I’m sharing to y’all my experience on buying digital manga. And yes, this is legit guys so don’t worry (no hocus pocus I swear!). However, and unfortunately for some of us who isn’t fluent in Japanese, the manga titles are completely in Japanese. And the website, as you have already guessed by now is also entirely in Japanese. So yeah that’s the biggest gripe there, nonetheless for those of you who don’t mind or like reading raws/comfortable reading in Japanese but don’t want to pay hefty shipping fee, this is a good alternative.
I buy both printed & digital manga from honto.jp. First, let’s do some brief touch based on print manga: based on my experience their SAL method is OK-ish. (EMS I haven’t tried—because it is subject to customs hence expensive fees so nope, not gonna happen! ) I did lose a package from them although I was more dubious of our PO system than them. It’s a little erratic of when is safe to buy (at least on my case) because some blogs/forums I read cautioned us not to buy on holidays, but I bought during Golden Week and my package arrived in two weeks, faster than the other times. So all in all honto is still a great store for me. I still prefer buying from them instead of CDJapan—which is in English and quite OK, although SAL took too much time to arrive. (This is great alternative though I find their shipping fee a tad bit steep. And I know they also offer digital editions but I have no desire to try it out.) But when it comes in bulk, YesAsia is my guy (read my review here)!
You can google search on how to sign up on honto, but please be aware that you need a Japanese address in order to process your purchases, otherwise you can’t buy anything (unless you’re from JP and JP card holder). And yes, they do accept international card (all my purchases went smoothly, no mishaps or anything like it so I think that’s safe to say).
Now, I told you I lost a package, right? This is the reason why I decided to try their eBooks. I wasn’t totally on board with it but there are series I just like to just finish it and don’t want a copy shelved in our house (because you know limited space of the urban lifestyle) I decided to try it out. I downloaded their e-reader for Windows® & tried downloading their Android app for Samsung Galaxy Tab but unfortunately they don’t support devices that are not in JP…I think? (banner pic above is for aesthetic purposes only, please be advised! I wonder if I go to Japan & download the app will it work…?) But I don’t have any problem with my Windows® reader (as you can see in my digital library screenshot above) and it runs efficiently. If you are used to buying eBooks let’s say via KOBO or Amazon, same thing applies: just add to cart, pay and it’ll automatically reflect on your library.
I’d say honto is a very generous store. They have point system in every purchases, discount coupons (I receive this on a regular basis it’s ridiculous already but please don’t stop, I love receiving those!) but the best of all, free manga! Yes, you’ve read it right it’s FREE. (
most of my latest hoards are, er…yeah I’m an unabashed tsundoku confirmed!). I’m quite satisfied with honto but I still want to try other store, like amazon.jp but I’m a big KOBO fan so I don’t have Kindle (they have app too, I know). And I’m not sure if international downloads are even allowed. I haven’t read any reviews/guides of it. On the other hand, I read from a blog post that ebookjapan.jp is so much better (a thorough guide of ebookjapan here, thank you!) I was browsing their selections and they’re tiny bit cheaper than honto. And so if I ever cave in and try my way in that pain-in-the-ass registration then I’ll tell you guys, too. I really am interested to try but not too soon though.
(I know English Language distributors like Crunchyroll & Viz Media also offer simulpub for premium members and some of their titles are free to read but geographical restrictions and the sheesh. So yeah, not for me unluckily.)
And that’s about it! How about you? Do you buy digital manga? If you do, where do you buy it? And if you haven’t tried, are you interested in buying? Please share your opinions with me!