Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese-Compact Form
If you’re new to learning Japanese, I recommend you start with the Complete Guide to Japanese. This guide avoids long and complicated explanations and teaches you essential grammar and vocabulary through examples, interesting dialogues, and suggestions for practical applications. Though it’s still a work in progress, the first five chapters are essentially done. Feel free to give me a shout if you get near the end and find that it’s still not finished.