Sorry for the lull in posting, friends. I have a list on the wall by my kitchen of posts to write (nine and counting...) but keep getting distracted. Now that we're past Thanksgiving here in the states, I wanted to share a holiday shopping guide for folks heading to Tokyo in the near future.
As mentioned previously with the launch of the Same Hat Guide To Everything (SHGTE!), Nakano Broadway Mall in west-central Tokyo is my favorite shopping area in the world. In addition to stores selling beetles, maid cafes, replica weapon stores, forgotten item shops, and TACO che (the greatest indie/weirdo manga shop in the world), Nakano Broadway is home to a complex of Mandarake shops - 22 individual stores spanning 3 floors! Each shop varies in size, and is dedicated to a different subgenre of manga/anime/toys/fandom. From my trip earlier this year, here is a map of Mandarake, in English:
(click for a giant version of the map - 450k)
You can take a look above and plan your shopping route, specific to your own interests. For me, the greatest shop in Mandarake was the 4th floor shop, Mandarake Maniac Store. There I found a treasure trove of old and rare manga, weird collectibles, an insanely knowledgeable (and rather fashionable) counter staff, and their own in-house manga zine, TRASH. If you're a Same Hat reader, this is the shop for you:
Here are a few shots from my trip earlier this year, of the magical Mandarake Maniacs Store...
Behold the wonder of their stacks! It's a small shop but full to the brim with amazing stuff.
On one wall, there is a glass case for rare stuff and 1st editions.
Lovely and unique books, including a $200 copy of Red Colored Elegy by Seiichi Hayashi
Incredible! An early, $175 edition of Kage by Kazuo Umezu
Sexy ladies and blue tales.
What wonders are hidden in these shelves? This is where I picked up an old copy of Toiretto Hakase for Johnny!
Oh, I'm sorry... were you interested in every issue of Garo ever published?
Or were you looking for the COM back catalog?
Also in effect, nice & cheap paperbacks of Hideshi Hino classics.
Okay, I can't even keep track of this shit anymore.
There are too many freakin' branches here-- Give yourself at least 5 hours at Nakano Broadway to hunt. SERIOUSLY.
And don't forget to check out the UFO Store, Gacha-Paradise, and the Deep Store (Check the map above for details!)
Have you been to Nakano Broadway or the Mandarake shop in Akihabara? Share your stories or recommendations in the comments on this post. Next up: Pics from TACO che, finally!