Need another store for your Otaku fix? Look no further than this post.
In case you haven't heard the news, RightStuf, the online retailer and video publisher, is dead. As a brand, it's dead. It's gone, Jim.
As of October 10, 2023, Crunchyroll will be the online store and video publisher for your otaku needs. Rightstuf is the latest in a line of recent book shop closures. Joining RightStuf is Book Depository (which offered worldwide shipping and manga in other languages) and CheapManga[dot]com (which offered overstock and damaged manga at cheap prices).
With each shop closure either due to the consolidation of the anime and manga market in North America (see the Crunchyroll's quest for anime domination) or just business as usual (like retirement in the case of CheapManga), it leaves one less store for you to shop at, and it also brings up the same question over and over again. What are the alternatives? Where can I shop now?
In a nutshell? Crunchyroll.
According to the FAQ, Your accounts, wish lists, pre-orders, and other info will migrate from RightStuf to Crunchyroll as long as you're based in North America and have placed an order since 2020. However, if you don't like Crunchyroll, where can you shop? Well, you've come to the right place. Here's where you can shop for anime, manga, and other related otaku goods...if you're based in the USA. (Sorry, International Hunters. Some of the stores may not work for you.)
Robert's Anime Corner Store
Aka The Anime Corner Store, Robert's Anime Corner Store is your "original Anime Super Store online" since 1997, and boy howdy, does it look like it. I know the site looks sketchy af, but it is a 100% legit online retailer. It's the last large independent otaku store after RightStuf's downfall. It's also RightStuf's direct competitor in the bulk anime, manga, and otaku market. Because, and I cannot stress this enough, like RightStuf, Robert's Anime Corner Store is great if you're buying in bulk, pricey figures and other single items, or looking for out-of-print goods. (Word of warning: be sure to email the store before placing orders for oop stuff as the point-of-sale is not that great.)
Bob Anime doesn't have weekly sales or big sales like RightStuf, and don't expect the company to change its ways. (I mean, the site is stuck in the 90s. Hello!) Definitely sign-up for the weekly newsletter. Unlike RightStuf, Bob only emails you once a week, and it's a big email containing store updates, upcoming releases, and industry news. (I like reading them for the industry news and commentary, frankly.)
Merry Manga Company
Merry Manga Company is an independent online manga retailer. The company started in February 2022 and offers "an affordable, enjoyable, and sustainable fulfillment experience for collectors of all backgrounds." If you want to support small business, you should check it out.
Started in spring 2021, Takara Cafe is an independent online manga retailer that offers a variety of manga and light novels. If you want to support small business, you should check it out.
The Mage's Emporium
Unlike Merry Manga Company and Takara Cafe, The Mage's Emporium buys and sells used manga and collectibles. Other offerings include mystery and blind boxes. Check them out if you're looking to sell your collection or add more to it.
Better World Books
Better World Books offers used and ex-library for cheap prices worldwide. The threshold for free shipping is very low. There's always a coupon or sale so you can expect to save even more, but I cannot stress this enough: most of this stuff is ex-library. If you don't mind adding well-loved books to your personal library, then check out Better World Books.
Kinokuniya is a big box bookstore based in Japan that has made its way to the U.S. and elsewhere! If you're looking for manga in Japanese, this store should be your #1 stop. Even if you're not looking for Japanese manga or books, Kinokuniya has a great English-language selection. Like other big box bookstores Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, I think Kinokuniya is better in person rather than online.
Instock Trades offers new, damaged, returned, and overstock manga, comics, and graphic novels at discount prices. The selection is limited. Definitely read through the FAQs before placing an order. (That advice goes for any online store you try.) Returns are generally not accepted. Like Rightstuf, store orders are locked in so cancellations are generally not allowed, but you can score deals on individual volumes.
Powell's City of Books
Touted as the "World's Largest Independent Bookstore," Powell's is a chain of bookstores in Portland, Oregon, and its surrounding metropolitan area. Powell's sells new and used books. Check out the store online and off.
Directly from the Publisher or Distributor
An increasing number of publishers is selling its own stock via its website. You may not get the best deal or even a deal, but buying directly from the publisher has its perks. You can get a bundle digital and physical book deal or a special item (like commemorative postcards, standees, etc.) by placing your order directly with the publisher. Also, it's a great place to look when a book is out-of-stock elsewhere.
As of this post, you can buy physical manga, manwha, manhua, graphic novel books, and light novels directly from these publishers or distributors:
Dark Horse Comics
Drawn & Quarterly
eManga/Digital Manga Publishing
Glacier Bay Books
Penguin Random House Books
Star Fruit Books
The Usual Suspects - Big Book Stores & Amazon
If you were to ask, "Where can I buy manga?" these stores will pop up. They are the big box stores and one major online store that need no introduction: Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Amazon. Pick your poison.
Walmart & Target
Walmart & Target offer limited manga stock, but let's be real, you're shopping there for grocery, general goods, and department store stuff. The books are a bonus.
Local Haunts & Used Bookstores
It's good to log off the internet and touch some grass. While you're touching grass, check your local bookstores and favorite haunts for manga! You can find bookstores or comic shops to support locally via Bookshop.org, ComicShopLocator.com, or Google. Alternatively, you can buy from other otaku in your area via sites like Offer Up, Facebook Marketplace, and Craiglist. (Just be careful!) Regional stores that are better shopped in-person rather than online include Half-Price Books and Book Off.
3rd Party Online Sellers
Amazon, Ebay, Mercari, r/Mangaswap, etc. Pick your poison. If you don't mind used books and like hunting (aka shopping), then this may be a good option for you.
The Dealer's Room usually has a manga retailer or two. It's a great place to score new, used, and oop manga.
Where Will I Be Shopping?
With RightStuf gone, my go-to's will be Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Half-Price Books. Honestly, these stores work for me. Yes, even Amazon. Not the most ethical store, but as far as customer service, shipping, and price goes, I'm a satisfied Prime Member customer. (The people who complain about Amazon's packaging won't last through the winter.)
As for in-person shopping, I live near B&N and Half-Price so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. It also helps that I generally like both chains, and Barnes has a decent selection (but not the best selection, RIP Borders). I won't be doing any bulk shopping for the foreseeable future unfortunately, but if I happen to be looking for bulk deals, I wouldn't mind giving Robert's Anime Corner Store another try or shopping via Crunchyroll for the first time. I hope Crunchyroll learns from RightStuf and builds a better retail website. (Let's keep our fingers crossed that Crunchyroll's Holiday Sale isn't a total shitshow, and if it is, I have plenty of wassail.)
While not an exhaustive list of stores to shop from, this list should help fill the hole RightStuf Anime will inevitably leave behind. R.I.P RightStuf. Where will you shop? Let me know on Twitter (@ThatMangaHunter) or down below in the comments.