Kanji de Manga Vol 1 : 2 of 5
I picked up this little book before I started studying for the JLPT, but soon realized that it was pretty handy, since it covers the exact set of kanji that you're expected to know for the Level 4 test that I'll be taking. It's a pretty simple concept - each page covers a single kanji, includes the various readings and a few compound words, and then has a panel or two of manga to illustrate the use of the kanji. Even though it was fun to read through it all, I don't think it's really that useful for studying. I like the overview kanji chart and the general meanings, but the major portion of each page is the manga, and in my opinion, the examples aren't that great! My major complaint is the type of language they use is so informal and slang-ish that I can barely recognize the verb conjugations - I don't think folks reading this beginning kanji book will be familiar with these forms! I guess they just wanted to maintain a manga "style" - when I read them out loud it definitely sounds like anime dialogue. Still, it was great to get an overview of the first kanji set. I think I'd like something a little more academic, but still interesting and fun - I'm not sure if I'll continue with this set of books or not.