This website promises to teach you Japanese through manga, but it's no Japanese the Manga Way. The English translations and grammar explanations don't always feel like they were written by a native speaker, but hopefully that will improve with time. Instead of using the typical textbook format, Mangadou aims to teach you Japanese by "putting [you] in the environment and learning through the things that you really enjoy." In this case, manga made by artists and creators for the purpose of teaching Japanese.

    All the content seems to be made in-house and the art itself is good quality. At the time of writing this, there are currently five manga series on the site, three of which can be partially viewed without signing up or subscribing.

    manga panel used for learning japanese

    Each page is set up like a single page from a manga, but you can click on any of the text to get a popup containing an English definition, furigana, and sometimes a grammar explanation and example sentence. Speech bubbles can be clicked on to get a translation of all the sentences within. All sound effects are clickable too! Because of all this, the original content on the site was honestly much nicer than I was expecting.

    There are three subscription tiers: 1. $6/month – Regular 2. $11/month – Premium 3. $150/once – One Time Plan

    All three give you access to their manga library, but the premium plan allows you to order up to ten "homeworks." Basically you can order homework made just for you. You can also ask them questions for an extra fee (to be discussed with Mangadou staff personally). If you have a particular manga, song, or anything else you'd like to use to study, you can send them the files and they will make special study pages private to your account. They can also make homework based on your personal materials.

    The site is still in its infancy so there isn't much to see yet, but there's no telling the improvements that will come with time. We're unsure if they'll be able to scale with this model of making custom homework for each user, but the idea is super interesting and could be a huge help to people who have trouble with typical textbook content. We're hoping good things come from Mangadou.