Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Suginami and Nakano

I visited Suginami primarily to look around Asagaya where the story in the anime New Game! takes place. Leaving the station through the south exit (recognizable by the nearby Starbucks), we headed left to the Pearl Center shotengai and followed the path of the shopping arcade southward.

Pearl Center viewed from Asagaya Station

It was just before dinner time, and there were many people out walking their dogs and doing some shopping.

Eventually we came to a branch in the road. The uncovered portion of the arcade is Minami Asagaya Suzuran Street, while the covered part branches off to the right. Both streets will take you near the new-AD building, just different sides.

We continued down Suzurandori because it seemed this was the route that was typically used in the anime. Most of the businesses were closed up for the night (being primarily clothing stores), and it seemed the area was celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Asasuzu, the street mascot

At the end of the path and to the right was the new-AD building, which served as the model for the Eagle Jump building in the anime.

I visited again a few days later to take some photos during the day. I noticed a relocation sign on the front door. I wonder if an actual game company would ever consider moving into the building?

Later in the evening, we wandered around the northeast side of Asagaya station. Along the tracks is Star Road (スターロード), a narrow road lined with small bars and restaurants. The slightly seedy atmosphere was a bit evocative of Dokudami Tenement except without the 80s fashions.

The next stop was Koenji to the east, known for its used clothing stores. However, I was there to find the new location of Giant Hobby, which had moved away from Nakano Broadway some years ago. To get to the new location, exit Koenji Station through the south exit, and go down about two streets until you see the Now or Never used clothing store, then turn right.

The ИoN store viewed facing northward

The street is quite narrow, but you should be able to see their sign near the second story level off to the left.

Finally was a visit of Nakano Broadway. I didn't see too much of a difference overall in the place since my last visit. Some of the specialty stores that were present before (such as Giant Hobby) were gone, but I'm pretty sure most of the anime related stores remained the same. There did seem to be a dearth of Nendoroid Petit figures, but there was still plenty to look at.

An interesting exhibit showing production art and a couple of giant mascot dolls from Takashi Murakami's uncompleted 6HP (Six Hearts Princess) was being held in Nakano Broadway.

Two art books were being sold at the exhibit. I purchased the one covering the mechanical design from the anime. There was another book on the character design, but it was not as interesting to me.

Pink or Black? Which do you like?

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