Manga Shopping in Tokyo & The Manga Hunting Serie : What is it?
Manga Shopping in Tokyo, is a quest lol its something i like to call Manga Hunting.
I suppose that expression exist already but for me it started sometimes ago… and i really enjoy it lol
I liked to sometimes order manga for cochan as a surprise for her days off!
Because she love reading Manga since she is small.
But she liked some styles only… so i enjoyed making her discover other mangas…
Now she even Love Horror Manga!
– Manga Shopping in Tokyo Vs The Dark Price Rising in Japan
Lately on amazon, i feel the price for Manga is going up while “Kindle” version is heavily advertised…
I suppose they want to sell more Kindle version now… but i like for Cochan to have real Manga at Home…
A bunch of Files on a Kindle is not the same even if its useful…
For example because i like to have the “Original” cover for older manga.
For many anime i liked before its the first time sometime that i see the original cover from 80’s for example!
I feel thats something precious…
During a our Manga shopping in Tokyo i saw for the first time the original manga of Kamigure Orange Road!
I couldnt believe it was there… in good condition…
The edition of that time, what peoples were buying at that time!
It came to a point where some Manga come out on amazon easily at 700yen when originaly it was more like 500yen…
Thats for normal manga like a “Grand Blue” volume or something like that…usual 200 pages manga.
If its a bigger manga like some “Junji Ito” it can be more than 1000yen…
– Why Price for Manga is Going Up
I feel there is 2 explanations for that :
Amazon the number one seller of Books in Japan want to promote his Kindle service.
And so as much as possible will not cut price on Paper Versions.
At the same time they do cute the price on kindle version or even give them for free with a kindle account…
So already the Paper Manga stay high.
I dont have the number but OF Course the sells of Paper verion probably goes down the hill since some time…
Not only peoples may tend to read less but now also read less Real Books!
Therefore with what amazon and some other service like “Line” are doing now to Manga.
Probably Manga companies have to rise their Price as the demand become lower for Paper versions…
Thats a common thing in Japan.
For many Otaku hobby we accept having to pay a premium to make up for the lack of sell of something we like…
Think about price for some Otaku Games, like Visuel Novels… or some really Otaku Themed Games…
Often there is just 10 peoples in the staff for it but their price is Higher than a triple A game for PS4,
Say like 8000 to 11000yen usualy compared to 6/7500 yen for a “mainstream” game…
So now Paper Manga may soon become seen as again a “Luxury”!
For Peoples who care and accept paying more, meaning : Otaku… again we will be exploited lol
– The Manga Hunters Resurgence
You Guessed it one of the solution would be “Wait until the price goes down” but from what i see it never do…
In japan there is a dynamic to price that may surprise you lol
For Manga its different as i feel the price just never go Down because they just Print Enough at any time.
So you often see even famous manga being not available and so they keep their value…
Until, yes one day that Demand go Down and the price should too but no!
At that moment they just STOP to print that original edition and replace it by a “Bunko” edition which are smaller version.
I dont know why they do that but…
Probably it equals 1/ Less paper, 2/less ink so Lower price! like its the only way to lower the price of an item…
That smaller “Bunko” version is less desirable for us Otaku because, first its not the “Original”! lol Second its not the Original Size it was intended for, and lastly often they also remake the cover for a more ugly one…
For some reasons that i dont understand but again, not having to pay for the original artwork may get the cost down…
Then you guessed it it make the price of the Original Version Unused go Higher and Higher…
– The Solution
You guessed it… Used Manga!
In japan you can find Used Manga in every City easily…
There is Many place but Main would of course be the used shops Book Off.
We tried Yahoo Auction at some point but its not worth it.
You will never be sure of their condition, the price might go up more then what you wanted.
There will also be shipping on you… forget it i think…
In Akihabara or Nakano there is even more way of finding used manga but Book off is still the Easy one but you have to know what you are going into.
At book off you you can get the best deals but you will need time and be patient…
Manga Shopping in Tokyo at Book Off
They have Most manga but not Everything, you might be lucky but your best bet is if you want well know manga (which means already tens of thousands lol).
For example finding Ito Junji manga there was difficult.
The price vary a lot but you can find a lot of manga for 108yen !
Most popular ones especialy, but strangely they will be also the most Read their and might or might not be in acceptable condition.
By coming many times, sooner or later you will find the one you want in a good condition at 108yen but some others you will never find for that price.
Some manga are just not available at that price and will start more like 250yen…
Keep in mind also that they often use a sale technic that will make you annoyed…
Finding volume 1, 2 and 3 of your manga at 108yen but from volume 4 it will then range from 250 yen until 600yen.
For normal manga, for example Grand Blue was like 580yen at book off even you could buy it on amazon for 620yen!
Also there is a lot of peoples, its Hot (often… not always, it may depend on number of peoples ^^).
Peoples MOSTLY come there to Read until they have to go somewhere so they will be Standing In the Middle!^^
Searching manga Randomly might be hard if you need to Take them out one by one to figure out which is which…
So what i recommend is that :
– For Manga Hunting in Tokyo You Should Make a List!
Plan ahead and Make a List with their Writing in Japanese + Pictures of the Cover from the version you want!
I usually do that.
I can read titles normally on side of manga but sometimes not.
Depending on the kanji and its also important so you will not Forget one you really wanted…
You can go Casual and just buy what you see that you Like but… Manga Hunting is serious! ^^
My list look usually something like that:
It include :
- The Title in Japanese
- The number of Volume (of the Edition You Want, it can be different)
- The price i saw somewhere or expect to pay for the set.
(But i am often very optimistic because on website the lower price the better.
But once you see them in real it may be that for that price the condition is terrible…
Then often i find out it can cost 30% more for a good condition… or Double if we need to go Mandarake.)
- The cover for the version we want.
There might be many different edition, which come in different size, covers, numbers of volume…
So decide that ahead and put the cover corresponding to not do a mistake.
- If you are on vacation or traveling, you may want to add… the Weight per Volume!
So you can calculate that too and not find yourself in a bad situation at the airport later!
Where you will have to literally Trash Books or suddenly.
Or you will have to multiply their cost by 20 because of the penalty you will have to pay to your plane company…
All the Manga are available ONLY in Japanese.
But its very possible that you will enjoy having some of your favorite in their original forms with original covers and all.
I feel especialy older manga are desirable as they may not exist in your country or with different covers.
For recent ones it seems it often the same covers but it depends.
And if you want juste some for a decoration purpose you can find them cheap.
You want one Manga in Particular But:
- They might just not have the volume you want (thats off course lol)
- They might have it but not in a condition you accept (yellowing, scars, torn…)
- They have it but Someone is reading it right in front of you!
Even its against the rule (you are not supposed to be Reading for hours there but…)
- They do have often “pre made” full set of some manga.
In that case you cant change what is inside and condition vary from volume to volume)
- They have it but its popular or rare and the price is not interesting…
- One excelent point for Book Off (at least akiba one), is that after 10000yen of purchase they can send all the manga to you for free if you live in Japan.
Its awesome as you can buy a lots and make them send them to your self then go freely somewhere without carrying 30 kilos of books!
Other things to consider is the time when you go there for example, if its a week day try to go before Noon, if you go after 5pm or worst…
On the week end you are in for a lot of pain and suffering lol.
Keep in mind that Manga Shopping in Tokyo may be time consuming,
You may have to go to more than one shop to complete a full set from a manga in a condition you like.
During our manga shopping in tokyo we really try to find Pristine Volume at good price so it sometime take us 4 to 8 shop/times to complete a set.
But its fun too to cross them one by one from your list knowing you found a pristine one for each volume lol
But if you came on Vacation think about it twice lol
As even just Going in and Out of Book Off may take some time if its a week end ^^
Manga Shopping in Tokyo at Mandarake
Mandarake is another option we use sometimes.
Most of the thing we said already apply to Mandarake too (Make a List, Time….)
I you come on vacation and you are otaku you may even go there directly as its quite famous!
But be Careful! Mandarake is at least twice as expensive… if you are lucky.
The Bad Points are:
- There will be no manga at 108yen, price start around 300yen i would say but easily more.
- The selection of manga there is much smaller than Book off.
- Manga are sealed in a plastic film (which is also a good point)
The Good Points are:
- All the manga are in Excellent Condition!
- There is not so much people at the manga floor usualy.
- Ah and… The clerk might wear a cosplay! lol
They have both separate volumes and some full set.
We go there for manga that we cant find at Book off for example.
Because mandarake have more less known manga.
They also have older manga and normaly in good condition compared to their age.
Mandarake will buy manga from you Only if they are in a great condition.
Manga we buy often look like they were never read.
It explain the smaller number of manga there and their price.
Note that they will usually have only One of each volume at a time.
They may have more in the back if you want to compare them but its not so useful there.
They are all the same… pristine.
Globally Manga Shopping in Tokyo is easier at Mandarake.
If… you are ok to Pay More and… if they have what you want.
There you have it… Manga Shopping in Tokyo in a (Big) nutshell.
Its possible to find manga in many other location but to be effective those are the 2 best way!
Especially once you know the strength and weakness of both (which you do now!).
The Mandarake we go To are the ones in Akihabara (mostly), Nakano and Shibuya.
As for Book Off there is shops literally everywhere.
We go to the one in Akihabara when we go there. Or any in any city, any Train Station…
The Akihabara one is our favorite.
We can find lots of manga in one place and send them to ourselves.
Of course if you want or need to buy all your manga new (if they are new releases for example),
Then anything goes as the price are more or less fixed.
Animate, amazon or any shop will do… even Konbini like 7/11 have some.
Enjoy your Manga Shopping in Tokyo but…
Please start to call it “Manga Hunting” as i want to start that trend lol !
We will update that guide sometime ^^
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