Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tokyo Anime Center

I should have done this a long time ago.

The Tokyo Anime Center is located on the 4th floor of the UDX building, just north of the JR Akihabara station. The TAC acts both as a tourist information center for people interested in visiting anime galleries in Tokyo, and as a sightseeing destination in its own right. 1/3 of the space is dedicated to various exhibits spotlighting the "anime title of the month" (this month, it's "Up", and some of the other movies from Pixar). It also contains some statues of characters from Pokemon, Evangelion and Gundam, and a couple old forms of animation ala the zeotrope.

The second 1/3 is a small seating space for watching ads and promos of various anime on the big projection screen. Mostly, the ads are boring, and they must drive the staff insane, having to listen to them day in and day out. There's an information desk and several tables with fliers and brochures.

The rest of the TAC is turned over to the gift shop and recording studio. The studio is used occasionally for taping an anime-themed radio show, and during the tapings the TAC is packed with fans of the voice actors listening in on the conversations. The gift shop has an extensive selection of toys, trinkets, canned bread, curry packages, canned coffee, t-shirts, posters, notebooks, anime cels, pencil drawings and how-to books for learning to draw manga and anime. TAC also sells tickets to various anime events, including the Tokyo International Anime Fair (at a discount if bought in advance).

If you're new to Tokyo and looking for guides to anime-related places for sightseeing, the TAC should be the first location to visit to get directions to everywhere else in the city.


The TAC can also be counted on to have elaborate advertisements for the latest movies. I've been accumulating photos of displays for Naruto, Hottarake Island, Pokemon and Tensai Bakabon for a while. It's time to run them in the blog.

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