A tourist’s brief impressions of Japan’s three largest anime hubs: Akihabara, Dendenmachi, and Nakano Broadway

Akihabara, before the crowds

Something very, very short again this week because I am exhausted after my vacation and gave up trying to write with a smartphone keyboard on the long, standing-room-only train rides home. I’m also a bit sore from so much touristic walking and don’t feel like writing a proper introduction so here’s a topic sentence: I’ll briefly compare my shopping experiences in Japan’s three largest anime merchandise hubs: Akihabara, Dendenmachi, and Nakano Broadway.

Continue reading “A tourist’s brief impressions of Japan’s three largest anime hubs: Akihabara, Dendenmachi, and Nakano Broadway”

Rem is objectively superior to Ram: evidence from some Akihabara window shopping

Emilia threads the needle

[ ~ objectively superior, but for what objective? ~ ]

It is (was) Christmas, so what better (worse?) time to celebrate some excessive commercialism!

I’m on vacation in Tokyo this week and decided to stop by Akihabara to see capitalism in action… just a weird capitalism catering to a niche set of hobbies all assembled together into a giant tourist trap. It’s a lovely place, but given the tight spaces and crowds, it’s perhaps more interesting to explore as living museum to gonzo commercialism than as a place to actually shop.

With the eye of a tourist rather than a shopper then (half the people there must have been tourists), it was fascinating to take Akihabara as a vast sample of what’s new and popular in the anime-mangasphere. On that, one thing stuck out to me after cycling through a few shops: the uncontested ubiquity of Re:Zero’s Rem and Ram.

Oh, but it’s mostly just Rem. And boy is she expensive.

Continue reading “Rem is objectively superior to Ram: evidence from some Akihabara window shopping”