If you happened to see my recent post on Immersion at Work, then you probably know I’ve got at least a decent (for someone who is still a beginner 😉 ) amount of Manga collected/stored up. In my search for the best places to purchase Manga, I’ve got it down to 4 specific places I look for Manga every time when I’m interested in buying some.
Ebay is where I’ve actually bought most of my Manga from. You can get such great deals, that if they have the Manga you’re looking for (AKA, someone is currently selling them), you’re probably not going to find a better price. In fact, I bought the entire (1-9, and a mini) series of よつば, which is the Manga portrayed in the picture above. Also bought issues of コロコロ for basically as much as they’d cost in Japan, AFTER counting in shipping. (Around $3-$5 a piece, shipping included in that price).
Best Used For: Best resource for acquiring both new and used Manga, except for reoccurring subscriptions.
Half Price Books is actually one of my favorite stores in general. It’s definitely my favorite book store, that’s for sure. You never know what you’re going to find, because they are a used book store, but that’s half the fun! The one biggest thing to remember about HPB’s is that each and every one of their stores can be vastly different. What I mean, is that I’ve been to around 4-5 HPB’s and generally only two of them even carried any real Japanese Manga. One of them was random and sporadic, sometimes they would have some JP Manga in stock and other times they had none. However, the main HPB I go to has JP Manga every single time I go. I’d say they have around 40-60 books.
So don’t judge a book by its cover! ( 😉 ) If there are more than one HPB’s around you, be sure to visit each as you never know what you’ll find. Hell, HPB is where I found my awesome Japanese map! 😀
Best Used For: Finding cheap, used Manga (and also Japanese textbooks) locally, which allows you to also *preview* the Manga before you decide to buy.
I’ve only used Kinokuniya a few times, and I actually used it to order a few Japanese textbooks (completely in Japanese, for kids) but I’d use them for Manga if there was something in particular I wanted, which I couldn’t find elsewhere used, and needed a place to buy brand new. Right now, because I’m still a beginner, I’m not insanely picky about the Manga I buy. Once I start buying specific series, I’ll probably end up using this more often.
Best Used For: Ordering individual books or Manga that you’re looking for.
I haven’t actually personally used Mitsuwa myself, so I can’t really judge it but I do have a friend that does and from what I know through her, their service is pretty good. I have yet to sign up for any reoccurring Magazine/Manga orders, but if I were going to, then this would be the place I would end up doing it through. Just like with Kinokuniya, even if they don’t have what you’re looking for in stock or on their website, they can often get whatever you want in as long as you contact them.
Best Used For: Ordering items that are sent to you on a reoccurring basis via a subscription. Much cheaper than ordering from directly overseas.
Finding Manga, especially good deals (not paying for outrageous shipping), can be a bit tough but you just have to know where to look. If you haven’t yet, go through the places I’ve just mentioned. I’m sure you’ll find at least one or two gems, like I have. Be sure to leave a comment if you have your own preferred place to purchase manga from. I’m always interested in finding more places!