Is K-On! a good manga for beginners?

This is in reply to one of the comments on "The Definitive Guide on Moving from textbook Japanese to reading real native Japanese using Manga"

If you've read Yotsuba and you're looking for your next Japanese language manga to devour is K-On the way to go? Well if you're asking the question at all, that means you have an interest in the material and that interest counts for a lot!

1. It's four panel rather than long form

I have friends who are fans of けいおん! but I've not read it myself. I do know it's usually a four panel strip which means for a lot of the text you'll only have those four panels for context, whereas in a more long-form manga you'll have the continuing story to help you out. Therefore I think the formatting is going make things a little harder (you'll still have generally backstory of the characters and it all the being the work of the same author ensuring a lot of the text is easier to work out).

2. It doesn't use a lot of hirigana

Here are some strips of what to expect:


My name is 「斎藤菫」。。。

Gah! Japanese names! Obviously the first part is supposed to be quite clear to a Japanese speaker as it doesn't have hirgana, while the second part has hiragana so is less common. If you're a fan of K-On! you may already know the reading for this name - but I'm going to have to look it up.


Oh Saitou, I should know that name, it's pretty common!


Ok, this is hard because it starts with a name

琴吹 「こと・ぶき」

So 琴吹家 is Kotobuki's house.

I'm going to wing this translation and it might be wrong but it could be something like:


Could I stay at your house (for free) and in return I'll help you out?

I wouldn't say it's easy but it's definitely not impenetrable!

3.There are English versions of the Manga

This means you can get access to both versions and you can make a parallel text or use the English version for reference. They all seem to be on amazon.

K-On! English version on Amazon

The Japanese versions unfortunately are harder to find on US Amazon but of course are available on the Japanese site.

K-On! Japanese version on Amazon
What is cool, on the Amazon site - there's a Look Inside, so if you click the image you'll be able browse the book.

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