Wednesday, 16 April 2008

厚木見物第三: アニメと漫画 Atsugi City Tour Part 3: Anime And Manga

Care to see some more of my town in Japan?
In case you have some interest in Anime and Manga, today I will introduce some stores where you can buy Manga and Anime, but also merchandising and figures (both for which Japan is famous for).


Animate is the biggest Anime, Manga merchandise chain in Japan and you can find a store of it in almost every city, even in Atsugi. Of course they're also selling real Manga and Anime DVDs. This is a good spot to go if you want some cheap or mid priced merchandising for yourself or as a present for some friend who is into Anime/Manga, but does not live in Japan.


Yurindo is Atsugi's biggest book store. And not surprisingly Japanese book stores often have one floor entirely dedicated to Manga. So this is your first address in Atsugi to look for new Manga. They have a huge selection and you will be able to find a lot.


Book-Off is Japan's largest second hand book store. They also have quite a lot of Manga, which you can get a lot cheaper here. They are usually sold in a condition, which you and I couldn't distinguish from new.


Takaharaya is maybe Atsugi's oldest Toy Store. I found it by change, as I was striving around the city. When I went it and looked around I found myself chatting to the old lady, who owns the store, for over an hour. She told me that this store is around for over 40 years selling toys. Since 10 years it changed with the time and its customers and now mainly sells Anime/Manga figures, toys and some rare merchandising.
The woman told me some interesting stories about how people and their taste changed over the years. She also told me, that when she started working here, there were always a lot of birds greeting her in the morning, sitting and flying around in front of the store. Now she hasn't seen or heard a single bird in years. "The animals of this city are dying out", she said. And she is really afraid of the future we are heading to. She also feels very sorry for future generations and is sad about in which condition our generations hands over this planet to the next.
Talking with her was not only interesting, but also refreshing, since Japanese usually don't talk about such things and are very careful to blame someone or criticize something. I guess however this mainly counts for the younger generations, while the older generations having lived through the rebuilding of Japan after the war or even the war itself have quite a more objective view on the world and live itself.

Finally she told me that her hobby is to raise insect bugs. A hobby still very common in Japan. Because of that she sometimes gathers insect eggs in forests around Atsugi, raises them herself (the raising of a big bug takes about one year, she said) and then sells them to faithful customers.

Even if you are not too much into figures and stuff, I recommend you to visit one of Atsugi's oldest store and have a little chat with the owner. You will be amazed how much you can learn about this city, its people, the change of generations and Japan in general.

Post Hobby

In the top floor of Saty you can find another toy store specialized in Anime Manga, but it also carries a lot of other interesting stuff. Cool things you can find there are:

cool figures

Ghost in the Shell toys

yes they are real, real rpg sets!

and Anime/Manga/Game T-Shirts

See you next time!


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