The main difference between anime and cartoons (Aside from the West and East Factors) are the distinct facial expressions that are closer to reality which is found in anime. The detailed art with fluid animations that has evolved over the years is something that the western style cartoons do not have. Tokyo is a heaven for Japanese manga and anime fan because there are a lot of shops that specialize in selling manga and anime related products.
Manga often referred to as Japanese Comics, has a very rich history. The popularity of these works started after World War II and is often displayed in black and white illustrations. Anime, on the other hand, are animations that were birthed in Japan and have their own “unique” characteristics compared to their Western counterpart that is widely known as “cartoons”.
Popular manga titles are often picked up by animation studios and brought to the public as Anime. Believe it or not, the popularity of Japan in many countries around the world is also largely contributed to Anime and Manga.
Here are some of the best places to buy anime and manga in Tokyo.
1. Tokyo Character Street in Tokyo Station
Tokyo Character Street is a special place that houses 21 stores that sell exclusive items from popular characters like Hello Kitty and Snoopy. There is also a place called the “Ichiban Plaza” that sells anime and manga themed merchandise that is available for a limited time only.
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku
Website: http://www.tokyoeki-1bangai.co.jp/street/character (Japanese Only)
2. Nakano Broadway
Nakano Broadway is a shopping center that is often referred to as a “collector’s haven”. Nakano Broadway is a great place to find rare anime and manga related goods. There are 27 shops of Mandarake in Nakano Broadway. The B1 of Nakano Broadway has a grocery store and clothes store as well.
Address: 5-52-15 Nakano, Tokyo 164-0001, Japan
3. JUMP SHOP
The popular comic magazine in Japan “JUMP” gave birth to an amazing lineup of manga and anime titles like Dragonball, One Piece, and Naruto to name a few. They opened up the famous JUMP SHOP which showcases manga and anime wares that are exclusively promoted by their company. JUMP SHOP also have a branch in Tokyo Dome City, and Tokyo Sky Tree. JUMP SHOP has a total of 10 branches all over Japan.
Address: B1F Tokyo Station Ichi-bangai 1-9-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
Website: http://benelic.com/service/jump.php (Japanese Only)
4. ONE PIECE MUGIWARA STORE
ONE PIECE MUGIWARA Store is an exclusive shop that sells manga and anime merchandise from the very popular manga and anime titled “ONE PIECE”. Fans of the series frequently visit this store to buy figurines of their favorite character in the series.
Address: 1 Chome-22-6 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.mugiwara-store.com (Japanese Only)
K-Books have branches in Akihabara and Ikebukuro, and they won’t lose to any of their competitors when it comes to anything related to manga and anime. Aside from selling anime and manga products, they also “buy” them for a reasonable price. Rare and high-quality goods can fetch a good price if you are willing to sell them to the K-Books Store.
Address: 1 Chome-15-16 Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.k-books.co.jp (Japanese Only)
Mandarake was originally a shop that sells manga and was established in 1987. Today, Mandarake has spread its influence and opened up many branches in key areas around Tokyo. Their store in Akihabara has 8 floors and sells a wide range of manga, anime, cosplay, toys, game consoles and doujinshi.
Address: Sotokanda 3-11-12, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Akihabara Branch: https://earth.mandarake.co.jp/shop/cmp/index.html
Mandarake also have branches in Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Nakano. Refer to the official website for detailed information.
Animate is considered as one of the biggest anime and manga shop chains in the world. With over a hundred stores in Japan and 4 international branches, it has cemented its place as one of the leading pioneers in the anime and manga industry.
Address: 1 Chome-20-7 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0013, Japan
Website: https://www.animate.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Animate’s most popular branches are located in Akihabara, Ikebukuro, and Shibuya.
8. Toranoana in Akihabara
Toranoana was established in 1994 and became well known because they mainly sell “doujinshi”. Doujinshi is a term for self-published manga or novels that are not affiliated with any other publishing company. Over the years, aside from supporting original doujinshi creators Toranoana also opened their doors to welcome anime and manga products. Toranoana has 3 branches in Akihabara. Akihabara C is the place to visit if you are looking for anime and manga products.
Address for Akihabara C Branch: 3 chome-13-8 Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
Website: http://www.toranoana.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
9. GAMERS in Akihabara
The GAMERS store in Akihabara is a very popular place to visit when looking for anime and manga merchandise. It’s close proximity to the station is one of the reasons why this place is a great hangout place for those who love manga and anime. The store in Akihabara has 8 floors and offers a wide variety of manga and anime goodies! GAMERS have 17 stores including the Akihabara main branch which extends from the Hokkaido (north) to the Kyushu region (south).
Address: 1-14-7 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://www.gamers.co.jp (Japanese Only)
10. Yodobashi Camera
Yodobashi Camera is a one stop electronic shop in Akihabara. They sell the latest high-end gadgets, computers, video games, and surprisingly they also added anime related products in their store in Akihabara. The 6th floor of Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara specializes in anime and manga products, toys and game-related goods.
Address: 1-11-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0023
Website: http://www.yodobashi.com/ec/store/0011/ (Japanese Only)
Akihabara Branch Address: 1-1 Kanda Hanaokacho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
Website: www.yodobashi.com/ec/store/0018 (Japanese Only)
Data is as of December 2016
Thumbnail is from Flickr