For people who are looking to try a variety of manga, a number of websites offer free previews, but more importantly free volumes of a whole range of titles.
Each website offers different options, and often uses its own proprietary reader, even if the titles are the same. So, it makes sense to do some exploring before deciding which one(s) you prefer as a go-to source.
In my case, I sample here and there, but because I am limited to using a US credit card, there are only a few options for me to actually buy digital copies of the manga that I want to read.
I have been using eBookJapan the longest. It has made some changes recently by merging with Yahoo! Japan so that Japanese folks can use Yahoo! Japan money, but I am still able to use a US credit card.
BookWalker is another site that I have looked at this year. It includes manga, light novels, novels, nonfiction, game strategy books, and interestingly enough doujinshi. There is a sister site called BookWalker Global for the English translations of manga and light novels. So, flipping between the two can really be useful if you are the type who wants to read first in English before dipping into the Japanese (or vice versa). There are lots of manga that are available for free for a limited amount of time.
Now the BookWalker Global website does allow payment by PayPal. There are also notes about licensing restrictions (the English language editions not allowed to be sold in Japan) And if you are wanting to look for the Japanese original of a manga/light novel that you enjoyed, look at the product details towards the bottom of the page.
CMOA is an example of a comics/light novel website that offers a monthly subscription to either unlimited or limited (missing BL, TL, light novels aka the good stuff) but only accepts credit cards issued in Japan. So, that lets it out for me. BUT, there is a free login option that you can use to either read through the browser or use the reader. The reader (bookshelf) application is available for Windows, iPad, and Android.
If you want to use the website for research – looking at rankings, genres, etc. The categorization is pretty good and I really appreciate the adaptation (which titles have been picked up for anime, movies, dramas) information.
I am very late to Twitter, but I have found a number of folks/organizations to follow for good information about recommended reading and new publications.
Learn Japanese with Manga @MangaLearn
Updates about YouTube videos where Naoto explains the contents and grammar in particular Japanese manga to help Japanese language learners learn through reading manga. Sample sentences, vocabulary, and grammatical points are provided with English translations. His explanations are provided in closed caption with furigana. He uses manga that are available for online 試し読み. Altogether a useful resource – both for learning Japanese and for selecting manga for the collection. Naoto’s YouTube channel has over 2.45 thousand subscribers, so it is entirely possible that our students are watching these even if we aren’t.
Here is the link to Naoto’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC59ZURfw529EQEE1gVUMSlw There is a good series on words and phrases used in Doraemon.
Ghost in the Shell 攻殻機動隊
No Guns Life
Hunter x Hunter
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
My Hero Academia
I have some shopping to do! Some of these we have but some we don’t. Even if students are using them for tadoku, I think having access to grammatical explanations will be very helpful to them so I will add a sticker with a link to the manga he reviews.