Winter 2019 Anime: Official Twitter Hashtags & Pages
2018 is almost out, guys and girls, and that means that another anime year is ready to take its place.
For many of us, buying second-hand can be a tricky situation. Often, ‘second-hand’ has connotations of broken, dirty, and unwanted. And while this is not always the reality, many believe that buying new is a better approach to purchasing. During my recent trip to Japan, I found that this approach is not only silly but also detrimental to your wallet.
In Japan, second-hand shops have products as good as new, and those damaged are heavily discounted. On top of this, second-hand shops are a great way to get products from limited time events like cafe collaborations or anniversary items that you may have missed out on. To help you with your next otaku shopping haul, I’ll give you my top tips on shopping secondhand, my favorite shops, and I will also show off some items I managed to pick up!
A lot of second-hand shops will sell the same thing, especially arcade figures can be found a dime a dozen. It’s important to, first, have a price point in mind, and second, look around to see how the item is priced across stores. I purchased the Hatsune Miku Taito Autumn 2nd figure for 1500 yen in Akihabara. I later found it in other stores for 2000 yen and also for 1200 yen. It’s also important to remember that even if the shops are part of the same group/ company, it’s up to the individual shop to price items. So don’t be afraid to shop around.
Perhaps my biggest regret from my Japan trip was not buying a DRAMAtical Murder Aoba figure by Max Factory for 8000 yen when I was in Kyoto. I had a look online in the shop and could see it was being sold for upwards of $150 USD, so I knew it was a good deal. But rather than grabbing it right then and there, I thought ‘maybe I’ll see a better deal when I’m in Tokyo’, and I never did. Sometimes, when you see a great deal, you just gotta jump on it. Even if you do find a better deal later, you can have the peace of mind knowing you have the figure you always wanted!
During my first trip to Japan I was on an otaku high. I thought it was my only chance to buy whatever I wanted and I would never get the chance to go again. I ended up spending about 1500 yen on three Madoka Magica figures, yep that’s 1500 yen for all three of them. Which in hindsight is pretty cheap, but the figures weren’t the best quality, and I would have much preferred putting that 1500 towards a really nice figure!
While some items will be ridiculously cheap, other items will be insanely expensive. Second-hand shops price their items based on demand, age, and popularity. So while I could get a bunch of Uta no Prince Sama merchandise for about 100 yen each, because there was an oversupply, merch from more ‘niche’ series was a struggle. To give a good example, I did go hunting for some Danganronpa merchandise. I found merchandise for my favorite character, Gonta, to be super cheap and bought it all up. For my other best boy, Nagito, merchandise cost an arm (hehe). I found a small keychain of his going for 3000 yen and a tiny ball-chain plushie for 6000 yen!
While one of my favorite shops listed below is in Akihabara, I recommend exploring other shopping areas. Generally, I found second-hand shops here were ridiculously overpriced. To give you an idea, I found a Hatsune Miku figure I’d paid 1400 yen for in Shinjuku selling for about 3000 yen in a shop near Akihabara station. I was in shock! Just to link back to my first point – shop around!
Lashinbang is a series of shops you can find across Japan. They have a wider selection of items, that is, not every single item came from an arcade, and tended to be older / rarer. I also found a lot of ecchi figures, so if that floats your boat, head over there! Lashinbang, Kyoto was where I found that ill-fated DRAMAtical Murder figure. Generally, I found the stores to be quite fairly priced, and I managed to get a few Danganronpa keychains and also some otome products from the stores.
Liberty Anime is my favorite shop in Akihabara. The prices are fair and I found the staff friendly and welcoming. The store tends to specialize in prize figures, that is, those that can be won in arcades. Usually if there’s a prize I want in an arcade, I’ll first check to see if Liberty Anime is selling it, and more often than not it would be a lot cheaper to buy it there than empty my wallet into a UFO Catcher.
Just like Lashinbang, BookOFF is a chain of stores across Japan. BookOFF originally started as a used book store but has expanded to sell pretty much everything from clothes and guitars to anime merch. I found BookOFF was fantastic for buying smaller merchandise like keychains, posters, and acrylic stands, but they still had a decent selection for figurines.
To give you an idea of the types of items you can find in secondhand shops, I thought I’d share some of my own purchases.
First up are two acrylic stands from the Persona 5 Princess Cafe collaboration that happened in May 2017. Together the acrylic stands came at a pretty cheap 700 yen. However, remember what I said about hits and misses? Ryuji and Ann were definitely on the cheaper end, Joker and Yusuke’s acrylic stands were crazy expensive. I remember Yusuke’s being 1500 yen!
Out of the three figurines, two of them were purchased for 1000 yen each. Madoka was purchased for 1800 yen, I picked her up at a BookOff in Osaka. She’s originally an Ichiban Kuji (Lottery) prize. As she was the A prize, the rarest one, she was priced a bit higher.
Last are these two artbooks from Nitro+chiral games, and the manga for Ojisan to Neko. Again, some cheap buys, the artbooks were less than 1000 yen together and the manga was about 400 yen.
I hope you found this article helpful for your first or next trip to Japan. The most important part of shopping is to have fun. It’s such a thrill when you find a figure that you’ve wanted for ages and it can finally be yours. Always keep a look-out for good deals and make sure to grab things up at lightning speed if you do spot one. One thing you absolutely can not do is bargain – prices are set, so make sure to respect them.
If you want to buy second-hand figures from Japan, MANGA.TOKYO has started a new proxy-buying service called Otsukai, which makes it possible for you to request and get hold of the Japanese otaku merchandise you want!
Learn more here: Otsukai Website