Amazon.co.jp rolls out Otaku and Popular Character Stores

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Originally I had planned a mini series for October, unfortunately though this drowned in work and I had to give it up. Still on my ‘Creative Break’ and finding myself with not enough time at hand for research and translations in recent months, there is something I like to make a quick post about today.

It is that I came across on articles in the net, reporting on amazon.co.jp‘s upcoming release of an exclusive Kindle Paperwhite Manga Model (Kindle Paperwhite 32GB、マンガモデル、Wi-Fi 、ブラック、キャンペーン情報つきモデル; available in the colors BLACK or WHITE on October 16th, 2016). The latest gadget has a range of new features, including an increased storage capability, with which one can load several hundred manga volumes onto the device (regular e-books work, too). A dream of every manga aficionado, one is tend to say. The downside of it all though – guess what? – it’s a model produced for only the local market and consumers.

This was not left uncommented in social media, by people stating their disappointment about this regional limitation. Digital content is a sensitive matter in Japan, which is not only true for online games, music, but also e-books that are usually restricted to the country itself. This is one of the reasons why Kindle devices, are not enabled for the global program. I could imagine though that a localized manga model eventually hits the global market as well. Just remain patient and watch things unfold. Behind the curtains of Amazon, there are sure many interesting things underway.

Now, those articles about the new Kindle device clearly didn’t cause much of a rapture among foreign readers, but let’s turn this into a positive news. Because, amazon.co.jp ‘clandestinely’ rolled out an Otaku Store and a Popular Character Store not too long ago for its global program! Rejoice your fans of Japanese pop-culture goods – not only will it make (temporarily) forget about the missed out Manga Kindle 😉, this big time adds a great purchasing option to your shopping-from-Japan routine!

Books and films have always been shipped abroad, just like for any other Amazon location, but with the latest move, it will be possible for international customers to not only buy on DVDs, Blue-rays, CDs, novels and manga, now the choice expands to goods like action and collection figures, doujinshi (同人誌) and illustration art books, plush dolls, anime goods, cosplay goods, game accessory (i.e. amiibo figures, console covers) and so on. Among the themed series of the Otaku Store you will find for instance items of Super Mario, Megaman (Rockman)Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Love Live!, Naruto, Yu-Gi-Oh!, One Piece, Osomatsu-san, Sailor Moon, Dragonball, Neon Genesis, Saint Seiya, Cardcaptor Sakura, The Idol@masterJoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Mobile Suit Gundam. This will also allow you to get your hands on amazon.co.jp exclusive products, which otherwise rarely find their way onto listings on other Amazon marketplaces. The Character Store offers all to your heart’s content with character goods of Kamen Rider (仮面ライダー), Studio Ghibli (Totoro etc.; ジブリ), Silvania Family, Doraemon (どらえもん), Anpanman (アンパンマン), Mell-chan, Kumamon (くまモン), Hello Kitty, Gudetama (ぐでたま), Rilakkuma (りらっくま) and more coming with certainty!

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Then, whether you reside in Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, the UAE or Finland (all non-Amazon marketplace regions) AmazonGlobal eligible items are shipped to over 65 countries – with more expansion in sight. If you are a lucky one, residing in either China, Taiwan or Hong Kong, you even benefit from free shipping for certain categories. And that’s not all. After translating the main content of its pages into English and just this year into simplified Chinese, Amazon Japan beefs up its service towards an international clientele. The navigation just works like for any other Amazon location you use, so it’s a breeze. The friendly client service (chat, email), will provide you with all the information needed and guides you through to your desired purchases 😃.

Adding pop-culture goods to its assortment is probably just the beginning, given the great demand in abroad for product categories like Japanese beauty & cosmetics, stationery, sweets & snack supplies, household equipment as well as electronics. Amazon enables and actively supports local companies to step up onto the global stage by distributing products directly into target markets through the program. Before, such goods usually left Japan only through so-called third party sellers. I presume that with the help of Amazon, the often feared language barrier by smaller enterprises now falls away and encourages them to venture overseas with their products, since client communication and such will all be taken care off by the service. Maybe this will also lessen the voices, of those who perpetually claim ‘inward-looking’ Japan not being capable of satisfying the international demand, in particularly for pop-culture goods. Obviously it’s in a fledgling stage, but give it a bit more time and more good things are to come.

Observing this, I’m convinced that we will definitely see more Japanese products of all segments in circulation and on virtual shelves. So you might not get your hands on that Kindle Paperwhite Manga model right this moment, however the mentioned Otaku and Popculture Shop just made Amazon a more complete place to get shopping done online. And who knows, that object of desire, too, might not take that long time in coming. Now you tell me, if this is exciting news or what! Happy shopping from Japan everyone, jump to the Otaku Store right HERE!

PS: Speaking of shopping – among some Japanese Comic Essays I read and reviewed, you will also be able to get your study materials directly from amazon.co.jp. For the occasion, I added therefore a new side page with Japanese Learning Textbooks, in which you will find book recommendations on Japanese language learning. Make sure to check that out as well.

With this article, I therewith got two announcement out the door – how about that!? That’s it for right now. Stay tuned for upcoming posts!

Disclaimer: MyLittle Dejima is not a seller and products are not sold via this blog. It’s not guaranteed that the above stated information is accurate or complete. The information merely serves the purpose of introducing an online shopping services not connected to this blog. Responsibility of any nature pointed towards MyLittle Dejima will be strictly refused. MyLittle Dejima will not hold any liability for financial damage or loss suffered by using the mentioned services.

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  • Words in olive green color link to other articles/pages on MyLittle Dejima
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  • Words in simple bold, titles and article relevant information without external reference
  • For Japanese related words Hiragana (ひらがな), Katakana (カタカナ) and Kanji (漢字) are added for those interested in Japanese terminology

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