Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Cute Flip Phones

Yesterday Fay and I had an adventure! We went to Ikebukuro, and let me just say, BUBBLE TEA MAID SPECIAL. Also, boy's love *everywhere*.

I only took a few pictures but here they are. I'm definately going back, though. Or, alternatively, spending all of my time there.

First we hit this Sanrio store, as Fay is a fan of Hello Kitty. It was all pink and frilly and they had cute cake-making supplies!

Our main goal for going to Ikebukuro was so that I could track down some boy's love vendors. And oh boy, did I find them. There are a few streets surrounding a skyscraper called Sunshine City (aptly named) that are chalk-full of anime merchendise, mostly catering to female fans. Plenty of pretty boys, romance comics, and doujinshi. here's the first place we hit, one of the many K BOOKS branches. It had a lot fo merchendise but no comics, so we moved on quickly. Not before I dug through some Sengoku Basara keychains, though. As I was oogling over them, a girl next to me was like, "You like Sengoku??" and I said yes and she got so exited! It was amazing. We oogled over the keychains together. Ashley, I think you would die of happiness here. So much Gundam 00 and Hetalia, among others.

The next place we hit was Animate, a 6-floor anime store, 3 floors of which is wall-to-wall manga. This wall in particular was completely boy's love novels.

And here's one of the many sections devoted to this manga artist, Ono Nastume, who Abby showed me and I keep seeing! She's hot stuff right now, which is great because she started out as a doujinshi(fan-comic) artist. Some of her stories have been scanlated already, I suggest looking them up. The one I linked to is also a cute anime now.

The third and final place we visited was the Ikebukuro branch of MANDARAKE, and okay, it's been decided that it's the most wonderful place ever. Most of the store is devoted to doujinshi (rows and rows and rows, like a warehouse!) but in the back they also have a lot of used manga, and the boy's love is sorted alphabetically by artist name, which means I can easily find the artists I like. I was too excited to take pictures but I did buy this comic:
By Suzuki Tsuta, one of my all-time favorite artists! The above comic ("The Guy Three Doors Down") is a sweet story of a man who gets a second chance at his first love. This comic was only 315 yen. That's dirt cheap, folks. The other comic I really want to buy is Otomen, which is a shoujo comic about a manly boy who secretly likes romance comics, cooking and sewing. I recommend both to anyone who likes romance comics.

I also forgot to take a picture of the maid bubble tea stand, but it was amazing! There was a bubble tea stand and an adjoining crepe stand, both run by an array of cute maids. They called me mistress and were very cute and understanding when I didn't understand "hot or "cool". Fay got a "Maid Special" crepe, which means she got to pick anything she wanted to be put inside it (fruits, creams, and chocolates to choose from!) and she got to pick a maid. We didn't understand what this meant until she was given a special treat with her crepe: a polaroid of the maid she chose, with little hearts drawn on it! !!!

OK, Sekaido art supplies. Located in Shinjuku, a 6-floor art supply store and also ABSOLUTE HEAVEN. I think I'll be in danger of spending all my money here. The quality and variety is just insane. It's also all in Japanese, so I'll need to figure out what everything is.
Stickers (on of many rows)

A wall of markers. I got too excited after this point so no more pictures for now. Just imagine rows like this, for every kind of art supplies imaginable. Going on and on forever.

This is a sweet japanese brush pen!!! It's actually a *brush* as opposed to a felt-tip brush pen. So beautiful.

And finally...a shiny new flip-phone, complete with phone charms. Everybody, from kids to old surly men, have cute phone charms here.

You can e-mail my phone for free, so here's the game: e-mail me some international love and I'll e-mail you back with a picture of something from wherever I am at the time. If you want to see something specific then let me know and I'll track it down. Here's the address:
go go go!!