Saturday, August 1, 2009

Manga in Nagoya - 名古屋のマンガ店

Lately I have been visiting a lot of Manga shops here in Nagoya so I thought I should make a post about it.

There are Mangas everywhere! thousands of titles in the shelves! tens of magazines are published every week with new series! It's really a paradise for me and a great incentive for me to study Japanese even harder.

Inside Manga there are lots of genres but the main difference is the target audience they are written for. For example, recently I have become interested in Josei Mangas (also called ladies comics レディースコミック, check the sign). It is aimed at an adult female audience and they are about daily life stories and romances from a short of adult point of view.

Comics for girls between 10-18 (teenagers) are classified typically as shoujo (少女, check the sign on the shelf). They are mainly about cute girls having romances and sometimes they become quite cheesy (thanks Si for this word :D).

The equivalent of shoujo for boys is shounen (少年) manga. One of the main shounen magazines is probably the Weekly Shounen Jump (週刊少年ジャンプ). In the photo above the shelf has tankoubons from that magazine. In my laboratory, we buy this magazine and one of the most popular series that appears on it is Naruto.

Mangas for adult men (and I don't mean porno XD) are known as seinen (青年) Manga. In the shelves above they are classified depending on the name of the magazines where they first appeared in: Big Comic (ビッグコミック) and Young Magazine (ヤングマガジン).

Such a huge world to explore! It feels like when I found out about Internet which gave me the chance to get information about almost anything. I have bought several Mangas and Manga magazines and I can understand about 50% of the text. When I can't, I try to look the meaning up in the electronic dictionary. It's a good way to learn new words.

In Nagoya, the main place for Manga is Osu Kannon which concentrates several good shops. But this is not the only place, so I will make a list of the places I know:

1.- The BEST place to buy Manga (or a book or anime) in my opinion is in a BOOK-OFF shop. In Nagoya there are lots of book-off shops. For the moment, I have bought mangas in Ikeshita and Irinaka shops. The good point of these shops is that as the mangas are second-hand (although the quality is as if they were new!) they are very cheap (typically 105¥ per manga, although today there was an offer and I bought 3 mangas for 105¥ which is less than 1 euro!). Also, in these shops Mangas don't have a plastic wrap so you can take a look before buying. Actually there are lots of people literally reading them without paying (which is called in Japanese tachiyomi 立ち読み, meaning reading while standing up).

2.- The only problem of book-off is that they don't have all the mangas or new publications. If you want to stay up to date then you want to read manga magazines. The best place in my opinion is in one of the million convenient stores that are spread out throughout Japan. Most of them open 24h and you can do tachiyomi there to check that you like the drawings or the stories before buying it (or not! :D). You can also buy magazines in the next shops I will mention but they will be wrapped in a plastic bag most probably.

3.- In front of Irinaka's book-off there is a huge bookshop with several floors. In the second floor there are mangas that you can RENT as if it was a DVD (there are also DVDs to rent of course, with lots of anime). This way you can read the manga for a very cheap price and you don't have to store it in your home, just give it back. Also in this bookshop, they sell materials for drawing manga (paper, ink, color pens, etc). By the way, I think I would like to get an apartment around Irinaka hehe.

4.- Manga cafes, also known as mangakissa (kissaten means cafe or cafeteria), are a good option too. Basically you go there, have a coffee and read the mangas they may have. You pay for the time you stay there. There is a good list of Manga kissa in Nagoya here. From my experience i can recommend Mamboo meieki (Nagoya Station).

5.- And finally i will mention the main manga shops in Nagoya that i have visited:
  • Toranoana (in Sakae, near the TV tower): amazing shop with many floors including one floor for relaxing reading your mangas!
  • Wonder Goo (in Osu Kannon): very good shop, with several floors and very spacious.
  • Animate (in Nagoya station): very good shop, with several floors and it has all kind of materials for drawing. For example, they have books with reference photographs, a software that is used to make mangas called Comic Studio (there seems to be an English version, called Manga Studio), light tables, patterns, color pens, mannequins, etc. Also they have a big section with self-published mangas, called doujinshi.
  • Gamers (in Osu Kannon): good shop that is alway full of people. It's not as big as the previous ones but its very popular as well.
  • Mandarake (in Osu Kannon): it is famous but i didn't like as much as the previous ones. It has several floors but there is not too much space.
  • Sanseido bookshop (in Nagoya station, JR Takashimaya Department store, or in Nagoya Dome, Aeon Shopping Center)
  • K-books (in Osu Kannon): it's quite big but i didn't like it too much.
  • Rashinban (in Nagoya station): strange shop with two floors, one underground and other one in the 4th floor. They had lots of doujinshi also.
  • AEON shopping centre (in Nagoya Dome, in front of Dragons stadium): although it is a normal bookshop it has a very good amount of manga. In fact most of the pictures above were taken there.
  • Sanyodo and Tsutaya: these are bookshop franchises.
And I am pretty sure there are still much more that I have not seen! :)

PD: It seems that my friend Alberto Muriel is going to draw a comic as a professional, congratulations! :)


Vnesa said...

I didn't known you like ladies comics...

We will visit that stores when we visit you sooner or later.

And thank you for the PD!!

Maria said...

Haha Vnesa! When Daniel told me that I've asked him for a veeery long explanation why is it so :P

Muriel said...

Gracias por acordarte de mi majetón!

Tobio said...

Awesome bookstores, like the tube, i can imagine the pushing mans, trying to fit in tons of these comics.

Relly a paradyse, but havent enoght time as many times.

regards from Bilbao Daniel San.