Mandarake – a chain of otaku shops dotted around Tokyo and Japan – opened it’s Akihabara superstore earlier this year, and it’s clear why it’s become it’s flagship. Spanning eight levels, it’s the first place to go for any sci-fi, manga or anime fan needing a spot of retail therapy. We ploughed through six of the eight floors – sensibly skipping the shojo and hentai/doujinshi departments – and for most of the time it was just too much to take in, let alone process. I bought a couple of art books – Shirow’s Intron Depot (which I’m embarrassed to say i’d never got round to picking up before, but grabbed for a truly bargain price) and an unbelievable and unique Patlabor book which I can’t even start to describe to you right now. When I’m home and sane again I’ll post some pics and review it; believe me it’s worth the wait. Time permitting I’m going to head back there before I leave, but in the meantime here’s some photos. Apologies for the poor quality at times, this was a covert operation, for as the signs throughout the store tell you PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT PERMITTED.