Located in Nakano, just a 5-minute train ride from Shinjuku, Nakano Broadway is well known as a mini Akihabara and has been a haven to otakus and their culture for many years. This huge complex that spans over several floors is home to a multitude of shops all catering to all game, anime, and manga lovers!
Within Nakano Broadway there is one chain that clearly sticks out among the rest: Mandarake. This shop's everywhere in this shopping center and is impossible to miss! And the best part? You don’t even need to be really familiar with this otaku culture to be able to appreciate it and join in on the fun!
What is Mandarake?
It all started in 1980 when manga author Masuzo Furukawa opened a used bookshop focused on selling manga which he coined as “Mandarake”. With its early success and fame, it was able to add more stores in the building within a few years. They then branched from manga to include anime, cosplay, anime goods, games, and more. Now the brand holds shops all over Japan!
Mandarake Anime-kan: Where Everything is One of a Kind (4F)
The moment we set our eyes on this shop, we knew we were into this! The Anime-kan sells original scripts of anime as well as genga, the original drawings used in anime. These aren’t just random animes either, they have loads of big-name animes’ scripts and genga! When we were there we saw some Ghibli genga, Naruto scripts, and more!
While they show these all in the store, most genga and scripts are sold by online auction. So if you stop by and see something you like, you can go online and fight it out to be able to get it! If there isn’t already an auction set up, you can start your own for a piece you see in the shop. These online auctions usually last about one week and are able to be shipped worldwide, they told us.
While it’s true that most of the genga and scripts are sold online, they also do have a select few items which you can buy in-store right away. Again, many of these are from very popular animes and we were shocked that we could get our hands on them so easily here! Even without being familiar with many animes, seeing the real deal in person is a whole new experience!
Henya: Retro Goodies for Everyone to Appreciate (4F)
Henya is based on the fourth floor of the Nakano Broadway shopping complex and definitely has a look that one can’t miss! Featuring Fushimi-Inari-esque torii gates leading into the actual store, it’s practically inviting you in.
After entering Henya, you’ll be greeted by a clean, sleek store full of retro-looking goodies all around you! Henya holds countless antique toys and games, vintage sign boards, and more. Most of the items are from the pre-World War II era through the ‘80s.
The back of the shop is covered in retro tin signs that would make amazing decor for just about anywhere! While some of the goods inside Henya may seem somewhat costly, there are also affordable figurines that are perfect for the collector or someone looking for a unique decorative accent!
Henya is full of rare and hard-to-find items to discover and is just simply appealing to the eyes—you won’t regret checking this place out! The mix of pricey and affordable makes the experience even more fun to look through their varied items.
Galaxy: Nostalgic, but Full of New Encounters (2F)
Mandarake’s Galaxy on the second floor of the building is completely overloaded with videogames. They have games and gaming systems from the 80’s, some of them extremely rare collectibles! Walking into this place is almost overwhelming—just the sheer amount of items in the store makes it hard to decide where to start!
In the front of the store they hold some of their more prized games and consoles, many of which we didn’t even know existed! With Galaxy holding thousands of games inside it, it’s bound to be full of great surprises for the dedicated gamer as well as those who aren’t very into games!
Just wandering the store we found ourselves constantly exclaiming things like, “I had forgotten all about this!”, “They had a game for this?!”, and even “I had never even heard of this console!”
There’s just something about the mixture of nostalgia and discovery inside of Galaxy that made us want to keep looking around the store.
Special 4: Hard-to-find Collectible Figures Galore! (2F)
We had no idea we would be so blown away by the unsuspecting little shop of Special 4. While the shop itself is a bit narrow, there is nothing disappointing about it!
Special 4 is your place to find the rare figure you have been looking everywhere for but just can’t seem to find! Special 4 specializes in figures, gacha toys, crane game toys/figurines, and the like. They told us that they’re always taking in new items, old or new, so it’s easy to find something that may not be found anywhere else. Many customers come in looking for a specific anime or character item and Special 4 is usually able to satisfy!
Mandarake’s Special 4 staff pointed out to us that many series that are popular abroad are more minor in Japan, so we asked them what seemed to be the most sought-after items from their foreign customers! They told us that Attack on Titan, One Piece, Jump, and Sailor Moon are all rather constant crowd favorites. They also said that although there aren’t many figures for Tokyo Ghoul and Death Note, they are also very popular!
Special 4 was also very eager to talk about their extensive Nendroid series collection. This series features a character with a large head and smaller body, giving off a cuter look. They sell play sets for their Nendroids as well! With the head and body of these Nendroids interchangeable, they have also shown continuous popularity.
Don’t be deceived by Special 4’s simple looks—this place is filled with great collectibles that all can admire! And for the collectors out there who just can’t seem to find a certain item: it’s worth your time to give Special 4 a look! The friendly staff will also be happy to help you out.
Cosplay-kan: Transform Into Your Favorite Character (2F)
Last, but definitely not least, we have Cosplay-kan! Cosplay is extremely prevalent among anime, manga, and game lovers and it seems like the cosplayer population keeps growing and growing! The Cosplay-kan shop is easy to spot because of, well, the cosplay! They have been catering to cosplayers and cosplay fans with their wide selection of costumes, wigs, accessories, and more!
With hundreds of outfits in the store, it may be hard to know where to begin looking for things. We asked them about their most popular items and they were quick to tell us that Naruto and Yuri on Ice items are extremely popular and that the Ken Kaneki mask from Tokyo Ghoul sells out in no time!
Cosplay-kan sells branded wigs as well, they told us. You can spot them by the blue with gold writing on the tags! They are heat-resistant and come in many colors and lengths, which assures you the perfect wig to suit your cosplay!
So whether you are a cosplayer yourself or just a fan of it, Cosplay-kan is a wonderland that will be sure to keep you fascinated!
Many people think of Akihabara when it comes to otaku culture, but as you can see, Nakano Broadway’s Mandarake is definitely something to rival the entire Akihabara area itself! Although it may be one company, they are true crowd pleasers. The quality and wide array of goods will assure you’ll find the perfect item for you. Whether it be new, old, or rare, they’re sure to have the item to please just about anyone. It’s easy to see why Mandarake’s popularity is always growing—everyone leaves happy!
Mandarake (Nakano Broadway)まんだらけ中野店
- Address 5-52-15 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo, 1640001, Japan
Nakano Train Station (JR / Tokyo Metro)
- Phone Number 03-3228-0007
12:00 - 20:00
Written by Lindsey Schultz
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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