Easy-to-read manga for Japanese beginners
Progress in Japanese with manga!
Have you been studying Japanese at evening classes? Have you installed apps to test your hiragana and kanji on your commute? Do you have a notebook with lines of words written fiercely? Get started by reading your first book in Japanese! No novels for the moment, but manga to learn while having fun, while enriching your knowledge in Japanese popular culture.
If you are looking for a fun way to improve your Japanese, manga is an inexhaustible source. There are many genres for all ages, but also different levels of difficulty, what is the right manga for you? We have selected three manga perfect for beginners wishing to develop their vocabulary.
Before even addressing the question of level, Doraemon is essential for the cultural references it will bring you. In Japan, everyone knows the blue robot cat and his extraordinary powers. Hero of the eponymous manga published from 1974 to 1994, he remains a favorite Japanese character today (ahead of Pikachu!), though his popularity is not worldwide.
Doraemon is a robot cat from the future whose mission is to help save a little boy's future. For this, he uses the gadgets of his multidimensional pocket to get his friend out of wacky situations and the multiple problems that a pre-teen can encounter (first love, friendship, schooling).
Aimed at children, Doraemon is easy to read, in addition to being written with short, simple sentences. Also, you can read the kanji written in hiragana for a better understanding. It will therefore be easy for you to find words you do not know in a dictionary or with a mobile application. Also note that a bilingual English-Japanese version is available.
Read: The Doraemon Museum
If you grew up in the 1990s, you are part of this generation which spent hours on its Game Boy, exchanged cards at recess and dreamed of becoming master of the League ... the madness during the launch of Pokemon GO to understand that Pokemon is not only a franchise of video games. It is a global cultural phenomenon.
Sacha and Pikachu rocked our childhood, adolescence, and continue to exist in our adult life more than 20 years after the release of the first game. But do you know that there is a manga version of Pokemon? Dozens of versions even. For a story faithful to video games and cartoons, we recommend the "Pocket Monsters Special" series. Like Doraemon, the language used is accessible and you can thus relive the adventures of endearing little monsters.
See also: Ikebukuro Pokémon Center
Released in 2016, Your name. (Kimi no Na Wa in Japanese) became the 2nd most lucrative Japanese film history in his home country, behind another animated film (Spirited Away). He still managed to surpass all the other works of Studio Ghibli. Originally adapted from a novel, the story was also available as a manga version.
To follow the journey and the love story of the two main characters, you can get the bilingual English-Japanese version on Amazon Japan. The plot takes place in contemporary Japan, and you can discover many useful expressions to chat with Japanese. When you learn a language, it's always better to avoid old-fashioned phrases. Get the three volumes to familiarize yourself with the language of young Japanese.
Other manga can suit you depending on your interests but also on your level. "A Town Where You Live" demonstrates unrivaled realism and will make you discover the daily life of a Japanese couple without fantasy. Sports fan? Football, baseball, basketball, volleyball and just about all team sports have a manga dedicated to them. More recently, rugby even made an appearance in the manga All Out!!
A series will necessarily have its place on your shelf. If you are planning a trip to Japan, do note that a second-hand manga bought in Japan will sometimes cost you less than a euro!