April 16th, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the nationwide extension of Japan’s state of emergency. This allows regional governments across the country to strongly request people to stay inside, in addition to the 7 major urban regions that are already operating under a state of emergency. Suddenly the entire population of Japan has effectively been turned into hikikomori, or shut-ins. The question on everyone’s lips: how do we survive this crisis of confinement?

While our worlds have been flip-turned upside down and inside, no out, there’s opportunity to be had. The Japanese entertainment industry certainly thinks so, and have been busy heaping free access to some of the best anime and manga series of all time on unsuspecting, and soon to be delighted, fans!

We’ve compiled this article of sources where you can enjoy the best free entertainment in Japan! Links have been broken down by category, so you can spend lockdown with your favorite (1) manga, (2) anime, or (3) or J-drama!

Free Manga for Lockdown

Weekly Shonen Jump Manga on Shonen Jump Plus

  • Contents: Shonen Jump, the popular Japanese manga magazine targeting teenage boys, but widely enjoyed by people of all ages, is providing access to various volumes of its most popular manga series for free. Some of the highlights include ninja manga "Naruto," volumes 1 - 27, "Boruto," volumes 1 - 4, and volleyball themed epic, "Haikyu!," volumes 1 - 28.
  • Period of free service: until May 6th for most manga, some differences by title
  • Access method(s): https://shonenjumpplus.com*, mobile app (*account not required to read)

Shonen Jump Manga on Zebrack

  • Contents: a whole range of classic Shonen Jump manga can be accessed for free on ゼブラック Zebrack, a manga subscription website, including "Bleach," "ONE PIECE" and "Shokugeki no Souma." With an expansive collection of volumes available, the COVID-19 lockdown doesn’t stand a chance at spoiling your fun!
  • Period of free service: until May 6th for most manga, some differences by title
  • Access method(s):https://zebrack-comic.com/main/manga, mobile app

Margaret Book Store Shojou Manga

  • Contents: This popular paper host of shoujo manga classics like "The Rose of Versailles" and "Boys Over Flowers" is offering free access to various editions of their latest magazines. Lockdown may be the perfect timing to fall in love with some new shoujo manga!
  • Period of free service: until April 30th
  • Access method(s):https://margaretbookstore.com

Free Anime for Lockdown

Jump Channel - YouTube

  • Contents: The Weekly Shonen Jump YouTube Channel is currently offering access to initial episodes of some of their hit mangas turned anime like My Hero Academia and Haikyu!!. We recommend continuing to check in for changes to the line up.
  • Period of free service: until April 30th
  • Access method(s): YouTube


  • Contents: During the month of Apri, Hulu are offering those stranded at home the opportunity to access some killer anime like Hunter X Hunter without signing up or signing in. All-time classic Death Note is also featured in the mix. Hulu, you just made working from home a lot less productive and a lot more fun!
  • Period of free service: until April 30th
  • Access method(s): Hulu

Amazon Prime Japan

  • Contents: Indulge in anime gems old and new with Amazon prime’s expansive library of Japanese animation. The service offers first-time viewers a 30-day free trial and now is the perfect opportunity to take advantage. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a currently trending anime that you can breeze through under a week or so of lockdown.
  • Period of free service: 30 days from subscription date
  • Access method(s): Amazon Prime Japan

Free J-Dramas for Lockdown


  • Contents: Paravi is a drama streaming service giving you access to the Japanese dramas that everyone in Japan is talking about. The service offers a two-week free trial so anyone of Japan can enjoy a fortnight of gripping emotion. Recent hit "Koi wa Tsuzukuyo Dokomademo," 恋は続くよどこまでも, a rollercoaster love story between a doctor and nurse will keep you glued to your couch even if lockdown ends tomorrow.
  • Period of free service: 14 days from subscription date
  • Access method(s): https://www.paravi.jp

These are just a few free sources of entertainment on offer in Japan during April. Streaming services around the country may continue to open up free access to a wider range of their content for a limited time. We recommend continuing to check in and out of the links above regularly so as not to miss a beat!

Whether you’re in school, Uni, or employment, we recommend spending the lockdown period indoors, in the company of these epic comics and shows!

By - Toby M.