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feihong

Chinese Webtoon Portals

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feihong

I've been doing some research on Chinese webtoon portals, and I'm posting this to summarize my findings. First of all, what is a webtoon? Basically, it's a type of webcomic that is meant to be read on a smartphone. Webtoons tend to be easier to consume for language learners because the fonts they use are often larger and more legible. It also helps that a webtoon series is usually broken up into very bite-size episodes so most episodes don't require a large time commitment to finish. Wikipedia's Manhua article gives us a list of the most prominent webtoon portals in the sinosphere:

 

Simplified:


快看漫画

漫漫漫画

腾讯动漫

微博动漫

有妖气

咚漫漫画

动漫之家

 

Traditional:

 

Comico

LINE WEBTOON

 

If you enjoy comics in general, then you'll likely find something you like on any one of these portals. However, each portal tends to specialize in different genres and target audiences. There are also huge differences in usability. In the replies to this post, I'll summarize my experience with each portal.

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feihong

快看漫画 - "For comics connoisseurs and everyone else"

 

This the best webtoon portal for simplified characters, and possibly the best overall. They win both for selection and user experience. Their desktop site is pretty bad, but their mobile site is nice and fast, even in North America. Navigation is very easy, you don't have to tap many times to start reading the first page (for some reason, it's rare for mainland webtoon portals to have sane UI). You do have to use their app to read some episodes, but most content is still free. There are some premium series in there that you have to pay for to read, and you do that in the app. Unlike other portals, I feel like 快看漫画 has more titles that aren't just for kids. Part of the reason for this is that they host some of the most successful webtoon series from South Korea, translated into Chinese. These Korean-to-Chinese translations are done really professionally, too, so I don't feel they read any less smoothly than a  native Chinese webtoon. If you prefer to read webtoons in simplified characters, you can mostly ignore the other simplified portal reviews and check this one out now. 

 

Standout titles:

 

照明商店 (horror)
http://m.kuaikanmanhua.com/mobile/1004/list/

我的panda男友 (romantic slice-of-life)
http://m.kuaikanmanhua.com/mobile/159/list/

天下第几 (romantic action)
http://m.kuaikanmanhua.com/mobile/472/list/

二四八月常晴偶雨 (gender confusion romance)
http://m.kuaikanmanhua.com/mobile/772/list/

Moving (superhero drama)

http://m.kuaikanmanhua.com/mobile/2200/list/

亲爱的L (lesbian romance)

http://m.kuaikanmanhua.com/mobile/1022/list/
魔女 (supernatural mystery)

http://m.kuaikanmanhua.com/mobile/1154/list/
酷MA萌 (four-panel comedy)

http://m.kuaikanmanhua.com/mobile/1064/list/

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feihong

漫漫漫画 - "Meh"

 

Navigation is pretty good compared to competitors, but pages load slowly here in North America. Most of the series I checked out weren't interesting, and many of them weren't real webtoons so there were serious legibility issues. The best webtoon I found, 非人哉, doesn't even seem to be exclusive to this site.

 

Standout titles:

 

非人哉 (fantasy four-panel comedy)
https://m.manmanapp.com/comic-728.html

这只兔子叫doki (dark comedy)
https://m.manmanapp.com/comic-1403763.html
清城之恋 (romance)
https://m.manmanapp.com/comic-616.html
和熊先生 (animal comedy)
https://m.manmanapp.com/comic-720.html
 

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feihong

腾讯动漫 - "Too much work"

 

QQ's portal isn't really a webtoon portal, so many of the series aren't very legible when viewed on a smartphone. Quality control is a bit too lax, so there are some laughably bad titles here. However, there is some really good stuff here if you have the patience to find it. Also, image quality is fairly high for a mainland site. If you want to read past the first few chapters, you have to use the app to read them. However, all series seem to be free to read. You only have to pay if you want to read a bunch of chapters in a series at once (after you read a chapter, a little timer counts down to when you can read the next chapter).

 

Standout titles:

 

撩汉小能手 (gender swap comedy)
https://m.ac.qq.com/comic/index/id/631910
原目 (thriller)
https://m.ac.qq.com/comic/index/id/526501
空墟 (sci-fi action)
https://m.ac.qq.com/comic/index/id/636898
死格:死亡的声音 (four-panel horror)
https://m.ac.qq.com/comic/chapterList/id/552409

豆米咖《二》(four-panel comedy)
https://m.ac.qq.com/comic/index/id/634709

步步婚宠 (soap opera romance)
https://m.ac.qq.com/comic/index/id/628774/

 

I should mention that the most interesting series I found on QQ was 撩汉小能手, which is a photo comic (all panels are photographed, not drawn). This seems to be the best site for this sort of webtoon. Imagine an idol drama on Taiwanese TV but turned into a comic, with the craziness dialed up to 11.

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feihong

微博动漫 - "Respectable"

 

Sina's webtoon portal isn't too bad. If you're looking for slickly drawn, easy-to-read webtoons, you could do much worse. However, even though overall quality was good, I didn't find any series that blew me away. Also, navigation isn't great. Clicking the "read now" button takes you to the most-recent chapter, which is the opposite of how most sites work.

 

Standout titles:

 

三老爷诡事会
http://manhua.weibo.cn/c/69715

梦·界
http://manhua.weibo.cn/c/71205
氪命游戏
http://manhua.weibo.cn/c/70617
大风歌
http://manhua.weibo.cn/c/66122
妖咒录
http://manhua.weibo.cn/c/71197
独居少女
http://manhua.weibo.cn/c/69965

白鹤三绝
http://manhua.weibo.cn/c/64509
 

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feihong

有妖气 - "Not for old eyes"

 

This site hosts some of the most famous Chinese webcomics, including 十万个冷笑话, which was adapted into an animated movie, and 雏蜂, which was turned into an animated TV series. Some of the top-ranked series are really well-drawn, too. However, almost all of the series that I checked out on this site have layouts that are unfriendly to mobile screens, and are all but unreadable on a smartphone.

 

Standout title:

 

非人哉 (fantasy four-panel comedy)
http://m.u17.com/c/120003.html

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feihong

咚漫漫画 (simplified), LINE WEBTOON (traditional) - "Two sides of the same coin"

 

I figure I should review these two portals together because they're both owned by Naver. Because of this, there are some series that are on both portals. If you only know simplified and want to learn traditional (or vice versa), this might be a good way to practice since you can read a chapter in both character sets. However, 咚漫漫画 is typically very slow to load in North America. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these two portals is that LINE WEBTOON is also available in English. That means that some of the most popular series can be read in both English and Chinese!

 

Standout titles for 咚漫漫画:

 

虫穴 (sci-fi action)
http://m.dongmanmanhua.cn/FANTASY/hive/list?title_no=223

猫猫虫咖波 (four-panel comedy)
http://m.dongmanmanhua.cn/comedy/maomaochongkapo/list?title_no=807

我的傻大个男友 (slice-of-life comedy)
http://m.dongmanmanhua.cn/slice-of-life/shadage/list?title_no=1115
羞羞大力神 (sci-fi action)
http://m.dongmanmanhua.cn/drama/xiuxiudalishen/list?title_no=1297
鸡龙仙女传 (romance)
http://m.dongmanmanhua.cn/LOVE/jilongxiannvzhan/list?title_no=1305
九州异·志 (supernatural action)
http://m.dongmanmanhua.cn/ANCIENTCHINESE/jiuzhou/list?title_no=1194

 

Standout titles for LINE WEBTOON:

 

蟲穴 (sci-fi action)
https://m.webtoons.com/zh-hant/fantasy/hive/list?title_no=144

貓貓蟲咖波 (four-panel comedy)
https://m.webtoons.com/zh-hant/comedy/maomaochongkapo/list?title_no=394

柴語錄 (slice-of-life comedy)
https://m.webtoons.com/zh-hant/challenge/柴語錄shiba-says/list?title_no=76195


I can confirm that 虫穴 and 我的傻大个男友 are both available in English. There are quite a few other series, it seems that the most popular Korean webtoons get translated to English.

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feihong

Comico - "Feast for the eyes"

 

Comico has the best design of any Chinese-language webtoon portal. It also has a great selection, so if you prefer to read traditional characters, then this is the portal for you. The site is zippy, looks great, and has little navigation conveniences that other portals lack (e.g. the little menu at the bottom that lets you jump to any of several successive chapters). The visual appeal even extends to the lettering--I don't consider myself a typography nerd, but the font used on many Comico series is simply better-looking than the standard font that 快看漫画 uses (although both fonts are perfectly legible).

 

I haven't read far enough in any Comico series to have run into their payment model yet. It seems to revolve around "reading tickets" which are free, and "coins", which are probably not. More recent episodes tend to require coins to read, but I also see entire series that supposedly can be read for free. Unfortunately, there is no Comico app available in the US App Store, so North American readers must use the website, and their only viable payment option is PayPal.

 

Standout titles:

 

異種特偵 (sci-fi thriller)
http://www.comico.com.tw/137/
刺角 (horror)
http://www.comico.com.tw/157/
人面花 (horror)
http://www.comico.com.tw/3535/
W (sci-fi action)
http://www.comico.com.tw/45/
傑克森的棺材 (action mystery)
http://www.comico.com.tw/680/
不幸公寓 (romance)
http://www.comico.com.tw/1237/
可食用兔兔 (comedy)
http://www.comico.com.tw/3197/
香菇君,你在做什麼?(comedic slice-of-life)
http://www.comico.com.tw/49/
失敬了,博美大人! (comedic slice-of-life)
http://www.comico.com.tw/4/
檳榔美少女 (romance)
http://www.comico.com.tw/1225/
台北不來悔 (slice-of-life)
http://www.comico.com.tw/125/
2018 中元鬼話 (horror anthology)
http://www.comico.com.tw/3478/
恐懼蔓延 (horror)
http://www.comico.com.tw/1239/
失衡線 (horror)
http://www.comico.com.tw/639/
打倒勇者 (fantasy action)
http://www.comico.com.tw/3224/
奇人錄 (wuxia)
http://www.comico.com.tw/814/

 

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feihong

动漫之家 - "Meh"

 

For the sake of completion, I'll post a review of this portal as well. This site seems like a good place to read popular Japanese manga that have been translated to Chinese, such as the celebrated One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100. However, most of the series on this site are not webtoons, so are painfully difficult to read on a smartphone. Pages are also very slow to load in North America.

 

Standout titles:

 

蒸汽世界 (sci-fi)
https://m.dmzj.com/info/steamworkszhengqigongchangzhishuguolixian.html
 

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