So…8 months flew past without us posting much, and the 5th year anniversary arrived last month. ;; Well, there were some changes in RL, but to be honest the bigger reason is probably that I have very low motivation at the moment.
(Yet I’m wasting time on mobile games) But I do hope to at least finish something this year haha. Though if you don’t mind posts about mobile games, I can write something up too.
We haven’t prepared anything for this year. But we see that this blog is still getting views and the few comments here and there, probably thanks to our old posts. So thank you so much for that!
It’s not much, but below I plan to share some places about Japan. More specifically, stores which otome fans like myself may be interested in. Then again, you may already know them, but for those who don’t – hope you find it interesting!
Ikebukuro is known for its “otome street” for a reason. Of course, you may already know that Animate, Stellaworth, Rejet shop, Bookoff, K-books etc. are all found there. Personally, what I like about Stellaworth is that sometimes you can find exclusive Otomate merchandises – if the character isn’t super popular. For example, they were selling Clock Zero/Code:Realize x Otomate cafe keychains.
The last few times I’ve been to Ikebukuro, large posters of popular mobile games like Ensemble Stars and Idolish7 lined one side of the street. Unlike some years back, the Animate branch’s 6th floor has almost one half dedicated to otome game goods. The top events floor often has temporary fairs. Examples I’ve stumbled across include Yume100 (夢王国と眠れる100人の王子), and Broccoli.
Rejet shop is in P’Parco. I guess it’s temporary event spaces in P’Parco, but I’ve seen pop-up stores like Boyfriend(kari) there too. Surely, there are other pop-up stores happening elsewhere in the area. Not to mention, nico nico (and cafe) is in the basement. I’ve never walked in to see what events they have, but who knows right?
I will make a special mention of Tokyu Hands. They often have booths in front of their store, and sometimes I see the tie-up is with swallowtail patisserie – and they have done desserts based on otome titles. Speaking of swallowtail, you know its butler cafe? Apparently they were distributing their musical samples there before too.
Of course besides all these, there are numerous cafes there. I have only ever visited Animate cafe there, which I will post about below. In any case, there’s a lot of things going on in Ikebukuro!
I don’t visit Shibuya much. But Rejet shop is in Parco, and I’ve seen a Prince of stride pop-up store there before. But currently, certain sections of Parco is under renovation. I’m not sure if the area where Rejet shop is, is affected too.
Of course, Animate is there too. Tokyu Hands is there too (but then again, it’s at Ikebukuro too). That’s all I know about Shibuya. If you know more places, feel free to share!
My main motive for visiting Shinjuku is Otomate Store at Marui One Annex. Otomate also holds their Summer and Winter markets here. That being said, the same building also tends to have anime/otome pop-up stores on the same floor, or one floor above. Past examples I have seen include Neoromance, Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge and D.Gray-man Hallow. (Shinjuku animate cafe shop is located here too.)
One floor above Otomate Store, lies Animega. To my surprise, I found a decent amount of Corda 3 merchandises here. I can’t recall if there were other Neoromance titles. ;;
As far as I know, you can take advantage of their member card even if you’re a foreigner. When I was given the option to apply for one waaaay back, I accepted and said that I would complete the registration process online instead of filling up on-the-spot.
Other than Tokyo, I’ve been to Animate branches in Sapporo, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nagoya. I’m pretty certain that they all had a section dedicated to otome goods – it’s just a difference in scale.
The last time I visited, they were still using the old reservation system. So it won’t be very helpful if I recall how I booked my cafe appointments. ;; For the old system, I believe that you had to be a member. From what I can see, it’s not necessary with the new system. Also, when I arrived at the cafe, I had to show my booking number and passport to certify my identity. I’m not sure if it’s still required.
So I’ve been to animate cafe about 4 times in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka. Only one time, could I just walk-in and get a table – it was Nitro+CHiRAL’s lol. So it’s best to always check in advance since majority would require advanced reservation.
To make things clear, animate cafe separates into 3 types (?). One is like N+C and Osomatsu’s featured in the photo. You get to sit there for 1.5 hours at a table. The menu consists of actual food, drinks and desserts. In the time you spend there, you are free to buy the exclusive merchandises, past merchandises, and to take photos of all the displays. So going by description, this is more like the cafe.
Then there is what they call “animate cafe shop”. It’s a much smaller space mostly consisting of single-seaters, and you only get 0.5 hours altogether. The flow is that you get your appointment checked, queue up to buy your order, and sit down. When I say order, I really mean your desired drink/dessert AND the merchandises you want. Due to the time constraint, this system probably makes more sense. Again, you are free to take photos of all the displays. Just take note of the time! Honestly, I’m still amazed by people who can order 2 drinks and 1 dessert to consume in 0.5 hours.
Lastly, you have what they call “kitchen cars”. Basically, you just purchase the drinks and/or merchandises from the truck parked outside Ikebukuro Animate. There is only one such kitchen car at the moment. Since it’s such a small scale, they tend to feature new/ongoing titles. Despite this, if it’s a series as popular as Osomatsu-san – you have to book a reservation in advance!
Since this is a “cafe”, the merchandises sold here tend to feature the characters with a cafe theme. It is extremely toxic for people like me who love cafe themes. ;; Also, you can use your Animate member card to collect points when you patronise the cafes.
And that’s all I have! I’m aware that I did not cover all the possible places, just the ones I’m familiar with. If you have more to share, feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for reading, and till next time!