Did you know that it's completely possible to learn Japanese from manga?
While most learners focus on tutors, apps, and courses, reading Manga is often the fastest and most enjoyable to learn.
Most people studying Japanese wait too long to start adding manga in their study routine due to the fear of Kanji. Kanji is one of the biggest obstacles for most people trying to learn Japanese as it appears everywhere and is required to be able to read most things in Japan.
However, even Japanese people aren’t born knowing kanji.
That’s why you will find a huge selection of Japanese manga that has furigana - kana that is placed above kanji that allows for people to be able to read kanji that they have never come across before.
This is great for those of us that want to start reading in Japanese as soon as possible without having to constantly fiddle around with looking up kanji by stroke orders, just to immediately forget it moments later...
Although using manga will not make you an expert, it's an effective method for practicing Japanese. However, not all Japanese manga have furigana.
Below is a list of some of the best manga with furigana to help you start reading Japanese and have fun while doing it!
20 Manga With Furigana
1. Doraemon (ドラえもん)
If you are looking for the best way to study Japanese, this is a good starting point.
Meant for children, it's written in straightforward and easy to understand Japanese.
It revolves around a robot cat whose mission is to help Nobita win love and change the future. However, by doing this, he often ends up making things worse.
2. Shirokuma Cafe (しろくまカフェ)
This Japanese manga focuses on a local cafe where you'll often find a wide array of customers gathering after a long day at work.
However, unlike most usual cafes, it's operated by a polar bear that serves both animals and humans.
With a host of exciting characters, including a clumsy Panda and sarcastic penguins. Entertaining and funny, it centers around everyday issues and adds it's own interesting twist for an entertaining read.
3. Your Name. (君の名は)
Divided between the Japanese countryside and Tokyo metropolis, this manga features modern Japanese culture and contains useful vocabulary for those looking to focus on more commonly used Japanese.
It's a story about Taki, a high school boy, and Mitsuha, a high school girl who begins to wish that she will be born a boy in her next life - But the reality of her wish is far from what she expected.
After reading the manga, watching the internationally critically acclaimed film would be a great way to get in a little Japanese listening practice too.
4. A Town Where You Live (君のいる町)
This is a romance manga that focuses on Haruto, a high school boy whose life changes when a new girl starts staying with them.
In modern-day Japan, it includes common phrases and words that you can apply in various situations.
5. Pokémon (ポケットモンスター)
Pokemon is another manga with simple vocabularies to use.
If you are starting, you'll find it relatively easy to learn.
If you haven't heard of Pokémon before, where have you been?
For existing fans of the series that are looking to dive into the world of Japanese literature, the Pokémon manga can be a great place to start.
If you are looking for more straightforward sentences and vocabulary, this is the right manga for you.
6. Yotsuba&! (よつばと!)
This manga is about a young girl who lives with her father, makes friends, and explores the neighborhood.
You'll not only find it hilarious but also easy to understand.
If you are a beginner, it's the best manga for you.
7. School Rumble (スクールランブル)
School Rumble is a comedy where the main character, Tenma, struggles to win the love of her crush.
While our main male protagonist, Harima, is in love with Tenma, but can't summon the courage to confess his feelings to her.
Sounds pretty simple, rights? If you love Slapstick comedy, this manga is great.
8. Natsuko's Sake (夏子の酒)
Natsuko no Sake revolves around a girl who wants to create the best Japanese rice wine.
After leaving her job, she embarks on searching for the best rice seed.
The story follows her challenges as a woman in the male-dominated world of Japanese saké.
You'll get several useful words and phrases, that will be great to know as you get ready to start having conversations with Japanese friends - you may even surprise a few of them with your new-found vocabulary!
9. Naruto (ナルト)
As one of the popular manga's in japan, Naruto is a ninja-themed story whose main character, Naruto, strives to become the greatest Ninja.
Although hopeless at first, he quickly develops new skills and friendships to help him overcome obstacles.
Created with easy to read language with an enjoyable story, it's among the best manga with furigana.
10. Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン)
This manga revolves around a high school girl that is bestowed with powers to save the world from approaching danger.
Although she takes her job to protect the world seriously, she still takes care of all the responsibilities of a normal schoolgirl.
Aimed at female readers, you can use this timeless manga to learn a lot about the Japanese language.
11. Cowa! (こわ!)
Cowa! is a manga set in a place where humans and monsters are the same.
Brilliant and comedic, it follows Jose and Paifu, who is a young half-vampire.
Short and sweet with only one volume, it uses beginner kanji and furigana to help you out. Even if you are not a fan of vampires, it's well worth checking out.
12. K-On! (けいおん!)
K-On is a Japanese manga that follows four school girls.
Their vocabulary used centers around their hope for a musical career and performing arts-related topics.
Featuring a 13 episode anime as well, this series can be a great way to immerse yourself in Japanese vocabulary focused on music and a must for those who are looking for a great reading experience.
13. Chi's Sweet Home (チーズスイートホーム)
This Japanese manga comes with short and interesting stories.
It focuses on a small cat searching for a new home.
With the story and vocabulary easy to master and the manga panels well-illustrated, it's one story that you'll love.
If you are starting with Japanese, it's a perfect place to start.
14. Dr. Slump (Dr. スランプ)
As an incredibly popular manga here in Japan, Dr. Slump is funny and charming.
By the same writer as the world-famous "Dragon Ball", Akira Toriyama, if you are want to learn Japanese, you shouldn't hesitate to pick it up.
15. Kuruneko (くるねこ)
Kuruneko is a Japanese manga full of stories to help you learn Japanese fast.
While you may find the handwriting feature in the manga at times hard to read, this is a minor thing that should not discourage you as you will quickly get used to it.
In fact, if you ever plan to come to Japan, it would be a good idea to get some practicing trying to read handwritten Japanese - it comes up more than you would think.
16. Tama-san (タマさん)
One thing that sets this book apart is its visual appearance in how it is drawn.
As an easy-to-read manga with furigana, you'll want to put this in your shopping cart.
As you flip through the manga, you'll find it quite easy to master and build confidence quickly as you read. It can act as a great starting point to help launch you into more challenging manga in the future.
17. Whistle! (ホイッスル!)
When it comes to choosing sports manga, you can't just go wrong with this one.
This manga features a high school boy who moves to a new school but is consider too short to play soccer.
The story focuses on his struggles and journey to overcome the people's perspectives of him and chase his goals in spite of it all.
A fantastic manga with a lot of related situations occurring throughout its story, making it a great place to mine useful vocabulary from.
18. Slam Dunk (スラムダンク)
Slam Dunk is one of the best sports manga with furigana out there - it is considered by many Japanese readers to be the best manga ever written, period!
Coming with a basketball theme, it features Hanamichi, a delinquent who wants to impress Haruko his love.
However, after trying the sport, it turns out he has great potential for the sport and ends up falling in love with the game.
Written in an easy to understand language, this manga is a must for all readers!
19. Fruits Basket (フルーツバスケット)
If you are a beginner, Fruits Basket is the right manga for you.
It's a story about Toru Honda, who loses her mother and ends up having to stay with another family.
To her surprise that Yuki and Kyo, who he ended staying with her, can transform into animals.
As a fascinating story, you will find yourself flying through the manga and picking up Japanese fast.
20. Demon Slayer (鬼滅の刃)
Kimetsu no Yaiba is also a good manga to try out if you are looking to read something rising in popularity at the moment.
Its story is set in Japan of the past and revolves around demons. Some of the vocabulary you'll come across may not be words you'll finding yourself using in everyday Japanese conversation, but if you like Shounen stories, you will feel right at home with the vocabulary here!
If you want to build a strong foundation in the Japanese language, this list of manga containing furigana is a great starting place.
When starting, choose something with a story that will hold your attention - it's hard to learn anything when you are bored.
With several easy-to-read manga options with furigana in the list, you'll be sure to land on one that is right for you!
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