Japan’s largest retail chain for anime goods, Animate, celebrates its 30th anniversary in July 2016. Animate was able to set itself apart from its competitor retail chains as one of the first to adapt to the demographic shift, and now has expanded to over 120 stores and 14 collaboration café locations domestically, as well as four international branches, making it one of the biggest anime and manga retail chains in the world.
Its headquarters sit in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, which not-so-coincidentally is considered the main gathering grounds for female otaku, and the counterpart to Akihabara’s more male-oriented environment. Animate already owns several locations inside Ikebukuro that cater almost exclusively to female fans, and is expanding in Akihabara with the opening of its third branch store within a five-minute walk of JR Akihabara Station.
Opened on June 16, 2016, Akiba Girls Station, a massive, seven-floor shopping center dedicated entirely to anime/manga for the female audience, conceptualizes itself as a comfortable, easy-to-access location for the less adventurous fan that may find it intimidating to scope out their favorite ikemen in the cluttered but equally wonderful hole-in-the-wall shops of the Akihabara that we know and love.
Across all seven floors, you'll find only one bathroom for the dudes!
First stop: the Anime Goods floor! We demand more sparkles and more roses!
The biggest franchise for female fans at the moment, Osomatsu-san, gets two whole racks full of merch.
The stairs are plastered with popular series for girls.
Shounen anime are very, very popular with female fans too!
When it comes to Audio/Visual, don’t forget otome drama CDs!
The fifth floor, the 2.5-D floor, focuses on stage plays and musicals based on anime/manga. This is the first time any Animate shop has had a dedicated floor for 2.5-D genre goods.
You can even find an impressive display of actual costumes used in stage productions. These are from the Touken Ranbu musical.
The sixth floor is a space exclusively for special events and talk shows.
The seventh floor is for all of your doujinshi and uh… other needs.
Manga! We meant your manga needs!
A new pilgrimage site for anime and manga lovers, Animate Akiba Girls Station will be waiting for you the next time you stop by! You can see more photos at Tokyo Otaku Mode below!