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An Anime and Manga Fan’s Guide to K-BOOKS

A quick guide to one of the largest second hand anime and manga goods shops in Japan

K-BOOKS is known for being one of the largest second hand shop for manga and anime goods in Japan, but did you know that they also run a butler cafe and an animal cafe? Here is a quick anime and manga fan’s guide to K-BOOKS’ history and numerous shops located in Ikebukuro and Akihabara.

Brief History of K-BOOKS

Kenchan no manga juku 1goutenK-BOOKS started out as a recycle shop for manga named “Kenchan no manga juku 1gouten” (“けんちゃんのマンガ塾1号店”) and opened its first store in Sugamo in 1992. 2 years later, after opening its second store in Sugamo, the company K-BOOKS was established. The stores transferred to Ikebukuro to become the first “K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Store.”

In 1995, the Sugamo store was reopened, and a new store in Kichijoji was opened. “Hon no mushi,” a comic book store was also opened in south Ikebukuro. “K-BOOKS α store” in Ikebukuro and “Akihabara store” in Akihabara was opened in the following year. The α store, Sugamo store and Kichijoji store was merged in the same year which became the Ikebukuro store.

1997 was a year of expansion for K-BOOKS as “Hon no Mushi” was transferred to east Ikebukuro and was reformed into a bigger store. The Akihabara store underwent the same renewal. In 1998, the Akihabara store transferred to its present home, Akihabara Radio Kaikan.
Going beyond the borders of the Kanto region, K-BOOKS opened its first shop in Namba, Osaka in 2002 and in Nagoya, Aichi in 2017.

Swallowtail Gift ShopIn the course of a decade, K-BOOKS has expanded from selling just comic books to buying and selling doujinshi or self-published magazines, comic books, or novels for both men and women, pastries and sweets, dolls, cosplay items, goods from games, titles, concerts, stage play/musical adaptation of popular titles, voice actors/actresses, idols… you name it. K-BOOKS has anything and everything that has to do with Japanese pop culture. It even has its own BL (boys’ love) CD label “Atis collection.”

Butler Cafe SwallowtailNot stopping there, K-BOOKS also ventured into the concept cafe business, is running the no. 1 butler cafe in Japan “Swallowtail,” which has gathered popularity not only in Japan but also overseas, with the butlers performing in events such as CharaExpo USA in Los Angeles, California, Anime Matsuri in Houston, Texas, and C3AFA Singapore in Southeast Asia. K-BOOKS also operates the animal cafe “Ikemofu,” where you can interact with 13 different animals such as owls, rabbits, guinea pigs, and more cute critters. For snake lovers, they also have a number of reptiles in “Ikemofu.” It also recently opened a concept bar, “Bar Blue Moon,” where butlers at Swallowtail during the day turn into bartenders at night.

K-BOOKS Akihabara Hon-kanFor the past five years, K-BOOKS has transformed its stores to specialize in different genres: boys’ love, otome, idols, games, concerts, 2.5D, voice actors, doujin, games, historical titles, sports titles, VOCALOID, Youtubers, and even K-Pop and Hollywood stars. It also supports your activities by opening a store specializing on materials used to make Here’s a quick list of K-BOOKS’ stores in Tokyo.

 

List of K-BOOKS Stores in Tokyo (as of Nov 2019)

Akihabara Hon-kan

Akihabara Hon-kanYou can find used merchandise of all kinds, figures, CDs, and goods from the Love Live! Franchise and other music-related titles here at Akihabara Hon-kan. Manga Planet interviewed Akihabara Hon-kan’s manager, Mr. Moritsuka so keep an eye out for our article in the coming weeks!

Address: Akihabara Radio Kaikan 3F, 1-15-16, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

Akihabara MEN’S-kan 

Akihabara MEN’S-kanAn R-18 zone inside Akiharaba Hon-kan, MEN’S-kan specializes in buying and selling used trading cards, games, doujinshi for men, fan-made goods and adult comics.

Address: Akihabara Radio Kaikan 3F, 1-15-16, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro Otome-kan

Ikebukuro Otome-kanLocated at the home to all things otome, fans can buy and sell used goods of romance mobile games for women and otome game titles.

Address: Daiichi Mashita Building B1F, 1-15-1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro Doujin-kan

Ikebukuro Doujin-kanFan of boys’ love? You can find not only manga but also goods of both published and independent BL artists here at the Doujin-kan. 

Address: Showa Building 2-3F, 3-12-12, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro Cosplay-kan

Ikebukuro Cosplay-kanA paradise for cosplayers along Ikebukuro’s otome road, Cosplay-kan has more than 2,000 used costumes, props, wigs and more!

Address: Katou Daiichi Building 1F, 3-12-5, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro Chara-kan

Ikebukuro Chara-kanIf you’re looking for used goods of My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, Naruto, Dragon Ball, Haikyu!! and other popular shonen titles, Chara-kan is the place to go! Learn about Chara-kan as we interview the store manager, Mr. Nattori! You can read the interview here: https://mangaplanet.com/interview-with-mr-natori-the-store-manager-of-k-books-chara-kan/

Address: Kindai Group BLD. 21 3F, 1-15-13, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

Ikebukuro Cast-kan

Ikebukuro Cast-kanIf you’re into 2.5D, you can find all sorts of goods, CDs, DVDs from musical and stage play adaptations in Cast-kan.

Address: Tact TO building 1F, 1-28-1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro VOICE-kan

Ikebukuro VOICE-kanLocated on the same floor as Cast-kan, male seiyuu (voice actor) fans can buy and sell photo sets, CDs, DVDs and other goods of their favorite seiyuu here at VOICE-kan.

Address: Tact TO building 1F, 1-28-1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro Live-kan

Ikebukuro Live-kanFans of titles such as Utano Princesama, Ensemble Stars!, TSUKIUTA., IDOLiSH7, A3!, The Idolmaster SideM can get their 2D idol fix at Live-kan.

Address: Clair Higashi Ikebukuro 1F, 3-15-14, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro GAME-kan

Ikebukuro GAME-kanGame fans, don’t fret! The GAME-kan has goods covering a wide range of titles from the Tales series, Fate series, Pokémon, Granblue Fantasy and more!

Address: Ikebukuro Sunshine Plaza 1F, 3-2-5, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro K-POP-kan

Ikebukuro K-POP-kanWhat used to be Entame-kan has transformed into the K-POP-kan, your one-stop shop for everything K-POP, from BTS, SEVENTEEN, GOT7, TWICE and more!

Address: Sunrise Building 1F, 1-27-7, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro Historia-kan

Ikebukuro Historia-kanHistoria-kan specializes in goods of titles such as Touken Ranbu, Ikemen Sengoku, Sengoku Night Blood, Hakuoki and other history-related titles.

Address: Ko-ken plaza 1F, 3-2-4, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro Douga-kan

Ikebukuro Douga-kanWith the rising popularity of YouTubers, live commentators, utaite, Vtubers, and VOCALOIDS, Douga-kan makes sure that fans have grab their goods anytime.

Address: Maru Building Ikebukuro 1F, 1-29-1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro Drama/Cinema-kan

Ikebukuro Drama/Cinema-kanReopening as “Drama/Cinema-kan” in November 2019, fans of Pixar, Universal Studios, Marvel Studios, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Studio Ghibli and other movies now has a place to buy and sell their goods.

Address: Narita Building 4F, 1-29-4, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Ikebukuro Sozai-kan

Ikebukuro Sozai-kanPreparing for your oshi’s concert? Sozai-kan has everything you need to cheer for your oshi, from uchiwa to ribbons, beads, and other materials.

Address: Ikebukuro Sunshine Plaza B1F, 3-2-5, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)

 

Butler Cafe Swallowtail

Butler Cafe Swallowtail“Ladies and masters, welcome home.” Experience being treated like a princess (or prince, if this is your thing) at K-BOOKS’ concept cafe, “Swallowtail.” Reservation is required. 

Address: Showa Building B1F, 3-12-12, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Website: https://www.butlers-cafe.jp/

Swallowtail Gift Shop

Swallowtail Gift ShopIf you want to bring home some of the pastries, teas and original goods from Swallowtail, you can drop by the gift shop right across the street.

Address: Clair Higashi Ikebukuro 101, 3-15-14, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Website: https://www.butlers-cafe.jp/giftshop/

 

Ikemofu

IkemofuLooking for comfort in the midst of your busy life? The critters of Ikemofu can provide you the rest and relaxation that you need.

Address: Narita Building 6F, 1-29-4, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Website: http://www.ikemofu.jp/

 


Have you visited K-BOOKS before? If not, which store would you go to if given the chance? Tell us on
our Twitter account!

To know more about some of the K-BOOKS shops, we interviewed Mr. Natori, the Store Manager of Ikebukuro Chara-kan. We also interviews the store interview of Akihabara Hon-kan so keep an eye out for that!

 

Photos courtesy of K-BOOKS

About K-BOOKS

Main Office: Showa Building 7F, 3-12-12 Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-3982-8830
Fax: +81-3-5950-5677
Website: http://www.k-books.co.jp/

 

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