Yesterday I went to Nakano Broadway, a mall in a Tokyo suburb, to do some shopping. I’d read that Nakano was a good place to find otaku stuff. Despite my research, I was amazed. You can read a lot about Nakano Broadway on the web, and I won’t bother to add to the geek praise of the place. Let me just say its all its advertised to be. One thing that other visitors haven’t said is that, interspersed with the manga and comic boutiques are cheap clothing stores selling flowered pantssuits to older ladies. So you have these 60 year old women wandering around among the otaku boys and girls. Its a lovely generational melting pot there.

Here’s a conversation I had with a store clerk (tenin) yesterday. English translation to follow.

I was in the collectibles boutique when I found a flat of boxes with Star Wars figurines. The back of the box had pictures of all six figurines in the series, the front of the box had a picture of Boba Fett. I wanted to know if that meant that Boba Fett was in the box, and I could buy him for a mere 500 yen as I hoped, or whether I might get one of the other figurines by accident.

Me (showing the store guy one of the boxes): Kore wa Boba Fett desu ka?
Tenin (looking at the box): Iie. Kore wa Jango Fett.
Me: Un. Jango Fett desu ne. Boba Fett wa arimasu ka?
Tenin: Chotto matte. (Looks through all the boxes) Sumimasen. Boba Fett ja nai.
Me: Hm. Arigato.

Me: Is this Boba Fett?
Store Guy: No. This is Jango Fett.
Me: Oh, its Jango Fett. Is there a Boba Fett?
SG: Wait a minute. I’m sorry. There are no Boba Fetts.
Me: Drat! Thanks anyway.

And people say you can’t learn Japanese in a month.