Thanks to publishers like Viz, Yen Press and Kodansha, most popular manga and light novels of the last few years have received official English releases that can be found in most major book stores in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and a plethora of other countries.
Despite this surge in availability, manga collecting remains an expensive hobby. Individual volumes can cost anywhere between £7 and £20, which adds up fast, especially if you’re collecting a popular series with dozens of volumes, such as Naruto or Bleach.
This can put some otaku off starting a physical manga collection, but I would like to offer some advice on how to fill your book shelves with your favourite series without burning too big of a hole in your wallet.
Firstly, I would strongly advise beginner manga collectors to avoid buying too many different series at once, and to complete two or three before starting any more. Now, onto money-related advice…
Consider the Viz 3-in-1 editions if available. These are omnibus releases that compress three volumes into a single book and generally sell for about £10. These are an affordable way to kick start your manga collection, but do be warned, the paper these are printed on tends to be much lower quality than the paper used in single volumes. Nevertheless, if you don’t have the money or space for single volumes, there is absolutely no shame in choosing a cheaper option. These omnibus releases are available for popular series such as Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Fullmetal Alchemist, Skip Beat and others.
If you have a bit more cash to spend but want to save in the long run, there are some fantastic box sets available. A set containing the first sixteen volumes of Dragon Ball was released last week, and we have the complete collection of Assassination Classroom to look forward to in September.
When purchasing manga from physical stores, look out for any rewards programmes that you can sign up to. The Waterstones Plus scheme gives you an extra £10 credit for every £100 you spend, which means every so often you’ll be able to get an extra volume free of charge.
Its also a good idea to search for any Forbidden Planet International stores near you, as they currently offer a 3-for-2 deal on all manga. This was a massive help to me, allowing me to pick up three One Punch Man volumes for less than £14!
Finally, if you’re looking for a second hand bargain or rare out of print manga, keep a close eye on eBay auction listings. I’ve seen large collections sell for very cheap, and its pretty common for highly sought after older releases like Battle Royale to pop up.
Happy manga collecting, everyone. I hope you found this guide helpful!