Tips on buying Japanese DVDs

I am looking to start watching more Japanese movies. I wanted to know a little about what DVDs are like in Japanese. Some of my questions are, do you need a special DVD player to watch Japanese DVDs (for example are they the same size as the ones in America) Also do I need to buy a DVD player from Japan to watch Japanese DVDs/are Japanese DVDs region locked? And finally, where are the best places to buy DVDs if I am not in Japan? Thank you in advance.


They should be the same size, but the regions are very complicated. Whether they play on your DVD player will depend on your region. The regions are also different for blu rays.


If you’re in the Americas, you could work around it with a local bluray player. Blurays are regional, but the Americas and Japan are in the same region conveniently.

Currently, I have a Japanese bluray player and lots of American dvds. The player plays the American dvds with the interesting feature of changing to Japan’s region. So I have an animated Batman dvd that plays with Japanese subs (maybe the dub too, but idr) despite all the packaging being for the US.

My go-to recommendation is BOOKOFF Online with a proxy shipper.

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Take in mind that when buying series, the density of episodes per disk in Japan is very low (but the video quality usually is very high).

So it’s a “very expensive” “hobby”


I have a few DVDs and Blu-rays that are Japanese. Most of mine are multi region but some aren’t. Since I’m in the UK I have a multi region player for DVD and Blu-ray that I got cheep off Amazon.

Japan is Region 2 for DVD apparently (same as UK) but they don’t actually work in my PlayStation or Xbox unless they are multi region (no idea why). Japan is region A for Blu-ray (UK is region B).


Interesting, some of their prices are really good (looking at manga). Any proxy services you’d recommend? is another option, though for shipping to America you have to order about $75+ for the costs to be worth it (at least w/ manga/books).

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Sorry, since I live in Japan, I’ve never used any proxy companies personally.

Mandarake is another company that sells used media. They ship internationally, but unlike BOOKOFF, I don’t think they consolidate their physical locations when shipping. I’m not sure what their shipping prices are like. I know a lot of folks who use CD Japan and Amazon Japan for new content.

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