JManga brings Japanese goodies to the West

New online service bids by proxy in Japanese auctions

JManga is an unusual new online venture based in Osaka, Japan, that has just opened for business this week. Trading on the back of the current swell of interest in Japanese popular culture, it aims to help overseas Japanophiles get their hands on manga comic books, electronic gadgets and anything else they fancy.

The company behind the new site reckons there's a demand for proxy bidding for the multitude of manga and similar merchandise that is sold on Yahoo Auctions Japan . Naturally, the language difference presents a barrier to many would-be bidders, which is where JManga hopes to find some business.

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To secure a copy of the rarest issues of Bokura ga ita or Death Note , buyers simply browse Yahoo Auctions - links to machine-translated pages are provided - and then let JManga know what they're after. If bids are successful, the company takes a commission of 50 per cent of the selling price and ships the goods to anywhere in the world.

Additionally, if you feel like spending a little extra on a daily search fee, JManga reps will even head out to the various comic conventions in Japan to hunt down special editions in person. J Mark Lytle