Robo-Geisha is one crazy movie +

Bit NSFW. Well, I’ve never been one to shy away from crazy Japanese cult movies. As a matter of fact, I didn’t think I would find one that topped Tokyo Gore Police. Silly me. Leave it to the minds that created Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police to team up and create this over the […]

A 3 foot horror story +

The bathroom in many homes is a very lonely room. You only visit it when you need something, and not for the pleasant atmosphere the room provides. So is it really hard to believe that the lonely bathrooms around the world holds a deep seated grudge for the humans that use it? I think not. […]

A real Hello Kitty +

If you are reading this website right now, I would find it very hard for you to not know what Hello Kitty is. One could argue that it is one of the most well known Japanese brands right up there with Honda and Sony. This video has nothing to do with Hello Kitty other than […]

Kids vs Zombies +

So, Andrea subliminally tricked me into purchasing Left 4 Dead on Steam, and I have been enjoying playing it for the past few days now. Funnily enough, I have to play Louis everytime I play online because well… my real name is Louis and I’m African-American. You may be wondering what zombies have to do […]

Ichi the Killer Bento +

Gore movies are one of my many favorites from Japan. The last one I watched was Tokyo Gore Police a few months ago. What can I say about that besides it was unbelievably gory… As for the actual story, I think I could of written something better as weekend homework in the 4th grade. But […]

Naoto Fukasawa’s Fruit Juice +

They say that the way food or drinks look plays a major influence on how well we like it. I would have to agree. These are some awesome fruit juice packaging from Industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. Looking at the strawberry box, it looks as if the packaging may even feel like the specific fruit it […]

Mini Nikon SLR in Japanese candy +

Gilco is one of Japan’s oldest candy companies, and is home to the popular Glico caramel candy as well as the legendary Pocky. For about 80 years now, inside the Glico caramel candy boxes there is a small toy called “Omake of Glico” (Small gift of Glico). It started off as little toys kids would […]

Space Invaders Bank +

Tomy has done it again. If you are old enough to remember space invaders, this functioning bank will trigger your nostalgia reflex. Personally I remember the game, but I’m too young to remember the actual table. We did have a functioning Atari when I was a child though. Ah. Memories.


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The Akiba: A Manga Guide to Akihabara +

The Akiba: A Manga Guide to Akihabara

Now, I have written about Akihabara many, many times here on Even though I have never been there before, I can probably name many of the stores there just by seeing the front door. You may want to check out my Google street view tour of Akihabara. So when I received my copy of The Akiba: A Manga Guide to Akihabara, I thought that I already knew most of the places that the book would talk about. I was definitely wrong.

Maids in AkihabaraThe Akiba is a great book for both those that are not familiar with Akihabara, as well as hardcore American Otaku looking for a great guide for the popular and smaller rarely talked about stores scattered across Akihabara. It’s published by Japan Publications Trading, and distributed by Kodansha, Japan’s largest and most respected distributer.

The Akiba is divided into 2 parts. First is a story about a couple living in Tokyo, Hiroshi and Yoko. One day while leaving for work, Hiroshi tells Yoko that he will be a little late coming home because he wants to stop by Akiba after work. Yoko replies, “Akiba? You mean Akihabara?” We know she has no clue why Akihabara is so popular. Later on in the evening, Yoko hasn’t heard back from Hiroshi. Morning comes and Hiroshi still isn’t home. Hiroshi has left his mobile phone at home, and Yoko calls up one of his contacts so that they can take her to Akihabara in order to find Hiroshi.

Tora No Ana - Akihabara

The guide to Akihabara is presented as a tour while Yoko is looking for Hiroshi. You may think this sounds a bit cheesy, but what’s cool about this is that while they hit the big spots like Tora no Ana, and the Cure Maid Cafe, they also show you those smaller, lesser known stores that you hardly hear about. For example, Audio Otaku frequent a store called Azabu Audio that specializes in speaker units, coils, and condensers. Chichibu Denki is known for their sub-notebook computers, but also for their oden vending machines located in front of the store. Things like that are sometimes missed when you read about them online, and The Akiba does a great job at presenting all that Akihabara has to offer.

Akihabara at nightRemember when I said the book was broken into 2 different parts? The latter half of the book is a shop and restaurant guide complete with addresses, phone numbers, pictures, websites, and even recommendations! It’s fitting that the first section is dedicated to Maid Cafes. There are quite a few listed, and I love that they include about 6-7 recommendations for each cafe including names and prices. It seems as though the author of the book had each Maid cafe write a little about themselves, what they specialize in, what’s to be expected when you set foot in the door, and what’s good to eat and drink.

The shop and restaurant guide is broken into the following categories:

  • A map of Akihabara
  • Maid Cafes
  • Large retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • PC
  • Figures
  • Games
  • Doujinshi
  • Audio Equipment
  • Cosplay
  • Arcades
  • Other

K-Books in Akihabara

I would definitely recommend this guide if you’re a fan of Akihabara, or are getting ready for a trip to Japan. For $15.56, The Akiba is well worth adding to your collection. I am a big fan of Japanese manga, and at first I was a bit disapointed that The Akiba wasn’t written right to left like real manga is read. However, once I started reading I see that they wanted The Akiba to be a book that anyone could pick up, not just those familiar with manga. Once I began to see how much really great information was packed into the book, I quickly forgot about my one small gripe. Click here to check out The Akiba on

One Response to “The Akiba: A Manga Guide to Akihabara”

  1. 1 Says:

    The Akiba: A Manga Guide to Akihabara…

    What a fantastic idea! I guess it’s kind of like “Cartoon History of the World” only with detailed maps lol!
    I wonder if I can get my hands on this before we hit Tokyo in a couple of weeks……

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