With so many options, it might seem hard to figure out where to read manga online. 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.
Tip: prefer to watch movies instead? Check out these free streaming sites to watch free movies online.
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.
Price: Free (limited) / Premium $5 per month
One of the most recent entries on this list, Mangamo only launched in 2020 but is already becoming a popular resource for manga hunters all over the world. With officially licensed publishers onboard, the selection on Mangamo is of a very high quality, and at the time of writing, contains over 400 titles. It’s nice that you don’t have to be concerned about piracy. This also means it’s a more reliable service.
- Officially licensed titles only, such as Devil-Chi, Attack on Titan, and A Man With a Thousand Skills
- New chapters released daily
- Free users get four free chapters daily on a limited number of series
- Easy to manage your collection and search for titles
- Available on iOS or Android
- No ads
- Can’t customize reading preferences in app
- Most titles are behind the paywall, but the price is reasonable for what you’re getting
MangaDex is quite possibly the single most popular manga repository on the Internet. In the wake of popular manga site Batoto going down, it rose to the top and now contains most of the manga you would ever want to read. With advanced filters, it’s easy to find whatever you’re looking for. The site’s a mix of “scanlations” from users (which means that the content is uploaded by readers) and official titles from publishers. It’s in a bit of a gray area legally, but publishers can request takedowns at any time.
- Create your own library from numerous available titles
- In-depth search filters by demographic (such as Shounen, Shoujo, Seinen etc.), publication status, theme, genre, and format
- Forums for community participation
- Mainly made up of scanlations, which are a hazy legal area
- No apps (read in most browsers, including mobile)
Tip: whether or not you’re looking to learn something new, these intellectual websites can help give you a new perspective.
3. MANGA Plus by SHUEISA
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, ensuring that artists are compensated for their work. It’s owned by the same company as the popular manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump, so you’ll be able to read magazine contents on the website as soon as it’s published. With a good variety and clearly legal titles, it’s the perfect option for manga fans.
- Everything’s completely free
- Many titles are in English and Spanish
- Create a favorites library
- Wide variety of titles, such as Leach, Naruto, Blue Box, Dragon Ball, and Black Clover
- Creators are compensated (all legal titles)
- iOS and Android apps in addition to the website
- Some titles are only available in the app
- Could use better search filters
In an effort to battle 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. No registration is required to read anything, but some titles are added and removed regularly, so if you see something you’re interested in, don’t wait too long to read it. Some titles do have expiration dates, but any title can be removed at any time.
- Everything is free to use and registration is optional
- Save favorites simply by signing up for free
- Wide variety of titles available. (Check the release calendar to see when new titles are being added.)
- Good filters to find what’s most popular, check out release dates, and limit your options to specific manga magazines
- Titles may disappear randomly
- No apps available
Tip: other than your desktop and mobile, did you know that you can also read comics on your Nintendo Switch?
5. Crunchyroll – Free/Premium
Price: Free / Premium plans start at $8 per month
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. The main downside is that while there are some free titles, most are only available if you subscribe. On the other hand, it’s a reputable site that doesn’t rely on scanlations or user submissions, so you get high-quality content and new releases quickly.
- Large legal collection of manga
- New titles and chapters added regularly
- You only need the lowest cost plan to access the entire manga library
- Read on desktop, iOS, and Android
- Most manga is behind a paywall (a free trial is available, though)
- Apps have a lot of issues, including frequent crashes and infrequent updates to address problems
6. Shonen Jump
Price: Free / Premium – $3 per month
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 as a free user, this is a great way to get newer chapters without paying anything. You’ll need to create a Viz (the home site of Shonen Jump) account to save favorites. The quality is nice, and it’s easy to navigate the reader on desktop and mobile.
- Get the latest chapters completely free
- Cheapest premium subscription for manga at just $3/month
- Over 15,000 chapters available to premium users
- Read on desktop, iOS, and Android
- Most chapters are for premium members only
Tip: learn how to add this manga-inspired bot to your Discord server.
7. 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. While over 2,400 manga titles are included in the subscription, some are only available for individual purchase. Despite how well the Kindle reading app works, the ComiXology app isn’t quite as user-friendly.
- Access over 45,000 titles of manga, comics, and graphic novels in one plan
- Access on desktop, iOS, and Android
- Free 30-day trial available
- Apps have issues with resolution quality, screen sizing, and navigation
- Not all titles in the ComiXology store are included in the Unlimited plan
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. The site lives in a legal gray area. Nothing is officially licensed, but so far, no artists have pursued legal action against the site. On the other hand, you never download items, so it does make the site safer to use.
- Increasingly large library of new and old titles
- Easily sort by title, genre, and what’s most popular
- Register for free to create your own library
- No officially licensed titles
- Resolution quality can vary from title to title and chapter to chapter
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. 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. Yet, the site is easy to use, and the quality is fairly consistent.
- Massive library of both new and older titles
- Check out the latest manga news
- Free signup to create your own library
- Titles may or may not be completely legal
- Apps are available, but the iOS app rarely works, and the Android app is available only on third-party sites. (If you want to try it, use our guide for installing apps from unknown sources.)
Tip: for those who prefer to watch anime instead of reading manga, check out these Android apps to stream anime on your mobile.
Readm offers a nice selection of manga to read online. It has one of the more extensive genre lists to help narrow down your search. Everything is free to read and available under a fair use clause of the Copyright Act. Even on desktop, the updates section is kind of hard to read and navigate. Otherwise, it’s a clean layout, and the resolution quality is pretty good, too, for most titles.
- Large variety available
- Everything is free
- Read with or without signing up. (Signing up lets you save items.)
- No mobile apps
- Updates section is tiny and cluttered
Mangaowl was created and run by manga lovers who just wanted all their favorites in one place. Staff works to translate and upload new chapters as quickly as possible, so there can be delays sometimes. While you won’t find every title here, it’s a good place to find a variety of new and old titles. You can search by genre and title, but that’s it. It’d be nice if there was an official app, but for now, there’s an Android APK only.
- Variety of titles available
- Staff adds new chapters regularly
- Site is easy to navigate
- Everything is free
- No official app, and the Android app APK comes from a Google Drive account (so it’s best to probably avoid it)
- Titles are stated as legal, but you are encouraged to support publishers by buying the titles from other sites. (This is all listed in the site’s Legal Disclaimer.)
Price: Free with a library card
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. Manga can be checked out and returned just like any other book from a physical library, except it’s digital in this case. What’s available varies based on each individual library. Finding manga is sometimes a challenge but time is well spent to be able to read it legally for free.
- Everything’s free to read
- Check out books, magazines, and more in addition to manga
- Read on desktop, iOS, and Android. (Depending on your library, you may require the Libby, Sora, or Kanopy app – you’ll get details and links to download on your library’s website.)
- Difficult to find titles since it’s not dedicated to manga only
- Not all libraries participate in OverDrive, and the titles you want may not be available at every library
Tip: If the websites you want to visit are blocked, learn how you can view blocked websites without difficulty.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
What’s the problem with scanlations?
The most common 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. On the other hand, it’s seen as a great way for manga fans to read comics that aren’t licensed in their region of the world.
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 the risk 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.
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.
Check with online book stores like Book Walker that might offer free titles to download and keep. Consider keeping track of your manga collection (digital and physical) with a collection organizing app.
Image credit: Lisa Fotios via Pexels. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.
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