After Manga Rock, a scanlation aggregator website and app that provided access to pirated English manga and even offered paid services, was pulled into the spotlight by Irodori Comics CEO On Takahashi on Twitter, the website has announced that they will take their app and website offline soon and offered an apology to artists and publishers.
(Sorry, I’m laughing here, cuz that’s pretty much like “hey, sorry I stole and sold your car, but I’ll just keep the cash and awkwardly walk away.”)
Many are now arguing that such aggregator websites can only exist, because English publishers take their sweet time publishing localized manga, and many still don’t offer them online or for a considerably high price. While I agree with these arguments, I also want to point out and sum up the many websites you can now buy and read digital English manga, so everyone can know their options and actually support their favorite artists!
Manga+ may be the website that was talked about the most in the past months since it went online. It’s a website by Shueisha and offers weekly English (and Spanish) releases of Shounen Jump manga. Shounen Jump is THE shounen manga magazine that brought you most of the worldwide popular series like Dragonball, Naruto or One Piece. They upload new releases at the same time as they come out in Japan and you can read the latest chapters for free (that’s right, FREE).
Renta started out as a Japanese ebook website, but launched their English website in 2011 where they publish English releases of manga mainly targeted at women (meaning romance and Boys Love). Aside from buying either single chapters or full volumes, you can also rent them for 48h for a smaller price.
futekiya is a Boys Love manga publisher that offers a monthly subscription model where you (currently) pay 6.99 USD a month to get access to all available manga on their platform. But if you want to check them out before you decide to sign up for a paid subscription, you can also read selected chapters for free!
BOOK☆WALKER is KADOKAWA’s official bookstore and app for reading digital Manga & Light Novels worldwide. I only knew them from Japanese releases so far and am pleasantly surprised that they offer manga in English as well! They apparently offer a few titles for free with a new selection every month, so check them out!
(I originally wanted to include ComicWalker in this list as well, but they only have a VERY limited selection of releases…)
SURPRISE, didn’t guess that one, huh? Aside from anime, Crunchyroll also offers a bunch of manga, some even as simulpub, which you can read for free or with their regular premium subscription (pro tip: for the yearly premium subscription you pay less than 8 USD per month!). But their web reader is still Flash and their reader app is… uh… let’s not talk about that…
Manga.Club offers many chapters for free, some you can read only with special tickets you will get after signing up (also for free) and some chapters can only be purchased with money. A look at their front page suggests that they mostly offer manga targeted at girls and women, but they also offer Shounen and Seinen manga.
SuBLime is a BL manga publisher that mostly offers print releases, but also offers many titles as ebooks, and even a PDF version of the manga is included in the purchase at their own online store!
Juné offers a bunch of Boys Love manga in both print and digital form, and for the ebook you can even choose which file format you want! You can download versions for PC, smartphone or even your Kindle from their website!
MangaCat.io is a new digital manga service that is still in it’s alpha phase, but still has a lot to offer! You can read manga on a per-chapter base like on Renta, and it just so happens that I’m translating the horror/romantic comedy series “Ghost Wife” by Wakasa Takeshi for their platform, which I totally recommend. ? (I’ll also start working on a BL series for their website soon, which I will announce later on Twitter!)
Of course big stores like Amazon or Rakuten also offer manga ebooks, but those are pretty much a given, so I won’t elaborate on them. This list is in no way complete, but those websites are the best ones I could think of.
To sum things up, ebook releases are very popular with Boys Love publishers, I wonder why. ?
But Shueisha also made a big step in trying to beat down piracy of Shounen Jump titles! I hope those services will stay around and grow for a very long time!