The hottest places in the Anime & Manga industry, brought to you by the SMAC! News Team…
This is TOKYO MANGA DEEP WALKER!!
This time round, we’ll be investigating a place that we Otaku hold close to our hearts: the Japanese Manga Café!
We’ll be visiting one right around the corner from our office: Kichijoji’s Manboo.
Of course, there may be those among you who have never even heard of a “Manga Café”…
Don’t worry, we’re going to shed some light on this mysterious place!!
This is our town: Kichijoji!
At Kichijoji station, go out the North Exit, then turn left. At this corner, turn right.
Continue going straight for a while, and eventually you’ll come to this building. Our goal is on the 5th floor!!
Go inside and take the elevator up…
So how do we get in? Let’s ask the staff at the reception!
First, we need to tell him how long we want to stay and what kind of room we want.
Manga Café Manboo has a wide variety of plans to please a wide variety of customers. As such, there are several courses that you can select from.
There’s a 30 minute course for those who just want to do a little light browsing. Then there are 3 hour, 5 hour and 8 hour courses for those who want to read the day away!
There are even 12 hour and 24 hour courses for those who want to spend the night surrounded by manga!!!
In addition to that, depending on the season, there are special events, like a “lady’s only day”, with different services in each branch.
In the Shibuya branch, we were amazed to find a “nail salon” corner!!
Next up… let’s introduce the rooms!!
The overall lighting in the shop is rather dim, but each room’s number is illuminated, giving the place a really cool sci-fi look!! The corridors are lined with rooms, so it almost feels like walking around in a maze!
Look at this selection! I think we’ve landed in Manga Heaven!!
Manga is crammed into every available space!
If you browse around a little, I’m sure you’ll find something you like! This is the best!!
That’s really how it feels! There are so many books that it’s almost like a kind of pressure. So that leads us to the question…
How on earth do you go about finding a specific title?
Don’t worry, Manboo has you covered there!
You can search on this PC to see if they have a specific title, and where to find it.
Now, let’s get back to the rooms!
This feels like a private study, complete with a reclining seat!
PC? Check! TV? Check! You’re not limited to just reading manga, you can watch TV or DVDs or play games… you can spend your time exactly how you please! The rooms are comfortable enough that you can completely lose yourself in a good TV program or manga.
Dai looks quite chuffed with this room there!
You get all kinds of customers, and everyone uses the room in their own way. So the rooms are specially customized to please as many people as possible!
And the rooms aren’t the only things that are pleasing…
Take a look at this!
It’s the “New Publications” corner!!
The very latest manga are placed here for your enjoyment. These are especially popular, so you need to get to them before the other customers! It’s first come, first serve!!
And it’s not just comics in the New Publications corner, there are also various magazines.
And not just manga magazines! There’s everything from information magazines to fashion magazines, anything you could possibly want to read!
Now we’d like to introduce a very popular service in Manga Cafés…
In Manga Cafés, the drinks are 100% free!
There are a large variety of drinks to choose from, so there’s no danger of becoming parched while you read your favorite manga!!
Dai is making full use of the opportunity!!
And then there’s THIS!!
For people like that, there’s a shower room and a special powder room for the ladies. Now that’s what I call service!!
Finally, we have a message from the staff!
“We want all our customers, from Japan and abroad, to know the joy of Manga Cafés! If you come to Japanese, please pay us a visit!”
Manga Cafés are generally the busiest in the evening, with lots of people stopping there after work or classes. All over Japan, they function as sanctuaries for manga lovers.
Even if you’re not a hardcore fan, you’ll be able to appreciate it. No one will bother you as you enjoy your own private manga time.
If you come to Japan, we recommend that you make a point of visiting a Manga Café, if only to appreciate the wide variety of books and enjoy the great services.
Next week, we’ll be visiting the Star Wars Exhibition in Tokyo!!
With a new movie on the way, Star Wars is as popular as ever, and we’re very excited about what we’ll find at the exhibtion!
Please don’t miss next week’s episode!!
Are there any places in Japan that you’re curious about?
Any Otaku Hotspots that you’d like us to investigate?
Please let us know in the comments!
Manboo (Manga Café)
Link to English google maps
Photographer: Yoshio Kobayashi