Friday, August 13, 2004


When I first began writing about Japanese-language manga in this blog, I said I planned to provide some info on buying these books. I've been very remiss in not doing so, but I do plan to put up a post on the topic in the next couple of days (knock wood). To start with, here's some info Chris Vaillancourt sent me (I've edited a bit): "You asked how/where I buy manga. Recently I've been using YesAsia. While I'd used it in the past for DVDs and such, the Japanese manga section is relatively new I believe, probably no earlier than May. Here's the ZZZlink:


"Basically, YesAsia has most of the in-print books from all the interesting alternative publishers: Seirin Kogeisha, Ohta Shuppan, Seirindo, East Press/Cue Comics, as well as several of the tiny boutique labels. Prices are reasonable (a 952 yen manga is $12.12). The only catch is that, unless you switch to Japanese encoding and plug in the title of a manga, you may not find what you're looking for. Searching by author (in English or Japanese) usually leads to an author's page that is blank (unless the author's name is in the title), and the romanji used on the site is usually different from the standard.
"Most of the interesting books are in the "Middle School/High School" (it was weird to see Maruo's books in this area), "Teens" and "Mania" sections. Search tips for some manga that might interest you: "efu" brings up back issues of "Erotics F" and the FX Comics/Ohta books; "Ohta" brings up the other books published by Ohta Shuppan; "atsukusu" brings up issues of "Ax".
"I've used the site for my last several orders and recommend it. I've found a lot of titles that in the past would have taken months to arrive or involved paying higher prices and shipping costs. The only flaw I can think of is that the '7-14 days' and '21 days' listed as shipping times are often vice versa."


Chris also provides some info on two manga by Kotobuki Shiriagari which I haven't seen, but which sound interesting:

"Finally, I forget to write about the Kotobuki serial in Ax. The title slips my mind at the monent (I actually don't remember being able to figure out what it meant), and I can honestly say I have no idea what is going on. Trains crashing, cities burning, citizens fleeing in terror: all this destuction seems to have something to do with a giant tree that's shooting up through the city, and by the end of the last chapter I looked at the tree is towering over the entire enflamed cityscape.  I'm missing several chapters (including the first) and there's no synopsis in front of the chapters. The characters are drawn in the usual scratchy, nervous Kotobuki manner, but the scenes of destruction tend toward the photo-realistic. I'm assuming the story will make sense when it's collected; either that or Kotobuki is trying for some formalist experiment. Incidentally, there's another Kotobuki manga about the end of the world, "Hakobune". Appropriately, it's about the end of the world by rain/flooding. It ran in "Quick Japan". I haven't read it but it received nothing but raves online. It's also at YesAsia."

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