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.
|Amazon (Kindle)||Low (x1920)¹||Easy||✅||NO|
|Google Play Books||Standard||Very Easy||✅||YES|
- Blurry downscales for anything that would be above that on other platforms
- Dead as of 2023, leaving only Kindle.
- Unless they have exclusives or discounts, as other platforms are easier
|Glacier Bay Books||Varies||❌||✅||Own Store|
|Irodori Comics||x3200||✅||❌||Own Store / Fakku|
|J-Novel Club||x3840||✅||✅||Own Store|
|Kaiten Books||~x2400||✅||✅||Own Store|
|Kodansha USA||~x30004||❌||✅||Humble Bundle / Comixology|
|Seven Seas Entertainment||x30005||❌||✅||Comixology|
|Square Enix Manga & Books||~x2230||❌||✅||Same Everywhere|
|Star Fruit Books||Varies||✅||✅||Own Store|
|VAST Visual||~x22507||❌||✅||Apple Books|
|Yen Press||x1291-x1350||❌||✅||Same Everywhere|
- Standard resolution outside of their own storefront is x2400, chapters are also x2400 - these figures are only validated for their own licenses.
- Standard non-CMX/Amazon HD resolution is x2048 everywhere, including their own store.
- 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
- 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.
- Ranges between x3206 - x3713 for Comixology volumes. Post-CMX Amazon HD volume res has been downgraded to x2565 - ~x2722 (with outlier x3072 volumes). Standard non-CMX/Amazon HD resolution is x2000 everywhere except for Bookwalker where it is x1500.
- ~x2300 for newer (~post mid-2021) releases, but ~x1600 for older releases. Same quality no matter where you buy (except for Kindle).
- Older titles are low quality, recent titles are decent quality. Apple Books has the highest quality.