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Where to buy/read vintage manga

Just a few suggestions and let people know where I normally go to buy/borrow my manga books.

Probably nothing people don’t already know. But if you can come up with any other suggestions, please please please let us know, I’d be really keen on knowing! 🙂

Note: a disclaimer here in case anyone wonders – [Manga Talk] is not associated or affiliated with any commerical or marketing programmes here. (It is against wordpress.com policy… and I certainly do not want to risk my blog being suspended doing that 🙂

New and Japanese only (i.e. for when I become very very desperate):

。Kinukuniya – Though rarely, I did manage to find/ pre-order bunko/reprint version from the bookstore

。Amazon JP – Just be prepared to pay for a whoooping shipping fee!

Used, Japanese only:

。Amazon JP – unfortunately would have to rely on sellers who would accept overseas orders, therefore choices can be limited.

。Rakuten Global – same as above, but normally cheaper than amazon on shipping for a bulk order.

。Japan Foundation Library

The foundation has offices worldwide, each provides a library facility which is often opened to local residents. The one I went to happened to have a good varity of manga in stock. Do check their website (and online catalogue) for details.

。Local Library

As long as you know the ISBN (check with Amazon, Anobii/ Goodreads, Google and etc), you can arrange for an inter-loan service with your local library…. I did it once, but unfortunately my local library charged me a ridiculous amount of admin fees for the “service”. Hopefully your local libraries will not be as rip-off as mine.

I often used Worldcat (www.worldcat.org/) to find items at libraries near me.

New and Chinese only:


(again, embrace youself for a high shipping fees. But items are delivered in DHL, hence guarantees fast delivery and minimal disappointment! 🙂

Used, Chinese only:

。Yahoo Auction (not strongly recommended as sellers normally do not ship overseas. Also need to be a resident to open a local yahoo account).


Often delays (or lack of response in most cases) in accepting/ processing international orders.

Other buying options which I have not explored but others have suggested:

。Bookoff USA/ France/ Korea (except I do not live in there to ‘enjoy’ it! 🙂
。Mandarake (English)
。Passing-Fancy (see comment below)
。Use an intermediary service for yahoo auction….?!

Want to find out where you can read ONLINE?

Google it! 🙂

Without spelling out the obvious, Google DOES offer a lot of pointers! If in any case, Google doesn’t give you a satisfying answer…. well, then in the most unlikely event would I be able to provide you with an even better answer here really! 😉


20 thoughts on “Where to buy/read vintage manga

  1. Do you have room on your list for a small store in Tokyo that offers personal service for each order?

    Passing-Fancy will ship almost ANY Japanese manga worldwide for under $9.99 per volume, or often under $3-5 per volume in larger sets. Postage is only about $1-4 per volume based on the exact weight of the package! MUCH cheaper than Amazon!

    If an English translation is available, it will be included on CD-Rom for Free with your order!

    Only about 1,000 series are listed so far, but Special Orders can be placed at the same prices!

    Posted by D&H Collins | October 10, 2013, 5:14 pm
    • There you go guys! another suggestion/ free advert here 😉
      Been meaning to try your service for a while… if I haven’t been so broke busy paying back for my healthcare, sigh~.

      Anyone with any feedback/suggestion – feel free to shout! 🙂

      By the way, sorry but have to edit and remove the direct link to the website. (don’t want to risk my blog being suspended violating WP policy – see my disclaimer above!) Thanks for your understanding.

      Posted by xkazemg | October 11, 2013, 3:10 am
  2. Hi xkazemg,

    Can I ask for help after ordering on 2books? I was surprised to see, after ordering, that my books will be sent after payment. The problem is, how do I pay (credit card? Paypal?)?

    Thanks a lot 🙂

    Posted by a-yin | October 14, 2013, 12:36 pm
    • It’s OK, I’ve finally found out how to pay my order. 2books.com.tw seems a good website, the customer service was very fast to reply. Good to see you back 😉

      Posted by a-yin | October 14, 2013, 7:43 pm
      • hey, good to see you back here too 🙂
        the last time i used 2books, their customer service was terribly slow to respond, so it’s good to hear you have a fast response from them 🙂
        can i ask what you have ordered? *wink*

        Posted by xkazemg | October 15, 2013, 1:57 am
  3. Really? I hope they will be fast to send the items! I put an address in HK because my parents are going there to visit relatives. I ordered Hotel Africa #3-4 (since I didn’t read this part in French, but there’s still one volume missing, this series is simply cursed haha), One Zero #1-4+Gaiden and Shoryo O by Shio Sato. It will be very hard to read in Chinese I know, but … I wanted to order Yumi Tada’s Johnnie the shy guy but seems pretty hard to find! Wanted to order Moto Hagio’s Marginal (but still hoping an English translation of it… maybe I’m daydreaming) and Moto Hagio’s Barbara Ikai but this one seems very rare too O_O!

    Posted by a-yin | October 15, 2013, 8:12 am
    • It should be ok. My experience with 2books was that, once they accept and start processing, the order wouldn’t take too long especially if it is to deliver to HK. Just make sure you give them a contact no. in HK. (think you can also arrange for payment upon receiving items)… do give your parents a big thank-q kiss for bringing back the books for you though! 😉

      Wow, you have chosen some very interesting titles there; so excited for you! hehehe. Give me a shout if you need some help in chinese translations; will gladly help…. well, to my best that is :))

      Ha, for some stupid reason I mistook Yumi Tada for Kaoru Tada when you mentioned “Johnnie the shy guy”! Don’t recall reading any of Yumi Tada’s (or I probably did but just forgot about it???!!) Have you read any of hers besides Johnnie? Any good?

      By the way, just gathered that the author of “Hotel Africa” has also released another title in French….. have you seen it?

      Posted by xkazemg | October 16, 2013, 5:21 am
    • Hey there. just a quick msg to let you know that I have seen your latest message but somehow I stupidly clicked on something that led to your post “vanished” from the blog before I got the chance to reply!!!…. and I still haven’t figured out what happened to your long reply! So sorry! (feel so guilty as if I wasted your effort in putting together such a lovely and long reply… duoh!!!!!)

      Btw, thanks for introducing me to Yumi Tada’s works; will definitely dig into it these few days. Will come back to you after I read her “the shy guy Johnnie” 😉 (but from a quick look on her art… really can’t tell how natsume ono was “greatly influenced” by her, as you mentioned)….. anyway.

      Re Lineage: I really like it! but dame it its chinese translation is only available upto Vol 5!!! i have seen the completed series but in korean… absolutely clueless on what was happening 😦 Any idea?

      Hagio Moto’s french translation: that’s a good news for you and other french fans indeed 🙂
      But I somehow wish Matt T and others can give equal attention to other great mangaka (such as YAMAGISHI Ryouko, YOSHINO Sakumi, et al.) as well in terms of promoting/ marketing/ translating their “masterpiece”…… sigh.

      Posted by xkazemg | October 16, 2013, 12:15 pm
      • On Lineage, the series is complete in French if you can read the language 😉 . I can tell you the ending in an email. I wanted to write about Lineage but I’m not very inspired at this moment 😦 .

        I hope to see some Ryoko Yamagishi one day but I guess the drawing is too old school and not shojo-ish enough. There has been no news from Fantagraphics about shojo since The Heart of Thomas 😦 . I’m surprised by Polish publishier JP Fantastica which published Poe No Ichizoku and is about to release They were eleven + sequel. There are also some Riyoko Ikeda.

        Natsume Ono herself said at an interview that she’s strongly influenced by Tada Yumi. I guess that’s the pace of the stories, the atmosphere.

        There are a few of Yumiko Igarashi’s works translated in French this year: Joséphine Impératrice and L’épée de Paros which is fantasy. I’m not really into this mangaka though.

        Posted by a-yin | October 16, 2013, 12:28 pm
      • Wow! I knew Lineage was available in French, but never did I realise the WHOLE series was translated – lucky you 😉
        yes, do spoil me PULEASSSE with the spoilers! No rush though, hehehee *sheepish*.

        Re Yamagishi Ryoko: Would be great to see if her masterpieces, namely “Hi Izuru Tokorono Tenshi” and “Arabaseque”, are more widely known and discussed. But I guess their translations will be very challenging (especially in the case of HITT?). I remember reading the english version of Waki Yamato’s Asakiyumemishi and be so disappointed by its translations, feeling that its original aesthetic appeal was ruined. 😦

        Hmmm, am really interetsed in the manga (publishing) industry in Europe after you mentioned about the polish publisher…

        Re “Bara no Joséphine” by Igarashi Yumiko:
        Faint~~~~~~ kidding me?!!!!!!! Josephine le mistress-turned-wife of Napoleon who had numerous of affairs and to whom Napoleon wrote, “I awake full of you. Your image and the memory of last night’s intoxicating pleasures has left no rest to my senses”……. has become Igarashi’s new heroine?! That’s just so not right, me thinking of the sweet innocent but head-strong and dertermined Candy Candy turning to become a flirtatious beauty (cf. Ikeda Riyoko’s Josephine in “Eikou no Napoleon – Eroica”)! Lol. But to be fair, Igarashi’s artwork does look very pretty.. and it looks like the artist has done a fair amount of research (on period costumes and etc) for her work. 🙂

        oh by the way, have you heard about Versailles no Bara returning? I just read a chapter of it (serialised in Margaret, the shoujo magazine) – so good to see Oscar and Andre again~~~ hehe.

        Digress: just went to check at amazon for Lineage in french; am nearly choked seeing those high prices even for the used ones!… Shocking. (shake head)

        Posted by xkazemg | October 16, 2013, 11:20 pm
      • btw. Just finished with “Johnnie” and “Ludlow Garage”… very interesting indeed. I prefer the latter though the artists’s summary written at the end of “Johnnie” was fascinating too – it helps me to understand her work a bit further at least 🙂
        Now I can kinda see where the influence on Natsume Ono’s work came from! ^^
        Tada’s manga drawings remind me of Ooya Chiki’s somehow…. hmmm.

        Posted by xkazemg | October 17, 2013, 6:45 am
  4. Regarding Lineage, I know the volumes could be expensive on amazon. But it is possible to find very cheap volumes (1 or 2€) second hand in Paris. Are you interested, maybe, to complete your collection in French? If I find some, I can tell you (but the delivery will be expensive I guess). I guess you’ll be able to pay through Paypal. I still don’t understand why Lineage has been completely published, it’s kind of a miracle (old school drawings, very bad reputation of the publisher, and so on). Other manhwa from the same publisher (which doesn’t exist anymore) sold better than Lineage (with “cool” design that I’m not very fond of).

    You’re a fast reader ^^ still waiting for my copy of Ludlow Garage (maybe on Sunday). For the moment, I’m reading French only. Don’t know Ooya Chiki by the way. Tada’s drawings reminds me of Atsushi Kamijô who wrote Sex (Next Stop in French). I love this series, but it was cancelled after 2 volumes in French (the ending is available in Spanish but I can’t read this language -__- ).

    Yes yes it IS this Joséphine 😉 . You can read an extract here: http://www.pika.fr/new/player/15223 . I’m more interested by Paros No Ken published by Isan Manga. This publisher only does hardcover so it will be an expensive book (45€ for the complete series).

    I heard about Versailles No Bara returning 😉 . There are lots of fans of this manga in France because the anime was on TV in the 80s. I’m not so fond of Riyoko Ikeda.

    Hi Izuru Tokoro No Tenshi sounds like a dream in French… I don’t like reading on a screen but I really have to check the English scanlation for this one 😉 . It’s impossible for me to read this series in Chinese. I love Yamagishi’s drawing, very simple but mature. Yoshida Akimi has been very influenced by her. But really, I don’t think Yamagishi’s work will be published in France.

    Oldies don’t sell too well here. And I don’t talk about shôjo oldies. It’s still a very patriarchal society here: men mangaka first, and then, maybe, women. For the moment, I do hope for Moto Hagio’s work because they have been praised in the West (in the US) and because she is the “mother of modern shôjo”. I don’t have lots of hopes for others. Maybe Keiko Takemiya who has not been translated yet in France.

    Posted by a-yin | October 17, 2013, 12:02 pm
    • oh yes of course, bookoff at Paris for cheap used books, non? 😉
      hmm, but not sure they’d take orders online….
      But if i ever have a bigger house with a dream-com-true bookcase, i’d definitely try to get different editions of some of my fav. classic manga (e.g. Heart of Thomas) in different languages…. voila! XD

      btw, which publisher were you refering to when you said ‘bad reputation’? the french or korean? what happen? do tell the gossips! lol

      Ludlow Garage: been sleepless thinking about it!!! the great thing about the series is that it’s so simple, as it seems to carry “no climax no excitment and no meaning”…. and yet so remarkable! – it’s almost like the yaoi without sex! 🙂

      Ooya Chiki – will try to do a review on her if i get a chance, just for you! hehe. Basically, old school but perhaps with a bit more “art decor” feel in her drawings when compare with the likes of say Waki Yamato or Igarashi Yumiko…..?

      re Yamagishi Ryoko: yup, I am with you on a very slim chance of her work being translated! if you fancy, I can try give you some spoilers on “Hi Izuru Tokoro no Tenshi” or may be a summary by each volume? hopefully that could help you reading it in chinese/ japanese when eng translation is not available 🙂

      Ikeda Riyoko – funny you said that cos i felt kinda same after her “Eikou no Napoleon – Eroica”. I am not saying they are not good…. just that they don’t seem to excite me anymore than it did in “Versailles no Bara” or “Orpheus no Mado”…. hmmm.

      Ps. we are preparing for moving … so apologies in advance for late reply.

      Posted by xkazemg | October 18, 2013, 10:43 am
      • I would like to have a big house too… You seem to speak many languages, that’s great 🙂 .

        About Lineage, what I meant was to help you. e.g. buying them if I see them very cheap, checking the shipping fees in the post office, and sending them to you through Amazon maybe.

        Lineage’s publisher is called Saphira, part of SEEBD. It was a French publisher specialized in korean manhwa. It has a bad reputation. The editing of the books was pretty awful with lots of spelling mistakes…

        Hi Izuru Tokoro No Tenshi is scanlated here: http://mangafox.me/manga/hi_izuru_tokoro_no_tenshi/ . But I am so lazy to read on the screen 😦 .

        We only got Versailles No Bara and Oniisama e… in French. I did like Versailles No Bara but didn’t feel the same about Oniisama e… . This series was also broadcasted on TV but was censored because of relationships such as love between girls…

        Atsushi Kamijo’s Sex is a seinen manga 😉 . I discovered this one years ago, it was published in France before 2000. I love the atmosphere and sometimes, I still miss it.

        I’m just curious about Paros No Ken 😉 . If I really want it, I will buy the French translation of Isan Manga. The books are really beautiful. I’m not comfortable with Chinese enough and still prefer French haha 🙂 . But thanks a lot anyway!!!

        Posted by a-yin | October 20, 2013, 8:53 am
      • I have just moved to a much smaller house, so my dream of installing a multi-language manga bookshelve will just have to remain as a dream 🙂 But I do need to look for some cost effective storage solution FAST, to accommodate all those manga beasts which are currently sleeping in the tea cartons in our lounge! lol.

        Re Lineage: Thanks very much for offering. That’s very sweet of you 🙂 I will save this precious offer for something more special next time! 😉

        Now that you mentioned, i do recall seeing a scanlation of HITnT online! Fortunately or unfortunately, I am too lazy to read on screen also; it’s too tiring on the eyes 😦
        But I do admire the translators’ efforts though; will definitely give it a go at somepoint 🙂

        By the way, have you come across “Georgie!” that was illustrated by the same mangaka of “Paros no Ken”? There was an animation of
        “Gerogie!” which was also censored in Hong Kong (or was it in Taiwan?) after the first few episodes were broadcasted in the 80’s, as the themes involved incest, drugs, violence, and etc…..

        In contrast, I am surprised to hear “Oniisama e…..” was censored in France; I would not be surprised if it were as explicit as something like “Kaze to Ki no Uta”! Similarly, the B&W movie “Beautiful Friendships” was about a special relationship bewteen two boys and which I assume was not censored back in those days? Oh well…. c’est la vie pour la animation I guess 🙂

        Posted by xkazemg | November 6, 2013, 12:07 am
    • btw, just have a quick look at Atsushi Kamijô’s Sex after you mentioned it (just goes to show i take your suggestion very dearly! :))))
      I am not sure what it is, but I am having a bit of hard time following the anove named series – it may have been because it was tagged as ‘seinen’ instead of ‘shoujo’, or may be its art I am having problem with? (i am not saying the drawings are bad, just that I felt there was a bit too much to absorb per panel… do u know what I mean?)….. I’d probably give it another go though 🙂

      Ps. could have passed you my copy of Paros no Ken back when I was selling them! they were in chinese though.But my! couldn’t quite believe it is sold in hardcover there…. it was hardly popular in HK and Taiwan from what I gather (not sure about Japan). I guess people were having mixed feelings about it, expecting to see a different version of Candy instead?….Anyway, do let us know if you’ve bought it! am getting curious about it! heheeh.

      Posted by xkazemg | October 18, 2013, 12:56 pm
  5. Speaking of Yumiko Igarashi:
    There’s an exhibition of some of her artworks in from 4th december to 4th january. Igarashi will be in Paris first day of the exhibition.

    Candy Candy wasn’t my cup of tea as a kid. I prefered Disney, american cartoons or Dragon Ball lol. It was common to censore anime back in the 80s in France. Unfortunately, manga and anime suffered of very bad reputation by the time. It’s changing now.

    Posted by a-yin | November 15, 2013, 4:51 pm
    • Lol
      Candy Candy (alongside Versailkes no Bara) was my first manga so I am always fond of the series as it means a lot to me 🙂
      Wonder what works of Igarashi would be covered in the exhibition. Let’s put it this way, I am hardly a fan of Yumiko Igarashi whom found fame after the success “Candy Candy” and “Georgie!”, neither of which was actually written by her. It made me kinda frown whenever I see her PR being associated strongly with the above works, disrespecting the wishes of the original writter/author/creator.
      Having said that, I still have a number of her works kept in my collection, such as “Croque-Pockle” and “Tim Tim Circus” from the 80’s! It’s like they are my reminders of those “innocent days” of mine! hehehe ~~~

      Posted by xkazemg | December 8, 2013, 10:40 am
  6. I also get your suggestion seriously 😉 . I did order Renaissance by Wakuni Akisato but couldn’t find Ao no Mesopotamia on 2books 😀 . Everything arrived I’m so happy 😉 (but I have to finish Moto Hagio’s Mesh first!).

    Posted by a-yin | November 16, 2013, 10:18 pm
    • Wow! I love Renaissance! For some reason i found it one of the most remarkable works of Wakuni Akisato. She’s definitely one of the best mangaka in coming up with stories about gender identity 🙂

      Re Ao no Mesopotamia…. I am pretty sure I have seen its chinese version somewhere (if not from 2books). Its Chinese titles is “藍色伊甸園” if I remember correctly? Hmmm… I am very sure I have read it before (i remember the covers!) but have forgotten what it reallyis about now :((((

      Would love to read wakuni’s “Banbutsu wa Genshi kara Naru to Iu Koto o” whenever I’ve got the chance though….. Have you heard of it?

      Posted by xkazemg | December 8, 2013, 10:52 am

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