「毎日楽しいの為に」 Flawless Passion
Ever since I left Kyoto on the 9th, I have been staying in Tokyo with a Japanese family. For a week, I didn’t go anywhere to have fun or sightsee up until yesterday when I visited Odaiba for the 1/1 Gundam statue and Gundam Front Tokyo. I enjoyed taking my time to relax, sort out all the photos I had taken, and seeing the interactions of the Japanese family. In a just a few days though, I will be leaving Japan. What should I do with my remaining time? I don’t have any friends to hang out with here in Tokyo, and there arn’t much places that I am dying to see either. Sure, it would be neat to see famous areas like Shibuya, but there isn’t much for me to do other than stopping by for just a few photos. Instead, I remembered how I had missed out on the Good Smile Cafe the first time I was in Akihabara. As a figure collector and Good Smile Company fan, I definitely want to check it out at least once given the rare opportunity to be in Tokyo.
A look at one entrance of the Akihabara JR station. Speaking of stores I haven’t been to yet, I did not go to the Gundam Cafe at Gundam Front Tokyo nor the one next to the Akihabara station. Money and budget were a concern, and the old Gundam theme wasn’t attractive for a 00 fan like myself. That meant it was something I could skip on. Perhaps one day some day.
Here I am again, facing this scenery in front of me.
Here some random things that caught my attention. The Haiyore Nyaruko-san poster was inside the station. The Sega plastic bags…well, where do I even begin to comment? And I liked the architectural style of Labi, where the escalators to each floor looks like tubes.
Further looking around, I noticed some odd pop-up stands where you can sick your face into for funny photos. Looking back, I now recognized that it was the M’s shop from the advertisements while playing the Akiba’s Trip PSP game. It is a store specialized in selling various adult goods. Glad I didn’t enter the store?
Big and nice looking posters at Gamers and Card Kingdom. I can’t explain why or how, but seeing and being surrounded by anime pictures feels good.
Before heading to the Good Smile Cafe, there were certain stores that I wanted to drop by first to take a look at. One of which was Lashinbang. It was one of my favorite stores to shop at in Kyoto, so I wanted to check out the Akihabara branch.
Another store I missed the first time around was Mandarake. Kyoto didn’t have a Mandarake, but I have been to the one in Osaka. This Akihabara branch was a massive building. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to take my time to see everything and had to quickly glance around.
Along the way around, I passed by a series of Twinkle posters. I have a
lolicon friend that likes the art style.
The building with the Good Smile Cafe didn’t have any big advertisements, so it was easy to miss had I not marked the location on a map ahead of time. The theme at the time was Mahou Tsukai no Yoru and Rewrite. Too bad, I am not into either series. I sadly will no longer be in the country by the time the theme changes. Alright, let’s go into the cafe!
Here is a 360° series of photos looking around the cafe. The photos starts looking to the left and turning right (clockwise) from where I was seated. Watch the video below for a better idea of the layout and then take a look at the photos above for clear hi-res images.
This is the menu. The front cover is an advertisement for the pre-order campaign of a Madoka scale figure. As for the food on the menu, I simply got the cheapest possible drink. I think there were different goodies depending on what menu items you order. As shown in the video, I got a poster and card from Rewrite. I plan to give them away to a friend as I am not interested in either series.
The tables had laminated illustrations on them.
Let’s take a closer look at various things in the cafe. In particular, I like how these tapestries were hanged. I would want to do something like this in my own room.
Underneath the tapestries were shelves of framed artwork from the games and also signatures from different people. There were also interesting small jars with Nendoroid Petites in them too.
One side of the cafe was a stage with a pull-down projection screen and some TVs on the side. At the time of taking the pictures, it was showing a scene from Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, but what is projected changes over time. On the left side of the stage was a pop-up stand of Racing Miku. On the right side was a life size Miku statue, which was actually quite creepy and so I didn’t keep a picture.
The side opposite to the artworks were the glass display shelves. The school uniform costumes from Rewrite along some more signatures were on display there. However, what the Good Smile Cafe is truly known for are the displays of scale figures, Nendoroids, Figma, and other figures under Good Smile Company. So enjoy the gallery of photos below.
There were actually some figures that I didn’t take photos of due to difficulty and time.
The cafe also had a gift shop where they had a small selection of Nendoroids along with other figures and goods. The Tako Luka plushies were really tempting, but I resisted.
By the time I had exited the Good Smile Cafe, the sun was already setting. However, I continued walking around and browsing stores since I still had some time.
I came across this wall of oppai… and an Accel World pop-up stand.
Some Saki stuff going on. I remember seeing a few random episodes back when I used this one website that aired Japanese TV channels. That site has closed down I believe.
The first time I was in Akihabara, I really enjoyed the Kotobukiya building. They had a bunch of figures and models on display. And of course, HMM Zoids! This time though, I only took this one photo.
Oh, the sky has completely darkened already. Akihabara at night is actually quite nice to see with all the lights and posters led up. Before leaving though, I needed to drop by Mandarake one last time to buy something that had caught my eye earlier, which was a long cushion of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun with Mikoto and Kuroko on it.
Some night scenery looking down from above. I can’t help but feel that these photos captured the loneliness that I was feeling at the time. Alone in Akihabara, surrounded by a bunch of cool things, and no one to talk to.
Lastly, I came acorss some itasha parked along the streets, so I quickly snapped a couple photos. And that with that, my last trip around Japan ends. On the 20th, I will be taking my flight back to the United States. A mix of emotions flood my brain, but I will talk about that in more details shortly.