Doujinshi is like premium fan fiction, and many doujin artists are hoping to make a career out of it. It can be difficult to get started because of the language barrier, but if you can take the leap, it’s a world that can be incredibly rewarding.
Much like Western fanfiction, the most popular doujinshi expand on the story of popular anime and games, often with new characters and alternative choices and settings. They also tend to focus on exploring “ships,” or relationships between characters that do not happen in the canon source material. Doujinshi also has a reputation for being quite pornographic, and while there are certainly erotic doujinshi, the vast majority are not.
There are a number of websites that offer doujinshi for sale, including ComicFury and Melonbooks, both of which have an English language option. Pixiv is another site that allows creators to upload their work and sell it online. It is free to use, though you need to sign up to browse the site and purchase doujinshi.
It’s not uncommon for aspiring mangaka to start out by creating doujinshi, so it’s important to support these amateurs by buying their work. You never know – the next big mangaka could be just one of your first purchases. It’s also worth checking out the Tsumino website, which is a free hentai doujinshi reader web application that offers users high-quality English translations of doujinshi. It can be a little confusing to navigate because it is entirely in Japanese, but if you can figure it out, Tsumino can be an amazing resource for reading manga.