How To Read Manga

We often see comments on the Internet that one or another user wants to start but doesn’t know How To Read Manga. There are many discouraging factors: the unfamiliar way of reading from right to left, the mostly black-and-white drawing, the huge number of chapters, the mysterious and alien Japanese mentality… We could go on and on, but all the following factors will be more subjective and depend on the personal taste of an individual. With this guide We will try to help those who are interested to start their acquaintance with the wonderful world of Japanese comics.

We are going to tell you where and what’s an easiest for a person to know How To Read Manga. We are going to try to answer the eternal question –  Why should I read manga if I can watch anime? And advise several titles which, in our opinion, will be the easiest for a beginning reader to get acquainted with.

How To Read Manga Panels?

How To Read Manga correctly? Reading Manga is different from reading comics, books or magazines in English. Knowing How To Read Manga from right to left and then top to bottom. Interpreting Manga Panels elements correctly. And learning the emotions of the characters by familiarizing yourself with some general emotional iconography will help you get the most out of your Manga.

1. Learn about the different types of Manga. There are five basic types of them. Seinen is also referred to as male Manga. Women’s Japanese comics is known as Josei. Shoujo is for girls, and Shounen is for boys. And children’s comics are called kodomo.

2. Explore the many genres of Manga. Japanese comics has many genres, covering numerous themes and topics. Some of the most common genres include action, mystery, adventure, melodrama, comedy, slice of life, fantasy, fantasy, Gender Bender, history, harem, and mechanics.

3. Learn about some popular Manga series. Before you start reading your first manga, take some time to learn about popular series. Some popular science fiction series include Ghost in the Armor and Akira. Famous fantasy series include Dragon Ball and Pokemon Adventures. Love Hina is a Popular Manga life series. And Gundam 0079 Mobile Suit is a mix of mech and science fiction.

4. Choose a Manga that fits your interests and personality. After you’ve researched the different types and Manga Genres of and become familiar with some popular series. It’s time to decide what type of comics you will read. Go with your gut and choose what really excites you.

 5. Start with the first  Manga Reading in the series. Often, they are serialized and contain many stories. Make sure you start with the first story and work your way through the series in chronological order. If the series is popular enough, its episodes can be published together in a collection. The issue and series are usually printed on the cover.

Manga Online
Dragon Ball Super Manga

6. Read the Manga Panels from right to left and in up-down order. Like Manga pages, individual panels should be read in a right-to-left sequence. Start reading each page, starting with the panel on the top right of the page. Read from right to left, and when you reach the edge of the Manga Page, go to the panel on the far right of the next row of Manga Panels. If all the panels are lined up vertically, start with the topmost panel. Even if the panels don’t line up perfectly, stick to the right-to-left rule. Start with the highest row or column and head – from right to left – toward the lowest row or column.

7. Read dialog boxes from right to left and top to bottom. Dialog boxes that contain conversational text between characters should also be read from right to left. Start in the upper right corner of the individual panel and read the tooltips from right to left and then up and down.

Read Manga Here
Dragon Ball Manga

8. Read the black backgrounds of the panel as a flashback. When a manga panel has a black background, it usually indicates that the events shown in the Manga Panels happened before the story was depicted. A black background signals a return to an earlier event or time period.

9. Read the disappearing Manga Panels backgrounds as a transition from the past to the present. A page that contains a panel with a black background at the top, then a panel with fading shades of gray, and finally a panel with a white background shows a time shift from the past (black panel) to the present (white Manga Panels).

10. Read the bubble sigh as an expression of a character’s relief or annoyance. Often Manga characters will be illustrated with an empty dialog bubble at or below their mouths. This indicates that the character is sighing and can be interpreted as relief or annoyance.

 11. Interpret the lines on the character’s facial area as flushed. Manga characters are often depicted blushing with lines drawn on their nose and cheeks. Interpret these expressions as illustrations of a character being embarrassed, pleased, or even having romantic feelings toward another character.

Manga Pages
Lines on the character’s facial area.

12. Read the nosebleed as lust, not injury. When a Manga character appears on the page with a nosebleed, it usually means that he has lustful thoughts about another character or looks at another character, usually a beautiful woman, with lust.

13. To interpret a drop of sweat as embarrassment. Sometimes a drop of sweat may appear near the character’s head. This usually indicates that the character is embarrassed or feels extremely uncomfortable with the situation. It is usually less serious than the embarrassment portrayed by blushing.

14. Read shadows and dark auras as anger, irritability, or depression. When a Manga character appears in a panel with a purple, gray or black ball or shadow floating in the background, it usually indicates negative energy surrounding the character.

The usual ovals or circles. They denote a calm intonation of the character, that is, just his voice without much emotion. Slightly angular clouds. Most often they express the character’s thoughts.

Manga Panels

Sharp and sharp-edged. They express a cry or anger, or all of these together. If it is a cry, then it can be both joy and surprise, or again, anger and fear.

Square cylinders. They simply tell the author’s words or the character’s thoughts. “Fluffy” clouds. They speak of a character’s playfulness or joy. While we tried to make sense of the clouds, it turns out that the background is just as important.

The black background suggests that the actions described now in the Manga take place in the past. The white background accordingly tells of actions in the present tense. The transition from black to white background tells of the transition from the past to the present. Emotions abound, both in people and in characters in the story.

What is Manga?

In one form or another, manga have existed in Japan since 1900. And the “stories in pictures” that preceded it began to appear as early as the 12th century. However, from 1900 to 1947, manga were like the European newspaper comics of the time. As we know it now, Manga Panels appeared at the light of Osamu Tezuka’s genius. In the difficult year of 1947, he publishes a Manga Pages called The New Treasure Island. The work sold an inconceivable circulation of 400 thousand copies for the post-war ruined Japan.

What is Manga
Osamu Tezuka

Already in this work you can trace the emergence of certain manga features. Without which it is now difficult to even imagine. Many close-ups, black-and-white drawing, sound effects seamlessly woven into the drawn image, and dynamics in the movements of the characters. In his later legendary work Astro Boy, Tezuka only strengthened the overall look and style of the manga that the world now knows. A style that allowed the Manga to become a phenomenon unique and unlike the comics of other countries.

What makes Manga different from their European and American comic book brethren? First and foremost, of course, is the black and white artwork. Initially, the lack of color was since color printing in postwar Japan was an unaffordable luxury. So Tezuka made the drawing in black and white. As he was the pioneer and trendsetter, other authors tried to follow his lead, afraid to take even a step back. And it really was much cheaper that way. Now the black and white pattern is not just a kind of chip, but a full-fledged integral part of the industry.

One Punch Man
One Punch Man – Chapter 150
Read One Punch Man
One Punch Man – Chapter 150 (colored in Mangaeffect style by AI)

Thanks to this color scheme a few pages of color at the beginning of a new volume or story arc is perceived by fans as a real holiday. Plus, if you, as an author, have a full-fledged color spread, it speaks volumes to the success of the work. Oddly enough, the lack of Colored Manga Panels even plays into the works, allowing you to use your imagination not only to visualize the movements of the characters. But also, to “color” the character exactly as you see him or her.


The next difference is that manga are very cinematic works. At times it can even seem that you are holding in your hands a full-fledged storyboard for a movie or anime. And this statement is not so far from the truth. Almost every successful work receives an anime adaptation. Which uses the original source as a firm basis for his picture and visual style, though there are certain liberties. But we will talk about them later. In many of the works, the picture feels alive and moving.

It is also important that the manga is a lot of emphasis on the characters and the meticulous study of the fictional world. The story can be so clichéd and horrible. But the characters and the world can be so engrossing that you don’t care too much about the story (hey, the first 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 of JoJo’s arcs!) and you still enjoy the whole thing.

The last difference we’ll note is the wide genre diversity and the abundance of fairly complex and adult themes in almost every work. Even the usual teenage reads like Naruto, Bleach, or outright comedy works will be noticeably laced with heavy and dark scenes. The authors are not afraid to kill the audience favorite characters. And discuss the topic of suicide, the death of a loved one, deep psychological trauma, place a person in society, the problem of making money and maintaining a family. Many other mundane and not so mundane problems are touched upon quite often.

Now that we have sorted out the main differences between comics and manga, we can go to where and How To Read Manga in English. Of course, the differences can highlight a great many more, but for this it would be better to write a separate article. Where you can compare the full development of American comics and Manga.

Where to read manga in English?

About ten years ago, the print manga market was relatively bad. If anything was published, it was a world-famous work like Death Note manga or Naruto Manga. But then the print market was a mess with licenses. Some publishers went bankrupt and manga disappeared from the shelves of most stores for a long time. Now the situation has changed dramatically. Not only popular works are published, but also much more niche, art-house. Nowadays it costs nothing to go into a decent comics store and buy the first tankobon One Piece or the manga adaptation of the Japanese show Hikari Lichi Club.

Death Note
Death Note Manga

Except there’s a bit of a problem here. A lot of manga have been out for decades and have more than 10 volumes. While in other countries the first volumes are just starting to appear on the shelves. One Piece already has more than 90 of them, while we just recently released a book with the first 3 volumes bound in it. It will be another year before the remaining 87 are in stores. And it’s far from certain that they will be there. Not everyone has the patience to wait a whole month, and sometimes more, print the next volumes. Especially when the story captured and want to know the continuation right here and now. Then comes to the aid of the great and terrible scansion.

Naruto Manga

Why the great and terrible? Because the quality of translation jumps like a drunk on a trampoline. On the one hand, there’s a cohesive and friendly team of translators who meticulously proofread scanned Manga Panels. And will care about correct translation of every insignificant phrase, every sound element, select authentic fonts, and work consistently like clockwork, providing a new chapter every week. On the other hand, there is a conditional Ivan (sorry Ivan), who is tired of sitting and waiting for translations from “professional” amateurs.

And he decides to take everything into his own hands. He downloads English scans and with the left heel of his right hand, with the help of the almighty Google Translator, stuffs the crooked text on the Manga pages and proudly displays his work on one of the special sites. Such translations are a dime a dozen. They not only affect the original sense of the work. They are simply impossible to read. It’s therefore best to choose your Manga  translations wisely.

Personally, we’d advise you to read an English Manga Sites at all. Of course, it’s not perfect either, but it’s a direct translation from Japanese. Whereas Russian is translated from English, which is in turn translated from Japanese. Because of this chain can lose a lot of meaning or jokes when it comes to Japanese comics. The ideal is to read in the original, but it’s unlikely that there are enough people among us who know Japanese at an acceptable reading level.

Manga Site


How To Read Manga - Mangaeffect

Mangaeffect. com – we think a site known to many here. First, it’s popular for its dramas and large library of titles. Here we can often come across translations of doubtful quality and low-resolution scans. But the popular titles are translating at a good enough level. In addition, the site has a convenient system of collections and reviews. You can pick up a dozen other Manga to your liking. And immediately read what people think about them. (It’s better to read them yourself and have your own opinion. And compare it to what other people think, but that’s not a trendy thing to do these days.)


Mangaeffect. com is functionally identical to Reading manga. It differs favorably due to the large number of high-quality scans and scans in good quality.

It is not convenient for everyone to read on the computer. So, it is much more pleasant to Reading manga lying in bed before going to sleep or in transport on the way to school/work. Then the Mangaeffect. com comes to the rescue. Do not even try to look for it on Google Play, you won’t find it. Very handy reader with a customizable interface and a list of sources.

However, we responsibly urge you to do so. If you’ve Read manga online in scans and you really like it, please buy it in the store. Support Manga industry. There’s its own paid manga section on Reading manga. So, Read manga it if you’re interested in it. It’s not for me to judge the benefits and harms of piracy, but you buy the games or books you like, so why not buy manga? Even if they stop printing your favorite work later, you’re still holding a physical copy, which is always nice to hold in your hands and reread at night.

Manga vs Anime.

We can distinguish two main reasons Manga vs Anime. The first one is that you often risk not seeing the ending of a beloved series. Because the anime had low ratings and the studio decided not to renew it for another season. Then you’re left with a broken cliffhanger. Even though the original manga continues to be printed on or is long over. Examples can be found in a wagon and a small cart: GANGSTA, the long-suffering Bleach, Gantz.

One Piece manga
Bleach Manga
Bleach manga

 Of course, Manga can also be shut down due to low ratings. However, in the case of manga, not everyone makes it to the anime adaptation. If a manga is going to be released as an anime, it means that the product has already gained a certain popularity, holds a stable rating and soon, its cancellation is unlikely. In addition, there are already a certain number of drawn chapters and they may come out faster than a new series of anime.

Why should I Read Manga when I have Anime?

The second reason Manga vs Anime is that the plot and characters can change. And it’s not something out of the ordinary. The first Hellsing manga adaptation was close to the original in spirit, had a great style and soundtrack. But after half of the series went somewhere sideways from the original storyline, which not all fans liked. Similar stories happened with Full Metal Alchemist  and Tokyo Ghoul.

True, lately, the censorship is beginning to seep in, but so far, this is not so noticeable. After all, you can always both Watch Anime and Read Manga. It’s even possible that this way you’ll enjoy the work even more and see a more complete picture.

Where the plot and characters were changed for some unknown reason, resulting in a decline in the anime’s popularity and dissatisfaction from viewers. Often this doesn’t look that critical. But it’s still frustrating. Or at all, some of the side story lines of the original Manga Icons can disappear for the sake of timing in the conditional 24 episodes.

There’s also the ubiquitous censorship. In Terra Formars, Jotaro’s cigarette may be covered in big black circles. And in One Piece, Sanji’s cigarette may be taken away with the ends. Basically, censorship depends on each individual country. Somewhere it may not exist at all, and somewhere it will be omnipresent. Therefore, if you want to see the work exactly as it was conceived by the original author, it is better not to risk and Read Manga vs Anime.

Now you will learn the most basic designations of these or other emotions.