It’s no secret in the otaku community, that reading manga through sites like MangaFox and MangaRock are the norm. These sites are free, but ultimately harm the manga business as mangaka, translators and publishing companies do not receive a single cent for their hard work. My theory, for the use of these sites, is based on two reasons – availability of manga and cost. That, if there was a way to get the manga you wanted quickly, easily and without costing an arm and a leg, fans would be more inclined to support the artists and the work they so desperately love. That’s where ‘Renta‘, a digital English manga streaming store comes in. The store allows readers to either rent or purchase digital versions of their favourite (or soon to be favourite) shoujo, josei and yaoi manga series.
Even better, it’s ridiculously cheap and all the funds go straight towards the translators and manga artists!
June 2020: On the company’s Facebook review page some questions have been raised on exactly how much money artists and writers are paid for their works. Renta’s official response has been that they pay the publisher’s directly for their license and the publishers then pay the artists/writers. No exact figure has been provided. They have said that the prices varies depending on publisher. I believe they should provide a general ball park figure so readers know they are actually supporting their favourite artists/writers, and I am disappointed they have not done so. Please be advised that the rest of my review is from the time of writing, I have not edited anything else but thought it important to make this note.
The site works via a point system. Users create an account and purchase points, with 100 points equally about a dollar USD. Buying points is cheapest on Wednesdays, with a discount of about $9.71 for 1000 points. 100 points can usually purchase one chapter of a manga. You can also pay for chapters with cash, but points are recommended. Chapters or volumes can be purchased forever or to rent for 48 hours. If you change your mind after choosing to rent, and want to keep it, you can always upgrade your purchase easily.
Rentals rarely cost more than $4 USD, and forever purchases at most are about $8 USD. From my experience, these ‘higher’ end purchases are usually for the entire volume not just individual chapters. If you’re unsure about a series, many manga also offer the first chapter completely free so you can get a taster before diving in.
After purchasing a chapter you can read it on any of your devices. Please note that the Google Play app was recently rejigged to comply with the Play Store’s terms and conditions, so you can expect that to be avaliable in the coming weeks! The IoS version is up and ready to go.
There’s also something for everyone available, below is just a small excerpt of all the various yaoi sub-genres you can enjoy.
Another massive plus is that all the translations are done by a professional. So there’s no grammar or spelling mistakes or awkward phrasings. I’ve also found that the translations are really good at getting the nuances of the language and translating them well. Even in the example page below, the use of ‘alrighty’ conveys a very different tone to words like ‘fine’ or ‘okay’. It’s those nuances that really change the way one reads and connects to a manga series.
My only reservation with the site is the app. I found to download the manga I had bought to the app, I needed to log in to the site, hit a button and then go back to my app and wait for quite a while for it to download. It did seem a little bit redundant to access the site on my iPad and then switch over to the app. I also had issues when I would flick to the next page, it would send to me to a previous one and I would get a bit lost. I would really love to see the app be upgraded a bit more so that individuals can purchase manga direct from it using Apple or Google Play funds, and access their new manga instantaneously.
Overall, I was incredibly impressed by Renta. It actually feels really good to be reading manga that you enjoy and know that the creator is receiving your support. The site is also ridiculously cheap, so there’s almost no excuse not to use it. If you’re not already sold on this great site check out below. Renta has prepared a special gift for readers of Two Happy Cats!
Want to support Two Happy Cats? Use the affiliate link at the beginning of the article, or over here to sign up to Renta! I will get a small commission once you rent or purchase your first chapter/book.
A Very Special Gift!
When I was working on this article I reached out to Renta, and they kindly offered coupons for readers of my site. The coupon is for 100 points. To claim the coupon sign up for an account on Renta, and then come back here and use this link with the code RRMG2DTU to claim it! The code is valid for one per person, for the first 150 people, so get in quick!
Thank you so much Renta for the generous gift :)!
Update July 2019 – As mentioned above the coupon was for the first 150 people and I believe it’s been all used up! Hope everyone who had a chance to use it found some great reads (^_^)
Revisions June 2020: Renta has stopped their partnership program, affiliate links removed and updated. Further information regarding how Renta licenses their manga included.