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I Found You Some Free Japanese Manga

**UPDATE 6/27/2017** It would appear that this manga is no longer available in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Not sure when it will be back up, if it will be at all 🙁

So I was searching the internet today for royalty free manga when I can across a very interesting article about the manga artist Shuho Sato. Sato-san said that he feels royalty and licensing laws are outdated and holding back creativity for manga artists. He said that he wants to try something new: giving away his manga royalty free.

  • Anyone can use it.
  • Change it.
  • Sell it.
  • Whatever you want.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, this man is giving the world free Japanese manga to do with as they please. To be specific, it is only his series Give My Regards to Black Jack (also known as “Say Hello to Black Jack“). You can download all the Japanese volumes from Amazon for free by clicking on the picture above ^^^^^^^^^^

(Sorry, not sure what the deal is. Can’t get it anymore there)

The Story


I just started reading the first volume myself. So far it’s pretty good (granted it’s about a doctor, so it gets kind of graphic at times). The story is of an intern who struggles between wanting to help people since he is a doctor, and dealing with the realities of medicine as a business. For example, certain hospitals only helping a specific group of people because they get the most money from them.

It’s a refreshing  take for a manga since this is something that I imagine happens in real life. It kind of expands your mind a bit by giving you thoughts about a subject that you probably don’t have.

Reading Japanese


Of course this is great practice for reading Japanese! Try reading this one:

 

2時間しか寝てない!

にじかんしかねてない!

ni jikan shika netenai!

I only got two hours of sleep!


In this panel he’s bragging that he “wins” because he only got two hours of sleep, while his  college got three.

I’ve actually heard of this happening before. Where a doctor, or more specifically a surgeon parties until the wee hours of the morning and then goes to work on barely any sleep at all and operates on patients.

Wheew! Scary.

And like I said, the things that this manga explore, I can actually see happening in real life. Both in Japan and in America.

Final Thoughts


So remember to pick up at least the first volume here for free and check it out. I went ahead and got the first 13 volumes.

And as a final bit of information, I thought I would explain the particle しか (shika) or, “only” in English as it is a bit weird for native English speakers.

You see, if you only translated the above picture word for word it would come out as: twohoursonlydo not sleep.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense… This is one of those situations where you have to know how しか (shika) works to make sense of the whole sentence.

Basically, しか (shika) carries the connotation of “nothing else, except for this one thing.” Kind of a round about way to say “only”, but it makes more sense from the Japanese language view point.

8 Comments

    • Nick Hoyt

      Hey it’s my pleasure! I’ve only ever been able to find a few free manga on Amazon.com, but I thought they were pretty good so I wanted to share them with others while they were still free.

  • Arief Wibowo

    Hi Nick,

    I think I might take some japanese lessons. Japan is always a country that I wish I can visit. I have some friends there that I like to visit.
    It will blow their mind if I can converse with them in Japanese.

    Surely, manga will be the easiest way to learn a new language. Nice tips on Shika.

    • Nick

      That’s awesome! Talking to someone in their own language when you’re not a native will definitely impress them. And it’s a huge compliment to them too!

  • George

    My son is a fanatic of Japanese culture and he does research on it daily. Japanese an chines cultures is always intriguing and enlightening. If I could I would reserve some time to learn the Japanese language and culture. Eastern cultures have that mysteriousness about them that makes one immerse oneself in it and get lost in its mystic allure.

    • Nick

      Yeah that’s so true. I’ve also felt that they have a cool, mysterious culture. I’ve always liked the ancient China or feudal Japan type movies and books. Plus I just love the way a katana looks!

  • Fairweather Green

    Nice freebies here, especially helpful for those learning how to read Japanese.

    I live in Thailand and learnt to speak Mandarin but could never get used to the writing style. It is so different from what we Westerners are used to.

    Japanese looks like it is more difficult to read than Mandarin. Do you know if people find one harder than the other?

    • Nick

      That’s a really good question. I actually have a brother in-law (an American) who is fluent in Mandarin and at the conversational level for Japanese. I’ll ask him and find out what his thoughts are on which is more difficult.

      I’ve never tried Mandarin myself, so I’m not sure which would be harder. I would imagine that they are both pretty hard from a westerner’s point of view. The things I had the hardest time with were the reverse word order and no spaces between words.

      But it reminds me of that saying, “everything is hard before it is easy.”

      Go for it! – Ganbatte!

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