I initially wanted to end the series with the fourth entry but discovered so many great manga which are very suitable for Japanese beginners over the last couple of months that it would be a shame not to continue with another volume. Personally, I haven’t been following to0 many ongoing manga lately. I keep up with Billy Bat and Assassination Classroom but dropped the latter one now. The story became a little repetitive and lost its initial spark that got me interested. Or maybe it just wasn’t very good from the beginning. I’m still following What did you eat yesterday with their English releases and Monster as well but not so much on the Japanese front. When my semester break started I finally had the time and leisure to really dig into all the Japanese manga I bought over the last couple of months.
Especially Dj Tonkatsu Agetaro was one of the titles I was really keen to read. And it’s really a great one. It’s difficult to find beginner friendly manga in Japanese that are not the typical 少年 manga with endless fights and little boys who want to become the strongest. To each his own but I just can’t stand this stuff anymore. Never really liked it in the beginning but Dragon Ball got me a little more interested in the whole genre. My recommendation still contains a lot of 少年 titles but I only pick the ones I really enjoyed myself. But now, let’s finally start with another volume of easy to read manga for Japanese beginners.
If you’re just getting started with learning Japanese make sure to check my guide.
1.) Tonkatsu Dj Agetaro – とんかつDJアゲ太郎
I love Japanese cooking and was playing records publicly for several years. Around 2004 I started to get really into House music and was digging my way through the classics. When I started studying dentistry I completely stopped to do any gigs but am still buying new records from time to time. So the story of Dj Agetaro really appealed to me from the beginning. Formerly a net-manga Jump picked it up and released the first tankobon a couple of weeks ago. Great title and well worth it for everyone who is enjoying a story in the “real world”. On a side note. Finally picked up that Soichi Terada compilation, yay.
Buy Tonkatsu Dj Agetaro from CDjapan
2.) Sweets Penguin – 甘党ペンギン
The iBooks App on my iPad coupled with the Japanese online story makes it a perfect way to search for new and interesting manga. Their 立ち読む feature which gives you a little glimpse inside the book is awesome. I discovered Sweet penguin there and instantly ordered my copy. The story about a pretty cute penguin who becomes a frequent (and annoying) customer at a small café is just too charming. The story is pretty light and easy to understand which makes it a perfect manga for beginners. Plus it’s funny, very funny. If you want a good step up from Chi’s sweet home. One of the funniest and original manga I read in a long time.
Buy Sweets Penguin from CDjapan
3.) The mangaka and his assistants – マンガ家さんとアシスタントさんと
Shorts stories about a mangaka who has a little weakness for the typical otaku clichés. Panties, big boobs and of course he isn’t too smooth with women. Everything contains furigana and each story is pretty short which makes it a manageable feast if reading Japanese is still a rather painful exercise. But now on to the story which is funny and not without self-irony.
Buy The mangaka and his assistants from CDjapan
A true classic among girls manga. I have written about it and Ranma 1/2 before but jut had to include it in this list. They re-published the entire series in a perfect edition which is called 完全版 in Japanese.I usually try to get these if something like this available because it makes reading much more comfortable due to the bigger format and cleaner print. You probably remember the oversized editions of Dragon Ball, Slam Dunk and Hikaru no go. All 完全版 published by Jump who are doing a pretty incredible job with these. The complete (or perfect) edition of Inuyasha is not in such a big format but it’s still a pretty well made one. Especially if you have them alined on your bookshelf the back is nicely printed with the same gold letters which are also present on the front. The Japanese used is pretty straightforward and apart from some of the “fantasy slang” you won’t have any problems. If you’re a fan of the series you can get this without hesitation. Looks great, clean print and the manga itself is above questioning.
Buy Inuyasha from CDjapan
5.) Dragon Ball SD
I know the newly-told Toriyama classic already got it’s very own specific post but like Inuyasha it just belongs into this list. The chibi style characters may not be to everyone’s liking but the story is definitely a little more approachable in its compressed version. There are currently three volumes out, each one printed with full-color pages. And each one looks great. If you’re a Dragon Ball fan who is learning Japanese these are a no-brainer.
Buy Dragon Ball SD from CDjapan
These couple of manga should keep you busy for a little while. I’m currently in a rut with learning Japanese and missing some motivation to keep me going. Maybe it’s just a general problem that I’m having at the moment but you probably know times like these yourself. Hopefully, I’ll finally be back on track with everything in a couple of days and be more active over here at the same time.
I love writing articles and taking pictures for you guys. So far it has been one pleasant experience. Thank you all so much for your comments and taking the time to read the stuff I write. I’m always amazed at how great the Japanese learning community as a whole can be. But to be especially honest I still think the Japanese Tease readers are even a tad more pleasant and great to have around. Just my two cents though.
Have fun with the manga and please let me know what you guys are up to. Like always all CDjapan links are affiliate links. So if you’d like to support this site please use them for your purchases (at no extra cost to you). Thanks a lot for all your support.