Wouldn’t it be fun to have something that reminds us of our love? For anime and manga lovers, we really want some memorabilia. Some want a collection of products relating to one’s favorite anime and manga. We also would want to keep updated of the new creations released by our favorite authors. Where can we find stuff about anime and manga? Obviously, in an anime and manga shops! Here is the list of best anime shops in Japan.
Animate is the most famous and the largest retail chain for anime and manga goods in Japan with over a hundred branches in Japan and 4 international branches. Its headquarters is located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, which is an area filled with shops specifically catering to female otaku and the counterpart to Akihabara’s more male-oriented environment. The main store of Animate at Ikebukuro has eight floors. The first floor has displays of magazines, food, and new arrivals. The second, third, and fourth floor has displays of comics, light novels, doujinshi, drawing tools. The sixth floor has character goods, t-shirts, and cushions while the 7th floor has Blu-ray or DVDs, CDs, and Games. Lastly, the eighth floor is an open shop space where new works are showcased. Aside from that, Animate also has recording studio capable of doing radio recordings. It also has an event hall where anime events are regularly held.
Establish in 1987, Mandarake is Japan’s number one chain of secondhand anime and manga stores. It has several stores in the country, but the 16 original stores are inside the Nakano Broadway shopping mall. Each store is specializing in a different otaku obsession. Items sold are manga, anime DVDs and toys.
Toranoana was established in 1994. What’s special about this store is that it sells “doujinshi”, a term for self-published manga or novels that are not associated with any publishing company. Aside from doujinshi, Toranoana also sells anime and manga products.
Gamers have 17 stores all aver Japan. Gamers store in Akihabara is their main branch and is a must-visit shop for anime lovers. The store is very popular because it is located right outside Akihabara Station’s Electrical Town Exit. The store offers a wide variety of items, which range from magazines, DVDs, and CDs to character goods.
Nakano Broadway often referred as a “collector’s haven”, is a shopping mall that has a large concentration of stores that sells anime goods, including numerous branches of Mandarake store. Merchandises include manga, anime, figures, toys, and costumes.
Tokyo Character Street
Tokyo Character Street is an underground shopping street below Tokyo Station. It houses 21 stores specializing anime and manga merchandise, including Hello Kitty and Snoopy. There are also official Japanese television network shops and kabuki specialty shops in Tokyo Character Street. There is also “Ichiban Plaza” that sells anime and manga-themed merchandise that is sold only for a limited time.
These shops may be all selling anime and manga merchandises, but each has their own distinct characteristics that anime and manga lovers will be attracted to. Also, with several anime and manga shops existing, otakus will have a variety of shops to choose from. Awesome, right?