Buying manga from Japan has given me some sort of knowledge that it’s not often commented around the internet.
I’m sure most of us collect manga to some extent, and have from some humble manga volumes to several full shelves. When we buy manga we often want to know some details, the weight, paper size, the quality of paper, the accuracy of translations… some variables that surely will be also important if you ever want to buy erotic manga. If you are curious about it you can find this article interesting.
DISCLAIMER: all these data comes from my personal experience buying H manga, there are more companies this guide will not cover, and the reason is I have never bought anything published by them.
Some general data
Japan’s erotic manga is not that different from non-erotic manga, aside from the contents, the publishing chain is basically the same: Companies publish their own magazine(s), 400+ pages oversized magazines with a handful of manga chapters, surveys, popularity polls, gifts, etc. When some artist has published enough stories to publish an entire volume it often gets released with some extra illustrations, an unreleased on magazine oneshot… like I said, not that different from normal manga.
To encourage the sales, most of the companies have contracts with the main manga store chains, and depending on where you buy a volume, it may come with an extra fanzine, a poster, and illustration card…
Have you read Denkigai no Honya-san? that’s what they put on film when a new volume is released.
If you buy Inuburo’s latest work on Toranoana you get an exclusive small booklet, an illustration clearfile from Melon Books and an Illustration card from Houbunsha.
Let’s talk now about paper sizes. Paper in manga publications if often standardized worldwide, and different manga companies use different sizes. There are however, five paper sizes widely used:
|小(shou)B6||174 x 112mm||120g||Used for shounen manga aimed at young teens (Shounen Jump/Shounen GanGan etc).|
|B6||182 x 128mm||150g||Most commonly used size for seinen manga.|
|A6||148 x 105mm||100-300g||Used for Light Novels.|
|A5||210 x 148mm||350-500g||Used for special releases.|
|B5||250 x 176mm||600-700g for each 400 pages||Used for most magazines.|
Prices are often tied to this paper size.
- Shou B6 volumes worth around 400¥.
- B6 volumes worth around 600¥.
- A6 volumes worth around 650¥.
- A5 volumes worth around 1000¥.
- It depends for A5 magazines. If the magazine doesn’t have a spine cover, the price is around 400¥, if it does, around 700¥.
Mayoi Neko overrun (Shou B6), Iinari Princess (B6), Idol Sister (A5), Comic Kairakuten (B5 no spine), Comic LO (B5 with spine).
However prices vary, normally based on the number of pages, color pages and extras (I have one that came with stickers!).
Pisu Hame 下 1143¥ and Hajimeteno 952¥, despite being both A5, but look at that diference of pages and width.
As a side note, If you buy manga In Japan, there is a special tax of 8% if you live in Japan, so an A5 volume “定価１０００円＋税”, “Fixed price 1000¥ + tax” means the real prize is 1080¥. This tax does not apply for importing, so you won’t pay those 8% for overseas shipping. Some pages like Honto include the tax in the shown prize as “税込価格：1,080円“, “Tax included price: 1080¥“, but you would be paying just 1000¥.
About censorship, each company uses what they want. Sometimes they want you to buy the volumes offering you monstrous censorship on magazines, and lighter censorship on volumes, so if you really like the artists, you are going to buy the volume, while the magazines stay cheap.
The most used kinds of manga censorship are the following:
White light saber: The shapes are clearly visible but the “contents” have been erased.
Fine black bars. They are often translucent
Big black bars
Whiteout: Any trace of genitals is completely erased or concealed behind speech bubbles.
Nowadays lots of people know about Wani Magazine (Wani for short) because the website Fakku got sponsored to publish their works overseas, fully translated to English and without censoring. I’m not going to comment about all the drama around Fakku, Jacob and the expunging of Wani things on Exhentai, you can find more info here.
Wani Magazine (Crocodile magazine) is one of the main erotic manga publishers, they currently release four Monthly magazines (All B5 paper): Comic Kairakuten, Comic X-Eros, Comic Shitsurakuten and Comic Kairakuten Beast. Each one has its own artists, and a big number of the best ero mangakas draw stories on any of these four. Wani also has two more magazines, Comic Kairakuten XTC (Ecstasy), which is often a platform for new ero mangakas to publish, and Comic Hana-Man, published bimonthly being a compilation of stories from one single artist. All these six magazines have no spine cover except for Comic X-eros (look at the price, 700 yen, so it has spine). The paper of these magazines is pretty thin, the build of the magazine is not resistant, and they always have a few heavily recycled pages.
Covers of the latest Comic Kairakuten and Comic X-Eros
Be the way, these two magazines are going to be translated to English and published digitally in Fakku, paying a subscription. If you like the artists you might want to try it out.
Wani magazine also publishes a lot of manga volumes. They are always A5 size, and have an average prize of 1000¥. They also publish some arbooks on their “non adult section”, bigger but also way more expensive. The paper on this volumes is pretty nice, thick, good tact and they have width around 2 centimeters per 200 pages, the weight is also higher than average. The cover finish can be either glossy or matte (only one out of the 12 Wani volumes I have has matte finish though). In short, the quality of these volumes is pretty damn nice, way better than the average manga, bigger and with thicker paper.
Tosh’s volumes, Harem time is matte and Menkui! is glossy.
Wani uses white light saber censorship for magazines, and black bars for its volumes. The black bars were ridiculously tiny on old volumes, while they are resorting to pretty big bars in the latest releases. Of course the Fakku releases don’t have any kind of censorship.
White Light saber censorship on Kairakuten, light to non-existant on an older volume and thick black bars on a more recent one.
(Left: general public, right: Adult, then hit はい (yes) if you are over 18 years old)
My favorite authors publishing on Wani: Napata, Homunculus, Yashiro Pochi, Hamao, Tosh (not longer sadly :_D), TakayaKi, Mojarin, E-Musu Aki, Kisaragi Gunma…
Akaneshinsha (Madder new company) is a rather big publishing company in Japan. They have a great selection of non-adult manga, buts let’s focus on the adult part.
Akaneshinsha releases several adult manga magazines too. First and most important, Comic Tenma, with covers drawn always by Satoshi Urushihara (Have you play Growlanser?), Comic Koh (Cute vanilla manga), Comic Sigma, Girls for M (Femdom), Comic LO with Takamichi covers (Lolicon) and Comic Juicy (Vanilla lolicon). Also it may worth mentioning Comic Rin, wich is not longer publishing, but there are a lot of volumes released under its signature, most of them are now in Comic Juicy.
Covers of the latest Comic Tenma and Comic LO
All these magazines use B5 paper and have spine cover so they prices are around 700¥. This is the only company that publishes things over a specific fetish, such as lolicon or femdom. The paper of these magazines is great, thick, resistant, they are more like huge books instead of magazines.
Akaneshinsha also releases lots of volumes each year, but unlike Wani Magazine, they separate the releases on different seals depending on the magazine and they have a numeration for each volume. For example, Hajimete Ja Nai no, by Misao is the “Tenma Comics LO #161”, and JC Manual by Yukiu Con is “Tenma Comics LO #180”.
The build of these A5 Manga is different from the usual, the paper is not that thick but is good enough to give a good feeling passing the pages. Akaneshinsha’s manga are “smaller“, they are not that wide, but they are sometimes cheaper than the average too.
Akaneshinsha uses right now mosaic censorship on magazines, but they used to put thin black bars back in the time, and thick black bars on volumes.
Same page on Comic LO and volume.
(Click the big ENTER for adult section, and then OK to pass the 18+ alert.)
My favorite authors publishing on Akaneshinsha: Yukiu Con, Fuyuno Mikan, Ueda Yuh, Sekiya Asami, Homing, Yamatogawa, Mdo-H,…
Core is the last of the big three adult manga publishers in Japan. They publish currently 13 magazines on monthly basis.
Covers of the latest Megastore Alpha, Hotmilk and Bangaichi
Their main adult magazines are Comic Megastore Alpha, Comic Bangaichi and Comic Hotmilk. Some years ago they had Comic Megastore, but it received some complains due to the low amount of censorship and they had to stop releasing it. Megastore has Spine cover, while hotmilk and Bangaichi don’t.
As for the volumes, Under the “Megastore” seal there are a lot of manga already published, and since they have a numeration like Akaneshinsha, they can be easily tracked down. The paper is A5 and the quality good, as good as Wani or even better. They also have both glossy and matte finishes for the covers.
Sweethearts (matte) and Maid Graffitti (glossy)
Their censorship varies a lot, depending on the release year, it can go from almost non-existent to heavy white light saber.
Heavy and imperceptible censorship, both from Megastore
(Click 成人向けを含む on the top left and then YES to access the adult material)
My favorite authors publishing on Core Magazine: Nendo, Enomoto Heights, Tsuruta Bungaku, Kensoh Ogawa, Otono Natsu, ReDrop, Kisaragi Gunma (This last 2 are on Wani now though)
Fujimi Comics (Shuppan means publishing company), part of a bigger holding Tatsumi Shuppan, has often stories depicting more anime-like characters, and less real then the others, but this is probably just my imagination.
Latest covers of Penguin Celeb, Penguin Club and Penguin Club Sanzokuban.
Their main Magazines are Penguin Club, penguin club Sanzokuban and Penguin Celeb, all these are on B5 without spine cover.
All their erotic manga get published on A5 volumes, pretty good build, good paper, virtually the same as Wani Magazine quality, which is pretty good. Sometimes with nice details too.
Sparkling stars on Idol Sister’s cover
My favorite authors publishing on Fujimi: Takuji Ohtomo, Shinobu Tanei, Miyashiro Sousuke,…
Seraphim Comics (Hit)
Hit Shuppansha has a rather humble selection of magazines and titles, but the artists are pretty good often.
Latest cover of Comic Aun
Hit’s flagship magazine is Comic Aun, B5 Spine magazine, but they also publish new works directly on volume, specially the lolicon ones “Shoujo Shiki”, one released every 4 months.
Their volumes (A5) are pretty wide, sturdy, and often a little more expensive than the average. As for censorship, they use white light saber on Comic Aun and big black bars on volumes.
My favorite authors publishing on Hit: Shiwasu no Okina, Tomohiro Kouda, Inuboshi,…
Mujin comics hosts some of the most popular artist overseas. Their paper quality is top notch.
Latest Comic Mugen Tensei cover.
They have a main Manga magazine, Comic Mugen Tensei (B5 with spine).
Amazingly sturdy manga volumes (A5), wider and heavier than average. If I had to say something bad about these manga is that their cover, under-the-cover and back cover design is pretty poor. Censorship white light saber on Magazine and thin thin thin bars on volumes.
Website: http://www.mujin-ti.net/top4.htm Time to redesign the page Mujin.
My favorite authors publishing on Mujin: Akatsuki Myuuto, Fuuga, Tachibana Omina,… I don’t like ShindoL, but worth mentioning since he’s pretty well known.
Unreal comics is yet another adult manga publishing company. I don’t think is a coincidence but their manga often features supernatural forces, demons, succubi, gender bender or mind control.
Comic Unreal latest cover.
They publish their newest manga on their magazine Comic Unreal (B5 with spine).
Their volumes (A5) are thinner than average, the paper tact is good but the width is pretty poor.
My favorite authors publishing on Unreal: Taniguchi-san and Rusty soul.
Take Shobo (Bamboo bookstore) is a big publishing company, not only for adult goods, but also general public magazines and manga, covering from Pachinko and Mahjong to normal Manga.
Covers of the latest Vitaman and Namaiki.
Their main adult magazines are Monthly Vitaman and Namaiki, and their stories are often long ones, instead of the usual oneshots. They are A5, no spine and this manga are often classified as Borderline H instead of hentai due to their somewhat complex stories, and the heavy whiteout censorship they use.
Their manga are released on B6 paper, so the prices are more around 600¥.
My favorite authors publishing on Take Shobo: Fujisaka kuuki, Chihiro Harumi, Kazuma Muramasa, Hishoka Drop, Asamori Mizuki.