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Old 10-21-2012, 08:45 PM   #1
Shadowlord
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Japanophile / manga otaku – Kobo Glow or Kindle Paperwhite?

I'm trying to decide between buying a Kindle Paperwhite and a Kobo Glo. As a Japanophile I'm unsure which device is better suited for me. My thoughts:

Manga:
I already have a 10 inch Android tablet which is sometimes too big and heavy to carry around. So an E-Ink-reader could be an alternative. How comfortable is reading manga on those new devices anyways? Does the higher resolution compared to other readers help or is the display just too small?

The Kobo Glo can read cbz and cbr which seems to be a great advantage. I could also easily expand the memory of the Glo with a Micro SD card (manga tend to be much bigger than regular books).

The Paperwhite doesn't support those comic formats so I'd have to convert them. This shouldn't be a problem, since I'd have to cut off white margins before putting them on any of those readers (I guess), so I can simply save my manga in mobi format when I do that. The missing SD slot could still be a fun killer, though...

How does that new panel view mode of the Paperwhite work? How useful is it? As far as I understand, with panel view you can tap on the panel of a manga and it zooms in for better reading.
Does this work with any sideloaded manga in .mobi format? Panels need to be detected automatically, I think. Otherwise it would just be a simple zoom-in of the complete page. Or is it necessary to prepare manga in a special way? Or does this just work with manga bought from the Kindle store?

Japanese books:
And which one is better suited for reading Japanese books? Paperwhite and Glo both have support for horizontal and vertical texts with ruby support.

But which one has better dictionaries? The Kobo only has a JP<->JP dictionary, right? On the Paperwhite there seems to be a JP<->JP and an EN->JP dictionary available and you can add new dictionaries for JP->EN. This should help A LOT when reading Japanese texts.

The Paperwhite can also translate whole sentences via Bing Translations. I know, those translations are quite bad, but it‘s better than nothing, right?


Store:
Kobo already has a Japanese ebook store, but it is restricted to Japan (georestrictions), so it's essentially useless for me. The only option is to get books from other retailers.

There's no Japanese Kindle store yet, but it is in preparation and I don't think it will be restricted like the Kobo store. So it should be possible to buy Japanese books and manga at the Kindle store in the near future.


Sorry, this text has gotten quite long, it seems .
So, what are your thoughts on reading Japanese books / manga on Kindle Paperwhite vs. Kobo Glo?
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:58 PM   #2
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Well, since I‘m apparently the only person concerned about this, I might as well continue my monologue...

As it seems, the Japanese Kindle store has launched today! 50,000 Japanese-language books and more than 15,000 manga! Great news! Great news? Well, not really...

I‘ve tried to download some book samples to my tablet, but as it seems, it is impossible to buy books or even dl samples from outside Japan. Amazon tells me I can‘t buy/dl these books due to copyright restrictions.

Amazon promotes the Paperwhite on it‘s international product page with enhanced support for Japanese and there are also Japanese dictionaries preinstalled yet you cannot buy Japanese books! What the f---?!

So Kobo AND Amazon both suck in this aspect. Why can‘t I buy digital books from Japan when I can order physical copies without any problems?

Oh, and the Paperwhite only costs 8,480 Yen?! That‘s 82 Euro or 106 US-Dollar!
Standard US price is 119 Dollar and standard European price is 129 Euro.

Last edited by Shadowlord; 10-24-2012 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:37 AM   #3
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Not that it really helps you in any way, but there's a thread in the news forum 'Kindle in Japan'.

Digital content always has georestrictions, amazon.co.jp was never going to be any different.

Only going on what I've read in the Kindle and Kobo forums, but they improved resolutions of the two new models definitely are noticeable in comics.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:10 AM   #4
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If you want to get access to the JP kindle store, make a new account on amazon.com, and an account on amazon.co.jp if you don't already have one (use a different email address than your normal US account). Link your new .com account to your .co.jp account. Then you can set your location to Japan (you'll need a Japanese address) and you should be able to buy books even using a US credit card.

I live in Japan so I have an actual address that I can use, but I can't imagine just using a random address won't work (I make no guarantees though). I can confirm that I can use my US credit card just fine on the site to buy Japanese kindle books.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for your suggestion. I think this should work, but unfortunately I don‘t have an actual address in Japan, so I would need to use a random address as you‘ve mentioned.

I‘m a bit hesitant to do this, because I have heard of cases where Amazon asked people with two addresses in different countries to prove that both are their actual addresses. So using a fake address to circumvent regional restrictions could even result in a closed account, I guess.

And then there‘s this story of that Norwegian guy whose main amazon account has been shut down for unknown reasons because it was directly related to another account which has been previously closed for policy abuse.

So, when I create a fresh amazon account and a fresh JP amazon account (with fake data) and link them, amazon might shut down both accounts AND might even close my third main account when I use my credit card in all three accounts.

But maybe I‘m just overcautious...
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowlord View Post
Thanks for your suggestion. I think this should work, but unfortunately I don‘t have an actual address in Japan, so I would need to use a random address as you‘ve mentioned.

I‘m a bit hesitant to do this, because I have heard of cases where Amazon asked people with two addresses in different countries to prove that both are their actual addresses. So using a fake address to circumvent regional restrictions could even result in a closed account, I guess.

And then there‘s this story of that Norwegian guy whose main amazon account has been shut down for unknown reasons because it was directly related to another account which has been previously closed for policy abuse.

So, when I create a fresh amazon account and a fresh JP amazon account (with fake data) and link them, amazon might shut down both accounts AND might even close my third main account when I use my credit card in all three accounts.

But maybe I‘m just overcautious...
Yep! That'll be what happens and then you'll come back to complain that Amazon unfairly closed my accounts & stole books that you paid for.

Place the 'blame' for georestrictions where it lies - the publishers. It's not the book seller like Amazon or Kobo or Sony or anywhere else. It does not just apply to Japanese books either. It's worldwide.

Last edited by Shopaholic; 11-04-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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Given your specific needs, I can't see anything but a Kobo working for you. I, for one, really appreciated being able to add an SD card to my Nook, so I can see that as an advantage for Kobo.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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By the way, I‘ve talked with Amazon Germany (I‘m German) about whether I‘d be able to buy books from the Japanese Kindle store in the near future or not – they told me that amazon.co.jp acts as an individual company and so they cannot give me any information about that.

So, my guess is that amazon japan will never ever open its store for international customers. This makes the Kindle readers a really bad choice for people who want to read japanese content (books/manga).

Any reader which supports japanese text and open formats and different kinds of DRM is a much better choice for japanese books.
And readers with SD slot are much better for sideloaded manga.


I'll be getting Pocketbook Basic reader for free next week. I don't know whether it even supports japanese fonts and it may be to low res for manga. But maybe it's good enough to wait for the next generation of readers - maybe Kobo will offer better dictionaries till then.

And if I don't like the Pocketbook at all, I'll buy a Kobo Glo instead.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:52 AM   #9
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If you are in an area that has demo units of Glo and paperwhite instore, maybe put a manga file on an SD card and try it.

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:16 AM   #10
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Oh, and the Paperwhite only costs 8,480 Yen?! That‘s 82 Euro or 106 US-Dollar!
Standard US price is 119 Dollar and standard European price is 129 Euro.
It is a great price isn't it? As a bonus, I don't think it even comes with advertisements. One of the extremely rare times where us in Japan actually get a better deal than the US. I think the reason why it's so cheap has something to do with Kobo.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:23 AM   #11
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Actually I see Amazon has already cut the price of the kindle Paperwhite in Japan to an even $100. So a Japanese adfree Paperwhite is $40 less than the US version and Amazon is taking a $20 hot on top of their cost for each one sold. I love competion!
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:55 AM   #12
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Thanks for this discussion -- I am about to buy an e-reader for Christmas for my son, who is mostly Japanese and prefers reading in nihongo. I asked a J co-worker who bought a Kobo Touch a few months back whether he was happy with it--and he said that he wishes he had a Kindle now, as the number of books available is greater. But given that my son would probably want to read manga mostly, I will go with Kobo Glo for him. He can always convert them if he buys stuff from the Kindle store. domo domo!
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:48 AM   #13
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Hmm... Is the text in manga translatable in any of these ebook formats? I would love to be able to study by reading manga, but it seems like maybe the text would just be an image, like if the whole page was scanned in at once?
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