Feb 23, 2017

Best Manga for Low Intermediate Japanese

Hey everyone! I'm looking to improve my reading skills and was looking for recommendations for low intermediate (around JLPT 4) readers. I'm open to any genre, but especially love mysteries.



I am a kindergarten teacher, wife, and mother. I love living in Japan!

8 Answers

Best Answer

  • Ashes

    on Feb 24

    How about making a trip to your local Book Off and see what secondhand manga series they have. You can flip through them and see which ones you can somewhat understand. At N4 level, you don't want anything that is so overwhelming that you give up. Look for a manga with all of the furigana above the kanji too. Personally I've loved reading Japanese books to my baby. It is helping me to learn how to talk to her in practical Japanese and the story is repetitive and simple. This post lists a few simple manga and you can view some pics of the inner pages too. http://japanesetease.net/easy-to-read-manga-for-japanese-beginners-vol-01/

  • edthethe

    on Feb 23

    Yotsubato is my absolute favorite manga, and because it's for little girls basically, it is easy to read.

  • SilviaS15

    on Feb 23

    I would read Death Note. Even if it is difficult. The suspense if you don't know the story makes it worth every kanji you have to look up

  • Saitama

    on Feb 23

    Following! I have only ever read one series of manga, about Miyamoto Musashi. It was an adult manga and I was studying for the JLPT2 at the time. That was a long time ago... wonder what I ever did with the books!!! It was good at that time to reinforce my kanji, because it had the furigana beside it. My kids have some manga, never thought to take a look for my own study. Thanks for posting the question

  • Jackson

    on Feb 24

    Not mystery at all, but Doreamon is my personal favorite. The language is easy, most words are written in hiragana with some words in Kanji (because the manga was aimed at elementary school level), things are context based so it's easy to understand, and there are a few language based jokes that even low level learners can comprehend and laugh along. Since the manga is old (and classic!), you can pick up the "best selection compilations" for real cheap at used bookstores.

  • DaveJpn

    on Feb 24

    I've tried going down the manga route for Japanese study, but have never had the discipline to stick with it. As @Jackson mentioned, I tried it with some Doraemon, and I still pick up some of the manga in waiting rooms at hairdressers, dental clinics etc but end up to reading it on the surface, rather than anything being 'absorbed'.

  • Daiuchi

    on Feb 24

    I agree with Doraemon being a great choice! It's pretty straight forward and easy to read. I also recommend older comics like Sailor Moon or Card Captor Sakura OR anything you might have grew up watching :) If you already know the story it helps a lot with reading and understanding. As another method, if you have Netflix they have a lot of different options that have Japanese subtitles as well. This can help both your reading and listening skills!

  • Jackson

    on Feb 25

    Yay for the Doraemon support! If you start to get into Doreamon, you can also watch it every Friday at 7 on TV, and watching it with subtitles on (it's built in with every channel) really helps you improve your listening and reading speed too.


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