Comics/Graphic Novels

A Closer Look at Kindle Unlimited Manga

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Are you familiar with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service? For those who aren’t, it’s a subscription that lets you borrow books, audiobooks, and magazines. Think old school Netflix but for literary materials. If you’re an avid reader who spends a lot of money on ebooks every year, Kindle Unlimited can save your wallet. Trust me, I know from personal experience. If you’d like to see exactly how Kindle Unlimited works, Patricia wrote a handy guide that walks you through the service. But while most people focus on the books available through your subscription, you can borrow something else on Kindle Unlimited: manga.

That’s right. You can borrow manga on Kindle Unlimited! I have a few caveats, however. Availability varies. Some series are available in their entirety while some only offer the first few volumes. The latter option isn’t as great as being able to marathon an entire series, but it’s a good way to sample a title and decide whether you want to buy the rest.

It can be a little tricky to navigate the world of Kindle Unlimited manga, though, so here some recommendations to get you started.

Completed Kindle Unlimited Manga

Mars 1 cover - Fuyumi Soryo

Mars by Fuyumi Soryo

A romance classic from the North American manga boom of the early 2000s, Mars follows the relationship between shy artist Kira and motorcycle-riding bad boy Rei. Don’t let the familiar relationship dynamic fool you, though. Intense and dark, the manga delves into their respective pasts and explores how their past traumas impact their present.

The Walls Between Us 1 cover - Haru Tsukishima

The Walls Between Us by Haru Tsukishima

Love romance but in the mood for something less intense? Then Tsukishima’s story of childhood friends turned lovers might be more your speed. Next-door neighbors Reita and Makoto have known each other since they were kids. Reita grew up to be a playboy while Makoto doesn’t believe in relationships and is fine with them staying friends forever. So imagine her surprise when Reita says he’ll become her boyfriend. Despite the simple premise, there’s more going on here than meets the eye.

You're My Pet 1 cover - Yayoi Ogawa

You’re My Pet by Yayoi Ogawa

Tired of all the teens in manga? I got you. Sumire is a driven career woman, but her life goes off the rails when her fiancé dumps her and she suffers a setback at work. But does she spiral and embark on a self-destructive journey? No. She stumbles across a young man experiencing houselessness and takes him in. She only has one condition: he becomes her pet. In other words, he gives her unconditional love and loyalty. Despite the dynamic, she insists on their relationship remaining chaste because she likes her men richer than her, more educated than her, and taller than her. Momo, her new “pet,” is none of those things. The irony here is that Sumire is a stellar woman in a society that doesn’t value stellar women, so perhaps what she truly needs is a partner of a different type entirely.

Beck 1 cover - Harold Sakuishi

Beck by Harold Sakuishi

Before you think that romance titles are the only type of Kindle Unlimited manga available, let me disabuse you of that notion. Beck is an amazing series about two teens — unassuming, nondescript Yukio and aspiring rock guitarist Ryusuke — who embark on a musical journey of greatness. Full of musical references and cameos, this manga is one of the best manga on Kindle Unlimited.

Inuyashiki cover by Hiroya Oku

Inuyashiki by Hiroya Oku

Sci-fi fans, where you at? Ichiro Inuyashiki is a solitary man who’s prematurely aged. After being struck by a mysterious alien light, he gains new abilities. You could say they’re super abilities. Now, some people would go wild when they gain superpowers. Not so Inuyashiki. He uses his new powers to help people and fight crime. Alas, not all people are like good-hearted Inuyashiki. Another person was present when that mysterious light struck the ground. That teenager, unfortunately, decides to use his newfound abilities to kill people. You could call him a supervillain. So when you have one man who uses his powers for good and another who uses his abilities for evil, the story can only go one way.

Initial D 1 cover - Shuichi Shigeno

Initial D by Shuichi Shigeno

The biggest advantage of Kindle Unlimited is that you can marathon long manga series included its subscription. Initial D is one such example. The manga clocks in at 48 volumes. The price of each manga volume adds up if you buy the entire series. As for what Initial D is about? Street racing. If you loved the early Fast and Furious movies, you should check this one out.

Shaman King 1 cover - Hiroyuki Takei cover

Shaman King by Hiroyuki Takei

One of the modern classics of shonen manga, Shaman King opens with a regular student named Manta discovering that the new transfer student, Yoh, is a shaman. And shaman is used in exactly the way you’d expect: Yoh has the ability to communicate with spirits and the dead. If you missed this shonen title the first time around, now’s your chance to pick it up.

Kindle Unlimited Manga Samples

As previously mentioned, some manga series aren’t available in their entirety on Kindle Unlimited. But by trying out the first few volumes that are included, you can determine whether a series deserves your hard-earned money.

Cells at Work 1 cover - Akane Shimizu

Cells at Work by Akane Shimizu

Yes, it’s a manga about anthropomorphic cells. As in the cells of the human body’s immune system. Despite the off-beat concept, this manga is one of the best ways to learn about the human immune system in an approachable way. That said, if you have a science background and a basic grasp of immunology, you will find this manga hilarious. I promise you.

Blame volume 1 cover by Tsutomu Nihei

Blame by Tsutomu Nihei

For the hard sci-fi fans out there, Blame takes place in the distant future where people have forgotten what land even is and live in a structure known as the City. Inside this city, Kyrii searches for something called the Net Terminal Gene, a genetic mutation that allows humans to access the system that controls the city. But, of course, accomplishing his mission will not be so easy.

Serialized Manga Available on Kindle Unlimited

A Sign of Affection by suu Morishita

We focus a lot on collected volumes here on Book Riot, but we should always remember that manga starts out serialized. There are many services that allow you to read manga on an installment basis, but you can find serializations for some of your favorite manga on Kindle Unlimited, too. You can identify them by clicking on a mangaka’s author page and scanning their publications. If you see a cover that has “Chapter [x]” in the corner, that’s a serialized installment. A Sign of Affection follows the relationship between Yuki, who’s deaf, and Itsuomi, who loves to travel and can speak multiple languages — except for sign language.

Hopefully, that’s enough to get you started on the many Kindle Unlimited manga series available. If you’d like to explore more manga series, Kindle Unlimited or not, here’s a big list of recommendations.