J-List is definitely the most English language-friendly site which sells merchandise direct from Japan. And when I say merchandise I mean just about everything: magazines, photobooks, videos, DVD, VCD, CD-Rom games, anime, manga, dolls and even snacks. This is the only source I know of for back issues of popular men's magazines such as Bejean, Urecco and Best Video. The owner, Peter Payne, updates the site around twice a week and even keeps you informed about what's happening in his life as an American living in Japan. (9)
AV Mega Store (Cosmolink) is a Japanese language only site. This should not dissuade you from browsing their site since their collection is one of the most complete I've seen. Unfortunately the site is difficult to navigate not only because it's in Japanese but also because they split the videos into categories (actress, costume play, fetish, etc.) They will sell to U.S. customers if you pay in advance using an international money order. Just remember to email them your request before you send the payment so they can add up the order with shipping charges. (8)
Catalog 18 seems to have a fairly large catalog of JAV tapes, VCDs and DVDs though browsing through the site can be frustrating since it's all in Japanese and they don't attach scans to every title. They do ship to customers outside of Japan but be sure to read the FAQ (partly in English) because although they don't add shipping charges, they will tack on a surcharge if you don't transfer funds directly to their Citibank account (which is not easy if you don't have a Citibank account of your own. Trust me on this.) Fortunately, their prices are pretty reasonable for videos shipped direct from Japan. If you're looking for titles from independent AV studios, go to Catalog 19. There's also a used section here. (7)
AV Entertainments specializes in uncensored, hardcore Japanese porn. A lot of it must be black market stuff that found its way to the U.S. There are some pretty good de-censored titles starring B-list JAV stars such as Ai Nagase, Natsumi Kawahama, Yuka Mihara, Nao Hirosue and Saki Onodera. They sell both VCD and DVD at fairly reasonable prices ($10-$23) so if youre tired of looking at mosaic screening, you should give this site a look. Update: AV Entertainments has started to require pre-registration with a credit card before you can view previews which changes my once favorable rating to a non-recommendation. (4)
Japan VCD has probably the best looking site and offers quite a nice selection of around 856 titles as of this writing. All the Video CDs listed on this site are accompanied by 9 screenshots and a short description which give a very good impression of the video's content. Japan VCD updates their listings once or twice a month. If you don't have anything to trade, they will sell VCD's for $20 and offer a bonus for one VCD for every ten you purchase. They also accept VISA and MasterCard. (9)
AV Fan Club is a site low on graphic content but high on value. You can get any of the 1,902 titles in their catalog for $8 (with a flat $5 shipping charge) if you don't have anything to trade. Updates come regularly, about once a week, and their library seems to be rapidly expanding. Unfortunately they only supply cover scans for viewing and scant information on the individual VCDs. AV Fan Club accepts payment by PayPal, money order and personal check though the latter option slows down the order by about a week. (10)
Jeff's Place has a site design which you could call... minimalist. He simply lists the title, the actress' name and the occasional explanatory note. However, Jeff's Place does has some definite points in its favor. First off, Jeff trades both Video CDs and VHS tapes. This allows him to offer around 600 JAV titles some of which I've only seen on this site. He also offers other video categories such as Japanese idol, amateur, Chinese, European, American, and so on. Tapes and VCDs are only $10 and he currently has a 5 for the price of 4 sale. Jeff accepts payment by cash, check, money order or PayPal. (9)
Onslaught422's JAV List is another trading list but this guy does seem to have quite a few VCD titles that I haven't seen on other sites. The site design is a basic as you can get but there are cover scans for virtually all of the 443 titles. Unfortunately, Onslaught's list not in alphabetical order but rather by what seems to be the order of acquisition. Although this might make finding the AV you're looking for more difficult, the site still worth a browse. Prices start at a mere $7 per disc minus volume discounts. (7)
Japan Adult Video Xchange is yet another site that tries very hard for your business. The layout is good and easy to navigate around. Practically every title offered comes with a box cover shot and screen captures, ratings and decent descriptions of the video contents. The catalog contains 315 VCDs at the time of this writing but the updates are somewhat sporadic. Price per disc is $10 check, money order or credit card via CCNow. (7)
Kuki is the largest conglomerate of Japanese adult movie companies comprised of 7 production houses: Kuki, Alice, Atlas 21, Max-A, Big Morkal, Cosmos Planning and their newest acquistion, Sexia. They have both English and Japanese versions of the site except that the English one is not quite as complete or regularly updated as the Japanese. Unfortunately, in order to access much of the content on the site requires a membership which costs an exorbitant $30 per month. I was a member for a few months a long time ago, and although the content was good it's also censored and definitely not worth the cost. Nowadays, I just visit it during the first week of the month to see what the new titles are which usually number upwards of 50.
HRC is short for Human Relation and Confidence. (The importance of this fact escapes me at the moment so let's move on.) This is one of the few remaining old-school production houses not eaten up by the Kuki monolith. HRC releases their titles under the labels Cher, Rouge and Zoom. Like Kuki they are in full censorship mode but unlike Kuki they only release a few titles a month. The site is clean but sparse. They don't offer more than cover shots of their latests releases.
Soft On Demand ranks as the number one independent JAV production company. SOD deserves a lot of credit for making independent adult video a legitimate part of the industry in Japan. They allow the occasional hair nude shot and generally have lighter mosaic censors than companies such as Kuki or HRC. In addition, the themes contained within the videos can be a little on the fringe. These include urination, sperm fetish, bukkake, bondage, and my least favorite, rape. Many AV stars after they finish making movies for the larger companies manage to star in a few SOD productions before they retire.
Momotaro means "peach baby" and (based on my miniscule knowledge of Japanese literature) the name is that of a boy born out of a peach in a popular children's story. Not that that's important when it comes to enjoying the videos from these indie AV producers who have really come into their own in the past few years. I don't feel the production quality of Momo's videos are quite as good as SOD, but what I do like about them is the kind of mosiac censoring they've been using lately. Somehow they make the mosiac conform to the shape of the object being blocked. Needless to say, it makes the necessary evil of censorship a little easier to watch. I especially like their Bejean series. The site itself is easy to navigate and for each video they offer Real media previews, full cover scans and sometimes production stills.
Moodyz, another independent, is best known for costume play videos. These titles often star some of the biggest names in AV and often they manage to get girls into indie before the other companies do. Not a great site but at least they have one.
Audaz is an independent producer probably best known for their excellent Face series. The site is not a particular standout in terms of aesthetics or content.
Cinemagic specializes in bondage and rape vids which does not particularly endear them to me personally but at least their web site is well organzied.
Garo Aida is a professional photographer of nudes and what makes his site unique is that he posts a set of scans monthly, a brief MPEG movie weekly and a fresh scan daily. You won't be disappointed.
Yahoo! Japan's list of AV companies is fairly comprehensive. Go there to visit web sites of companies I haven't reviewed yet.
Maiko Yuki has her own site now. Again, no nude photos but many, many personal snapshots with cameo appearances by such notables as Ramu Nagase and Minami Yoshikawa. It's an interesting view into the life of a cute girl that happens to be an adult film star. Fan club email newsletter sign-up here for those who read Japanese.
June 2525 (Jun Kusanagi's Official Web Site) is really quite nice. Eye popping graphics, good navigation and nude photos. She's got a cartoon vixen theme going. Also looks like she's been updating the diary on a regular basis which means she's fairly devoted to the site. Did you know Jun(e)'s the only JAV star to appear on Danni's Hard Drive? Now you do.
Sakura Scans - In Japanese, lots of ads and a few pop-ups but this is a site with an enormous number of scans and links. Even if you don't understand everything, it's worth it just to explore.
Cuty Mask Melon, who is based in Japan, is one of the finest active scanners out there. He is constantly updating the site and providing quality work.
Japanese Nudes is a megolith among scan archive sites. With hundreds of girls and thousands of scans going back many years, this comes very close to comprehensive collection and is a great free resource. However, there is a price to pay. The site is in Japanese although names are listed in English. There are also a ton of ads including pop-ups and Flash banners with sound (!). Finally, since this site relies heavily on free web hosts for picture storage, some of the links might be invalid. However, don't let this discourage you from seeing what's here because there is plenty to keep you busy on this site, even some of my scans!
Scuffs Fotoz is an incredibly helpful resource for anybody interested in Japanese gal scans. Not only does webmaster Bonzai have scan collections and archives available for viewing, but he has also compiled a great links page and posts regular updates on news from various scanner sites. This is an excellent start-off point for your regular scan hunts. Id also recommend reading Scuffs BBS which is, as you might expect, a message board on the topic of Asian scans.