[NEW] OTOME ROAD by Otome’s Way
Ever wanted to know more about Tokyo? In this new series OTOME ROAD by Otome’s Way, we introduce popular shops and hangouts in the BL anime/manga fan mecca, Ikebukuro!
Each week Otome’s Way will write up a report on different locations near the main stretch of Ikebukuro’s Otome Road to help fans get to know the area better! Whether you’re making plans to visit Japan and looking for places to visit, or just want to know a little bit more about Tokyo, Otome’s Way is here to help fujoshi get a little bit closer to Tokyo’s biggest BL hotspot!
Just click the read more link for more info, images, and helpful links!
This week: Animate, the main branch!! Super-store for all things anime and manga!
On the northwestern side of central Tokyo lies the small, yet bustling district of Ikebukuro. Much like the famous otaku-centric Akihabara, Ikebukuro is well-known for its collection of anime, manga, and cosplay stores. Unlike Akihabara, however, Ikebukuro has a high concentration of shops aimed at female fans, with a focus on shojo and BL series.
The Otome Road section of town is packed with stores that sell almost anything a fan could wish for: manga, merchandise, DVDs, costumes, doujinshi, figurines, cosplay accessories, and more! In addition to the stores, Ikebukuro also boasts a unique collection of venues made with fujoshi in mind, including butler cafes, crossplay restaurants, anime-themed eateries, and even a BL-specific cafe!
This week we’ll introduce Animate, the main branch!! Super-store for all things anime and manga in Japan!
Animate is a chain of stores that carries the latest merchandise and anime/manga titles. It’s the biggest anime brand name in Japan, with merchandise from all the newest series, as well as magazine, comic book, and audio-visual releases. If you want brand new anime goods, Animate is your one-stop answer… and the potentially biggest drain on your wallet.
Animate headquarters is located about 5 minutes away from the East Exit of the JR Ikebukuro Station. Since its big move to a brand new building in 2012, Animate has only gotten bigger, better, and more popular! Each Animate store location has different sorts of exhibitions and events, often catering to the type of clientele they get. The Ikebukuro branch often has special events and showcased anime up on the 8th and 9th floors. Another notable feature is its 4th floor, which is entirely devoted to BL and shojo manga.
The 4th floor also carries a selection of the newest doujinshi releases from popular doujinshi artists. Though they only offer the most popular series and artists, the doujinshi section still takes up half of the wall space of the entire floor.
Often when a new manga or DVD is released, Animate will carry its own limited edition version with extra freebies for people who order through their online shop or in-store. For instance, sometimes the Animate limited edition of a series will have an alternate cover with a different pairing featured on the front, or other original artwork by the manga artist.
Thanks to their helpful members card system, Animate is highly recommended as a place to reserve new anime releases. However, if you’re looking for cheaper deals, or lesser-known anime titles, it might be a better idea to search through a used-goods store than stick with Animate. Convenient they may be, but the merchandise and DVDs are still full-price.
Animate is a store that all fans can enjoy. But some in particular may get a kick out of the Ikebukuro Animate’s attention to their fujoshi fan base, from the BL-only 4th floor of the building to the prominent display of the newest yaoi releases right as you go through the front entrance.
Location: 〒170-0013, 1-20-7 Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. every day
Stay tuned for more Otome Road reports next week!