Japan is a pretty unique country for many reasons: samurais, temples, geishas, tea ceremonies, etc. Nonetheless, if we had to pick something for what the Japanese culture stands out, it could very well be the Anime industry. Not even in their best dreams Mangaka (漫画家) – manga artists like Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) or Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) could have imagined the huge impact their works would bring to the world. From the first sketches to full Manga comics. There are plenty of Anime stores in Japan where you can buy Manga comics, Anime series, action figures, clothes and just any type of merchandise. The situation changes dramatically outside of Japan though and that’s where the Anime online store business comes into play.
The Anime industry has been growing steadily ever since it first started. After the initial success experienced in Japan, it was time to spread to the rest of the world. They realized that there were plenty of fans in the Western world eager to have access to their products. And, while they managed to open a few Anime stores outside of Japan, they found their best ally in the E-commerce. As of today, regardless of where someone might be in the world, they are just a few clicks away from their favorite hero. Pretty easy, right? Well, to make it even easier, we propose the following Top 10 Japanese Anime online merchandise stores:
Table of Contents
1) Top 10: Otaku Mode
2) Top 9: Animate Online Shop
3) Top 8: Suruga-ya
4) Top 7: Gee Store
5) Top 6: Amiami
6) Top 5 : Mandarake
7) Top 4: Booth
8) Top 3: My Anime Shop Online
9) Top 2: Nakama Store
10) Top 1 : Zen Market
Anime Online Store #10: Otaku Mode
Online Store: Otaku Mode
We start off our Top 10 Japanese Anime online merchandise stores with Otaku Mode. Also known as Tokyo Otaku Mode or TOM, this online shop delivers within Japan and overseas. The website is in English and the shipping fees vary depending on product and shipping method. They sell products related to Japanese Anime, manga, games, music and fashion. Their website is neat, clear and easy to navigate. When it comes to clothing, bags and wallets, their stock is kind of limited. The same goes for the most popular Anime: they don’t have a great number of items available.
Apart from selling different kind of products, they also have some interesting sections such as “News” and “Otapedia” (an Encyclopedia for Otakus). Thus, you can learn new facts about the Otaku culture as well as being up to date with your favorite Anime. All that while buying some cool merchandise.
Anime Online Store #9: Animate Online Shop
Online Store: Animate Online Shop
One of the most well-known and largest Anime online merchandise stores in Japan. Animate’s website has a bottom on the upper-right corner where you can choose the display language. They also have a specific English website, which, unfortunately, doesn’t have the same stock as the Japanese one. The menu on the left, the one where you can filter your search, seems to be a little laggy.
Their stock is kind of limited when it comes to clothing and cosplay. That being said, you can find plenty of accessories, action figures, key rings, posters, bags, wallets, comics, DVDs and music albums from both old-school and trending Anime. The shipping fees are between 500 ¥ and 1000 ¥ and, unfortunately, they don’t ship overseas. One interesting aspect of this website is that you can filter by writer. So, if you choose “Eiichiro Oda” you know what’s going to happen next, right?
Anime Online Store #8: Suruga-ya
Online Store: Suraga-ya
Another well-known Anime online store. Suruga-ya has plenty of Anime-related merchandise products. You can find anything from clothing to action figures to accessories. That being said, what makes Suruga-ya unique is its huge stock on media. For example, if you look for “Dragon Ball”, you can find not just plenty of DVDs displaying Goku’s adventures but even music albums and video games. In fact, its Anime-related video game availability can easily be one of the largest in Japan.
Yet another remarkable point of this website is its prices. When your purchase exceeds 1500 ¥ the delivery fee is free. Yes, free! Talking about prices, you can find great bargains at their “Used” section. If we had to mention some downsides of Suruga-ya they would be the language (just Japanese) and the shipping (just within Japan).
Anime Online Store #7: Gee Store
Online Store: Gee Store
Even if its URL is a .com one, Geestore is in Japanese and it delivers just within Japan. Google Translator works well enough but the upper-left menu doesn’t get translated. Surprisingly enough they are still using HTTP rather than HTTPS, but I guess they’ll fix that soon. Technical details apart, shipping fees are free when your purchase exceeds ¥15000.
The stock of this website is huge. You can find any merchandise related to your favorite Anime: action figures, bags, posters, DVDs, etc. However, if there is an aspect that stands out at Geestore is their superb clothing section. To the typical cosplay outfits, this store adds replicas from some of your favourite characters. What would you say if I told you that you can finally buy Trunk’s denim jacket? Yes, they sell it here! And that’s not all, you can even find living ware products such as sleep masks, towels and aprons. Pretty cool, huh?
Anime Online Store #6: Amiami
Online Store: Amiami
Amiami is in Japanese and, once again, it delivers just within Japan. Its website is neat, clear and has a great filtering system. What makes Amiami different to other Anime online stores is its action figures section. They have a huge stock of astonishing quality. For example, let’s say you are into One Piece. So, if you type “One Piece” in the search box and then filter by “figures”, you’ll get a message saying “We found 2108 products”. 2108 One Piece figures! Who gives more? And that’s not all, its clothing section is almost as good the figures one!
Another peculiar aspect of Amiami is that it has some sort of an old-school style. That means that you might not find anything about Kimetsu no Yaiba but, on the other hand, you can find plenty of stuff from Rurouni Kenshin. And last but not least, all the shipping fees are set to ¥500 except when you go bulk-buy. In that case the fees are even cheaper!
Anime Online Store #5: Mandarake
Online Store: Mandarake
Mandarake can easily be one of the most complete Anime online stores when it comes to selling Japanese merchandise. They have pretty much everything you might be looking for. Are you looking for a cosplay costume from your favourite hero? They have it. Do you want to surprise your friend with a cool birthday present in form of a wallet, a backpack or any other accessory? They have it too!
As you might have already guessed, they also have plenty of action figures, posters, DVDs, music albums, clothes and Manga comics. Their website is in Japanese, English and Chinese. Pretty convenient, right? Compared to other websites, its filtering logic is just great. You can narrow down your search to a point where you get exactly what you are looking for. What about shipping and fees? They vary depending on the product but they tend to be quite low. Their only drawback is that they don’t ship overseas.
Anime Online Store #4: Booth
Online Store: Booth
Booth is somehow similar to Mandarake. It has plenty of products and the website design and filtering system is great. Apart from the aforementioned languages in which Mandarake is displayed, Booth also includes Korean. The shipping fees depend on the product but, unlike Mandarake, Booth ships overseas! Yes, you read well. We had to wait until the #4 of our Top 10 Japanese Anime online merchandise stores to find another online business shipping overseas. But, finally the long wait has come to an end!
Therefore, for those of you living outside of Japan, you will find in Booth a great ally. In fact, it is not Booth itself the one shipping internationally, but Tenso, which have partnered up with Booth to please customers around the world. Booth’s stock is not as large as Mandarake’s but they have a great deal of handcraft stuff. You can’t have it all, can you? Well, maybe if you keep reading…
Anime Online Store #3: My Anime Shop Online
Online Store: My Anime Shop Online
My Anime Shop Online is the third Anime online store from our Top 10 which delivers overseas. The website is in English and it is neat, clear and easy to navigate. Apart from the typical menus and filtering options, they even have a blog to discuss Anime-related topics. On the one hand, their stock is not as large as some of the previous online stores. They don’t have products from some great old-school Anime either. But, on the other hand, the quality of their products is just amazing. You know the saying quality over quantity? That’s their motto.
And that’s not all. One of the main reasons why My Anime Shop Online occupies the #3 of our list is because… they have no shipping fees! Yes, you read well. They can ship anywhere in the world and they do it for free. What are you waiting for?
Anime Online Store #2: Nakama Store
Online Store: Nakama Store
I guess most of you have already heard the word “Nakama” before, right? Luffy uses it many times when speaking to the members of his crew. I’m pretty sure the creators of this online store got inspired by One Piece when choosing their name. Nonetheless, they sell products not just from One Piece but from most of the current Anime. Unfortunately, like with My Anime Shop Online, if you are looking for old-school Anime merchandise, this might not be your shop.
That being said, once again, this Anime online store delivers overseas and for free. Their web design is great and smooth and, similarly to our #3, they offer products of great quality. Their stock is not super large and they don’t sell Anime-related media. But, if you are looking for some great clothing options, action figures or cool backpacks, this is your place.
Anime Online Store #1: Zen Market
Online Store: Zen Market
Hopefully you kept reading and you made it to the #1 of our Top 10 Japanese Anime online merchandise store. おめでとう! (Congratulations!). Zen Market gathers the best of the previous Anime online stores and offers it all to you in the same website. Language-wise, you can choose from Japanese, English, Spanish, Chinese, etc. Their concept is simple: they act as a gateway between Japan and the world. You can find pretty much anything you are looking for and have it delivered to your door. Speaking about delivering, the shipping fees depend on the product and shipping option.
In the same website, Zen Market gathers giants such as Amazon, Rakuten and Yahoo. You can buy new and used products and even bid on them. If there is one downside to Zen Market is that they don’t ship in Japan. All in all, if you are living in Japan you might rather go buy your Anime merchandise to the shop next door 🙂
To sum up, the Anime online market is growing little by little. As you might have noticed by reading this blog, most of the online shops just ship within Japan. Due to that, many fans around the world struggle to buy their favorite Anime merchandise. Let’s be honest, not everybody can afford a trip to Japan just to fill a couple of suitcases with Anime-related products. You might as well feel like accessing to those products from the comfort of your couch, both physically and economically speaking. And that’s the reason why online shops like Otaku Mode, Booth, My Anime Shop Online and Zen Market were born: to fulfill the dream of millions of Otakus around the world. (If you’re also looking for online shipping for Japanese snacks, check out this Top 10 Japanese snack subscription boxes too!)
Hence, we wrote this Top 10 Japanese Anime online merchandise stores list taking into account not just quality and quantity but also accessibility. There might be other online stores offering a larger stock but, where do they ship to? Certainly, it is very easy for people living in Japan to go for a walk and find plenty of Anime stores all around. That changes dramatically when you live outside of Japan though. And that’s why we wanted to offer to you the possibility to enjoy the best of the Anime merchandise regardless of where you are.