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Where to buy raw manga

Where to buy raw manga

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Hatsumomo
A pair, since these are two branches of the same store.

Kinokuniya in Little Tokyo (Los Angeles)
123 Astronaut E Onizuka St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(2nd story of the plaza, above Marukai.)

Carries:
*New Japanese manga (~35% of the store)
*New Japanese books (~35% of the store)
*New Japanese CDs (10% of the store)
*New Region 2 DVDs (~2.5% of the store)
*New anime goodies (cell phone straps, pencil boards, gashapon, etc.) (~0.5% of the store)
*New stationery (manga tones, Copic markers, overpriced cute pens, stationery, origami paper, etc.) (3% of the store)
*New Japanese magazines (~4% of the store)
*New English books (Japanese language and culture focused) (~5% of the store)
*New English manga (~4% of the store)
*New Japanese artbooks (~1% of the store)

Prices:
*New Japanese manga: $5.50-$15
*New Japanese books: $4.50-$30
*New Japanese CDs: $12-$70
*New Region 2 DVDs: $40-$120
*New anime goodies: $2.50-$20
*New stationery: $4.50-$12.50
*New Japanese magazines: $7.50-$20 (back issues discounted)
*New English books: $10-$40
*New English manga: $10-$15
*New Japanese artbooks: $25-$70

Parking:
If you're planning to spend more than 2 hours in the area, I recommend the $5 all-day parking across the street. It's local to Kinokuniya and the rest of Little Tokyo, where you can find a wide variety of Japanese restaurants and souvenir stores, as well as the Japanese American National Museum, Geffen Contemporary Art Museum and the East West Players Theater Company.

If you're just trying to drop by the store for a quick purchase, good luck.

Kinokuniya store shares a small parking structure with Marukai (Japanese supermarket), Hurry Curry, a few small cafés, and Bank of the West. Ever since Bank of the West opened in the plaza, parking in that little structure has been a nightmare, no matter the time (but it's especially bad on weekends.). Even if the structure is full, they do not put up a "LOT FULL" sign. And there's no grace period, so if you go in and find no parking, you're still charged for the time you spent looking for it ($1 per 15 minutes). There's also metered street parking ($2 per hour), but that's quite rare to find too. If you do park on the street, remember to read and obey the signs because parking enforcement makes very frequent rounds.

Comments:
This store is HUGE, and all the books are organized so well that I can find whatever I want, and I don't even read Japanese. If you have trouble finding anything, all the employees are fluent in both Japanese and English. If you managed to get a spot in the parking structure, they validate up to two hours, but they seem to hesitate to give you the full two hours if you didn't buy a lot. >_>

By the way, Kinokuniya has online inventory, always handy if you want to check if they have the latest releases in stock yet. The inventory only covers books, though, not CDs or DVDs.

Overall Rating: 3/10 (9/10 for the store, but -6 for the parking situation, which I realize is not their fault, but it really is that awful.)

Kinokuniya in Costa Mesa
665 Paularino Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(Inside the Mitsuwa mini-mall, right of the front entrance)

Carries:
*New Japanese manga (~35% of the store)
*New Japanese books (~35% of the store)
*New Japanese CDs (~5% of the store)
*New Region 2 DVDs (~1% of the store)
*New anime goodies (cell phone straps, pencil boards, gashapon, etc.) (~7.5% of the store)
*New stationery (manga tones, Copic markers, overpriced cute pens, stationery, origami paper, etc.) (~7.5% of the store)
*New Japanese magazines (~2% of the store)
*New English manga (~4% of the store)
*New Japanese artbooks (~3% of the store)

Prices:
*New Japanese manga: $5.50-$15
*New Japanese books: $4.50-$30
*New Japanese CDs: $12-$70
*New Region 2 DVDs: $40-$120
*New anime goodies: $2.50-$20
*New stationery: $4.50-$12.50
*New Japanese magazines: $7.50-$20 (back issues discounted)
*New English manga: $10-$15
*New Japanese artbooks: $25-$70

Parking:
This store is part of a mini-mall within Mitsuwa marketplace, which contains a gift shop, cosmetic shop, video rental shop, and Japanese fast food stands, and of course, Mitsuwa market. The parking lot here is always busy due to the market, and it's got particularly nightmarish narrow one-way lanes.

Comments:
This store is not as big as the branch in Little Tokyo, but they do seem to make better use of their floorspace. Of all the Kinokuniya branches in the USA, this one seems to get new publications the fastest (I judge by checking the online inventory).

If you have trouble finding anything, all the employees are fluent in both Japanese and English, and a few of them are very enthusiastic to chat and give personal recommendations.

Overall Rating: 4/10 (10/10 for the store, but -6 for the parking situation, which I realize is not their fault, but it really is that awful.)
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