I love Japanese the manga way and couldn’t resist buying the book which started it all. Or rather the collected articles which started it all. Mangajin was once a manga magazine which had a little column inside which was called Basic Japanese. It stands to reason how basic the topics discussed really were but to be frank everything Genki I and II can easily be considered “basic Japanese”. Unfortunately the magazine itself is long gone but there is still a website floating around. The best way to learn a language is always with real life examples. What applies to learning new vocabulary applies to Grammar as well. Learn it in context. And if you like manga then it’s a great idea to learn Japanese grammar with some comic scripts.
Mangajin is basically the same as Japanese the manga way. Both in terms of layout and the way the topics were chosen. And that’s where we come to the difficulty of the grammatical quirks discussed in this first volume of Mangajin (there are two in total available). You shouldn’t use this for your very first steps in Japanese neither does this book aim to replace a real textbook like Genki. It’s meant as a fun supplement which rather wants to explain whensome grammar terms are used than how. Japanese is just so different compared to a Roman-language that you can’t just express yourself in the same manner you would in English or German or French for that matter. Maybe you read my review about Japanesepod101 where I always stress the importance of getting to know the certain “rhythm” of a language. And that’s basically what Mangajin is doing on paper with a detailed deconstruction of real Japanese manga material.
If you like reading manga in Japanese and still feel that you don’t really “get” most titles, maybe Mangajin can help. Japanese the manga way is equally awesome there is just no better way to say this. Both feature different content but are using the exact same approach.