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Amazon.jp is now a user-friendly and cost-effective way of getting Japanese comics.  Once you've got them, you can look at the pictures, read them with a script someone has put on the Internet, or write a script and put it on the Internet.

People familiar with other versions of Amazon will have no problem setting up an account, etc.  Just remember to select English as your language, and add an 'International' address - there is a link to this from the 'add new address' page.  Your US or UK accounts will not have been entered automatically onto Amazon.jp, unlike with other Amazons.

Comic books tend to be between 300Y and 900Y (1.50 and 4.50).  Unless you make a large order, the postage will probably exceed the value of the comics :-)

Finding a particular comic is the trick.  If you know the ISBN, enter it into the search bar.  If your computer can handle Japanese input, type the name in exactly as it is in the Amazon database (with the correct kanji and kana).  Otherwise you are going to have to use the menus.

First learn katakana and hiraganaKatakana so you can use the menus, hiragana so you can go through the 'breakdown by first letter' search menus that pop up in some of the menu trees.

Alternatively, you can access the site via a machine translator [here]. - MoonShadow
They now seem to have a "Shop in English" set of menus. Initial impressions suggest I'll still have to draw on my Katakana knowledge quite a bit. I shall continue... --AlexChurchill

Now go the comics main menu - Japanese books --> comics / anime.  Then the fun begins.

Amazon.jp is mostly organised like most Japanese bookstores, by publisher and then title.  You can try searching that way by clicking on 'comic series'.  There's also a menu for popular titles (character titles), where you can find things like LoveHina, FullMetalPanic, FruitsBasket, etc.

Other entries on the Comics / Anime main menu take you to subsections of the index by genre - Men's comics, Ladies' comics, boys' comics, girls' comics, comics of anime (i.e. screen shots with printed dialogue), most of which then break down to the publisher search.

Finally there's a menu for looking by the author - 'creator'.

When you've found the title you want, ordering is pretty straight forward.  It works the same as any other Amazon.

There you go.  Even with the postage, it usually works out cheaper than buying at cons and specialist dealers.

After all, nobody likes to be "con"-ed  ^~

Postage is definitely the expensive part of ordering Manga from Japan. Mind you, if you're willing to deal with a Japanese ordering system, I can strongly recommend [BK1], whom I've used many times. Their postage charges tend to be significantly less than Amazon's, especially on small orders, since they don't add a significant per-order charge. The exception is if you're ordering heavy things, since they charge postage by weight, not by number of items. Most manga does not count as heavy for this purpose, most artbooks do. Of course, the best thing to do is still to make a joint order with other people and share the shipping costs... which would probably explain why I've never ordered less than 20 books from either shop... ^_^; - tjm

CategoryAnime, CategoryBooks, Manga

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Last edited February 16, 2004 12:48 pm (viewing revision 8, which is the newest) (diff)