10 Best FREE Manga Websites & Apps (Including Manhwa & Manhua)

by Literature & Comics3 comments

If you’re into Japanese popular culture like I do, manga (Japanese comic books and novels) are one of the top things that you love! After all, this form of entertainment is common not only amongst otaku (people who are obsessed with anime [Japanese animations] and manga) but also among people who just simply love this kind of art and/or storytelling in Japan. (Best Free Manga Websites)

What to do when you’re in Japan though…?

Come and check out this list of the top things to do in Japan which features the best activities and tours to do in places like Tokyo, Kyoto, and more!

When you visit Japan, a lot of stores like konbini (convenience stores) sell printed manga books; whereas a lot of online websites sell them in print and in eBook form (both locally in Japan and overseas) — but the problem with most of these options is that they’re mostly not translated into English.

Fret not though because there are a lot of FREE manga websites as well as apps wherein you can enjoy reading manga at your own leisure!

DID YOU KNOW? It is said that a majority of the Japanese locals read manga more as a hobby instead of watching anime. In fact, anime is said to be more popular in the west due to the fact that it’s more accessible.

For the best FREE manga websites that I’ll be listing below, it helps to note that they offer copies of manhwa and manhua too. Their differences are explained as follows:

  • Manga: Japanese comics or graphic novels that are usually in black and white. They are also often multi-paneled and are traditionally read from right to left. Unlike what most people think, anime (Japanese animations) are not always based on manga as they can also be based on light novels or video games.
  • Manhwa: Korean comics and cartoons that are mostly from South Korea. They are usually colored with a vertical layout given that they are often disseminated as webcomics.
  • Manhua: Chinese comics with full-colored panels. They’re not as popular as manga and manhwa but you’ll find some hidden gems to read.

For purpose of uniformity, I will just refer to these websites that hold all 3 kinds of foreign comics as ‘manga websites‘.

Now, without further ado, here are the top 10 best FREE manga websites! I will indicate as well if they happen to have an app or not.

Top photo by: Shutterstock

Best FREE Manga Websites

Best FREE Manga Websites: Mangakakalot

Manga Kakalot

» LINK: [click]
★ This is, by far, one of the best FREE manga websites — and my personal favorite! Especially since they have an iOS app that helps me keep track of all the comics that I read.

Comics: Manga, Manhwa, Manhua | App: iOS
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1stKissManga

1st Kiss Manga

» LINK: [click]
★ At times, you will find unique comics here that are not found elsewhere — if not newer updates so it’s worth checking it out too! You can create your own account here to stay on top of your reads.

Comics: Manga, Manhwa, Manhua | App: None
.

Best FREE Manga Websites: Bato.to

BATO.to

» LINK: [click]
★ A similar website to 1st Kiss Manga in which you can set up your own account to keep track of your favorites, but with arguably more comic options as well as other language options. Most of the content here is contributed by users.

Comics: Manga, Manhwa, Manhua | App: None
.

Best FREE Manga Websites: MangaFox

Manga Fox

» LINK: [click]
This was one of the best free manga websites back when I was in university — and it still remains to be one up to this day. You’ll find a range of content here too so it’s good to consider it for your reads.

Comics: Manga, Manhwa, Manhua | App: Android
.

MangaPark

Manga Park

» LINK: [click]
All of the comics are curated by the staff and one of the greatest perks of this website is its offline viewing option — perfect for those who are on the go!

Comics: Manga, Manhwa, Manhua | App: None
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MangaDex

Manga Dex

» LINK: [click]
The website is still in beta mode after some recent updates to its platform, but prior to this, it used to be one of the best free manga websites. As such, it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on this still!

Comics: Manga, Manhwa, Manhua | App: None
.

Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll

» LINK: [click]
It’s not as comprehensive as the rest of this list but it’s still an option especially if you want to read manga in a timely manner (meaning, at the same time as it is released in Japan). You can also sign up for their premium plans to access all of their available manga.

Comics: Manga | App: iOS / Android
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Best Free Manhwa Websites: Webtoons

Webtoons

» LINK: [click]
It holds top manhwas such as Itaewon Class and many others (that actually became K-dramas). All comics are free but they recently implemented their coin system in which you can only read a chapter a day on some manhwas (otherwise, you can pay to get more coins to binge read it all).

Comics: Manhwa | App: iOS / Android
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Tapas Manhwa

Tapas

» LINK: [click]
Owned by Kakao Entertainment company, this is less popular than Webtoon but it still holds a lot of great manhwa plots. If you want premium titles, you can read the 1st few chapters for free; but after that, you’ll have to pay for or earn ‘ink’ to read the rest.

Comics: Manhwa | App: iOS / Android
.

Tappytoon

Tappytoon

» LINK: [click]
Another alternative to Tapas and Webtoon, Tappytoon also offers a few sample chapters before you need tokens to access the rest.

Comics: Manhwa | App: iOS / Android
.

• • •

F.A.Q.

Are manga, manhwa, and manhua all the same?

They are all the same in the sense that they are all comics or cartoons — however, manga is from Japan, manhwa is from South Korea, and manhua is from China.

Is reading manga online illegal?

As long as the website doesn’t have the license to distribute such creative works, then yes, it is illegal. That being said, most of the websites that are free to use are often illegally distributing these works.

Where can I read manga legally?

For starters, you can check out Shonen Jump or Crunchyroll (which I’ve already listed above). For manhwa, websites like those that I’ve listed above such as Webtoons, Tapas, and Tappytoon are legal.

• • •

Overall, I hope this list helps you narrow down the websites that you’ll have to bookmark OR the apps that you need to download on your phone in order to continue following your favorite Asian comics — enjoy!

• • •

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3 Comments

  1. Jeff

    These are awesome! I found the best free manga websites now thanks to your article.

    Reply
    • Aileen Adalid

      I’m glad to hear this! Enjoy :D

      Reply
  2. Jeemjam

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post thanks for sharing a valuable information

    Reply

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