Today is the last day which I have left to shop freely in Tokyo. Tomorrow I would have to depart early from Tokyo for a domestic flight to Hakodate, Hokkaido. So, let's make good use of the time today!
For today. I visited some stores again in Akiba, before going to Nakano to visit the numerous Mandarake stores they have at Nakano Broadway. They were having a clothes sale there, so I'm looking forward to pick up a couple of new clothes since I do like J-fashion. After which I was intending to drop by Ikebukuro, but failed to later due to time constraints.
First. let's look at more shops in Akiba which I visited: Book-off!
My first aim for Book-off was their PSVita corner, because I was looking for several otome games. But alas, I didn't find any that I was familiar with, or wanted. Psycho Pass Limited Edition was really cheap there though. Sadly, I haven't finished most of my PSV games so I wasn't ready to jump to another one in a similar genre.
Of course, PSV isn't the only console which they have games for. Xbox, PSP, DS and other versions of PS all have their own shelves. You name it, and they'll have it -- that's what I would say, but I'll shy away from thinking they have a huge range of retro games for older consoles. There are better stores for those than Book-off.
Games aren't the only thing Book-off has. They take up a few floors here and they have CDs and DVDs and books as well. The majority of books here are light novels and comics, but they have magazines as well as textbooks and assessment books as well. I spotted a whole series of Durarara!! here and was so inclined to purchase it on the spot, but I'll wait till my next trip for that. On the other hand, Monogatari Series was nowhere to be found this time round.
Right after finishing off at Book-off, I started my journey to K-Books, where I was hoping to get some of my PSV games which I couldn't find at Book-off. While moving there, I came across "the Akiba Shop". I'm sure there are plenty of you readers who know of a similar store in Singapore. I frequent the one at Somerset313.
Unexpectedly, I didn't get any Tokyo Banana this time round but focused more on the anime-related goods. It's a good marketing strategy, I swear, and it helps that it catches attention easily due to the more colorful packaging. Such anime-related Japanese sweets aren't that common in Singapore than in Japan, unfortunately.
I got enough sweets here for it to be tax-free, and don't ask me how that happened. I'll include the pictures individually in my loot post, and I might make a review post for these haul.
Back to the main issue after getting sidetracked by this store, was how to get to K-books. It was actually in the same building, though the map provided by K-books online site seemed to suggest otherwise.
K-Books, being a "book-store" definitely has many books. The first floor is a paradise for any bookworm out there who loves light novels and manga. Posters and tapestries line the aisle to draw attention to all the new shows with upcoming or airing anime. Music of the openings and endings of anime that season set a nice atmosphere for this otaku-paradise as well!
Cut-outs help to further promote series which are already a huge hit even in manga form. Hopefully people already do recognise this series though it hasn't aired yet!
K-books also has plentiful of figures for sale, though their prices are set a little higher than most other figure-orientated stores out there. Maybe it's due to this that you might actually find rarer Nendoroids here, such as Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji? One thing I like about K-books' figures would be the labelling. They always clearly label if the item is new, and what items are missing (or none missing) if it's pre-owned.
Loose figures are kind of like a norm in Japan sometimes You can find them anywhere and everywhere, but it depends on if you would wish to purchase them. I love my boxes, of course, but sometimes it just isn't worth paying that much more just for a boxed copy... or so I tried to justify that reasoning to myself when I bought these Honks.
Non-figure related goods are here too. There's a lot of Kuji stuff lying around, separated by series. Tapestries, dakimakura covers, art frames, cups, and even cardboard with an anime print in front are sold here. Some aisle have televisions which were streaming snippets of the animation to tempt customers to either purchase or to check out the series.
K-Books also has a CD/DVD/Blu-ray corner. That's where the games are kept as well. In that same corner, they also sell some Love Live box covers, so if you missed out on any of these, you can always consider grabbing a copy from K-Books when you're in Japan.
After K-Books, I returned to my hotel to dump off all the items I had on hand. The sweets, especially, was very heavy. Lazing around in the room after placing all my things down before leaving for Nakano was probably quite a bad idea since it's probably half of the reason why I didn't have time to go to Ikebukuro. But for now, let's leave that aside and move the time forward to Nakano!
After a 40-odd minutes train ride with cushioned train seats that made me question why I was living in Singapore with plastic train seats, and a couple of raindrops, I made it to Nakano Broadway where the legendary Mandarake is supposed to be.
Mandarake Nakano takes up 2 to 3 floors here, and some of these stores are specialty stores. There's a Nakano Broadway guide lying around in the complex, which makes manuevering your way around these different shops a lot easier!
Figures, dolls, books... you name it and they probably have it all. Nakano's branch is pretty well-equipped to cater to a group with different tastes. Though I didn't buy anything from here, it's really an eye-opener to see many more things which the anime world has to offer other than just purely figures, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray and other more commonplace merchandise.
And, just for laughs.
After some low-key shopping at Nakano, I decided to bid the place farewell lest it starts raining heavier. At this point in time, I was still debating if I should drop by Ikebukuro on my way home, but decided against it due to the rain (I forgot my umbrella at the hotel) and time constraints (it was 6pm already, most stores close at 8pm).
I can't help but think it was a really good choice since the trains were really packed and I couldn't even get close to the doors at Ikebukuro station. However, there was this one weird guy who got up at Ikebukuro, and it didn't take him more than 2 stations to start coughing violently then yelling and lastly groaning in pain... and that cycle repeats. Commuters on the same carriage started moving to other carriages, while I just continued sitting there ( I was at the other end) and enjoying that feel of more empty seats, until I reached Akiba.
Akiba, on the other hand, wasn't raining that heavily then. So, I decided to resume my goods shopping spree again. I dropped by Suruga-ya (I knew what I wanted to purchase) again, then to Kotobukiya (a sudden impulse trip). I also dropped by Mandarake to grab a R-10 Manami x Toudou doujinshi for my friend. I wanted to go by Toranoana after that as well, but alas, it started raining heavier by then.
From Suruga-ya, I got 2 Love Live! goods, which were the Kousaka Honoka Seven Lucky Gods Shikishi as well as the official fanbook. I also found the Working!! fanbook, which I happily bought, and two Ken ga Kimi offical fanbook, which I deliberated and eventually didn't buy. My luggage was getting a little too heavy to bypass the domestic limit of 20kg >_<!!
I had absolutely no idea what I should or could buy at Kotobukiya since nothing really was of interest yesterday. But it felt a little strange if I were to leave Tokyo without purchasing anything as I'm a huge fan of Kotobukiya products, so I decided to go back there once more to take my time to find something I wanted.
Here's some figures to display the boxes (which were the ones for sale). Is it just me who is more intrigued by the figures than the display cases? The word 'sample' scribbled on the figures do kill my heart a little as oil-based markers and figures aren't really that great of a match.
With the rain and limited time left to go to Toranoana, I decided to stop after visiting Mandarake.
Now for the long-awaited Day 2 Loot post!
The Akiba Store:
There are 2 kinds of Doraemon tarts.
The first is 7 custard 3 plain (which I got) and the second type is all 10 plain.
Tokyo no Koibito is like a pudding version of Shiroi Koibito~ For more information about these in comparison to Shiroi Koibito, I'll post it another day. Stay tuned!
This is godly. Lovely mochi in presentation and taste, yay for good purchase!
I haven't actually tasted this but it looks amazing enough. Can't wait to finish the other goodies so I can taste these matcha ones.
Seems like even in real life, I have no Kotori luck. Hi there, Umi.
This is a cross between the Kanda festical and Love Live! Please read up more on the Kanda Festival if you aren't too sure what it is about :D
Is that Maki I see? That's a little weird, having an Umi sticker but Maki printed on the dessert itself. Couldn't they exhibit some consistency and made it Umi or Maki all the way? :/
It's chocolate inside and not red bean.
The treats themselves aren't half bad, but not all that great either.
This was supposed to be some limited edition Strawberry cake thing, which has fluffy cake parts and creamy cream. I don't think it lived up to my expectations of it, but that would be a post for another day.
From left: School Uniform Kousaka Honoka, START;DASH Kousaka Honoka, Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki Kousaka Honoka, Secret version Kousaka Honoka.
My friend is a huge Honoka fan so I got these for him, hope he likes them. Sadly he isn't into the Race Queens version so it's stuck on the unlucky number 4. Actually I went in hopes of finding Minami Kotori's Nendoroid Petites, but fate really screws people over. Oh well.
And also, let's not forget the photos which don't have a category under. Like my extremely thrifty and rather pathetic looking lunch, but tastes amazing. So amazing that I bought the same onigiri for dinner as well!
A hobbyshop that I chanced upon while getting lost in Akihabara. They have a pretty good selection there, and the only deterrent is the price, which is a huge factor.
And Gamers. Yay for Monogatari Series featured there. And to Aqours (otherwise known as Love Live! Sunshine), I only have a sound for it. "Hmm..."
From Your Fellow Japan Fan,
Day 5 (Part I) | Day 5 (Part II)