Manga is one of the most iconic forms of media from the land of Japan. Well known franchises such as Dragonball, Naruto, One Piece, Sailor Moon, and many more all originally started out as Manga before making their way over to the western world. However, there are literally thousands of different manga sold exclusively in Japan due to never being translated and brought over to English speaking audiences.
This means if you are learning to read Japanese there is an almost unlimited treasure trove of stories for you to uncover and enjoy from Japan's domestic online retailers!
Why Buy Manga from Japan
- It's dirt cheap! - Here in Japan, you can buy volumes of manga second-hand for as little as 100 Yen - a single US dollar! A brand new volume of manga can normally be bought for around 500 Yen ($5 USD) depending on the series and when the manga was released.
- High Quality - Japan is famous for its second-hand items looking like they are brand new and manga is no exception. If you plan to buy manga second-hand, you will be pleasantly surprised at the quality. Unless you plan to buy collector editions of series, we really recommend you just buy manga second-hand - the value for money is just too high not to most of the time.
- Japan-Only Editions! - There are plenty of popular manga that have received the collector's edition treatment. Whether that is re-releasing the series in full color or volumes with additional art never released in the west - there are plenty for collectors to get excited about.
- Unlimited Options - There are so many manga from you to choose from that you WILL get lost in the endless options you have - which is a great thing! You may start out reading familiar series from popular anime, but as you start to branch out more, you will find hidden gems from every genre.
You may be able to find manga being sold domestically in your own countries such as the USA, Canada, Singapore, etc. However, as hard as they may try, those stores will always offer a far more limited range of manga then you can get directly from Japan itself. If you are looking for limited edition copies or just the newest series hitting the shelves of Japanese stores, buying manga directly from Japan is the only way to go.
While most Japanese manga stores don't offer international shipping, with ZenMarket, you will be able to shop and ship all of your favorite manga right to your doorstep!
Read on to find out how to buy manga from Japan with our easy to follow step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Translate the Manga's Title
When searching for a particular manga series on a Japanese website, it is best to search for the manga using its Japanese title - it may come as no surprise to you, but Japanese sellers will normally list manga under their Japanese names/titles.
You can use google translate to try and guess the Japanese title of the manga you want, but a FAR, FAR better option is Wikipedia. Simply search the title of the manga you want using google and click on its Wikipedia page. The original Japanese title will normally be in the first paragraph - just highlight and copy the title in Japanese and you will be all set!
Step 2: Search for your Favorite Manga
Now that you have the Japanese name of the manga you are looking for, it's easy. Just paste the text into the search bar followed by this Kanji "巻" and hit enter - it roughly translates to "volume", so only manga should appear in the search results, helpful if you're not interested in other merchandise ("鬼滅の刃 巻" or "鬼滅の刃 3巻").
If you are looking for second-hand volumes of manga make sure that you have "Yahoo auctions" or "ZenPlus" selected for the best price.
You can normally pick up brand new copies of manga by selecting "Amazon" or "Rakuten", just be warned you may be paying more then you need to with brand new copies as second-hand copies are normally in fantastic condition.
Don’t forget that if you are unable to find an item, you can always reach out to us for help By clicking “Can’t Find” on our website, our customer support team can help you out.
Step 3: Browse through dozens of options
You will often find the manga you are looking for being sold in a wide array of options. From volumes being sold individually or in complete sets, you can buy in whichever way is best for you.
To get the best value for your money, we recommend buying manga in complete sets. You will save money on shipping and processing fees in the long run instead of buying a single manga volume at a time.
Remember, you can always use the options listed to the left and top of the search results to help you find and narrow down your search.
Step 4: Check the item details
On the product page, you can find out more information about the manga you want to purchase. You will be able to see the price, more photos from different angles, and more.
If you are pre-ordering an item, please note that it will only be shipped out to us on the delivery date stated, after which you will be able to create a parcel for international shipping once it arrives at our warehouse.
There will also be a lot more information about the item under “Product Details”, which you can normally find by scrolling down the page.
Step 5: Order with ZenMarket!
Once you are satisfied and ready to order, add the manga to your ZenMarket cart.
Our operators will then check the price and availability of your item and you will receive a notification once it is ready to be paid for.
For a full tutorial on how to buy from ZenMarket, check out our guide here.
If you happen to also be interested in "How to buy Ligh Novels from Japan" you can check out our helpful post on how to do that too, by clicking this link!
Also, check out our guide on "How to buy Doujinshi" directly from Japan here!
Bonus Step: Find New Manga!
If you are ready to dive into the unknown and find new manga series that are currently popular in Japan, we have a few resources for you.
Bookwalker's Japanese website has an updated list of some of the most popular manga being currently released in Japan. Although Bookwalker only sells digital manga, you can always right-click and copy the Japanese title of any manga that catches your interest and follow the steps above.
Click here to see Bookwalker's popular new releases.
As Amazon is one of the most popular e-commerce sites in the world, they also keep track of what is hot right now in Japan when it comes to manga. If you happen to find something you are interested in reading on Amazon you can follow the steps we listed out above or just copy and paste the URL of the item page directly into the ZenMarket search - you will be taken directly to ZenMarket's English listing for the same item.
Manga is a great form of entertainment and a fantastic way to level up your Japanese in a fun and effective way. If you are unable to make your way over to Japan to buy manga yourself, then ZenMarket is here to help!
You can click the image below to check out our full in-depth guide on how to shop using ZenMarket, which will teach you everything you need to know about how to buy anything you want, not just manga, directly from Japan and have it shipped to your front door anywhere in the world.