Let’s go to the shopping arcade in Nakano!!


So me and my wife stayed at Hilton and later on we decided to go to Nakano to see the Nakano Broadway – a 4-story mall from the 1950s with still-authentic stuffy pee smell and squat toilets. That’s right fellas, better not skip that Leg Day and work them calves out when you come to Japan because you never know when you might have to go old-school.


The shopping arcade before the Broadway was all right, if you’ve been to a shopping arcade before, you’ve seen them all. Broadway inside was quite cramped, but if you want anything that would qualify as “nerdy crap at reasonable to exorbitant prices” then you are in luck. Mandarake will hook you up with original animation cels, display cases filled with figurines and toys, western camp nostalgia items, old porno games, miscellaneous porno (from the cosplay to the nasty), psychedelic movie posters (I bet your stoner buddies will enjoy the Japanese version of the El Topo poster) etc. etc.


The star of the show was a surprise exhibition on one of my favorite series Akagi by the genius Nobuyuki Fukumoto-sensei. Why an exhibiton? Because Akagi has been battling Washizu for 25 years now. That’s right fellas!! Akagi’s been on an IV-drip for 25 years.


Now I gotta commend Fukumoto on one thing though, he’s the man who brought mahjong to the West. If you see somebody playing riichi mahjong at an anime convention, chances are s/he’s seen Akagi.


I tried my hand at the quiz to win the sticker (seen on the left). 20 questions, easy as hell for a sticker, huh? Yeah, buddy, you tell me what was the hand Akagi won his very first game,  in which scene Fake Akagi looked kinda glum and what was the blind dude’s manservant’s name (EVEN THOUGH THEY ALL WEAR THE SAME SUIT AND SUNGLASSES ALL THE TIME?!) The questions were straight up ridiculous and only the die-hard fans were truly worthy of the sticker.

Did I have fun? Hell yeah. If you want something for your nerdy friends, just go to Nakano Broadway on the Chuo-line, Nakano station.


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