[UPDATE] OTOME ROAD by Otome’s Way
Ever wanted to know more about Tokyo? Ikebukuro is a district full of fun for all anime and manga fans, but especially BL enthusiasts! Each week Otome’s Way will introduce a location near the main stretch of Ikebukuro’s Otome Road, named for the crowds of female fans who flock to the area each week to get their fill of shojo-centric, BL merchandise!
Just click the read more link for more info, images, and helpful links!
This week: Mandarake!! Lair of used and vintage fangoods!
The previous installment of Otome Road by Otome’s Way touched on the doujinshi subculture prevalent in Japanese fandom. In fact, doujinshi fan comics are so popular, there are several stores devoted to the trade even just within Ikebukuro’s Otome Road area!
Where there’s a market, there will always be collectors. That’s where the Mandarake chain store comes in. Mandarake buys back used or previously-owned doujinshi, collector’s items, costumes, DVDs, and other interesting fandom knickknacks and then sells them to new homes. Like most used stores, sometimes there are fantastic bargains and other times it costs a pretty penny to buy rare goods.
The Ikebukuro branch of Mandarake deals almost exclusively in used doujinshi and manga, with an additional small selection of cosplay and stage play goods. Located right in the middle of Otome Road at the crosswalk near the mall and outdoor park, the entrance to the store is at basement level down a flight of stone steps.
The doujinshi is organized by series and pairing, with prolific artists separated into their own sections for easy browsing. Like most stores in Ikebukuro, Mandarake is a treasure trove of BL pairings. Unlike doujinshi stores like Toranoana that only cater to the newest series, Mandarake carries doujinshi from nearly any and all anime and manga series you could imagine. Looking for some Gundam Wing doujinshi that have been out of print for more than 10 years? Not a problem! Mandarake has a selection from each Gundam series that you can look through at your leisure.
One of the downsides with any used store, however, is that you can never be certain that what you want is in stock at any given time. The selection of available doujinshi changes every day depending on what’s been recently sold back and put out on the shelves for purchase. Also, as far as used doujinshi stores goes, Mandarake accepts a higher number of sell-backs. Though this means that the price of the doujinshi is slightly cheaper, the quality (content and condition of each comic) is sometimes lower than other, more choosy venues. For the same reason, those looking to sell some of their doujinshi collection off may also only get a few yen per book. However, Mandarake can’t be beat as a place to both buy and sell older, classic series.
Location: 〒170-0013, B1 Lions Mansion Ikebukuro, 3-15-2 Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. every day