Animate (Ikebukuro Flagship Store) Reviews
Another Place Where the Otaku come to Play! Jun 11, 2011
Ikebukuro (池袋), is a commercial and entertainment district of Tokyo and the largest city in Toshima-ku in Japan. It is also where you will find (Next to Kiddie Land and other Animate locations- There over 90 of them all over Japan so there is no excuse that you cannot find at least 1 in your general area...lol) the flagship anime/manga heaven of Animate. This location is ALWAYS on my list of places to go when I am in the Tokyo metro area. I usually make this and Kiddie Land my all day otaku shopping fix for anything and everything in Japanese media.
The Animate Flagship location consists of 8 floors (Kiddie Land boasts 8 floors as well) of Japanese media goodness. Everything from food and snacks, magazines, DVDs, character goods, and costumes. So bring your comfortable shoes because it is a real-world workout to conquer all the floors.
The main floor lobby is a madhouse at times with kids running up and down the narrow stairs that lead to the other floors. So proceed with caution once you enter. But this can be avoided if you go during the weekdays and in the mornings. The main floor/lobby is a mixture of sales reps, capsule machines, snacks, and the newest monthly releases.
The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors house a dedicated collection of comics or manga. These manga are sorted in various ways, mostly by publisher but they have friendly staff that can help. The last time I was there no one really spoke English so learning a few phrases in Japanese can get you to what you want faster. Doko wa desu ka? helped me on my first trip there and I found everything I wanted.
The 5th and 6th floors are the Holy Grail of character goods. This is where you will find every household item you could ever use stamped with various anime/manga character images. From notebooks to pencil boards, cellphone straps to puzzle sets it is a feast for the eyes and a drainer of wallets. I maxed out my cash on this floor alone quite a few times. The Flagship store also has specialty items only available at its location. (I believe the pink Haro from Gundam Seed was one such item)
Are you tired yet? Finally the 7th and 8th floors of this mega store hosts an impressive collection of anime CDs, DVDs, and games with a variety of new, series, and classic releases.
It took many visits to this location to finally actually to be able to say I have visited all 8 floors. I have not been to Japan a quite a bit but I am definitely heading back next year and my first stop will be the Animate Flagship store in Ikebukuro. Happy Hunting!
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!