If you are craving the latest issue of Tokyo Ghoul, a copy of Kiryu’s new album, or you just want to experience something a little different, you will want to check out Neo Tokyo on Schönhauser Allee, a shop that specialises in Japanese pop culture. You will find yourself wondering around for hours, unable to tear yourself away from the innumerable rows of art books and Lolita fashion magazines, posters of Johnny’s Entertainment boy-bands, and adorable Rilakkuma lunch boxes and stickers.
The otaku subculture started along with the 1980’s anime boom, after the release of works like Mobile Suit Gundam and then branching into the Comic market. Nowadays, it refers to those interested in many aspects of Japan and its modern media. Germany itself hosts a large amount of anime and comic conventions such as Connichi and AnimagiC. Japanese street fashion such as Decora and Fairy Kei has also caught on in Berlin, influenced by Visual Kei music and style. Visual Kei fans are united by a love of flamboyant costumes- anything from Victorian dresses to outfits that wouldn’t look out of place in a fetish club- and music influenced by glam rock, power metal, and punk. Berlin has produced its very own Visual Kei band influenced by the Japanese style, Cinema Bizarre. Cinema Bizarre t-shirts, along with merchandise from Japanese bands An Cafe, the GazettE, and Miyavi, and more can be purchased from Neo Tokyo.
The shops stocks over 200 series of manga, and also sells gorgeous art books from series like Kuroshitsuji, Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist, and Junjou Romantica. There are also monthly copies of VK fashion and music magazines Cure and Fools Mate. Immediately noticeable is their large stock of CDs, from older Japanese artists like Gackt and Luna Sea, to current VK and metalcore bands such as Royz and Crossfaith. If you don’t want to spend a tone of money but still want a little taste of Japan, there are a range of cute snacks and Ramune drinks available.
Schönhauser Allee 188, 10119 Berlin | Mon-Fri 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-4pm