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Digital Manga Buyer's Guide ​

This guide is intended to help you decide where to purchase your digital manga depending on your needs.

Things to consider when buying ​

  • Image quality varies by publisher and by platform
  • Convenience of platform apps varies, consider testing them if you plan to read without removing DRM.
  • If you're not able to back up your purchases locally you could lose them entirely if a platform closes.
  • DRM-free does not always mean "free from identifiable info".

To simplify the guide, here "resolution" essentially means "quality". Although some publishers (e.g. Yen Press) offer low resolution images with minimal JPEG compression as "high quality", we will still consider this as low quality since most readers would see it that way.

General Platform ​

StoreResolutionDRM RemovalSFWRecommended
Amazon (Kindle HD)Highest1Mediumβœ…YES
Amazon (Comixology)2DeadHardβœ…NO
Apple BooksStandardMediumβœ…NO
BookWalker GlobalStandardHardβœ…NO3
Google Play BooksStandardVery Easyβœ…YES
Humble BundleHighestDRM-Freeβœ…YES
KoboStandardEasyβœ…YES

Notes

  1. Blurry downscales for anything that would be above that on other platforms. As of December 5th 2023, Kindle now offers HD on their mobile app (at or above 320dpi and some resolution threshold). Web is likely limited to x1920 (unconfirmed as of December 7th 2023).
  2. Dead as of December 4th 2023, leaving only Kindle.
  3. Unless they have exclusives or discounts, as other platforms are easier

Publishers ​

StoreResolutionDRM-FreeSFWHighest Quality
Azukix48001βœ…βœ…Own Store
Dark Horsex3000+2βŒβœ…Kindle HD
DENPA3VariesβŒβœ…Own Store
FAKKU!x3200βœ…βŒOwn Store
Glacier Bay BooksVariesβŒβœ…Own Store
Irodori Comicsx3200βœ…βŒOwn Store / Fakku
J-Novel Clubx3840βœ…βœ…Own Store
Kaiten Books~x2400βœ…βœ…Own Store
Kodansha USA~x30004βŒβœ…Humble Bundle / Kindle HD
Seven Seas Entertainmentx30005βŒβœ…Kindle HD
Square Enix Manga & Books~x2230βŒβœ…Same Everywhere
Star Fruit BooksVariesβœ…βœ…Own Store
TOKYOPOP~x23006βŒβœ…Same Everywhere
VAST Visual~x22507βŒβœ…Apple Books
VIZx2100-x2475βŒβœ…Kobo
Yen Pressx1291-x1350βŒβœ…Same Everywhere

Notes

  1. Standard resolution outside of their own storefront is x2400, chapters are also x2400 now x3000 - these figures are only validated for their own licenses.
  2. Standard non-CMX/Amazon HD resolution is x2048 everywhere, including their own store they have silently upgraded their own storefront to 1800x (~x25xx).
  3. Their store has a broken download issue with no ETA for a fix. It's recommended to use Kobo to get any of their books for now. Their own store is DRM-free.
  4. Humble Bundle PDF export resolution ranges from x4500 - x4913. CMX resolution varies, older volumes were mostly between x3056 and x3684, and post-CMX Amazon HD volumes are ~x2700. Standard non-CMX/Amazon HD resolution ranges between x227x - x2400 (except for their own storefront which should be avoided, as it offers the worst quality and resolution combination at x2160 q40). K Manga simulpub chapters are x1378, CMX simulpub chapters were generally x3056.
  5. Ranges between x3206 - x3713 for Comixology volumes. Post-CMX Amazon HD volume res has been downgraded to x2565 - ~x272x. Standard non-CMX/Amazon HD resolution is x2000 everywhere (except for Bookwalker Web where it is x1500).
  6. ~x2300 for newer (~post mid-2021) releases, but ~x1600 for older releases. Same quality no matter where you buy.
  7. Older titles are low quality, recent titles are decent quality. Apple Books has the highest quality.