Saturday, September 7, 2013
Kansai Retro Game Shops 4: Mandarake in Osaka`s Amerika Mura
Amerika Mura is kind of a neat area. It mainly has clothing shops (the name Amerika Mura comes from the fact that stores selling American style clothing were centred in the neighborhood back in the day) and a lot of them are pretty hip.
Mandarake used to have a store in the Den Den town area where all the other retro game shops are but about 5 years ago they closed that one down and moved it to Amerika Mura. The two neighborhoods actually aren`t far from each other and you can walk from one to the other, passing by the famous Dotonbori area with its Bladerunner look (at night at least) on the way:
It actually kind of makes sense that Mandarake relocated given that it sells a ton of clothing (cosplay stuff) as well as games and toys. Anyway, this is what it looks like outside:
The games are on the first floor. The first thing I noticed was that their Famicom shelf also sported a few NES games, which I have never seen in a retro game shop here before:
Their selection was actually quite underwhelming. The Mandarake in Fukuoka actually has a much better Famicom section which is surprsing considering that Osaka is about three times bigger than Fukuoka.
I think the reason for that is Mandarake actually has two stores in Osaka, the one in Amerika Mura I visited and another one in Umeda. Unfortunately I didn`t have time to check out the Umeda one (presumably it has a lot more games).
This brought to a close my Kansai area retro game shopping. It was mostly a window shopping trip as I ended up spending less than 1,000 yen (about $10) on retro games, my only purchases being a CIB copy of Sky Destroyer for the Famicom (I love the box are on it) and a loose copy of Fantasy Zone for the Sega Mark III (which I got at this Mandarake). In general the prices were a bit higher than I was used to in Fukuoka but there were a few reasonable places. Not a place for bargain-hunting but I had a really great time looking at all the pretty goodies!