Column: A walkthrough guide of DLsite.com Part 1

A walkthrough guide of DLsite.com

Though DLsite.com English opened back in 2004, we did not have detailed description about how to read the website for users in English, and we thought it is high time to write some articles focusing on this. I hope to make this helpful and informative not only for first-timers and beginners, but also for longtime royal users. So, here we go!

Basic terms

There are some important keywords to know when you shop with DLsite.com. Many of you may know them all, but to make it clear, we try to give some definitions.

Doujin It refers to a group of people who share an interest or hobbies. In DLsite's context, it stands for amateurs who create indie self-published products such as manga/comics (called "doujinshi"), games, software, novels and music.
Circle It refers to creators or sellers of doujinshi and doujin products. While a circle can be represented by a single person, it can also be a group of creators cooperating with each other.
Digital Distribution Although technically there may be other ways of publishing doujin products on the web, DLsite.com offers all products in digital format through downloading only. Unlike other doujin-focused website in Japan, we do not sell or ship physical copies.
Convention In the context of DLsite.com, it refers to a self-published product fair that gathers circles in an exhibition hall. The largest and the most famous example is Comiket (Comic Market), which is held twice a year in Tokyo.
Although conventions are originally conceived as a market place for circles who sell doujinshi, it came to have multiple aspects of a “doujin” festival; doujin products are not limited to comics and novels, but also games, music, software, fan guides, accessories, and almost anything else that amateurs can create on their own, and it sometimes features other events such as cosplay fair, conference and stages. On the other hand, there are many small conventions (which are often held according to a theme) that are held all over Japan, every week-end.
Otaku It refers to people who are intensely into an interest, and in DLsite’s context, it is someone who has a passion for anime, manga and/or games. The equivalent term in English may be geek or nerd, and it can be used both positively and negatively.
Bishoujo It literally means pretty young girls, but DLsite.com uses this in a narrower meaning, where it represents manga or games that feature fictional beautiful girls and women.
Yaoi Although in the English section, it is referred to as this, it mainly has two contents regarded as genres intended for female audience: boys’ love and otome. The former genre treats boys and men only, and the latter treats several boys (men) while featuring a girl (woman) as protagonist.
Censorship Unfortunate for those who live outside Japan, genitals or other sexual objects are censored in all products for adults at DLsite.com in accordance with Japanese laws. In Japan, the act of selling products for adults without mosaics or removing mosaic is illegal. Our humble suggestion is to consider this as a way to enhance your imagination >_<;
You can check other formal policies of DLsite.com in the [ Compliance Policy ] page.

About DLsite.com

So now that you got the keywords, let us introdusce ourselves :D

DLsite.com started back in 1996 as a sales place for some doujin works, and it now has grown to one of the largest doujin/otaku on-demand download web store in Japan. We are proud that we are now the official seller of over 100,000 products in total as of November 2012!
With the help from all of you who shop with us, we continue to support the ever-growing doujin culture and its creators!
(Please note that we are not the exclusive seller of the products we list; there may be other websites who distribute the same products.)


And now about its English version. Yes, this is where you are!!
DLsite.com English opened in February 2004 as a section of DLsite.com for English-speaking customers, as we became aware of the growing needs and requests of fans outside Japan. It first had Adults-only pages only, and from May 2011, we launched the G-rated section.
It treats various types and genres of products, brought over from the three doujin sales places of the Japanese page: Home, Maniax and Girl’s Maniax. Hence, most of the products listed on the English sections are in Japanese only.

We have several sales places according to the categories of the contents, and in fact, not all products are doujin. Some users may be familiar with this, but here is the list of all sale places for PC users as of November 2012.

The English pages are divided into two sections, according to the age ratings of products:

Name Type Store for... Age Ratings Audience (Genre)
DLsite.com English
for All Ages (Eng)
Doujin Comics, games and software. G-rated All
DLsite.com English
for Adults (Ecchi-eng)
Doujin Comics, games and software. G-rated/R-Rated/X-rated All

The Japanese pages have broader range of products for sale. Here’s the list:

Name Type Store for... Age Ratings Audience (Genre) Sales on DLsiteEnglish Smartphone pages *1
DLsite.com
Home
Doujin Comics, games and software. G-rated All Yes, with circle's permission Yes
DLsite.com
Maniax
Doujin Comics, games and software. G-/R-/X-rated Mainly Male Yes, with circle's permission Yes
Girl's Maniax Doujin Comics, games and software. G-/R-/X-rated Mainly Female (Yaoi) Yes, with circle's permission Yes
DLsite.com
Software
Commercial PC games and anime. G-rated All No No
DLsite.com
Professional
Commercial PC games and anime. X-rated Mainly Male (Bishojo) No No
DLsite.com
Comic
Commercial Comics and novels. G-rated All No Yes
DLsite.com
Books
Commercial Comics and novels. R-/X-rated Mainly Male No Yes
Girl's Maniax
Pro
Commercial Comics and PC games. R-/X-rated Mainly Female (Yaoi) No Yes
DLsite.com
Novelmaid
Doujin
Commercial
Novels and games on browser. G-/R-/X-rated All No *2 No
GAME999 Doujin
Commercial
Games at 999 JPY. X-rated Mainly Male No No
Postor Doujin Comics and games at 100 JPY. G-/R-/X-rated All No No
  • *1 The smartphone pages have a limited selection of products comparing to the PC version of DLsite.com: as of October 2012, it offers comics viewable with standard PDF readers, comics that require user authentication viewable with a free special app, and apps for Android.
  • *2 Demo movie for products on sale may be watched in the relevant product information page at DLsite.com English.

Are these explanations clear enough to you?
Well, there are still much more to write about DLsite.com. We hope to continue this column to enhance the enjoyment and may it helps to deepen your knowledge.
Stay tuned for a sequel ^^!

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