15 best anime online stores to buy Japanese figurines and merchandise

via White Rabbit Express Proxy Buying Service

July 9, 2019

Collecting merch is a popular way for fans to show their love for their favorite anime series. To help you fill up your otaku collection with rare items, we made a list of our top 15 best Japanese anime online stores to buy from!

Why buy anime goodies on Japanese online stores?

If you don’t live in Japan, the selection of anime merchandise is limited to what is actually available and for sale. By buying your goodies from a Japanese store online, you can shop from thousands of options as well as pre order to guarantee that you will get that coveted new merchandise up for release. If you’re looking for something rarer or an older product, you can search from many trustworthy stores that sell gently used second hand goods as well.

Use a proxy buying service to purchase on any Japanese online shop

A barrier that you might encounter is that most Japanese stores don’t accept foreign credit cards or ship abroad. The language barrier may also get in the way, especially on websites where individuals are selling to other individuals. This is where a proxy buying service comes in to save the day! By using a proxy buying service that is located in Japan, like White Rabbit Express, you can overcome any of these common problems that previously prevented you from buying from Japanese anime online stores.

Below, we have listed in categories, the top 15 best Japanese anime stores to buy online! If any of these strike your interest, and you want to learn more about them, clicking the shop’s name will bring you to a page with more information on the online store as well as a guide on how to order from it!

Anime studios and licenses online stores

Often times, anime studios and different licenses will have their own online stores where you can buy directly from the company. These kinds of stores will often have exclusive deals or limited edition items that can only be obtained by ordering through them directly!

1. Aniplex Plus

Aniplex Plus is the official Japanese online web store for the Aniplex company, who is a production company that is the planner, producer, and distributor of many popular animes. If you’re a fan of Fullmetal Alchemist, the Fate franchise, The Promised Neverland, and more, the Aniplex Plus web store is definitely something to check out. They sell many of their complete anime box sets on the site. It’s not just limited to anime box sets though, with figures, stationery, and even clothing available for purchase.

2. Pokémon Center Online

If you’re a fan of Pokémon, chances are that you’ve heard about Japanese Pokémon Centers. These stores are filled to the brim with everything Pokémon with new products constantly being released. Pokémon fans can browse through the Japanese Pokémon Center website to find a full list of many different kinds of merch for practically every Pokémon that’s been released!

3. Kyoani Shop (Kyoto Animation)

Kyoani is a Japanese animation studio that is known for its exceptional quality and beautiful animations. Some of their notable series include Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, Violet Evergarden, and Tsurune. Their online store sells exclusive merchandise for their anime series that can only be obtained by preordering it or buying it directly from the Kyoani Shop.

Generalist website where you can find Japan-exclusive anime merch

If you’re looking for a website where you can search for exclusive anime/manga merch in general, these next four websites are great places to look.

4. Animate Online Shop

The largest retailer of anime, manga, and video games in Japan is Animate. They have over 100 physical store locations and almost everything available there is up for purchase on their online shop as well. They have products available for hundreds of series such My Hero Academia, Love Live!, Uta no Prince-Sama, and much more. With a variety of goods offered such as figures, jewelry, clothing, as well as DVDs, the website is full of exciting things to buy. There are also exclusive goods that can only be bought through Animate, so the Animate Online Shop is definitely one place to check out!

5. Surugaya

Suruga-ya is one of the leading online stores that sell mainly products from Japanese pop culture. This includes Japanese CDs, DVDs/Blu-Rays, manga and anime merchandise, as well as apparel. They accept pre orders for items that have not been released yet, but something that Surugaya is especially known for is its large section that is dedicated to thousands of second hand items. You can find many rare products here that cannot be found elsewhere! If there’s something elusive that’s been on your list, it may appear on Suruga-ya eventually.

6. Premium Bandai

As one of the largest toy manufacturers in Japan and around the world, Bandai has obtained exclusive licensing rights to popular franchises that other companies aren’t able to get, such as the Sailor Moon licensing rights. The Premium Bandai online shop sells merchandise of many of these popular franchises and often feature super limited collaborations with other Japanese companies as well. Bandai is also known for their Gunpla kits and will often sell limited editions of these kits on their website as well.

If you’re interested in Gunpla, fashion, and accessories, collectibles, as well as exclusive figures, definitely give the Premium Bandai website a look!

7. Kotobukiya

One of the top companies worldwide for figures and plastic model kits, Kotobukiya produces many figures based on anime and manga series. They are also one of the few figure producers based in Japan that have obtained licenses for western franchises such as DC, Marvel, and movie franchises like Star Wars! Other than figures, they also produce other goodies such as keychains, plushies, rubber straps, and more. All of these can be purchased on the Kotobukiya online website!

Kotobukiya is also known for its line of Zoids model kits, and an original in-house line of plastic model kits called the Frame Arms series. The Frame Arms series features cute girls that serve as the frame for mecha attachments like armor and different weapons accessories.

With so much variety, Kotobukiya is definitely a shop to check out, especially for figure collectors or model kit enthusiasts.

8. Amazon Japan

Just like Amazon around the world, you can get almost anything from Amazon Japan! They sell many products that are available only in Japan. You can buy figures, books, music, and more from here. There are many third-party sellers on there so you may be able to find that rare piece of merchandise that you have been looking for! While there are some stores on Amazon that actually ship internationally, a majority of them do not because they are smaller, so it is recommended to use a proxy buying service to purchase off of here.

Places to buy doujinshi, fan-made works

Doujinshi and fan-made trinkets are especially popular. There are many talented creators in Japan and their works are often highly sought after but hard to find on the aftermarket, much less abroad.

9. Melonbooks

Melonbooks is one of the largest chains of bookstores in Japan that specializes in the sale of doujinshi products. They sell both new and used products and have a huge selection available in their online store! There are many works from different circles and doujinshi available for hundreds of series. You can buy dakimakura, anime CDs, magazines, eroge games, and more from Melonbooks. If there is an older doujinshi or rarer doujinshi, there is a possibility that they might have it available eventually in their second-hand section.

10. Comic Toranoana

Comic Toranoana is another large chain that specializes in doujinshi products. They offer a vast selection on their website and you can buy light novels, manga, video games, and more! You can also buy mp3s as CDs or digital downloads from the store as well. These can range from original soundtracks to J-pop, vocaloid, or fanworks! Toranoana well used doujinshi as well so you can check here for rare doujinshi as well!

11. Pixiv Booth

Booth is a popular online application to purchase from if you love doujinshi. Many Japanese artists use this app to sell their goodies. Besides doujinshi, you can find unique fanworks such as phone cases, totes, acrylic keychains, T-Shirts, and more! Because Booth allows artists to have their own store, many of them will open up preorders for their doujinshi or do a re-release of one of their previous works only through this application!

Places to buy rare second-hand anime goods

For many fans, there may be a product that was the one that got away, or something that’s been released from years ago, or a super limited release. It’s hard to search for these goods in person if you don’t live in Japan, but there are still ways to look online. These four places are the best places to search online for these rarer goods.

12. Mandarake

Mandarake is one of the most popular chains in Japan that specializes in selling second-hand products. They are known for carrying tons of vintage anime and/or manga items. They offer a selection of their items on the Mandarake website. There, you can browse in different languages, but we do recommend searching on the Japanese website because not all products on the Japanese website will be shown in the other versions!

13. Otamart

Otamart is an online flea market specifically geared towards the sales of anime related merchandise. It is a peer-to-peer marketplace and you can find many rare products on here. Many fans end up buying full boxes of goods to get their favorite and then end up selling the ones they don’t want on here. Often these goods are new but are listed as second-hand!

14. Mercari Japan

Mercari is a mobile application as well as a website where individuals can sell to other individuals. It is extremely popular among Japanese users and full of many rare items. Just like on Otamart, many fans sell their extra anime goodies for other fans to buy. However, Mercari is a little harder to buy from for overseas shoppers because you can’t create an account unless you have a Japanese address and the application has banned most proxy accounts from buying on there. We at White Rabbit Express are one of the few proxies that are still able to help overseas fans buy off of Mercari Japan. So we can definitely help you get that rare merch you’ve been eyeing!

15. Yahoo Auctions Japan

Yahoo Auctions has tens of thousands of auctions available on their platform. It is the most popular auction website in Japan and is the top place for Japanese users to sell their goods. Many resellers of rare items and collectables only sell through Yahoo Auctions so it is definitely one of the top places to check out.

About the author,

Michaël da Silva Paternoster

I am the Head of Growth at White Rabbit Express. I also have a blog called Nipponrama, where I share tips for travellers and overseas students and foreign workers in Japan.