Where to Buy Japanese-Language Manga

image The closing of Sasugabooks.com has left some people without an easy source to buy Japanese-language manga from. Alternatives are often expensive and difficult to navigate, as they often involve directly buying from a Japanese website and require a premium shipping fee if you want it to arrive in any semblance of a reasonable time. Below, I’m going to list a bunch of sites, both US-based and Japan-based, where you can purchase Japanese-language manga from. This list will also be updated as I think of places.

  • Akadot.com – A long time favorite of mine, Akadot often gets many releases from Japan in a reasonable amount of time. If they don’t have it in stock, they’ll order it from Japan and ship it to you if/when it becomes available. They also often have sales, and they usually have a DMP sale ongoing. (US-based out of the Los Angeles area)
  • Amazon.co.jp – Probably the best way to get manga, as their stock reflects everything that Amazon.co.jp has as a whole, and they’re probably the store with the most familiarity, since many people already shop from Amazon.com. They’re usually in stock with everything, and like the regular Amazon.com, they refill quickly when needed. The site is also easily navigable, as you can convert the menus to English. The only problems are that all titles are in Japanese, so you’ll have to know the titles in Japanese (i.e. the kanji, hiragana, katakana, etc), and it costs a premium to get it sent over the ocean. The prices, however, do not get the 200%+ markup you’ll often find here in the US. (Japan-based)
  • HMV Japan – While I have personally not used the place myself, I know someone who uses it religiously, and they seem to be very satisfied with the result. The site is in English. (Japan-based)
  • JPQueen.comThe site sells used anime and manga goods, and can be searched in either English or Japanese. However, since it’s mostly used goods, the selection tends to be limited. I’ve shopped here once, and I didn’t have any issues with them. (Japan-based) JPQueen seems to have gone done ever since March of 2011, because if you go to their website, all that you get is a page with their webaddress in the text. This has happened before, but seeing I haven’t seen them up in the last 9 months, I’m going to assume they’re dead.
  • YesAsia.com – A site that sells a variety of Asian goods, including Japanese- and Chinese-language manga, as well as anime, figures and such. The site is fairly easy to browse, and the titles are typically in romaji. I’ve shopped here before for a few items, and I didn’t have any problems with them. Shipping was also pretty reasonable. (Hong Kong-based)
  • Kinokuniya Bookstores – A Japanese bookstore chain that has several stores in some of the larger cities in the US. They can ship directly from the store to you, or you can order it and then go pick up your order from their stores, though the latter doesn’t really work if you aren’t in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland or a couple other places. Prices are fairly reasonable. However, the English-language website is almost tragic to use, as it appears to have been cobbled together to serve a minimal need without regard to ease of use. My recommendation is that if you’re looking for manga on their website, find the ISBN or Japanese title first, and then search using their Japanese-language search on the English website, as you’re guaranteed to get the most accurate results that way. (US-based from several locations)

Know anymore places to shop for Japanese-language manga? Leave a comment!

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One Response to Where to Buy Japanese-Language Manga
  1. Heidi White
    February 9, 2012 | 2:48 pm

    When I lived in Japan (years ago) it never occurred to me that there was a market in English speaking countries for Japanese Manga.

    I guess the stories are pretty clear based on the often graphic pictoral elements…. who needs to understand the words?

    I’m just sayin….

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