One of my most popular posts is How To Find Bara in English — bara being a term commonly used to refer to gay comics created by Japanese male creators. In that post, I link to sites that host bara scanlations. As a creator myself, I have mixed feelings about doing this — on the one hand, the vast majority of these scanlations are certainly being distributed without the creator’s permission; on the other, the vast majority simply aren’t available for purchase in English and it’s my hope that by increasing awareness of bara, I will also increase demand.
But I had another purpose for that post: to make readers aware that there are legitimate ways for non-Japanese readers to purchase bara manga and thus compensate the creators for their hard work. It’s sort of a stealth plan — come to see sources for free downloads, but wait! Here’s where you can go do the right thing, support the creators and even find bara (and yaoi) manga not available through piracy.
Based on some of the feedback I’ve gotten, it’s seems like a lot of readers are interested in doing the right thing, just so long as they have a way to — and purchasing e-manga straight from Japan is one of the most direct ways to do that. But seeing as many of us don’t read Japanese, navigating a Japanese Web site has felt… daunting. To help out, I linked to an excellent walkthrough by *elee0228 showing how to use the Webmoney service to purchase and download works from the very popular Digiket market.
Alas, for the past several months, readers in the U.S. have been having problems using this method and thus there hasn’t been a really awesome way for us to purchase e-manga straight from Japan.
Well, now reader UltimaST has come to the rescue! On his own, he created a walkthrough for Surpara.com and has given me his kind permission to post it here. Surpara.com is an e-manga site that has lots of yaoi and bara downloads. And, even better than Digiket, it allows you to use your regular old credit card to pay!
So, here’s the step-by-step:
1) The Japanese gay comics can be found at:
so start there.
2) You’ll be taken to an age-check splash screen. If you’re over 18, click yes. (And click the images below to enlarge.)
3) After you find the manga you want to download, click the marked location to add the manga to your shopping basket.
4) You are taken to this screen which displays your shopping basket. You can either continue to shop or just press the next button (marked):
5) You are then taken to a screen where you could enter your ID and password if you were a registered member — but you don’t need to. Instead, just check the marked box next to the red message:
6) Scroll down the page to find the choice-of-payment section. Fill in the spaces as follows:
1 – enter your email
2 – retype your email
And then check the marked location next to the credit card icons.
7) The next screen is a summary of your purchase. Just click the marked location to continue.
8. You are now taken to the screen to enter your credit card information. Fill in the spaces as follows:
1 – enter the name of the credit card holder
2 – enter the number of the credit card
3 – enter the expiration date of the credit card
Then press the marked continue button.
9) If the transaction went through as intended, you will get this screen. Just click the blue link. (If you get anything else, the transaction didn’t go through.)
10) After that, you will get an email with a link to a download page that looks like the one below. Click the marked download icon and you’ll be able to save your manga to your hard drive!
So, there’s you have it — a walk-through on how to download manga from Surpara.com using your plain old credit card. I tried it myself and it worked fine. And they seem to have a nice selection of bara/yaoi downloads. 🙂
That said, I just want to give you a heads-up about a couple things. First, is that about a week after I downloaded my manga from Surpara, I received their newsletter in my email inbox. I’m not wild about getting marketing materials I didn’t specifically sign up for (especially when it’s all in Japanese!), so here’s what I had to do to unsubscribe.
1) First I clicked the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email: http://mk2.surpara.com/mag.php
2) Then I was yet again taken to the age-check screen. Being over 18 years of age, I clicked “yes”.
3) Then I was taken to the unsubscribe screen. I needed to enter my email into the 2nd (marked) field and click the grey button next to it.
4) Which brought me to this screen, letting me know my email address was unsubscribed from their marketing materials:
The other heads-up I want to give you is that some of the manga and pin-ups you can download from Surpara feature manga characters who are supposed to be under the age of 18. It is currently illegal in the U.S. to receive obscene cartoons depicting minors in sexual situations through the mail or the Internet. Yes, I consider the law tremendously misguided, and at the moment, at least in the U.S., prosecutors seem to mainly use it to add extra punishment to those who also possess and distribute actual child pornography, but because I care about your safety, I would advise you to choose your downloads with the local laws in mind.
All that said, I believe UltimaST has done a great service to both us and the creators we admire by creating this walkthrough. Please let me know about your experiences in the comments and be sure to give UltimaST a special “thank you” shout-out!
Hey! Want links to full-color yaoi/bara comics sent to you — for free? Just sign up over at our Free Comic page and we’ll send you the download link to our first comic right away!
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- Want to read about other creators’ yaoi? Take a look at our in-depth Yaoi Reviews!
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- Would you like to read more about how the law treats readers of manga with underage characters? Read about the Christopher Handley case in How To Keep Manga Fans Out Of Jail and then be sure to check out Cartoon Teen Sex and the Law!