anibee's Ultimate Otaku Outing - Akihabara Attack!
Everyone knows that when it comes to hunting for goods & collectibles for the discerning otaku, there's no other place quite like Akihabara! But with Electric City almost literally crawling with stores all over the place, one can get easily overwhelmed; deciding on where to head to can be a tiring and expensive task.
Which is why I'm here! *poses heroically*
Allow me to share with you some great locations you should check out if you're out for a good deal - or in search of that rare figure!
Q's Pick #1 - Mandarake Complex Akihabara
A large chain of stores that take the concept of 買取(kaitori) to the next level, Mandarake has presence in pretty much most major cities in Japan.
As mentioned in our previous Ikebukuro article, many stores in Japan do kaitori; basically buying back merchandise from customers. This results in a constant (if somewhat random) supply of all sorts of stuff that is often sold for great prices!
If you're a fan of anime figures, vintage games, model kits, and especially tokusatsu merchandise, you can't get much better than Mandarake, and it's always the first place I visit every time I'm in Japan.
The Akihabara store in particular, is several stories high with each floor dedicated to a specific kind of product. Anime PVCs? Sure. An old Super Famicom game? Got it. Even doujins (yes, of *those kinds* too) are here in full force.
For me, it's always my number one source when I'm after a Premium product I missed out on before. Check out my review of what I got at Mandarake!
Q's Pick #2 - K-Books
Not far off from Mandarake and located within the new Akiba Cultures Zone Building is K-Books - a massive chain of stores that, surprise surprise, also does kaitori. Only in this case, it's for manga, doujins and especially art books.
A fantastic spot for fans of such articles, where often-expensive art books can be found at crazy prices, sometimes even less than 50%!
Q's Pick #3 - Astop
Also located in Akiba Cultures Zone is Astop; yet another store that specialises in selling pre-owned merchandise.
Where Astop differs from Mandarake however is in its concept; instead of offering to buy back and directly sell merchandise, Astop instead, rents out cabinet space for customers to use to sell their items from (similar to consignment-based stores).
As sellers are able to dictate the kind of merchandise they want to sell (technically being their own 'shop keepers'), this can result in Astop carrying a significantly different flavour of merchandise. You can sometimes find rare merchandise that other stores won't have!
However, consignees are able to dictate their own prices too, which can result in rather irregular rates. Shop smart!
Q's Pick #4 - Kotobukiya Store
With 2 locations within Akihabara's Electric City, the Kaiyodo store is hard to miss!
Catering primarily Kotobukiya products (obviously), it also features tons of Kaiyodo products as well. This means it carries just about everything in terms of Revoltechs, Kotobukiya model kits and their numerous PVC figurines.
That's not all however - the newer Kotobukiya building (deeper within Akihabara) has the Yotsuba & Store!
This place is loaded with products of none other than characters from the popular manga, 'Yotsbua&!'; Yotsuba and of course, Danbo/Danboard!
Q's Pick #5 - Azone store
For those of you looking to buy things for your own little 'daughter', or would like to adopt your own, this is a great store to start from!
Catered specifically for fans of Ball-Jointed Dolls (BJDs), the Azone store carries every kind of resource you'd need to accessorise your doll, or even the things you need to get started on one! Doll bodies, clothing, wigs and even doll eyes; everything's here!
Azone's smaller-scaled Pureneemo series of dolls are also in stock here with a good range of characters. Ever wanted to adopt your own little Misaka from To Aru no Kagaku no Railgun? Or perhaps a little Nyaruko from Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is more your thing? It's all here.
The journey continues! Where will the anibee duo head to now? Tune in next time as 'anibee UO2' trucks on!
Feeling thirsty after all that walking about Akiba? Then why not see how you can win merchandise right from the heart of the 'Otaku mecca' itself?!