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MangaDex and Tachiyomi - Where should I read manga?

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Since a lot of people read manga online, I thought that I should let more people aware of the options available right now.

No, this is not paid advertisement. These services are simply too good and I wanna spread them so more people know.


If you are wondering where can you read manga for free (of course, this means they're illegal. But this is a pirating VN site anyway...), there are currently two places that are superb at what they do:


1. MangaDex

Launched just last year after Batoto died, MD is a god-tier site to read manga on. No ads, no annoying pop-ups, no shitty interface. The site is also optimized for your phone's browser. If you are reading on KissManga, or MangaHere, etc. (basically aggregator sites), then you are reading indirectly from MD since those sites steal from MD most of the time. The site has your typical features - forums, profile, blocked genres you don't want to see, scanlators' detail page (big exposure for the people who brings fan-translated manga to you), top chapters in the past 6hr/24hr/7days, and some more incoming as they are still developing the site constantly.


They even made their own manga version of the tutorial to their site.


Such a perfect site sounds too good doesn't it? That's correct, because there is one big downfall to using MD: They don't have some manga on their site. Before you are disappointed, no, I can safely say the amount of manga on this site is still HUGE. But, as they want to avoid DMCA rules, they do not allow users to upload the ripped scans of licensed manga. If the fans want to translate the manga themselves and upload, good, it will be allowed. But they simply can't reupload the pages from an official translation. Another thing is fallouts with some scanlator groups that resulted in them leaving the site, thus pulling the manga with them.

What this means in the long run: MD will lack some manga. However, the benefits and usability of the site is simply too good of an offer for me that it outweighs the drawback.



But if you choose not to read on MD, that doesn't mean you are out of luck and have to read on those malware, ad-filled sites/apps. That's where #2 comes in:



2. Tachiyomi

An open-sourced GitHub app, this is the best manga app right now in my opinion. Sharing the same characteristics as MD (no ads, and good interface), the app pulled from many sources such as MD, Mangakalot, MangaNelo, MangaHere, among with even hentai sources like E-hentai, Nhentai, etc. Naturally, that means you can search for any manga you like, especially the ones not on MD. Like many other manga apps, Tachi of course also has a chapter update notification, auto-save where you last read, backup setting, and some more interface/reading control settings.


A good feature I found useful is transferring a manga between sources by the click of a button. If you read on any manga app, you would know how painful it is to see your manga with broken pages, then having to search it up in another source and favorite it, then deleting the old one. Tachi does this seamlessly just by some check-boxes.


Of course, something sounding this perfect would not be without negatives. Like MD, Tachi also have some major drawbacks: 1) Being on Android only and 2) Not being on the Google Play Store. 1 is self-explanatory, but for 2 that means you have to tweak some settings on your Android device to install apps outside of the Play Store. The app is safe, and many people use it, so don't worry about it being a malware. But if you like, feel free to look around and see it yourself if you should trust the app or not.


EDIT 8/15/20: As of my latest post, there is an iOS manga app that is totally ad-less called Paperback. Read the post down below for more info.



Why should I consider reading/migrating here? What do they do better that other places don't?

Aside from those above features (the biggest being ad-less and interface), MD is very supportive of scanlators. If you did not know, every manga that were fan-translated came from one scanlator or a group of them. It is not MangaRock or KissManga who translates, edits, and releases the chapters, so it's pointless asking them (I see a lot of people begging them to release more on those sites). Everyone is a thief here, reading and scanlating manga illegally, but these aggregator sites and services want your money even if they steal as well. Lots of scams and misleading information (which KissManga is known to be doing the most). Benefiting from piracy is a practice I personally frown upon. Paying the pro version of that one manga app or donating to an aggregator site DOES NOT make the chapters come out faster or nicer. You are just supporting their business that operates on stealing fan-translated works. Plus, why have Adblock and read on a badly-looking app/site while you can read on a place without ads and with a nice interface? As for Tachi, being with no ads means you can get all kinds of manga you read on those aggregator sites without supporting them at all.


Why are MD and Tachi ad-less? MD runs off of donations to their site which is why they don't have to rely on ads (yes, you heard that right. Ads can be turn off if those other sites choose to). As for Tachi, I am not sure as there are no official statement. But I assume that probably because it is a hobby, open-source project, or because it is still in constant development. If anyone has a source for Tachi, let me know.


Of course, that is one of the main reasons I use these two services; I don't want to support those other shady scams. But if this and the benefits of these places are not appealing to you, or if you have such a MASSIVE amount of bookmarks, feel free to look elsewhere or keep using what you are using (I migrated to MD and Tachi roughly 800 bookmarks, manually). I am simply showing how awesome they are and that everyone should give them a try. Honestly peaked quality services right here.


Thanks for checking them, and feel free to leave questions.

Edited by kn1000a
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The MangaDex staff just did an AMA on Reddit today. Check it out to see common questions and insight to how they operate the site~


This is also the description they used in the AMA for the site's features, in case my description above is lacking:


For the unfamiliar, MangaDex differs from other aggregators because the site is ad-free (supported entirely by user donations), active scanlation groups get full control of their uploads, we don't compress uploads, we disallow uploading official rips of manga, all uploads to the site are done by users instead of bots, multiple groups can work on one series, and we support scanlation in all languages (not just English).
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  • 6 months later...

Gonna add some official options too for people who wanna read manga online for free. Yes, official and free is a thing now.



3. MangaPlus by Shueisha

Basically Manga Jump but digitized and free, with titles such as Demon Slayer, My Hero Academia, Promised Neverland, Spy X Family, along with some classics like Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, etc. The web version work with both phone and PC browsers, and they even have an Android/Apple app. Do take note that not everything is free; most manga are usually free the first 3 chapters and the latest 3 chapters. The missing in-between will requires a subscription of a few dollars. Though also remember this doesn't happen to all manga; some are free from chapter 1 to the latest.


But other than that, it is a pretty neat concept and a big step in free, legal manga services. The latest chapters on MangaPlus are released simultaneously as the Japanese version, so you can read it as soon as Japanese readers get their hand on the chapter, for free.




This is more for the manwha (Korean manga) and fan-created webcomics. Don't be mistaken, some of these fan-created comics are super good so it's not just another site spammed with 12-years old fanfiction-to-comic works. The diverse content on this site, from genres to country of origin, is a pretty sight to behold. The site houses some really nice manhwa/webcomics such as the recently popular Random Chatting (hailed as the Korean OreGairu), True Beauty, Tower of God, Mage & Demon Queen, The Gamer, etc. Chapters usually come around weekly, and they will let you know when certain chapters or sequels came out. Unlike MangaPlus, all chapters and manga are free, so read to your heart content.


It's definitely not a service that was paid-now-free like MangaPlus, but it is regardless an official outlet for fans to read their manhwa and webcomics. People do read these series on other aggregator sites anyway, even if these are free for life on here.



I just want to shed light onto these services as I'm sure they're unpopular but don't deserve to be. Hopefully the manga industry will be able to resolve its difference with free services like this, and I'll add more to this list when there are more popping up~

Edited by kn1000a
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  • 10 months later...

KissAnime and KissManga officially went down shortly before I wrote this post. For those who want to check out MangaDex, read their migration post here.

Since there will be a lot of migration from such a massive service, I went and checked if there has been any new source/app to read manga. Luckily, seems like an iOS manga app is available!


5. Paperback

An ad-less (!) iOS app that mainly support MangaDex among with some other sources (I saw Manganelo as well). You cam download and read more of their documentation here.


Since this app is pretty new, there will be a lot of features missing at this point. I do not yet see a feature on notification for example, which is on my top tier list for a manga app's features. But so far, ad-less is one of their selling point and I'm glad this is a thing.

Edited by kn1000a
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  • 1 year later...

After many changes since I last posted here (MangaDex was even took down offline for months), I'm here to post about a new proxy platform that emerges due to MangaDex redesign:


6. proxy.cubari.moe

Another ad-less manga platform that serves as a proxy-image aggregator. It pulls pages and links from a few manga sources (MangaDex, MangaKatana, MangaSee/MangaLife, guya.moe, and even Nhentai if you enable the Hentai Mode in setting). Think of it like Tachiyomi but for reading on PC/web browsers; a site that returns manga you can read in a very optimizable and nice reader. I will let this Reddit thread continues the explaining since they did a good job already.


The downsides is that it does not let you pick and choose which versions of a chapter you want to read (since there are multiple scanlation groups that could be working on a manga, some shittier than others). Lack some other features too such as rating a manga and posting comments. It has a basic History and Favorite list but not as deep of a feature as MAL or MangaDex has (so no marking stuff completed or ongoing). It does gray each chapter that you've read though, and following the Reddit guide above you can use an external Chrome extension to sync your reading history on this site to MyAnimeList!


Bottomline, it is a good starter pack if all you care about is the smooth reading experience (no ads, nice UI) and a good selection of manga (aggregator from a few popular sources). The creators said this project is independent from their other projects, but I would claim they're related/forked (https://cubari.moe/ and https://guya.moe/ are similar in reader UI and development).

Edited by kn1000a
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