Thursday, December 16, 2010

Using an Amazon Kindle 3/4 Part 2: Reading Manga

Check the end of this blog for some troubleshooting tips.

The Kindle is fantastic for studying Japanese, as well as reading books. I think it's great, and take it with me everywhere. And get ready to be blown away - you can read manga on it. Yes indeed.

This will revolutionise the way you read manga. No more ripped plastic bag full of smelly tankoban on the subway for you! No more long flights watching Nicolas Cage "act".

I found a lot of barely legible/outdated guides to converting manga for your Kindle, so to go with my upcoming "Using a Kindle for reading Japanese books and manga" blog, here's the best guide currently available for converting and adding that manga to your Kindle:
  1. Download and unzip the Mangle software to your computer (choose the windows executable version). NB: The Mangle website also has Linux and Mac versions,
  2. Create a new folder on your desktop and put your downloaded/scanned manga in it. One folder per manga.
    Alternatively just leave your manga in the folder it's in and make a note of where it is,
  3. Open Mangle and select Book > Add > Directory,
  4. Find your manga folder on the desktop and select it (one folder at a time),
  5. Check all the files are in the correct order in the Mangle window,
  6. Go to Book > Options and give your manga the title with which you want it to appear on your Kindle,
  7. Go to Book > Export and find the documents folder you created on your Kindle. Select that and export,
  8. When Mangle is done exporting, eject your Kindle.

Job done. It'll show up in your book list just like anything else.

There are some cases where you don't need to use Mangle to convert your manga at all. Some image formats just work, and you can drag your manga folder into the new "pictures" folder on your Kindle.

However, for guaranteed uniform results I always stick with Mangle. Additionally, Mangle resizes the images to save disk space. This is a very good idea for page loading times, and especially when the Kindle is still at only 4GB capacity.


  • "It's just that little bit too small!"

I hear you. If you haven't already done so, go to full screen mode. Pressing the "Menu" key will, not surprisingly, bring up the menu. Navigate to "Enable Full Screen Mode".

This will get rid of that useless bar at the top.

This may not be enough for something with extensive footnotes, like Ghost in the Shell. If you find that you do need to zoom in more on your manga, here are the hotkeys:
    • First, press the "Aa" key and make sure it's set to "Actual size=No"
      • Zoom: Q key
      • Zoom out: W
      • Actual size: C
      • Full screen: F
      • Pan: directions
      • Rotate: R
      • Reset zoom: E

  • "The image gets all messed up when I restart."
This seems to happen to me pretty much every time - a section to the right of the page sticks on the page before, obscuring part of the current one. I can only assume this is a Kindle bug, which may be fixed with a firmware upgrade in the future.

Fix this by pressing the "Menu" button and selecting either "Use Partial Refresh" or "Use Full Refresh" (whichever is displayed).
Another programme which can do this is the versitile Calibre application.

If you've come across any other problems, let me know in the comments.

So, that's the power of the Kindle! You should definitely buy one (UK link)!

__________________________________________________'s 3-part Kindle guide series
  1. Using a Kindle to Study Japanese
  2. Converting and Adding Manga to a Kindle
  3. Reading Japanese Books and Manga on a Kindle

Next week we'll look at the Kindle for reading Japanese ebooks and newspapers.


  1. What are you reading? Is that Eden by Hiroki Endo?

  2. Yes it is. One of my all time manga favourites.

  3. You can also refresh a page after the glitch by pressing that blank line.

  4. These graphics were amazing. Talk about hours of fun reading manga.

  5. I just got my Kindle but I didn't expect this kind of quality! Now I know what to read today ;)


  6. Even easier and probably better for the flash memory anyway, since only a few files are written down at once instead of a couple of hundred or thousand:

    Just zip the manga-content and copy the *.zip file into the pictures-folder. Kindle shows it like the unzipped version - it works perfectly :-)
    This way you also can zip the Manga by volume or whatever is suitable.

    Thanks for the hotkeys - they also work perfectly using the zipped files I just found out.
    Some other Hotkeys for Kindle 3

    Unfortunately, regular mangled Manga has a too small text size for my eyes.
    The Mangled tutorial can found below, there I was reading about copying zipped files:

  7. When you have a problem with the image I found that pressing one of the arrow keys solves everything.

  8. Hi, I tried the instructions above but get an error "Archive does not contain any picture!" when I tried to access the file. Please help. I'm using this on the new Kindle 4.

    Thank you

  9. Finally got it to work. :) I realized Mangle converts all pictures to png file and this is what I did to make it work on the Kindle - $79.

    Follow the same exact steps as mentioned above in the forum and add the following two steps.

    1. Open the subfolder, inside the Kindle picture folder, where you save / named the manga file and open it and look for a file named "manganame"manga_save, cut and paste that to the main picture folder.

    2. Zip the manga file and delete the unzip file.

    I did this for every single book and all the them display just fine. :)

    I hope this is clear.

  10. Thanks for the comment. I think you had trouble because there was a new version of Mangle released last month. I'll update this tutorial as soon as possible. Cheers!

  11. I have a question -- is there a legal source to buy Kindle manga in Japanese?

  12. Specifically designed for the Kindle? No, I haven't seen that. Designed for other eReaders? Yes - and you can convert those files to work on your Kindle with our guide. Also, many, if not most, online bookstores sell manga in digital form. You can convert those, too. Try this site, for starters:

  13. So, I thought about buying a Kindle for reading mangas but there is one thing I've been wondering about for some time now:
    How are double-pages displayed on kindle?

  14. Sometimes portrait, often landscape. Usually okay, and zooming is very easy.

  15. Where can I get downloaded Manga? I understand your instruction but I don't know where I can get the Manga... Please help!