Manabi Reader – Read Japanese 17+

Learn to read. Review in Anki‪.‬

John A Ehlke

    • 5.0 • 1 Rating
    • Free
    • Offers In-App Purchases


Version 3 is a complete rewrite packed with new features.
- Anki flashcard creation
- Offline support
- macOS debut!
- iPad and iPhone get brand new browser-like interfaces
- Vocabulary tracking stats (not just kanji)
- Japanese/English dictionary search from the home screen
- Kanji drawing to search dictionary
And lots more. We're beyond excited to bring this to you and hope you enjoy it as much as we have making it.
- Team Manabi

Expand your Japanese vocabulary and comprehension by getting in the habit of reading short, native content daily. Manabi Reader makes it easy to jump into interesting native reading material without having to worry about your level: just one tap on any word you don't know to see its reading and definition.

Don't waste time trying to find engaging reading material—a curated selection of news feeds, online magazines, blogs, even folktales are collected here for you. You can of course also open any webpage in Manabi Reader to help you through it.

Make a habit out of getting your news in Japanese and you'll find your skills multiply. With even a few minutes each day, reading is essential to picking up Japanese. Memory is one of those things where it sticks best when you're having fun, so dive in!

• Read native texts.
• One-tap word lookups (with audio!).
• Word tracking: you'll see how much of an article's vocabulary is already familiar. New words are highlighted for you.
• Kanji tracking: we'll also track the kanji you're familiar with as you read articles. Check your progress within JLPT levels.
• One-tap flashcard creation: memorize the words you look up.
• Review flashcards from an article once you're done reading it.
• Automatic furigana.
• BYOC (bring your own content) via URL or copy/paste; or, choose from our curated selection of reading materials.
• Reddit category with aggregated Japanese articles and discussions.
• 3rd-party dictionary apps are supported.


The core app is fully functional without payment. Word tracking behaviors are limited to a subset as a preview. The companion Manabi flashcard app is limited to 10 flashcard reviews per day. Full word tracking functionality as well as unlimited flashcard reviews in the companion app may be purchased as a subscription. You may purchase a subscription, which will be charged to your iTunes Account upon purchase and will auto-renew within 24 hours prior to the end of the purchasing period. You can manage this in your Account Settings after purchase. Manabi Reader subscriptions are offered on a monthly or annual basis, with free trials—the annual subscriptions offer a discounted rate. This purchase supports the ongoing development of Manabi.

We offer a substantial discount for students, educators, and parents.

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What’s New

Version 3.4.2

- Improves iCloud sync
- Fixes crashes
- Fixes clipboard content
- Fixes incorrect content thumbnails
- Miscellaneous bugs fixed

Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

AllTheGoodNicknamesreGone ,

Great app for reading; flash card app needs some work

This is a rating for Manabi, which is actually a combination of two different apps, one is a reader for people practicing reading in Japanese, and the other is a flash card application to help you learn the new words you read in the first app. In my opinion, the first app is excellent! It has a wide variety of easy to read articles, and all you have to do is tap on any word in the app in order to see its meaning in English, as well as its pronunciation, and some sample sentences. If you run across a word that you don’t understand, you simply select “make flash card” as an option, and you can create a separate flash card automatically in the second app

The second app, on the other hand could be a lot easier to use, and more helpful. You don’t have the ability to control which cards you’re practicing, you don’t have the ability to make sets, and you don’t even have the ability to change the “flip” direction of the cards (as far as I’m aware). There are a number of different Japanese flash card apps that are much better, and unfortunately the Manabi apps don’t have the ability to transfer your sets from there to those other flash card apps. So I think there’s a lot of work to be done on the second app, but the reader is quite enjoyable and I use it almost daily.

Toch45000 ,


I’ve been using this app to practice my reading skills and it’s simple yet has done wonders for me. I find the kanji tracking feature very convenient as it helps me to see where I stand in terms of literacy. The subscription price is more than fair, other reading apps have such ridiculous prices for so little features, so I appreciate you keeping this one reasonable. What I would like is more distinction between known and unknown words, it gets tiring having to click every word to make sure I marked them as known. Keeping them highlighted could work. A vertical text option would be fun to add too and if it’s possible, could you perhaps add sign-in from Apple and/or Google?

Developer Response ,

Hi! I hope you like the new 3.0 release I've just launched. I appreciate your kind review. Re: Apple login, I've just added that. I've noted your issue with distinguishing known/unknown words and will figure out a good solution. Btw - I'd love to use your review as a testimonial on my website but I need your permission to do that - could you *please* send me your contact via email (or by contacting me on twitter/in-app chat)? Thank you!

kiriegou ,

3.0 update is excellent

Anki integration is a huge game changer and is what brought me over from the reader app I had been using previously.
I just tested adding an Anki card and everything worked smoothly and intuitively— it’s a really big deal that I can finally one-tap add cards to Anki from my smartphone, since no other reader app on the iOS store does this to my knowledge. I’m glad the price is so reasonable, too— will definitely be recommending to friends!

My one request to the developer: Is it possible to add a “hiragana only” option for adding to a field in Anki? For example, say I want to add the phrase 仮眠をとる to my anki deck. The only options right now are expression (仮眠をとる) and expression with reading (仮か眠みんをとる). It’d be nice to have an option for かみんをとる because of the odd way my Anki card template is set up. Just a little nitpick. Congrats and many thanks for getting 3.0 released!

App Privacy

The developer, John A Ehlke, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Linked to You

The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:

  • Contact Info
  • User Content
  • Identifiers

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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