ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Gaijin Visits Japan Part IV; LOFT and MANADARAKE!

LOFT is a hell of a store.
It's huge and its got everything in it you could want including a TON of art supplies and sketchbooks-- call me an art geek but this is what I live for and I basically run in a circle laughing maniacally thinking I've struck gold-- this could be the greatest store I've ever been to, aisle after aisle of the coolest swag I've seen anywhere.

I love looking at the every day stuff Japanese buy.  This is truly a different world.  This is a place that is clearly NOT America--even the toasters are different.  It's amazing.  This could have been the greatest store I've ever been to but we soon stumble on this place...

I would have walked right past it, so hidden was it from the street.  Mandarake means loosely everything you need but didn't know about-- and it's right.

The one in Shibuya is SIX Floors underground-- and you get down there by stairs.  Down and down and down you go.  Posters of Ultraman and Godzilla leading the way.   I keep wondering what I'm getting myself into and then the store opens up before me.

It's aisle after aisle of collectible old toys and pop culture items.

Aisle after aisle of Manga from the 40s today.

I'm sincerely like Ralph Kramden on a TV Informercial-- I mutter "chef of the future" to myself and stumble around the store.

A clerk asks me if I need help-- and I stammer "Gojira?"  The japanese translation of Godzilla-- he bows and walks me to a glass case in the back-- it's five feet wide and eight feet tall and FILLED to the brim with stuff like this

I am in awe.  A lifetime of crappy Godzilla toys and now I stand before the mecca of Godzilla toys.  I start to figure out how I can exist with no clothes and a suitcase full of Godzillas.

There are five or six other Mandarake stores in Japan and I plan on visiting as many of them as I can.

Next-- Hamburgers are hard to find.