The sun rose bright and early. However, I didn’t. Dead tired from yesterday’s adventure, I didn’t wake till 10pm. By then, the city was already bustling and hustling with folks going about their daily business. Of course, it’s the year end holidays, so no School Girls to be seen. Aw… (TT.TT)
Once refreshed, re-energized and out of the door, the cold air did help tons, I (with my parents in tow) made a bee line for Akihabara via the Yamanote line from Shinagawa. Within minutes, the imposing and yet welcoming sight of the Akiba Buildings greeted me. First off, was the continuation of the exploration of the Radio Kaikan.
While I did go to the second floor of the Kotobukiya Store, I didn’t notice the first level outlet until today, so I started there. There were mostly a ton of Square Enix figures along with keychains and the such. Not much there that tickled my fancy.
On the 4th floor however, my fancy couldn’t stop laughing as it was a whole floor of FIGURES.
With the main focus being Revoltech products, I was surprised to see many other things like regular figures and the like. Guess everyone needs to diversify.
My theory was proven right as the 6th floor that was commanded by Volks also had plamos, stuff for the military otaku, and regular figures as well.
Something that I need to address is the amazing deals that one can find and the terrible price fluctuation. I’m serious. The prices seem to change arbitrarily. Take the Soul of Chogokin SPEC Eva-01 Awakened Ver. figure for example. The Kotobukiya store level had it for 9000+ yen while the Revoltech store level had it for 5000+ yen. Needless to say, I bought it straight away, but more on my loot later. Thus, even though many of you know this already, WALK AROUND BEFORE BUYING!!! I mean the deals and discounts can be too awesome to believe. Actsta Subaru was at lowest, 4000+ yen from an original price of . Holy cow. But… since I’m not a huge fan of StrikerS, I’ll wait for the Figma and pay at max 3000+ yen.
Darn, I digressed again… This goes without saying that there were also a ton of display cases to be seen crammed full of figures, despite them being in the most dynamic and interesting poses you can imagine. Revoltech’s Store had a ton of well… Revoltechs.
The soon to be released Transformable Revoltech VFs were also on display.
As for the Volks store, a father’s dream come true. Aisles and aisles of accessories, clothes and everything you could ever want to deck out your Dollfie and 1/6 doll with. Again, I’m not the kind of guy who likes customization, nor do I own a dollfie, so I didn’t get any accessories. Both new and old dolls were on display, like Dolfie Mashiro. Strangely enough, there were also a ton of doll related stuff on the Revoltech Store level, both to do with Dolfie and 1/6 scale dolls.
Shelves stocked full with old and new dolls alike were both a treat and a torture to the eye. The pain really worsened. Both my spiritual pain and my wallet pain. I had to resist as I was on a budget, yet I still bought a number of things…
Here are some more pics of the stuff that were there:
I seriously wanted to break the glass and make off with all of them.
Last but not least for Radio Kaikan, I visited K-Books where, as one would expect, contained every kind of Anime and Manga related book known to Otaku.
This is where it gets interesting. You see, I did visit the Hentai section of the K-Books floor (3rd floor) while at Radio Kaikan and yes, my parents did follow. Their initial impression of Ero-Manga was ‘…with nearly naked girls…’ only. Yeah… Boy were they in for a rude shock. Just take a look at what K-books had to offer:
It was the same thing when we visited the Doujin section of Gamers, the one that Kagami-tachi visited in episode 16.
The very elevator???
I felt a mix of hilarity, pity and despair when the first Doujin they flipped through had both FUTA and RAPE in it. Now if you don’t know what FUTA is, what are you doing here??? (Ehem, girls with dicks)
I found it amusing that this was also the first time that I have actually seen Ero-Manga in person. How one is expected to flip the pages while fapping is beyond me. So, while I didn’t pick up any Ero-Manga at Gamers or K-Books, there will be enough of it at Comiket. Something that I did want proved impossible to acquire and that was the limited edition Negima! Manga volumes 23, 24 and 25… the Touhou Griffon PVCs were also all GONE. No Youmu for Actar… (TT.TT)
Some pics of the Character Goods that Gamers had to offer:
I do want to note that during my trip to Akihabara, only grown men and women, mostly men, and young adults were there, despite the weekday working hours. THE POWAH OF AKIBA!!! This also conclusively proves that Anime/Manga and the like are a hobby for mature people. Yeah right.
Next stop in Akihabara was the Tokyo Anime Centre. Honestly, I have no idea what makes it a Tokyo Anime Centre.
Despite being small, I have to say that it had an impressive range of merchandise and it also had TV screens and Life-Sized figures. Rei sure is popular
But really. There wasn’t anything that stood out about it. Just another store with inflated prices and a pretty good layout. Recommended visit, just don’t expect anything mind-blowing.
Oh, did pop by Animate again for awhile.
The last place we visited in Akihabara was Yodobashi Cannon, a pretty regular shopping center with the main focus being electronics.
Had our lunch, which consisted of a Hamburger Steak not unlike the one eaten by Last Order in Index, and made our way to the main highlight of the day, the legendary Nakano Broadway. Kept calling it Nanako Broadway… Hm. It’s catchy though.
24 minutes by train and some guiding by the station master later, the grand arch was soon in my sights. It was more beautiful than any picture could make it out to be.
The grandeur had a sublime effect on me. Just like the first time seeing the Akihabara landscape, it really did seem like a dream.
Nakano Broadway had a way leading up to it that was certainly broad. Lined with shops selling everything from shoes to candy, it was hard not to be distracted. But Mandarake, not to be confused with the screaming Mandrake, awaited.
The sign ‘Nakano Broadway!!!’, in case one forgets where they are.
For those of you who don’t know, Mandarake has a whole series of shops with each one dealing with a different type of good. For instance, we have:
Trains, Planes and Automobiles without Steve Martin and John Candy.
You get the idea. The thing is, these shops have a ton of second hand stuff that one can usually find terrific treasures at amazing prices. Usually, the ‘opened/used before’ item will yield a lower price. Of course, there were other dealers there selling their wares.
The Singapore equivalent of Nakano Broadway would be China Square Central, just about 7459235326 times more awesome. Or was it 7459235327 times?
Alas, the Tight Budget reared its horrendously disfigured head as it paralyzed my paying arm… Though in all honesty, I didn’t find many things that I was looking for. Stuff like the Fate/Stay Night Cosplaying Lucky Star Nendoroid set went for 7000+ yen in opened condition and there was even a Sheryl Nome Doll for 16000 yen and Alter Louise for 3000+ yen. Sadly, I didn’t want them enough to actually fork over the cash, despite the great prices… Still want to pick up the Yamato Mechas and thinking about that 1/3 scale AZONE, yup, not Dolfie, Yuki doll. Grrr… Curse you Tight Budget!!! *In Frank Welker Deep Voice Mode* I’ll get you next time Gadget, er, Tight Budget!!! (I also wanted an Anime cell…)
Finally, after mucking around for an hour or so, we had a Ramen dinner that was impressively huge for the price.
And before leaving, I spotted a bakery with…
CHOCO CORNETS AND MELON PANS!!! WTFOMGBBQZOMG!!! Oh yeah. Authentic Japanese Choco Cornets and Melon pans, the most celebrated of all Japanese pastries, in my opinion, thanks to Konata and Shana.
Once back at the hotel, I threw myself on my bed and consolidated all my loot. So for your approval, here it is:
Revoltech ARX-7 Arbalest
AZONE 1/6 Yui Hirasawa Doll
RAH Asuka Langley Shikinami
Soul of Chogokin SPEC Eva-01 Awakened Ver.
Konami’s Makie from Negima
An issue of Megami (got it for the poster)
Touhou The Grimoire of Marisa
K-On! Manga Vol. 1
and… A Movie Ticket to the Nanoha MOVIE!!! Oh wait… I won’t be in Japan to watch it!!! Yup, I just got it for the chibi Fate figure that came with it. Ticket is gorgeous and so much more pretty than the boring old Singapore Movie tickets. A collectors item in its own right!
It’s a pretty amazing loot if I do say so myself. For the 40,284 yen damage it did to my wallet it had better be. I’d sue it it weren’t. With only a little more than half of my spending money left, I had better spend more wisely as Comiket looms. I don’t know if I’ll be joining the Religiously Ridiculous queue as according to the Comiket Info page, and I quote, ‘We recommend that first time attendees come to the Comic Market in the afternoon in order to avoid long lines.’ The only thing that is stopping me from following this advice is the prospect of all the popular and Limited Edition goodies slipping through my fingers…
Still trying to figure out the Comiket Guide… Help! (~_~;) I do think I’ll pay a visit to the commercial booths first, but that’s just me. Well, it’s still 2 days away.
…and the last thing I would like to add, other than this is turning out to be far, far, far, far, far, far, longer than I expected (the usage of 6 ‘far’s adding to the length), is that static shocks seem to be a huge problem here. I was wrecking my brain, trying to work out an explanation, then this scene came to mind:
SEE? Anime never lies.
P.S. I watched the Sora no Otoshimono finale on freaking TV in the Hotel. Imagine. Watching ANIME on TV in JAPAN. The finale was pretty good, but the experience of watching it on TV in JAPAN was priceless. PRICELESS I TELL YOU!
Off to bed now. Shibuya, Shinjiku, Ikebukuro, Ueno tomorrow. Yes, I did buy the JR Line Rail Pass. Any suggestions as to which sights and places to visit?
Will definitely be going back to Akihabara at least one last time before leaving for home. Still haven’t visited a TON of places… (^.^;)
Yes, many stores didn’t allow pictures, so I videoed nearly everything discreetly, hence the screencap pictures. When using my DSLR, the flash had to be off so as not to attract attention… More will be in the upcoming ATR series.