Can recommend Crystal Hunter manga for absolute absolute beginners

Any beginners out there looking to get into reading, especially manga, I just finished crystal hunters volume 1.

It’s pitched really well for N5 learners. I did the Japanese volume and then the natural Japanese. Picked up quite a bit of vocab and some interesting grammar not covered so far for me.

anyway, I found it difficult to know where to get started with reading, so hope this helps someone get going also.



oh yeah, link would help ! crystalhuntersmanga

1 Like

Has the natural japanese version always been a thing? I remember way back when looking at the first volume but it felt so unnatural I didn’t really give it much thought. But yeah, it’s a really solid entryway from what I remember and they do a pretty darn good job at explaining a lot of the fundamentals. Gonna give the natural a crack tonight to see how it is!

Oh that’s a good beginner book. I’m not into anime and I’m not advanced in Japanese but I could figure out almost every sentence. Very good recommendation.

The following website is one I got from WaniKani forums and it has very many books that are good for beginners and a lot of them are free to read


IIRC, they added in the natural language version after the fact.

I didn’t know about it and got the scuffed version for volume 1 which was… honestly, worth it for the whopping $3 asking price. I was trying to find stuff at that level and their book was the only one that tried to tell an actual story compared to similarly leveled graded readers (I was going by learnnatively as well). I was kind of disappointed with it at first, but getting a decent length comic and a more fun Japanese study break at that price point was a bit of a steal.

For anyone that’s curious they posted the volume 1 natural version on pixiv for free

1 Like

Yeah I skimmed over the first volume in simple japanese and it’s still a really good resource, albeit slightly wonky and unnatural but that’s to be expected. I never did check out volume 2, i’ll have to take a crack at the simple version later.

The natural one threw me off a bit from time to time, although I only read about ~20 pages. Certainly a lot more difficult! Funny how the sentences essentially say the same thing but they are night and day. There are some things that got me confused, I’d recommend Capture2Text program so you can quickly isolate the troubled words and put it into jisho/ It’s really useful in manga as there’s so much slang, etc. Also a BEYOND useful program to have for japanese text everywhere else!

1 Like

capture2Text is ?

1 Like

that’s a great shout! thanks for the link

1 Like

Yep yep! Super simple to use and saves a ton of headache

Sorry, I am new here. What is the difference between the Japanese versions and the Natural Japanese versions? I tried googling it and looking at the link some one posted, but I can’t find an explanation.

1 Like

The natural language has no furigana, more katakana, and more advanced grammar (some N4 stuff)

The “natural Japanese” has a lot more vocabulary, more complex sentences, more slang, etc. Under their website you can pull up both side by side and see the difference. I would recommend most beginners to just read through it once on “simple japanese” even if the vocab is quite limited, it’ll help introduce usage of particles, etc.

Thanks! Some how, I missed that on their website. So basically their “Japanese” is beginner level to the point where it doesn’t sound like really Japanese people talk. The “Natural Japanese” is more reflective of actual Japanese you would come across in the wild so to speak. It looks like to do this they limit the grammar constructs and vocabulary in the “Japanese version”? I just previewed both and for me the “Natural” version seems like a better fit.

The simplified version just has simpler sentences, with a bit of overreliance on using the subject + は but this is made for beginners, it’s perfectly fine. It’s like comparing Peppa Pig to a travel documentary, if that makes any sense lmao. If you open the Japanese Version and you can get the gist then I would just go with that and then use the kanji document on the website or use Capture2Text to help copy paste stuff into so it can tell you what’s being conjugated, etc.

At the end of the day, it’s for beginners and it serves it’s point at introducing various things. Either way, you’ll still get a lot out of it no matter which path you go down!

Oh, nice! I’m glad to see Japanese Short Stories for Beginners in there too - that book gave me my first “Oh wow, I can read a story without pictures and without looking up words, and actually understand a lot?” experience.

1 Like