feihong Posted December 27, 2020 at 08:18 PM Report Share Posted December 27, 2020 at 08:18 PM Recently, I discovered that Bilibili makes an iOS app for reading manhua. It looks like all the other manhua apps on the App Store, but it actually allows you to pay for and legally read official Chinese translations of Japanese manga. I decided to try it out because getting high-quality images of Chinese-language manga is fairly difficult , and it's nice to, you know, compensate artists for their work. I picked the monthly subscription option which costs $2.00 a month and gives you 40 tickets every month. Generally, you can exchange one ticket for one chapter, so the cost per chapter comes to about 5 cents . So far, I've only bought chapters of 一拳超人, otherwise known as One Punch Man to western fans. The image quality is really good, looking closely at the images shows that the dimensions of a page are usually 2000x3000 and the size of the images on disk is usually greater than 1 MB. I uploaded a sample so you can judge the quality for yourself . Since they're using translations licensed for the mainland market, all manhua are in simplified, which is nice if you're not comfortable with traditional characters . Even though my experience with the app has been mostly positive up to now, I do see some problems: The selection is a bit thin. They seem to only have series from Shonen Jump and its sister publications. So a lot of classic manga is left out. There is an Android app, but it's not on Google Play and you'd have to sideload it. I don't know if they accept non-Chinese credit cards, and you might not want to give your credit card number to a Chinese company. You can download the chapters to read offline but the interface is quite cumbersome when you use monthly-allocated tickets to buy chapters. Download speed is ridiculously slow and my phone went to sleep before it could finish downloading just 3 chapters. Footnotes:  Yes, a simple Google search is enough to find any manga series posted online, but all of these free sites are extremely inconsistent in the quality of their scans. The quality will be pretty good for the first few chapters, then drop precipitously in later chapters.  In practice, every chapter will be a bit less than 5 cents because because there are monthly rewards you can claim that increase your ticket count, and probably some seasonal promotions or whatever.  Even really small text can be read clearly at these resolutions. Note that the real images used by the app are not quite this big, I converted it to JPEG to make it easier to view. The actual images are in WEBP format and are a bit smaller in file size.  Most Chinese-language manga on the internet is in traditional, either a direct scan of the Taiwanese edition or a fan scanlation done in traditional. 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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