well. Not everyone uses a tablet, phablet, or phone for consuming media. (Or at least not exclusively.)
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JeffreySweeney



Joined: 06 Jan 2018
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:42 pm Reply with quote
Would anyone happen to know which of those sites, if any, let you read the Gunsmith Cats manga legally? I'd love to read it someday. Not really looking to purchase a bunch of physical copies if that's the only option.
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Daizo



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 132
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:17 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
not to mention more “adult” offerings like BL, gay or ero-manga?

Wow, bringing up eromanga but not mentioning Fakku? You're missing out bigtime Wink

Fakku has probably the best online reader in the whole manga business and the image quality to match. It has a pretty serious quantity of content available via a subscription service (~4200 chapters as time of writing, with ~100 new chapters every month) and also sells DRM-free e-books to boot. You actually get digital copies for free if you buy physical copies! The overall release quality is also among the best in the whole industry.

Now, I do have to mention that I'm the one who built the aforementioned online reader and am also the one in charge of digital distribution quality over there, but I hold that nothing I said there is an exaggeration in the slightest. I honestly wouldn't mind if other services put up more of an effort in this regard so it wouldn't be so easy to brag about it... but them's the breaks.

Also, another service not mentioned in the article that I can generally recommend is Kobo. Having worked on authoring e-books for various stores, I can tell you that Kobo's format guidelines allows for nice and high quality releases, and they don't do basically any unnecessary meddling with the digital files provided by the publisher that would lower the quality (like Amazon does, for example). Now, this does mean that the publishers themselves need to be competent with authoring their digital releases, which is a whole another can of worms, but at least theoretically Kobo should be a solid high quality general platform for buying e-books. Though do be wary of DRM - as a principle, I hold that you should never pay money for individual titles unless they either come (or can be easily made) DRM-free (in this regard, I especially recommend avoiding Book Walker). Considering we just got another timely reminder of customers losing all their DRM'd ebooks as another store shuts their doors, it's more important than ever that you actually own the digital books you lay down money for. Always keep in mind: as long as its got DRM, you don't actually own it - you're merely renting it for an undefined time period!

The only general exception I make with DRM is when it's explicitly about renting in the first place, which it generally is with monthly catalog rental services like Crunchyroll et al.
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Psycho 101
Moderator


Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 14484
Location: The Bannered Mare
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:14 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:

And finally, check if your public library offers anything through Overdrive! I saved a ton reading Naruto and Attack on Titan that way. And if you're patient, you can make requests for them to purchase new titles too.

The same goes for graphic novel TPB's as well. I got my local system to get the entire line (available as of Dec last year) of American Vampire, Giant Days, Barakamon, Claymore, & Fairy Tale. Granted American Vampire and Giant Days were digital copies but who cares. Free to read is still free.
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SolHerald



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 90
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:33 pm Reply with quote
JeffreySweeney wrote:
Would anyone happen to know which of those sites, if any, let you read the Gunsmith Cats manga legally? I'd love to read it someday. Not really looking to purchase a bunch of physical copies if that's the only option.


It's licensed by Dark Horse and can be bought on almost any digital platform. I don't think any manga "streaming" site has it though.

Anyways, its sad how only Kodansha does Humble Bundles, I got GitS and Gunnm and they are magnificently hi-res. The stuff on Amazon is forced to be like 100MB and are only barely adequate.

My general rule of thumb is if I can't download the purchase I avoid it like the plague.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 3969
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:09 am Reply with quote
I have been buying Gunsmith Cats and Gunsmith Cats Burst on the Amazon Kindle, its been great. Now I am hoping Dark Horse puts out Cannon God Exaxxion, along with Johji Manabe's Outlanders, Drakuun, and Caravan Kidd.

Amazon Kindle has been good to me, though there are a few exceptions where for whatever reason they refuse to release a print manga title digitally. And then you have to get it from another digital platform.
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