Mandarake Inc. (Japanese: まんだらけ) is a Japanese retail corporation that operates a chain of used good stores. Founded as a used bookstore specializing in manga in 1980, Mandarake incorporated in 1987 and presently operates 11 retail locations and one fulfillment center. The company focuses on the purchase and sale of a wide range of collectables and otaku-related goods, including anime- and manga-related items, DVDs, CDs, toys, figurines, trading cards, video games, cosplay items, animation cels, and dōjinshi (self-published works).
4.22012 unpaid overtime lawsuit
4.32014 shoplifting incident
The entrance to Nakano Broadway in Nakano, Tokyo. The complex houses Mandarake's first store and corporate offices.
Mandarake was established by manga artist Masuzo Furukawa [ja]. A member of the Garo Trio (ガロ三羽烏) along with Shinichi Abe [ja] and Yuji Suzuki [ja], Furukawa and the group became known in the 1970s for their work in the alternative manga magazine Garo. Initially established as a used manga store, Mandarake opened its first location at a seven-square meter storefront in the Nakano Broadway shopping complex in Nakano, Tokyo in 1980. Furukawa developed a public profile and promoted Mandarake through his appearances on We Appraise Anything [ja], a variety series on TV Tokyo in which he appeared as an appraiser for rare and vintage manga.
The store was formally incorporated in February 1987, with Furukawa's father appointed as president. The company subsequently began a process of expansion, acquiring multiple stores in Nakano Broadway and widening its scope to sell a broader range of otaku-related goods. Mandarake opened its second store in Shibuya in 1994, and began to steadily expand its number of stores thereafter.
In 1995, the company established a publishing department that publishes Mandarake Manga List, a mail order catalog, and Mandarake Zenbu, a premium hobby magazine for collectors. Mandarake was listed on Mothers and became a public company on July 26, 2000, and moved to the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on February 1, 2015. In 2001, Mandarake launched Mandaray [ja], an internet streaming television channel, in partnership with Activision. The channel, which aired a variety of otaku-related content, suspended service in 2008.
Mandarake New Special, one of 27 Mandarake-branded stores located in Nakano Broadway. This particular store specializes in toy robots such as Ultraman and Transformers.
As of September 2018, toy sales make up the majority of Mandarake's business, composing 48 percent of all non-consolidated sales. Books compose 14 percent of all sales, doujinshi compose 13 percent, and other publications that are not books or doujinshi compose 1 percent; the remaining 24 percent of sales are composed of miscellaneous items. Exports compose 17 percent of Mandarake's non-consolidated sales.
In Kantō, Mandarake operates six locations: four stores located in Tokyo, one store located in Utsunomiya, and a warehouse fulfillment center located in Chiba. In Tokyo, Mandarake's first store in Nakano has operated continuously out of the Nakano Broadway shopping complex since 1980, which also houses the company's corporate offices. Nakano Broadway houses twenty-seven individual shops (also known as annexes or kan) operating under the Mandarake brand. Each shop is focused on a single category of item, such as cosplay costumes or doujinshi. Several Mandarake annexes in Nakano Broadway were once independent stores that were acquired by the company. Additional stores in Tokyo include Mandarake Complex, an eight-story store in Akihabara opened in April 2008; Mandarake Shibuya, which features a karaoke stage; and Mandarake Ikebukuro, a store located near Otome Road that specializes in boys' love and shōjo manga. Outside of Tokyo, Mandarake Utsunomiya is located in Mageshichō, Utsunomiya, while in rural Katori, Chiba, the company operates Mandarake Sahra, a storage and fulfillment center. Mandarake Sahra is open to the public for buyback only, and not sales.
In Hokkaido, Mandarake Sapporo moved to its current location at Norbesa [ja] from its former space at Sapporo Nanairo [ja] on March 17, 2012, tripling the size of the store. In Tōkai, Mandarake Nagoya moved to its current location in Naka-ku in 2007 due to insufficient floor space at its previous location; the move saw Mandarake Nagoya expand the size of the store from 266 square meters to 578 square meters.
In Kansai, Mandarake operates two locations located in Osaka. Mandarake's first store in Osaka, Mandarake Umeda, is located in Doyama. Its second location in Osaka, Mandarake Grandchaos, is located in Amerikamura. Two shop locations operate in Kyushu: Mandarake Fukuoka is located in Tenjin, and Mandarake Kokura is located in Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyūshū. Mandarake also operates an online storefront in both Japanese and English. The store ships items both domestically within Japan, and internationally to 83 countries.
Internationally, Mandarake operated a store in California from 1999 to 2003; initially located in Torrance, the store later relocated to Santa Monica before ultimately closing. The company also formerly operated a store in Bologna in 2001, and a store in Beijing.
Exterior of Mandarake Complex in Akihabara, Tokyo.
Shelves of dōjinshi on the fifth floor of Mandarake Complex in Akihabara, Tokyo
Mandarake Fukuoka in Fukuoka.
Signage for Mandarake Umeda in Osaka, depicting a cartoon image of Masuzo Furukawa.
Mandarake Nagoya in Nagoya.
Mandarake is the largest secondhand comics retailer in the world, with the company's financial success cited by Philomena Keet in Tokyo Fashion City as "a testament to the fervor of Japanese fanatics, the dedication of Japanese collectors, and the richness of Japan's material culture." The company sells and purchases roughly ten thousand items per day, and has a point of sale system that includes over 20 million items. Its original pricing and appraisal operations are recognized as having a major impact on the secondhand book market. The company maintains a policy of purchasing items at roughly half the cost it plans to resell the item, which was noted by The New York Times as bringing transparency to the often opaque appraisal market.
The company actively seeks foreign customers, offering an English-language online store and sales staff fluent in foreign languages. The company also promotes itself as a tourist attraction in Japan, and is marketed as a major destination for foreign otaku.[25