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A Figure Buyer's Guide to Otaku Mecca Akihabara

Illustration for article titled A Figure Buyers Guide to Otaku Mecca Akihabara
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

So you've come to Japan and have even made your way to otaku mecca Akihabara. Since you've followed our guide, you already have all the Japanese games you could want! But that's not enough to satiate you: You want anime and game figures as well—but have no idea where to look. Don't worry. We're here to help.

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Radio Kaikan

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Right outside of Akihabara Station's “Electric Town” exit, you'll find the Radio Kaikan building. Rather than a single store, this is a nine-story building filled with tons of anime-related shops. There are several figure shops—some specializing in larger figures and others focusing on the smaller gatchapon figures—as well as stores specializing in anime/game posters, collectable trading cards, models, and airsoft guns. And as the building has just recently opened after being renovated, it's quite nice and clean inside.


Liberty #13

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Less than a block away from the Radio Kaikan Building, you'll find Liberty Store #13. One of many anime merchandise-related Liberty stores in Akihabara, this one focuses mostly on large figures—though it does sell some small gatchapon figures at a large discount on the racks outside the store. If you are looking for figures that were in crane games or the Ichikuji lottery, this is a great place to try.

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Mulan

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Mulan is another store focusing on large figures from crane games and the Ichikuji lottery. Its selection includes a lot of older ones as well. The store also sells music CDs and secondhand Japanese games.

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Mandarake

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Mandarake is a monolith of a building. Each floor is dedicated to something different—be that doujinshi, games, or anime. Their figure floor has an excellent selection, though it comes at a cost: Mandarake is often one of the more expensive places to shop. However, the chances are they may have what you seek when other stores in Akihabara do not.

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Akiba Culture Zone

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Similar Radio Kaikan, the Akiba Culture Zone building is full of tiny anime-merchandise related shops. The first floor sports one of Akihabara's Animate stores (which have tons of stuff to buy for the most popular current anime) and the other three floors are filled with figure, card, and model shops.

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Liberty #8

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The Liberty 8 store is the king of anime and game figures in Akihabara. Spread across its six floors is every possible type of figure you could want. The entire first floor is a showcase of their best wares, but there is so much more above. There is a floor dedicated to big anime and game figures and another for smaller gatchapon ones. There is a floor for giant robot toys and models and another for Japanese super heroes and monsters. You can find figures from today's popular games and anime as well as figures from decades ago. Also, this store has the best selection of gaming-related figures I've come across in Akihabara—especially if you're a Tales or Final Fantasy fan.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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To contact the author of this post, write to BiggestinJapan@gmail.com or find him on Twitter @BiggestinJapan.

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DISCUSSION

Randomking0x70
Randomking0x70

So, for those of us that are too broke to go to Akihabara, what would be the best places online to get anime merchandise with shipping that won't cost nearly as much as, if not more than the item that I want to order? I really wanted to get some Gunpla from hlj and 1999, but having to pay $60 shipping on an $70 kit is ridiculous. This wouldn't be a problem if I could just find a nice store that sells quality anime merchandise for a reasonable price. The only Asian gift store near me sells nothing but bootleg crap and the store that's an hour away from me is overpriced on everything they sell, save for some cheaper items like prize/capsule figures (I paid $30 for a $15 Gunpla there...) *Sighs* Being an anime fan in Florida sucks. We have good conventions here, but they're either cheap and too far, or somewhat close but too expensive.